Buying a self-propelled sprayer can be a big undertaking, in this blog we will take a look at some of the things to think about before you purchase.
It’s no secret that new farm equipment is hard to get your hands on, which is why used equipment is more in demand than ever. If you’re in the market for a self-propelled sprayer, there are elements you should take into consideration beyond make, model, boom width, and tank size.
What are your future plans?
Sprayers are not a piece of equipment farmers turnover quickly, so you need to take into account your long-range plans before purchasing. Do you plan on expanding your operation?
If so, make sure the unit you’re considering is big enough for your expansion. Will this machine allow you to cover these acres in the short window of time while facing weather conditions and weeds.
Another factor to consider is how long you plan to own it. Will you use for the next 7-10 years or are you considering moving to a custom applicator in the future is something you should consider as well.
Can I make the sprayer multifunctional?
Today’s sprayers are so much more than the name implies. They can be used for applying fertilizer or fungicide, you can remove the front booms and use for seed corn production, and more.
The point is: Does the model you’re looking at allow for other functions, thus allowing you to get the most for your money.
Have I calculated all my spraying options?
Before purchasing a new sprayer, now is the time to evaluate if it’s more cost effective to handle within your operation or to outsource to a custom applicator.
Spraying is an activity that usually takes place when you’re at your busiest. Do you have the manpower to cover this activity today and five years down the road? You should also take into consideration the chemicals themselves.
What is the difference in price if you buy the chemicals directly from the supplier vs. what your custom applicator charges? The health and safety of both you and your crew are also a key consideration.
If you or your team has not been properly trained or licensed on handling, pesticides and insecticides can be dangerous if not properly trained.
Do I have the infrastructure for spraying?
Not only is having the manpower to operate a factor. Based on the number of acres and distance, you may need to consider a sprayer tender trailer or truck. What is the cost to build or buy this unit?
Additional considerations should include whether you have an adequate spot to store and mix chemicals.
Am I ready for the advances in sprayer technology?
Arguably, the sprayer is one piece of farm equipment that has undergone the most in terms of technological advances in the past few years.
Newer units include features that help you maximize your product such as auto boom shutoffs, section control, auto height control, and on-board chemical mixing. These new advances have resulted in reducing the amount of chemicals you use, more accurate spraying, reduced runoff, and being a better steward of the land.
A newer unit will cost you more up-front, but the cost savings in terms of inputs over time may offset this. Prior to making a purchase, we suggest you put pen to paper here.
Before purchasing a new sprayer for your operation, it’s well worth your time to do your homework. Taking a look at how it will be used today, tomorrow, and five years from now will help you make the best possible decision.
As always, it’s important you’re doing business with a trustworthy source. Before you buy, it is advised you talk with the current owner about the unit, take a look at past service records, as well as check out the sprayer in-person to ensure it was accurately represented.
With good research and foresight, you’ll find a solution that meets your needs now and well into the future.
If you’re looking to buy a used self-propelled sprayer or any other farm machinery, BigIron Auctions sells thousands of pieces of farm equipment online every Wednesday.
Cover photo credit: BigIron Auctions