Farmers Look for Value, Specialization in Shortline Purchases

According to Farm Equipment’s second annual survey to farmers about their shortline manufacturers, farmers continue to buy shortline equipment due to the quality they get for the price and the major lines’ lack of experience in niche areas. Farmers also indicated they see shortlines as having better self-repair options for their customers and take the edge in responsiveness.

Reasons to Purchase Shortline Equipment: Specialization & Price

Farmers were asked to write in their specific reasons for purchasing their most significant shortline piece of equipment, with 25.6% mentioning the specific features of the machine. Some 24.2% of farmers mentioned the price or value of the machine in their response. Another 22.1% were driven by the quality of the machine vs. 21.8% in 2021.

Availability of the shortline machine was a more common answer in the 2022 survey than last year, with 18.9% giving it as a reason for the purchase, up from 14.5% last year. The percentage of farmers driven by the reputation of the shortline brand was only 3.9% this year, a notable fall from 10.5% last year. 

A new category added this year was the performance of the shortline machine, which 23.5% of farmers mentioned. Another 8.4% of surveyed farmers mentioned the dealer who sold them the shortline machine — responses included the availability of parts, good service and even a persuasive salesperson.

Shortlines vs. Majors: Better Innovation & Customization

Shortlines earned farmers’ top choice in price of equipment (56.9% of farmers picking shortlines), configurations and customizations (56.1%), self-repair resources (52.2%), manufacturer responsiveness (50.5%) and product innovation (48.7%), in this year’s survey. Major-line manufacturers topped the shortline manufacturers in just one category — warranty programs (35.2%).

Topics where farmers were the most neutral one shortlines vs. majors were warranty programs (53.8% neutral), price of parts (45.8%) and product engineering (41.8%). 

See the Farm Link to view the complete survey.