If you’ve been paying attention to what
farm equipment manufacturers are currently saying about their
machines in the media, you’ve noticed a few new catchphrases
repeatedly popping up. And after spending more than my share of time
touring display booths at major machinery shows this winter, I’ve
heard those same phrases coming from the marketing reps.
“Best-in-class fuel economy” is one
of the big ones this season. And it’s easy to understand why all the
mandatory jump to Interim Tier 4 engine emissions technology at the
start of this year, machinery prices where forced upward. That was
due in large part to the major investments required to development
these engines. So, pointing to their greatly reduced operating costs
is one sure way to help take the edge off higher purchase costs. You
spend more but you get more is the underlying message.
Reading the press releases coming from
the manufacturers over the last few months, I can’t think of any
company that hasn’t used the “best-in-class” phrase at least
once. Remember, with tractor horsepower ratings now reaching 600,
that creates an opportunity for a lot of classes—and, therefore, a
lot of potential “best-in-class” titles are just waiting to be
There’s another phrase making the
rounds increasingly often these days: “customer driven”. It, too,
cooled exhaust gas recirculation and selective catalytic reduction
designs competing against each other, supporters of either technology
can claim it offers what their customers are asking for. What more do
you need to say to justify your decision to go with either system?
Talk to the precision farming guys and
you hear the “customer driven” phrase come up often in those
conversations as well. Companies are rapidly increasing the number of
telematics and auto guidance options compatible with today’s
equipment. They’ve analysed the needs of today’s “professional
farmers”—there’s another one of those catchphrases—and these
new tools meet their need to improve farm management and machine
efficiency as farms grow in scale.
Obviously, customer surveys, focus
groups and the variety of other methods used to get buyer feedback on
machinery are all telling the same story. Farmers, like all
consumers, want good value for their money. And they want equipment
and technology that can improve their efficiency and profit.
For machinery marketers, using these
catchphrases is an easy way to get their message out it in only a few
words. So maybe I should try using them to say that at Grainews we’re
always striving to provide a magazine that has value for you, too;
and we want your feedback to let us know we know if we’re on track.
I’ll give it a whirl; here goes.
In order to help make Grainews a
best-in-class publication and deliver outstanding value for your
subscription investment, I look for input from readers, like you, to
let me now what aspects of today’s machinery technology you’d like to
know more about. That way I can create the kind of customer-driven
articles you’re looking for in the Machinery and Shop sections of
You can reach me via email at