The pros and cons of buying farm machinery versus financing is an ongoing dilemma for many farmers. So much so that Mooroopna local Tim Gaffy has built a successful business on the quandry.
Gaffy’s Tractor Hire offers dry hire of both tractors and farm machinery and, according to Tim, it’s becoming a real growth area.
“Definitely there’s a move to hire for certain farmers. They may need a particular machine or tractor for only one month a year so it makes more financial sense to hire, particularly when the hire fee is tax deductible,” said the business owner.
Tim claims demand for multi-discs, rippers and spreaders is growing the fastest, but his small-to-medium horsepower Case IH tractors, purchased from O’Connors Shepparton dealership, are also building a strong following amongst dairy, hay and vegetable farmers, councils and government agencies, such as Melbourne Water and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
“We offer a range of different sized tractors from the larger Case IH 260 Magnum to the smaller horse-powered Case IH 210 Puma, 155 Puma and 140 Maxxum. We also offer loaders, buckets and forks for the two smaller tractors,” said Tim, adding,
“Customers are using the tractors for general farm work, slashing, sowing and harvest.”
“One customer, a fertiliser company, hired the 155 Puma for three months, and dairy farmers find the two tractors with the loaders useful, especially if their tractor breaks down and they need a solution fast.”
From a useability perspective, Tim says most of his customers comment on the comfort of the cabs and the nice smooth ride afforded by the tractors, with government agencies specifically choosing Tim’s Case IH range for operator comfort and the resulting implications on workplace safety.
When it comes to his own business, ease of use, buying price and service are what give Case IH the tick of approval from Tim.
“The Pumas and Maxxum are so easy to use and maintain. They’re easy to check the oil and operate – that’s important when you only have 5 or 10 minutes to show a customer how to drive the tractor,” said Tim, who turns his tractors over roughly every five years. “In my business, the way you buy and sell has a big difference on the bottom line.”
In the rare event of a breakdown, Tim knows he can rely on O’Connors to keep his customers going.
“Back-up service is a big part of my decision to buy Case IH. The better my tractors run, the quicker problems are fixed, the better it is for my business. In the heat of harvest or seeding season it’s good to know you have a team that will get a machine back up and running,” said Tim, adding, “Nothing’s a drama for O’Connors. Last season a customer at Nathalia had a problem with a hydro-hose. I rang Brendan O’Connor, then Service Manager now Branch Manager, at the Shepparton dealership and he had a mechanic there within the hour.”
Tim initially started his business with his father back in 2004, after the family decided to find an alternative to dairy farming. He bought his first Case IH tractor from O’Connors in 2015 and since then the relationship between Gaffy’s Tractor Hire and the Case IH dealer has gone from strength to strength.
“I look forward to working with O’Connors as my business grows in the future,” he said.
A statement which suggests Gaffy’s Tractor Hire customers can continue to enjoy the ease of use and excellent performance of Case IH tractors for a good while.