Machinery sector comes to grips with COVID-19 delays

Machinery sector comes to grips with COVID-19 delays

Machinery
Case IH ANZ general manager Pete McCann and product manager for mid horsepower and compact tractors Seamus McCarthy.

Case IH ANZ general manager Pete McCann and product manager for mid horsepower and compact tractors Seamus McCarthy.

Aa

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing supply delays for many industries, the machinery sector has proved no exception.

Aa

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing supply delays for many industries, the machinery sector has proved no exception.

Case IH ANZ general manager Pete McCann said availability was proving a challenge, so forward planning was important at the moment.

"It doesn't really matter what you're buying at the moment, there's some COVID tie-up somewhere along the line with supply," he said.

"The earlier the customers can plan, the better, because we kind of get in that line-up but it's not been too bad.

"Normal lead time is about six months, we've probably seen that blow out by a month or two, up to three months depending on where in the world it's coming from.

"We've got factories all over the world and some countries are impacted a lot more heavily by COVID."

Mr McCann said longer wait times were the new normal after COVID-19 and people had to change their buying habits across the board.

"There's so many components that go into a machine, even to the point of trying to get tyres... there's still rubber shortages around the world.

"There's so many pieces that come together to make that puzzle of the tractor and then there's shipping delays... we've had a fair few roadblocks but also some good luck as well."

Speaking at Elders FarmFest, Mr McCann said customers had proved eager to come out and talk to product specialists and check out equipment in person.

"It's actually been nice to get back to a field day," he said.

"Obviously when COVID kicked in, all the field days were shut down but we've seen a lot of people who we haven't seen for a long time face to face and we've got a good array of stock, which has been even better.

The pandemic also meant getting the equipment on the ground was a bit of a different experience.

"We leant on all of all dealers to come together with what we've got here," Mr McCann said.

"It's definitely changed from two years ago when the drought was on, everyone had heaps of tractors."

Mr McCann said demand was strong with consumers showing confidence.

"The investment allowance helps considerably and it's wet, we're going to get a season," he said.

The Elders FarmFest field days also marked the Australian debut of the Farmall M ActiveDrive 4.

Product manager for mid horsepower and compact tractors Seamus McCarthy said the Farmall M had attracted a lot of attention.

"This is the combination of a couple of Farmall models... the predecessor Farmall U, now combined with the existing Farmall JX," he said.

"We've taken a lot of the main features of the Farmall U and put them into a Farmall JX model which then gives us a purpose-built, quality tractor for a price competitive position."

The Farmall M takes the high performance features that were in the Farmall U, including 16 by 16 semi powershift transmission, hydraulics and electronic draft control and couples them with the Farmall JX engine and front axle design, as well as a re-engineered cab with comfort in mind.

Mr McCarthy said it had been a successful Australian debut for the Farmall M, which had been manufactured in Turkey.

"I was talking to a gentleman from Woodburn in NSW who had travelled all the way up to FarmFest just to see the Farmall M," he said.

"I think once we show this at other field days around Australia that level of attraction and interest is just going to be enhanced.

"There's been so much demand that we have a number of tractors in transit at the moment and if someone speaks to their dealer and do the right deal I'm sure there's some that will be delivered in the next six to eight weeks.

"Again there's limited supply because of the restrictions, we've got a handful across Australia.

"I'm sure if you're not lucky enough to get one of the initial orders, I'm sure by the end of the year there will be further tractor deliveries."

The Farmall is available in 90hp, 100hp and 110hp models.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by