A global study commissioned by Shell Lubricants reveals that for every 10 farmers, eight say unreliable equipment has led to avoidable costs and lost profits, while six want to keep their equipment working for as long as possible. Despite this, nearly half of all respondents say maintenance is not a priority - until something breaks.
Our industry report covering this research, Powering Peak Performance in Agriculture, also shows that more than two-thirds of farm owners and managers think a lack of staff expertise plays a role in equipment breakdowns. In fact, more than half don’t realise what lubrication can do to solve the problem of breakdowns and improve equipment productivity. For example - low quality oils often fail to protect crucial engine components from combustion acids that cause corrosion and failure. High-performance oils, on the other hand, contain powerful antioxidants that can neutralise acids before any damage occurs.
Around 60 per cent of respondents to our study believe maintenance staff on their farms would benefit from additional lubrication training, external support and expertise from a trusted supplier. Many feel they lack the time to tackle this themselves because they are under constant pressure to cut costs. Others report having too few maintenance workers or insufficient information on how to maintain new equipment and keep up with the latest trends.
Clearly then, there’s more farmers could do to get better value for money from their equipment.
Now consider these opportunities in the context of the economic realities farmers around the world are facing today – such as the increasing pressure of competing in a globalised market. The availability of cheaper, imported grain, produce and other staple crops means many farms must find new ways to compete and stay in business.
Perpetually changing regulations, increasing equipment costs and a shrinking workforce pool are only making life more difficult. Farm owners and managers are also having to respond to more extreme weather events due to climate change and rising energy costs. Increasing consumer demand for sustainable and ethical production must also be rigorously designed into the field-to-fork journey.