The High Price of Parts
Every time I need to go to the tractor dealer for specialized parts, I try to think how much the bill is going to be. I usually think to myself, “what’s the most it should cost?”. Then I double that number, and sometimes I’m still 20% under! The cost of replacement parts is a difficult burden to anyone running machines.
Years ago my father converted our tractor shed into a shop…. He started with just one bay, then doubled that to two. I now have taken all 5 bays for shop. We have added tools over 40 years…. power tools, hand tools, welders, lathe, milling machine, drill presses, jacks, lifts, compressors, and a large inventory of parts. While an expensive undertaking, it has been a far cheaper alternative than attempting to hire everything fixed. An unfortunate requirement, it seems, in the farming business. There just isn’t enough farming income to support the high cost of parts today.
We build and sell sawmills and parts, and many of these are bought and resold by us to the end user. It is discouraging to see the costs we incur, and what we have to charge. Expense parts mail ordered from out of state cost $20 to $30 to get to us, and then we sometimes mail order back out, as far as South America, with our margin and our shipping costs. It is horrible. Mailing a 10-lb package to South America cost $100. Just last week I mailed a solenoid to New Jersey --- the customer wanted it the next day, so it went priority express --- and the shipping bill was $31 my cost. I already had paid $30 in shipping cost to get it to me. So I understand why parts counters charge so much, especially for special order parts, but that doesn’t make it any easier to pay the bill.
Learning your machine in it’s entirety, and acquiring the skills to make your own repairs can make thousands of dollars for even a small businessman. If you don’t have the desire, consider ramping up your shop and hiring a person for in it. Depending on your situation, you still may find yourself dollars ahead.