Feed Lot

NOV 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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Consider Safety E mployee safety is paramount, so make sure any new purchase has safety features. Some loaders offer integrated rear detection sys- tems, similar to what automobiles have, said Grimes. "Our rear detec- tion system is smart in a way that if you're moving quick, it looks fur- ther out to give you time to stop. If you're going slowly, it pulls that range back in," he said. Visibility is another safety consid- eration. "Make sure you can see in the rear for 3-point work or in front of the tractor," added Sherman. Lighting is also important. "De- pending on the use of the ma- chine, see what lighting packages are available for night operation," he said. Grimes agrees that lighting is important. "Backup lights so you can see are a key safety feature." Integrated tire pressure sensors are another safety feature that helps ensure the equipment is op- erating appropriately. Operating Costs Everything comes down to the b ottom line, so features that re- duce operational expenses can make an impact on the purchase. "We think very seriously about op- erating costs. Things like fuel burn, tires and wear on cutting edges are important to our customers," ex- plained Grimes. Features like wheel torque con- trol allow an operator to adjust the torque set to the tires. "On concrete pushing up hay, you turn up the torque. But if I'm in pens working, I can dial that back so it doesn't burn up the tires, and I have predictable control in slippery conditions." Fuel burn can be reduced with a lower engine speed, resulting in less wear on rotating components. Wear to cutting edges can also be reduced with features that stop the bucket from hitting the ground hard and in- stead catch the bucket an inch above the ground, said Grimes. Standard vs. Extra There is a wide range of features a vailable. Some of those might be critical to your operation, while others are simply "extra" that come on the equipment. "We try to envel- op built-in value in our units," said Sherman. "We have a lot of stan- dard features that are options on others." Understanding what is standard on one brand of equipment or what is extra on another brand can help steer your decision. You don't want to pay for features you don't need, however sometimes features, like a front-loader dampening system, is nice to have. It is optional for some manufacturers and standard for others. Understanding what is standard versus extra helps com- pare "apples" to "apples." FL 16 FEED•LOT  November 2017 LARGE EQUIPMENT FOCUS Shopping for size... from previous page

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