Lower horsepower tractors might be enjoying strong sales in the U.S. and Canada, but when it comes to combines, bigger is always better.
For a discussion on trends in farm equipment, dealer networks, and the value of new and nearly-new combines, we’re joined by Torey Hadland, western Canadian division director with Claas Canada, for this LIVE! Q&A.
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- From an equipment manufacturer perspective, what changed with COVID-19?
- Worldwide and here at home, only maybe a slight hiccup with some supply
- Adding dealers or expanding dealer offerings?
- Four to five years of the tractor business in Canada. Really just getting rolling now
- Dealers matter. Beyond the price (*cough*), service, parts, and support are so key to what farmers choose
- Combine simulator? It’s in Omaha, Nebraska, and is super cool
- Many farmers out west wrapped harvest probably a month sooner than last year, thank goodness
- The 7000 series of Lexion and 8000 series (biggest seller in Western Canada), increased threshing system and separation to increase capacity and thru-put. Faster unload, more hopper space
- Bigger is better, y’all
- Capacity is so key and the trend is to larger, sometimes that means fewer combines, owned
- Sensors! There’s some auto-speed/feeding sensors to keep that combine rolling, avoid plugging, decrease operator fatigue
- Be brighter! Seed green (vs. yellow and black) — the European colours have been well accepted
- Features: fuel efficiency is a big one
- Most adjustments even between crops can be done from the cab now
- Grain retention is a huge focus in improving the offering in new units
- Fast unload still matters even with the move to carts
- Will Claas get rid of the steering wheel? Wait and see!
- Drapers are what the people want in headers
- Monitors — there are so many! Can we get them consolidated into one? There are some things that can be combined, but not all. They don’t all talk to each other
- What about autonomous tractors, and more?
- Xerion, 4WD, last 4 years Axion, and a few dealers carry the Axion 900 series, with rear-wheel track option
- Slow, gradual growth in product offerings to do it right
- Tracks vs. tires, and track movement for the forage harvester (to decrease crop damage)
- Forage line has been stable, but it’s a pretty flat market in Canada
- Hour options, extended warranty when dealing with one to four year old equipment vs. 8 years old or more
- What’s the feed back mechanism for customers? Focus groups for all segments
- What works in one geography doesn’t always work in another
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