Manufacturers stock up on parts ahead of harvest

John Deere, Case IH and Claas stock up on parts ahead of harvest

Machinery
READY: CNH Industrial and other machinery manufacturers have spent several months ensuring enough parts are in the country to meet the needs of farmers this harvest.

READY: CNH Industrial and other machinery manufacturers have spent several months ensuring enough parts are in the country to meet the needs of farmers this harvest.

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Parts supply is at an all-time high as machinery manufacturers prepare for what is anticipated to be a bumper harvest.

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Parts supply is at an all-time high as machinery manufacturers prepare for what is anticipated to be a bumper harvest.

According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences' September Australian Crop Report, the area planted to winter crop was estimated to be a record high at 23.2 million hectares.

ABARES reported forecast yields are more than 20 per cent above the 10-year averages to 2020-21 in New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland and around 10pc higher in Victoria and South Australia.

In order to ensure parts are easily accessible in the event machinery breaks down, John Deere aimed to more than double its weekly in-flow of spare parts for the past few months.

The company also took delivery of 110 tonnes of good from a dedicated freight flight into Melbourne in early September.

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These goods were then dispatched to the Australia and New Zealand Distribution Centre, which provides more than 133,000 stocked lines to support over 340 current models of John Deere machinery and earlier models.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand managing director Luke Chandler said John Deere had secured an ongoing 10 tonnes of cargo capacity per week over recent months.

"We know harvest is often the single biggest and most important event on the calendar for broadacre enterprises, and that it is not only critical to the bottom line of farm businesses but also to the consistent and secure flow of high-quality food to the world," Mr Chandler said.

"This is why we have worked to prioritise securing this additional capacity to boost our in-flow of stock - to place us on the front foot in resourcing what is on course to, for a number of key growing areas, be another outstanding crop for our dedicated grain growers.

"We know not every grower will have the season they hoped for a number of reasons, but it is heartening to see the broad forecast of another tremendous crop this year for many major production zones."

Parts supply inflow for CNH Industrial brands Case IH and New Holland has been at strong levels since February.

The company's western Sydney-based depot has increased stock levels by almost 13pc since the beginning of 2021, focusing on combine and high horsepower tractor parts. CNH Industrial Australia and New Zealand head of aftermarket solutions Yavuz Sikca said they identified early in 2021 that the season was going to be one of the biggest in many years.

"Machine up-time is a key focus for us and with concerns surrounding limited supply and shipping delays due to the ongoing pandemic, it was critical for us to get in front of the game," Mr Sikca said.

"Speed to farm is critical during harvest and this will be the second year operating our dealer hub program."

Don't miss out on the AgTrader National special publication inside your favourite ACM Agriculture newspaper on October 28.

Don't miss out on the AgTrader National special publication inside your favourite ACM Agriculture newspaper on October 28.

Throughout September, CNH Industrial shipped more than $4 million worth of critical harvest parts to 24 strategic dealer locations across the country as part of its dealer hub program.

Mr Sikca said more than 100 cubic metres of parts on average was being air-freighted each week, and additional charter flights were currently being coordinated for a final top-up of parts in preparation for the harvest season.

The Claas Harvest Centre network's service and parts teams are fully prepared for the needs of the 1000 Claas Lexion harvesters about to swing into action.

Landpower product general manager Tim Needham said it has been a trying year, with the company's inbound and outbound logistics significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

"We've had to work around reduced international and domestic flights, shipping delays and domestic border closures but we've managed to progressively ramp up our parts inventory over the past 12 months," Mr Needham said.

"We are now carrying 30pc more inventory than usual, with more than $27 million of parts in Melbourne and another $20m spread across the country.

"Our goal is to make each branch self-sufficient, and failing that, make sure they are able to source parts quickly from the next dealership rather than having to rely on dispatch from Melbourne."

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