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4 Tips When Buying Used Precision Ag Equipment
1 Touch screens. Beware of the condition on the displays that have touch screens. “A lot of the new monitors are touch screen,” says Jonathan Bickel of Used Precision Ag Solutions. “You really have to look at the screen because it does wear out. A screen tends to last five to six years, depending on use. If you start to see a lot of wear marks on the screen, it’s a good sign the touch screen is getting some wear to it.”
Repairs on touch screens can range from $300 to $1,000 based on manufacturer. “It can turn a good deal into a not-so-good deal,” he notes. “It is something you have to keep in the back of your mind.”
2 Internal batteries. There are internal batteries on some older displays and GPS receivers that go bad and need to be replaced. “Some are relatively inexpensive to replace; some can cost more than the item is worth,” explains Bickel. “A way of checking to see if the battery is good is to set the date in the unit and turn it off. Turn it back on to see if it keeps the date.”
He says you can do this with the internal settings, as well, to see if it keeps the setting changes you made.
3 Shipping. If you are going to ship a piece of electronics, you need to pack it with packing material so it doesn’t bounce around. “I have seen too many displays come in a big box that, if shaken, I can hear rattling around,” says Bickel.
Request that the seller pack it very securely. He cautions that even with good packing material, things do happen in shipping. “Remember, we are talking about precision ag equipment. It doesn’t take much to damage an item,” he notes. “As soon as you get the item, power it up and check it out to make sure it made it through the shipment process. If you have a problem, you can resolve it pretty easily with the seller if you make contact within a few days rather than a few months later.”
4 Service after the sale. “The biggest thing is who is going to support you or help you if you have questions,” he says. “If you buy a used monitor, install it, yet don’t have a clue about how to operate it, you’re probably going to struggle with it and not be very happy. If you have a local dealer or if you can find someone with used equipment who can help support your used purchase, it can make a big difference.”