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Rebuilds Old Fertilizer Application Equipment
I've made a business rebuilding old, worn-out fertilizer application equipment such as payloaders, Big A floaters and Terragators for fertilizer dealers and farmers. My business started as a part-time job in my farm shop and has grown into a full-time job in a 60 by 100-ft. commercial building.
We completely rebuild the machines, strip-ping them down to the frame and repowering them with factory remanufactured engines and transmissions. We also sand blast and paint them. Most of the rigs are about 10 years old and in pretty bad shape when we start working on them. But when we're finished rebuilding them, the customer has a brand new rig for about half the cost of a new one. For example, a good used Big A sells for about $40,000 which is about the same price as one of our rebuilt ones. However, ours has a new engine - a factory remanufactured 3208 Caterpillar under factory warranty - and a new transmission, air conditioning, new paint, and a rewired cab. A new Big A sells for about $85,000. We buy many of our parts from AgChem, which manufactures the Big A and Terragator.
Our territory covers Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and eastern Illinois. I think there's a demand for rebuilt fertilizer application equipment in other areas, with real potential for others to get into this kind of business. There are lots of junked-out small payloaders that can be bought for $200 to $300. After they're rebuilt they make very nice backup units for fertilizer plants and are worth about $8,000. A new payloader sells for $18,000 to $20,000.
We also do some work for farmers. We just remanufactured a farmer-owned 4-WD Big A that was built in the early 1980's. The basic drive train was still good, but the Cummins engine was worn out. We installed a new Caterpillar 3208 engine. The farmer spent $3,000 for labor and $10,000 total and now has a machine that works like new. (John Hoshock, Machinery Service Co., 1990 Spruce St, Defiance, Ohio 43512 ph 800 466-2555)

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #4