Many of the articles we’ve published in Rural Lifestyle Dealer talk about how the rural consumer will often show up at a dealership up on a Friday afternoon to buy equipment he or she expects to use Saturday morning.
I know why that’s the case. The sad fact is that in our extremely busy society, in order to get everything done in a given week — or an evening after work — there's no room for downtime. Given a window of time to cross a few things off a list, rural lifestylers need 100% equipment availability — just like the folks in production ag.
I took five vacation days last week to do some work around my property. The list of projects I expected to start and complete in the course of a week was long and unrealistic. But my desire to cross off as many of the jobs as possible kept me outside from dawn to dusk.
The clock really does spin faster on days off. Much like my neighbor, who was combining soybeans across the road, there was no time to order a new part or new equipment. If I was going to get everything done in the few days I had set aside, the right tools had to be available.
I was half-way through mowing the yard for the final time this year when the mower deck belt broke. A local shop had the correct belt, but that pit stop took several hours out of my day, time for which I had not budgeted.
The weather was perfect for painting the house and a few outbuildings, so once the grass was mowed I turned my attention to those tasks.
While I could repair the tractor, the garden tiller and chain saw are different stories. I’ve fixed them too many times already. Both will be replaced before I have time to tackle that part of the project list. Because I ran out of time simply mowing and painting, tilling the vegetable garden will have to be saved for a weekend before the ground freezes.
Some Saturday morning in the near future, I will be that rural consumer who shows up at a dealership with a truck and trailer. I’ll have done my research at night, in magazines and online. I’ll know what size I need and how much I can afford. And I suspect I’ll be standing in line behind other customers also buying new equipment to finish their projects before winter sets in. Is the machinery at your dealership ready for a quick sale?