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In this episode of the Farm Equipment Used Equipment Remarketing Roadmaps podcast, brought to you by Agrisolutions, hosts Casey Seymour and Aaron Fintel sit down with Eddie Claxton and Lou Bordoni from the Georgia-based John Deere dealer Flint Ag.

Casey and Aaron get a “boots on the ground” perspective from Eddie and Lou about the used equipment market in their region and how the current cotton market is impacting things. 

 
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Farm Equipment‘s podcast, Used Equipment Remarketing Roadmaps, is brought to you by Agrisolutions.

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Full Transcript

Kim Schmidt:

Hi, I'm executive editor, Kim Schmidt. Welcome to Farm Equipment's, Used Equipment Remarketing Roadmaps podcast. In this episode, host Casey Seymour and co-host Aaron Fintel sit down with Lou Bordoni and Eddie Claxton from Flint Ag in Georgia to talk about the market in their area. Before we head over to Casey and Aaron, I wanted to thank our sponsor, Agrisolutions. Agrisolutions is the market leader in wearable parts, components, accessories and solutions for tillage, seeding, planting, fertilizing, hardware and inventory management solutions. Improve performance and durability with a wide range of in-field and extended life solutions. To learn more about Agrisolutions and their globally recognized brands such as Bellota, Ingersoll Tillage and Trinity Logistics, visit agrisolutionscorp.com. And if this is your first time listening, you can subscribe to the podcast on any of your favorite podcast forms. Okay. Let's get things going. Here's Casey and Aaron talking with Lou Bordoni and Eddie Claxton about the cotton market in Georgia.

Casey Seymour:

So now it's time for the boots on the ground segment, and we've got our two fellows from Georgia that are going to be here with us here directly. We got Eddie Claxton and Lou Bordoni. How are you guys doing?

Eddie Claxton:

All right.

Lou Bordoni:

Great.

Casey Seymour:

Right on. So Eddie, let's start with you. What is it that you do for Flint Ag equipment?

Eddie Claxton:

Official title is used equipment manager. Lou and I kind of have our segmentation. A lot of dealers have one person doing the dual role. Some have it split apart. Basically I'm on the front side of everything; all the trade evaluations, anything that we need to put a value on, figuring that first price of what we really need to put it in inventory for. And once it's in inventory, both of us kind of work together making sure that it gets moved to one of our eight locations if we need to move it. And then he takes it over from there and does all of the marketing, handles the buyers, person-to-person sales, dealer-to-dealer sales, if he needs to adjust pricing, whatever that kind of that market is at that point. But I mean, we work basically hand in hand. We may not be together each day in the same office, but we're constantly back and forth with each other some form of communication on everything we're doing. And its worked pretty well for them bringing us in to what we actually inherited when both of us got on board.

Eddie Claxton:

He was already here. I came in early '16. He came from another division. So basically, we basically got slapped in the face with a bunch of overaged, overvalued equipment. And some of them been sitting here for quite a while. But I mean, pretty much I'm a used equipment manager. He's a used equipment remarketing manager. We basically work hand in hand and day-to-day and make sure we get everything handled for our managers and our owner. You know? We're a eight store operation in Southwest Georgia. We're one of three divisions for our company. They have a construction forestry, a fire division in the Ag. We're on the Ag and Turf side.

Casey Seymour:

Now, Lou, talk a little bit about kind of what your day-to-day looks like.

Lou Bordoni:

So like Eddie said, I mean, we're a little unique as far as how we organize things. And so most of my efforts are into monitoring our inventory and trying to get out ahead of problems. I mean, we're in kind of a unique situation down here in Southwest Georgia and I think it's something that you may see in different parts of the country more than others in that the way that the consolidations have come about and the way that the land ownership has evolved, you have less and less balance as far as our ability to wash out of equipment. Right? And it almost seems as if, as the years go on, you've got more A's and a lot less B's, C's, and D's. You know?

Lou Bordoni:

And so that's my challenge; is to try to consult up to the retail, to my counterpart on the new equipment side, and try to throttle the sale of new equipment to match our ability to our ability to absorb the used. Right? Whether it be retail, or whether it be looking outside and saying, "All right. Well, what's the out of area ability to absorb? I mean, how's the rest of the country doing?" You know?

Lou Bordoni:

So I guess the easiest way to put it is my number one goal or how I see my responsibility is to clear the way for the retail guys to be able to do their job in a healthy manner and to avoid problems because the problem with us down here is that in steady state, like, I mean when things are normal, we produce surplus. We know that, right? The issue is if that stayed the same and if that was consistent, this job would probably be pretty easy. Right? But it changes. And it's supremely segmented. You know? One year we may be loaded down with a certain category of equipment and which is a mainstream category of equipment be it a grain harvesting or tractors or sprayers. And another year, we may be loaded down or out of balance with some kind of niche equipment, be it a cotton or peanut equipment that you don't really have a lot of places to go with. Right?

Lou Bordoni:

So to circle back to your original question, "What does my day look like," sometimes my day is going out and being a mainstream remarketing manager and another where I'm talking to guys in Illinois and Iowa and Nebraska or here in Georgia, where other times I'm out there trying to figure out, "Man, we're loaded down with cotton pickers right now. Where's that market at and who's buying," and kind of reinventing my relationships and trying to figure out... Adjusting also our reconditioning program and kind of how we get things through, because obviously when your customer changes, your protocols change. You know? We've talked a lot about that before, is not every buyer has the same expectations. So that has a lot to do with what I'm doing day-to-day.

Casey Seymour:

So cotton is obvious right now. Cotton is very high. I mean, I saw the other day, some December, cotton was opening up at a dollar. I mean, I don't know how often that happens that your [inaudible 00:06:55] Ford contracting dollar cotton. So in an area that's heavily cotton, you got all kinds of cotton stuff going on. Cotton kind of drives the market down there. How's that affecting your business? And what are you guys seeing right now? I mean, obviously things are busy and it is what it is because of equipment-wise, but with the volume of tractors that you guys sell based around cotton, what are you seeing right now in the used side of that?

Eddie Claxton:

What we're seeing right now on the cotton side is we're seeing some movement, but it's through the export side.

Casey Seymour:

Okay.

Eddie Claxton:

We're getting some local guys. We had a lot of that December type business before the end of the year. And then the balance is really been more or less a lot of activity, a lot of interest from the exporters, but we had our normal cotton business as usual. We get an allocation from Deere on pickers, so we ate our allocation up with all our local guys and remote customers. And from that point, now we're taking, as Lou calls them, the babies of all those trades and trying to force them down the line and figure out who's going to get them. But with Deere bringing in a new series picker, the 770, now the 690s and the 7760s are a reference to y'all would be like when they went from the 50 series to the 60 series and up to the S series, I mean, you start getting machines that are getting older and older and they're losing value and losing steam.

Eddie Claxton:

But the cotton market is hopefully surely going to help us with the input cost. We're going to still be in cotton and peanuts. That's our two main crops here other than vegetables, watermelons, that sort of thing. We had a bunch of corn, but now corn's getting quite expensive.

Casey Seymour:

Right. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Eddie Claxton:

[crosstalk 00:08:56] back down on that and do more peanuts and cotton. But if you ask me today, still a hot ticket is tractors. The cotton equipment will come, but we usually see some cotton business only into kind of the late summer, right before we start the foliating. And we'll get some guys that want to buy at the last minute or do some trades at the last minute.

Casey Seymour:

What are you seeing, Lou?

Lou Bordoni:

So, I mean, here's the thing about cotton. It's so simple that it gets complicated. So so stay with me here. So, you have a finite amount of acres, right? And while our guys do have the ability and the flexibility to, like I said, he said like, "Move some acres over," and say, "All right, I'm going to swap over X amount, X percentage of acres over to corn or peanuts," or whatnot. What you're seeing is, is over the years... And I've graphed it and I've looked at it and kind of analyzed it all from year to year. You're not going to see a tremendous amount of shifting of acreage. It's really got to make...

Lou Bordoni:

For instance, I'll give you the example of corn. If corn goes through the roof... Yeah. So maybe some of our guys decided to move over 5%, 7%, 10%, 12% of their acreage over to corn, but it's got to really, really, really make sense why. Logistically, we're at a tremendous disadvantage down here now.

Casey Seymour:

Right.

Lou Bordoni:

Yeah. I mean, we can grow some tremendous corn. We can grow some tremendous corn down here. Our yields are tremendous because we're all under water. We control our conditions. Right? We can fertilize through the pivots and we... So when we commit ourselves to it, we can do really well, but we're still at a tremendous disadvantage. Right? So that's the number one reason.

Lou Bordoni:

And the number two reason is what Eddie alluded to as far as the equipment that's coming out. And we saw a double digit baseline increase with the new model cotton pickers. I mean, you're starting to flirt with a million dollars a piece for a new cotton picker. Right? And you're talking about one cotton picker is good for anywhere between, depending on your location and kind of what your harvest window is, anywhere from, say, your 1,500 to 3,000 acres worth. So we've got a handful of large growers that are having to run 3, 4, 5, 6 cotton pickers. So just do some real quick math there. You're pretty darn committed. From an equipment standpoint, letting a cotton... Shifting acres over to corn and letting a cotton picker sit in a barn and just, not the hour, but just the annual depreciation will almost make you sick in your stomach.

Lou Bordoni:

And we'll have that happen. We'll have customers come to us. "Oh man, I think I'm going to have my cotton custom harvested and I'm just going to stick the corn this year. Are you willing to just straight out purchase my cotton picker because I don't need it sitting there and have to make a payment." And that's a very difficult, very hard decision for us. I mean, it's got to really make a lot of sense, right?

Casey Seymour:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right.

Lou Bordoni:

So that leads the grower in a position where he's got to stay committed to that crop. So that would be the second point. The third point is just the rest of the infrastructure. I mean, we're set up to absorb X amount of production of cotton, X amount of production of peanuts from the sense of storage of brokerage. It's all pretty sized accordingly, if you will. Right? You know? Right now, where the rest of... You know? You talk to dealers around the country and they're telling you what a bad situation they're in, and where they're really losing a lot of opportunities, and they're trying to fill orders and they're having to go out and pay kind of top dollar to fill retail orders.

Lou Bordoni:

So we may have seen a bit of that. I know Eddie's gone out and bought some tractors here recently and to [inaudible 00:13:13] some orders. But for the most part, our guys from a fleet standpoint are so committed and so consistent, because their operations are so large and their role cycles are so consistent, that that enables us to plan ahead and their deals are discussed. And you pretty much... Right now, the only curve ball is that's what's kind of throwing us for a curve, because historically a lot of our guys will kind of pile up when they want to do their deals. Right? And right now, from a delivery standpoint on the new that's a challenge.

Lou Bordoni:

So we've had to back up and look. Say we've got X number of we'll call it large deals, large equipment fleets that we pretty much do every year. Like, we've had to sit down and kind of spread those out a little bit, not because of from an absorption standpoint, but because if you don't spread them out, you won't be able to bring the tractors in, get them PDI'd, get them invoiced out and kind of refill the hopper with [inaudible 00:14:24] water. So that's really been the one challenge that we've seen in the last 12 months, but I guess the silver lining or kind of where dealers like us in the south kind of set ourselves apart. I'm not saying good or bad. I'm not saying it was premeditated or we're doing anything better than anybody else; because normally, the volume of equipment and the timing of it is our biggest crutch.

Lou Bordoni:

Right now, it's been a blessing in disguise because, with the exception of when it shows up on the yards, we really haven't missed a lot of opportunities on the trade side. I mean, unless you live under a rock you know what's happening with equipment. The guys that are even more savvy know that we've realized a lot more price increases from Deere. Our costs have gone up or that equipment's costing them more. But they also know that their equipment's worth more. And so that's something that I know Eddie grapple's a good bit on. And once the equipment shows up on the yard, that I grapple with to determine, "All right. What is stuff worth in the marketplace? Where do we need to be on this stuff?" And having the discipline to stay consistent.

Lou Bordoni:

And things are good, but I think that maybe some other dealers around the country are seeing a much bigger spread in the margins that they're seeing and their profitability than what maybe a dealer in the south is because of the frequency of our [inaudible 00:16:00] role cycles. You don't want to go out there and go crazy because you know you're going to see that tractor again in 12 months. And if by that time the market has kind of gone back to normal, you need to be careful what you do with those B and C customers because it's going to affect your ability to be able to do their deals.

Casey Seymour:

Right.

Lou Bordoni:

If that makes any sense.

Aaron Fintel:

Oh yeah.

Casey Seymour:

Yes, yes. So talk a little bit about that. So that's something I talk about a lot and I think about a lot is when you're looking at your traditional secondary buyer. You got the guy that's going to buy the first generation trade. Those guys are pretty well established. You know who those guys are. They're going to roll every two or three years. And then you've got the next guy that's going to buy his stuff that's rolling every three to five, seven years, something like that. And those guys, to me, that's where I worry about the next three to five years, what's that look like and how does that play out-

Aaron Fintel:

Because the B customer.

Casey Seymour:

Yeah. The B customer. Because the lot of those B customer guys, they've become B customers because they don't have anyone coming back to the farm in a lot of cases. And they've just kind of... "Yeah. This is as big as I'm going to get. I'm not going to get any bigger than this. I'm going to kind of supply my farm with what I need. And when I'm ready to buy something, I'm ready to buy something and I'm going to retire and move on here in a little while." The A guy's going to come in and pick up my ground or rent my ground or whatever they're going to do. Are you seeing that retirement kind of horizon get a little bit closer with some of these guys? And if you're seeing that, how are you handling that as far as that next level of customer? How are you adjusting your washout cycle accordingly?

Kim Schmidt:

We'll get back to Casey, Aaron, Eddie and Lou in a moment. But first, I wanted to pause to thank our sponsor, Agrisolutions. To learn more, visit agrisolutionscorp.com. Now, back to Casey and Erin as they continue their discussion with Eddie Claxton and Lou Bordoni from Flint Ag.

Lou Bordoni:

Well, my observation, kind of the way we see it. So I think that listening to you guys over the years, even, and seeing how what you just described is a perpetual cycle.

Casey Seymour:

Sure.

Lou Bordoni:

Like, it's constantly happening.

Casey Seymour:

Yep.

Lou Bordoni:

I think with us, it's not as, although it's a concern, it's something that you've always got in the back of your mind that the consolidations are going to continue to occur. I think the rate at which they occur in our part of the world are a lot less frequent.

Casey Seymour:

Okay.

Lou Bordoni:

We're not seeing... You guys are always talking about retirement sale this and retirement sale that, and, "Oh, I went to this retirement sale this weekend," and, "Oh, I was coming home and ran by another one." We don't see that. I mean, we'll see a... You know? We see them, but we see them... You know? When there's somebody, when there's like a sizable retirement sale, it's something that's like, we're really talking about. You know?

Casey Seymour:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lou Bordoni:

I think what you're seeing more is... You know? You may have that we label A and B customers that may be farming similar acreage, similar number of acres, but the only thing that separates them is their philosophy on equipment.

Casey Seymour:

Right. Yep.

Lou Bordoni:

It's like, I'm not going to... I would never buy... I don't think I'd ever buy a new pickup. Right? That's just how I am. You know? And it's not important to me. I mean, I know that that model's going to stay the same for a couple years, so I may be behind the eight ball, but I'll still have a newer truck still within warranty for at least three years. You know?

Lou Bordoni:

Well, with equipment, it's the same. And we've pushed that along as well because we cannot sustain 20 A customers. The ideal, like what we've tried to mold has been... All right. So if we walked in and there was 18 or 20 A customers and 5 or 6 B's, and then just a handful of C's, we've chipped away at it year by year and said, "All right. Well, let's take 8 of those B's and let's figure out what value proposition or how to pitch some value to those guys to ride the coattails of one of these A customers."

Casey Seymour:

Right.

Lou Bordoni:

And you got to kind of think through them, work real closely with your sales guys and take their guidance on that and say, "All right. Well, John, like, who are two customers that would be compatible here," or maybe you take two of those A's and you let them write the coattails of one of your big A customers. And then I'll tell you what. When you can pull that off, you've really done something. And so you combine that with the amount of hours that we put on equipment down here, that'll take you through almost to wholesale. You know?

Casey Seymour:

Right. Sure. Yep.

Lou Bordoni:

You can always get wholesale by the third or, worst case scenario, by the fourth trade.

Casey Seymour:

Right.

Lou Bordoni:

We've got growers that we've put, say, on a one- or two-year cycle that their utilization on their equipment fleet is so efficient and so high that they're trading one-year old tractors or 18-month old tractors with the 2,000, 2,500 hours. So right there, you've already... Like, by the time they're trading in a new tractor that's still within basic, they're about as far along the kind of the usage or the hours of a curve that you guys would be having to deal with, say, with like a B or a C customer.

Casey Seymour:

Right.

Aaron Fintel:

Right. They're moving it-

Lou Bordoni:

[crosstalk 00:22:02].

Aaron Fintel:

They put so many hours on because of their efficiencies. They move it from an A plus down to a B or a B minus themselves just by how they're operating.

Casey Seymour:

Yep. Exactly. Yeah. We see that [crosstalk 00:22:15] areas too. I get those a lot.

Lou Bordoni:

[crosstalk 00:22:15]. Yeah.

Aaron Fintel:

So, yeah. I could see that that's extremely helpful in a way-

Casey Seymour:

Yep.

Lou Bordoni:

Exactly. Yeah. Yes.

Aaron Fintel:

... is if the dollars line up for that operation, yeah, that's wonderful.

Casey Seymour:

Yeah. Yep.

Lou Bordoni:

Now, the challenge is always the pressure you get from the top side. Right? And we saw that more than ever here recently, and you get it every couple years, get the Kool-Aid and get the pep talk. And I'm not going to go, "Oh, that's plowing ground." Everybody knows that. And so down here talking with some of our friend dealerships down here in the south, we have to kind of sit down and have a lot of discipline. We have to have a lot of discipline to not bite on that. And the problem is that if you have one dealer group that's operating nearby that doesn't buy into that philosophy, it screws the pooch for the rest of them.

Aaron Fintel:

Absolutely.

Lou Bordoni:

That's the problem we run into.

Aaron Fintel:

Yep. And I think every dealer across the world, for what it's worth, runs into that. If dealer A is trying their hardest; we were hitting market share, we don't have any used problems, we're clicking along, this is the best plan ever; and dealer B is trying to get 3,000% market share and they're just ruining everything.

Lou Bordoni:

Exactly. Absolutely. We do it to ourselves.

Aaron Fintel:

Right. Exactly.

Lou Bordoni:

And that's why I've been preaching, and Eddie and I talk about it a ton and with our management and ownership group, I think today more than ever, I firmly believe, and I believe in the importance of the value of these relationships and how much all these dealers across the country need to be working and need to be talking. And I think that Casey and you have done a tremendous amount, whether you realize it or not, to propagate that. You know? And I think in the five years that I've been on this side of the business, I've seen that level of communication improve. And the more communication and the more synergy there is, and the more alignment as far as like operational kind of MO you have across the country, the healthier we will all be as organizations.

Aaron Fintel:

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. And it's easy to sit there buried in your laptop with your blinders on and stuff, but... And I've seen it. Maybe I was going to use combines as an example, but that's kind of a bad example. But I know of times where we have had like a hundred used S600 Series combines, and I might sell a couple in the southeast to a dealer because you guys don't create combine problems like like we insist on doing. So it's easy to think, you know, if you look at us out here west and the I states all the way to western or eastern Ohio right down I-80, everybody's got a combine problem. Well, there's a lot of rest of the world out there, and if everybody's working together, it makes a hell, hell of a huge difference.

Lou Bordoni:

But Aaron, and I don't mean to cut you off, but I think it starts with awareness.

Aaron Fintel:

Right.

Lou Bordoni:

You know? And I'm going to sound like a real... What is the word? Like, newbie or rookie? I mean, naive, whatever it may be.

Aaron Fintel:

[crosstalk 00:26:00].

Lou Bordoni:

When I started-

Casey Seymour:

Uneducated.

Aaron Fintel:

Yeah.

Casey Seymour:

Foolish.

Aaron Fintel:

Yeah. Hare-brained.

Lou Bordoni:

Any more?

Aaron Fintel:

Yeah.

Lou Bordoni:

I'll tell you how quickly I had to get my head around this thing when I started, and I was reminded of it today when I was at our Leesburg store, which is where I kind of had my first office. And so I built, what I called it, like a war room. Literally. It was double cubicle and I pulled everything out of there. And so you could push pushpins everywhere. You know? So I went out and bought the absolute biggest maps I could find. So I had a map of the southeast and of the whole country and of the world. And I went out and bought different colored pushpins. And what I was trying to get visualized was, "Where's the hotspots for certain equipment?" because this is how dumb I was and this is how unaware I was. Right?

Lou Bordoni:

Like, where do people create combine surplus? Where are the other little niche pockets in the US where people have a buy and buy a peanut equipment or cotton equipment? Or where are guys buying big sprayers and where are guys buying little 2,500 hour sprayers? Where are guys two-wheel drive combines? Where are guys buying shittily specced [inaudible 00:27:28] crop tractors? Where are guys buying tractors with leather?

Lou Bordoni:

And I'm telling you, it took a long time to map that out and get your head around it. But what I found at the end of that, being a newbie and not really having a gut feeling about all that and having to mine that data all at the same time rather than trying to learn it through experience in years of, "Oh, I heard they run two-wheel drive combines and a lot of them in Nebraska or whatever," almost like, "Really help me," and the more you know what dealers are going to have, what problems when this and that is happening, I think the better you can execute, that you know who to call. I mean, you know -

Aaron Fintel:

Right. You got some feedback on that, Eddie?

Eddie Claxton:

Lou, you know, he brings a lot to the table. I mean, I've been doing this... I'll be 42 next month. I've been doing this since I was 17, and not in this title, but being in the Deere business. And he brings a lot to the table for someone that hasn't been in it that long.

Aaron Fintel:

Sometimes that helps.

Eddie Claxton:

Yes. He brings a lot of aspects. You know? Early on, we were all kind of scratching our head, but especially now he and I, I mean, I can come up with a problem and he can find a solution. You know? It takes a lot of times that thinking outside the box and he does a lot of that. And it's very, very helpful. And a lot of things I pick up that I never was aware of or didn't think of it that way. So I think it's alluding back to what he said. I think a lot of this is relationships trying to work with dealers and trying figure out, if we're all going to have the same issue, we need to try to figure out a solution and work together to get that solution handled in a timely manner.

Aaron Fintel:

Right. Yep. That's-

Eddie Claxton:

You know? Our thing is cotton pickers and that's a very limited audience. You know? We work with B dealers that do cotton and you end up sometimes carrying pickers and we've done that. And we're still working, trying to resolve that, and don't know if we'll ever get to that point where we don't, but hopefully we will, and then the peanut side of it. So a little different. We're very, very, very invested in peanuts, yeah, without hesitation. We're the only dealer in North America that carries three brands; Amadas, KMC, and Colombo. So we have a whole different scenario thing. We've got three brands we kind of set the pace and scale for. Colombo, Amadas, and KMC kind of already have their values in the marketplace, but then we have to be conscious of what we're doing with Colombo, KMC, and Amadas with the peanut market, is it rises and falls just like cotton. So everybody's got a problem. That's just a little different.

Casey Seymour:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Very much a relationship driven business. And when you really peel back the layers of the onion, everybody's onion's a little bit the same. There's very, very few things that are different. You might have different equipment and different farming practices and those kind of things. But at the end of the day, used equipment's used equipment. And [crosstalk 00:31:03] there's a washout [crosstalk 00:31:03]-

Lou Bordoni:

Exactly.

Aaron Fintel:

A yellow onion, a white onion, and a red onion are all onions.

Casey Seymour:

[crosstalk 00:31:08], buddy. I'm right.

Lou Bordoni:

I got one thing that I want to put out there and I want to plant a real quick seed

Casey Seymour:

Okay. Sure.

Lou Bordoni:

Going back to that being naive thing and not knowing how things work, I asked a question five years ago. You know? I'd been doing this for about a month and I asked a question. I'm like, "Why is it..." They used to make fun of me. Like, "God. Lou has these dumbass questions." But why is it that we can't sit down and why is it that we're doing such... Why are we making such silly, what you think would be, silly decisions? Right? Why are we having to deal with such silly problems that in any other market or any other industry could probably be solved a lot easier? I mean, you know what I'm saying? Through a little bit of communication, a little bit of analysis, a little better of decision making. Right?

Lou Bordoni:

And the answer was, we could come out and we could do, like Aaron said, we could go out there and slow the train down and try to slow cycles down and et cetera. But unless your neighbors are doing it, unless everybody's doing it, everybody's in agreement and everybody's got the same agreement and nobody's going to take a disproportionate amount of risk, if everybody was going to agree to take the same amount of risk to go up against Deere or the manufacturers, and it could be done, but you're never going to have a scenario in which everybody is going to be aligned as far as, "Okay. Let's all slow this thing down," or, "Let's all try to talk our customers into showing some value rather than just meeting metrics." You know?

Lou Bordoni:

Well, all of a sudden here's a phenomenon that's been put in our lap, that has put us all on a level playing field as far as we all have inventory availability issues, we're all having to adjust our trail allowances and in our market, the equipment price at which we're selling equipment, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And even down to a product support standpoint. I mean, we're all challenged by that as well. Like, we're losing techs left and right and so is our neighbor. And so we're all, all of a sudden, like... There's not... because we did something right or wrong, but we're all kind of in a more even keel position across the country, not segmented.

Lou Bordoni:

And so all of a sudden, there's a lot of good things that have come out of that. I've been saying for years this whole used equipment thing, the way to make it make more sense is you got to slow it down. Well, it got slowed down. So my hope and the seed of I want to plant is that I hope that when this thing rebounds, that we all were able to see the good things that came out of this and that we take something away from that as an industry, and we increase our health in a way that will last and that we don't regress back to doing stupid business and doing business for fun and not talking to each other and being a really terrible use of capital as a company. So that's my hope for us as an industry. That's the wisdom I wanted to plant before the end of my request before the end of my segment. I'm done.

Casey Seymour:

All right. Right on. All right. Deep thoughts by Lou Bordoni. That's a good one. I like that. Now, I think the best practices side of this business is always something people talk about. And I'm right there with you, Lou, that what's coming out of this is that this will be the first time when it slows down and things go back to a normal level of consistency is that you're going to be filling up an empty cupboard. So you have an ability to go back in and fill that up with good wholesome food and not exactly not Twinkies and Ho Hos. You know what I mean?

Lou Bordoni:

Gosh.

Aaron Fintel:

This is in a cupboard because we had to have it.

Casey Seymour:

That's right. That's right. So, I mean, yeah, you can really put things back in there the way they're supposed to go. So I'm with you. I hope so too. I hope that we come out of this on the backside a little wiser, a little smarter, and a little bit more... You know? 2019, 2018, 2017 really wasn't that long ago. And-

Lou Bordoni:

That's right.

Casey Seymour:

... we can go down a path of high correction here pretty quick if we're not careful.

Aaron Fintel:

Oh yeah.

Casey Seymour:

Absolutely.

Aaron Fintel:

So what you're saying is when we do go to the store because the cupboards are bare, leave the teenage boys at home.

Casey Seymour:

Exactly. Yeah.

Aaron Fintel:

Okay.

Casey Seymour:

Yep. We don't eat Hostess fruit pies.

Aaron Fintel:

Frito-Lay is not invited.

Casey Seymour:

Exactly right. Eddie, you have any last thoughts?

Eddie Claxton:

Oh man. It's hard to come back after what Lou said. I mean, that's pretty strong, pretty deep.

Casey Seymour:

Yep. Right.

Eddie Claxton:

You know? A lot of what he said is there. I mean, we just got to try to, if we can work together, and try to figure out where this thing's going to go because you can take every expert in the world and take all your commodity prices, but if the good Lord don't give you the water and the sunshine and the right temperatures and the right weather, none of us are going to get through this thing.

Eddie Claxton:

So I mean, it's one of those that... I've talked to guys that last time they remember anything like this in the equipment industry was probably in the 80s. I don't know that we'll ever... Hopefully... You know? There's good and bad seeing this. So I'll just leave it at [inaudible 00:37:05], but I don't know that we'll ever see this again because we're looking at trading machines that's three or four years old and exactly give them back exactly what they paid for. Selling them a three or four year old tractor 25% to 40% above what it should be. It's just the way that the market is. You know? We didn't call this. We didn't set it. We're playing the game that we were told to play.

Aaron Fintel:

Alls we can do is play in the arena we were put in, man.

Eddie Claxton:

Exactly.

Casey Seymour:

[inaudible 00:37:47] gladiators. Right? Well, fellas-

Lou Bordoni:

Speak for yourself, dude. I mean you guys look like you could kick our asses.

Aaron Fintel:

Not Eddie's.

Lou Bordoni:

The 1982 stationary bike back there that's...

Casey Seymour:

I think it's hardcore.

Lou Bordoni:

[crosstalk 00:38:08] core.

Casey Seymour:

Well, okay. So last, last little thing real quick. Just get your feedback. So both of you guys came to Moving Iron summit this last year. You've been there before. What are some of the big takeaways you have when you go to of those meetings like that?

Lou Bordoni:

Regarding?

Eddie Claxton:

Camaraderie, getting to meet, talk, and visit with other dealers, especially the guys that don't sell the same color. You know? John Deere, mother Deere has always preached one avenue with going to those different meetings. We can take the fork in the road and go a different path and try to come back over and bring something back to our dealership individually or as a team to put in place. I think that is something that needs to continue and hopefully it can continue. I think we all raised our hand for Nashville. So we're [inaudible 00:39:07] I will definitely be able to see you.

Casey Seymour:

Yep. Yeah. I'll be there.

Eddie Claxton:

It's a wonderful experience. Like I said, it's basically to meet people other than John Deere.

Casey Seymour:

Right.

Lou Bordoni:

My biggest takeaway is that I always would've thought that those electric mopeds would be not a really big deal to operate, but it's a lot more complicated than what you would think.

Aaron Fintel:

In certain times of days more than others.

Casey Seymour:

Yes, yeah. Exactly.

Lou Bordoni:

I really respect those guys in the tight jeans. I mean, they're braver than I ever gave them credit for. So be beyond that, absolutely, Eddie hit the nail in the head. The camaraderie and the fact that you get to sit down in a different environment with guys that are doing the same thing you're doing. And like you said earlier. I mean, you get your nose to the grindstone and you're behind that laptop and it's real easy, or you're out in the field and you're photographing and kind of getting a rut of getting things done, and you forget to look around and see kind of the macro idea of, "Hey, man, I could be doing this differently." You know?

Lou Bordoni:

And so those meetings are real good about sitting down with people that you know have done a really good job at certain parts of what we do, and you get an opportunity to kind of get a glimpse inside of, "Man. This guy's really thought this through, man." I've had conversations. I remember having a 30 minute conversation one time with [Brent Bowen 00:40:42] about the proper angle to photograph an [AR 00:40:45]. And you'd think we were talking about fine art.

Aaron Fintel:

Right?

Lou Bordoni:

You know? Like, as far as like... Or talking with French people about champagne and, "That is not champagne." You know? Like, "That is not how you photograph an AR. This is how to do it."

Aaron Fintel:

Right.

Lou Bordoni:

You know? And he is the god when it comes to photographing ARs. He really is. Like, he makes tractor porn. And in 30 minutes I learned how to do something that I thought I was doing well a lot better. You know? And it goes with everything. There's so much synergy. And the one last thing about your meetings, or those Moving Iron meetings, is that as the years go on, as we move forward, I think that the level of intimacy in these meetings and the people's willingness to open up and realize that, "You know what, man? This whole thing about keeping everything guarded and these industry..." Like, "You know what? Yeah. There's some things you got to keep close to the vest, but for the most part, best practices benefit everybody."

Casey Seymour:

Absolutely.

Lou Bordoni:

You know?

Casey Seymour:

Yeah.

Lou Bordoni:

And I imagine that was always your intention and you kind of had that vision to begin with, but I think that as the years go on and as the culture changes, we're more and more effective or is growing as an industry.

Casey Seymour:

Right on. Yeah. Absolutely. That's the key function of that is the networking, the sharing of best practices, and then listening to a few speakers talk and maybe glean some piece of information from that so you can take back and kind of put into your system. So now, I appreciate you guys coming and all that stuff. So Eddie, if folks wanted to reach out to you and get more information about what you're doing, or just pick your brain about stuff, what's the best way for them to get ahold of you?

Eddie Claxton:

Cell phone. That or my email. Cell phone's (706) 871-2555.

Casey Seymour:

Right on, man. And Lou, what's the best way to get a hold of you?

Lou Bordoni:

Cell, email, pigeon. (954) 815-7981 or lbordoni@flintequipco.com.

Casey Seymour:

Right on. Okay, guys. Well, appreciate you being on this segment, fellas. And as good conversation as always, so take care of yourselves and we'll catch you next time.

Kim Schmidt:

Thanks, Casey, Aaron, Eddie, and Lou. And thanks again to Agrisolutions for sponsoring this podcast. We've got even more used equipment remarketing resources that we're sending your way. In addition to this podcast, we're also tapping into Casey's expertise across all our informational channels. Find more from him in the print magazine and on farm-equipment.com/scexpert. And you can keep up on the latest industry news by registering online to receive newsletters. Visit www.farm-equipment.com. For Casey and Aaron, as well as our entire staff here at Farm Equipment, I'm Kim Schmidt, thanks for listening.

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