U.S. farmers have not cornered the market on low crop prices and soft returns, the global commodities market is slumping and it is impacting farmers everywhere. One result of that market slide is a rising inventory of used machines in the hands of local dealers as farmers slow their trade-in habits and step back from iron buying, and Europe is not immune.
European manufacturers are joining the Certified Pre-Owned club with new programs that aim to assure buyers that going "used" is a good idea. At Agritechnica, two major Germany manufacturers each announced their certified pre-owned equipment programs. For Fendt, the program is called Fendt StarCertified and at Claas the program is called First Claas Plus (nice play on the corporate name).
U.S. growers have access to these kinds of programs from all the major suppliers, and Claas has an extensive Lexion program too. Here's a look at the two new programs unveiled for European buyers, there are plenty of similarities.
Claas and used-machine history
Claas has long had programs to market used machinery around the world noting it has sold more than 15,000 used combines and self-propelled forage harvesters worldwide since the 1980s. Claas is stepping up with a new International certification program for select later-model used machines providing customers with added warranties.
The First Claas Plus program will automatically include a 12-month Maxi Care First Plus warranty under which all Claas original spare parts, operating materials and repair work required for a warranty claim are carried out by local dealers.
The program is available for selected used Claas tractors (the company bought the Renault line of tractors several years ago to expand into this machine area in Europe); combines and forage harvesters up to three years old. This program includes full machine inspections by authorized Claas technicians and the company says up to 290 checkpoints are inspected on harvesting machinery, and up to 210 checkpoints on tractors.
Those certification points include radiators, belts, brakes, doors, clutches, bearings, wiring looms, the cab suspension and leaks in the engine and hydraulics. And the company has created an online portal to market used machines. The site - first-claas-used.com - allows visitors to view the range of machines available.
Fendt fires up new program
For Fendt, which is a division of Agco, is offering a new certification program for used machines called Fendt StarCertified. The company's announcement notes that the program assures customers "a technically fault-free, top-quality pre-owned Fendt machine." And the machine gets a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Related: Deals on used equipment
To be eligible for the Star Certified program, a tractor must be less than six years old and have less than 4,000 operating hours. Combines and forage harvesters must not have more than 2,000 operating hours and not be more than four years old.
The company adds that tractors used in industrial, road construction or environmental applications, or those that don't have a full service history, are rejected from this program.
In the Fendt program, machines are reconditioned including fixes to defects in paint work, damaged parts are replaced, and even key wear parts in harvesters are replaced.
The Fendt warranty for these machines is the Fendt StarCertified seal with a one-year StarWarranty, which is included in the price of the machine. And owners can purchase a warranty extension after expiration for up to eight years or 8,000 hours for tractors and up to five years old or 3,000 hours for harvesters.
The Fendt StarWarranty does have a deductible.
Certified pre-owned programs are expanding in the United States and now it appears the idea has value in other parts of the world too.