While many farm equipment dealers believe that loyalty to specific equipment brands of ag machinery has diminished over the years, replaced by demanding, price shopping farm operators, that’s not what a majority of the farmers surveyed by Farm Equipment magazine say.
If anything, farmers report that their allegiance to “their” equipment brand is as solid as it was 5 years ago — if not more so.
The survey was conducted in November via email and included a random sampling of farmers who work at least 1,000 acres across 10 states throughout the Corn Belt and Lake States. It’s a follow-up to the same survey the magazine conducted 3 years earlier. The 6 questions were identical to those posed 3 years ago, and the major equipment brands covered were the same as well.
Of all the farmers surveyed in November 2013, nearly 69% call themselves “brand loyal” when it comes to the farm machinery they own and operate. This is up from about 63% when the same poll was taken 3 years ago. Source: Farm Equipment | Click to enlarge
Nearly 69% of all respondents labeled themselves as “brand loyal,” while the remaining 31.2% said they were not “brand loyal” when buying farm machinery. This is up from the 2011 report when 62.6% defined themselves as “brand loyal” and 37.4% who claimed no allegiance to any specific brand of farm equipment.Of the total responses, 54.1% of farmers said their primary brand of tractors and combines was John Deere. In the 2011 report, 66.7% of the responses came from John Deere customers. Case IH customers comprised 32.1% of all responses vs. 17.2% the last time around. New Holland customers made up 7.3% of total responses vs. 9.1% in 2011, and 5.5% of respondents identified themselves as AGCO equipment users compared to 4% in the earlier survey. Only 1% said they were not loyal to any of these brands.
The farmers were also asked, “When you purchase new (not used) farm equipment, do you begin the process with the desire to purchase the same brand as your tractor/combine?
Farmers most often purchase tillage equipment and sprayers that are not manufactured by their primary suppliers of tractors and combines. The percentage of farmers buying outside their main brand in these two categories has grown since 2011.
Source: Farm Equipment | Click to enlarge
Slightly over 67% said “yes,” and slightly less than 34% said “no.”
If Not Your Brand? The farmers surveyed were also asked if they had purchased equipment in the past 5 years that was not the same brand as their “primary brand” and what type of equipment did they purchase outside of their brand.
Nearly 58% said they purchased another brand of spraying equipment, and 55% reported they had bought tillage tools that weren’t the same brand as their tractor and combine. Both of these are up from the survey 3 years ago. Another 45% indicated they had purchased seeding or planting equipment that was not their “primary brand.”
Reasons to Switch
When they were asked to select the reasons they would switch brands, the top five in order were:
1. Better parts availability
2. Better dealer repair/service
3. Better product engineering
4. Product specialists at the dealership
5. Better manufacturer warranty