Cost is always an important consideration when purchasing any item. It is important to remember that the least cost tractor or machine may not be the least expensive when both ownership and operating expenses are considered. The least cost machine may have the lowest ownership costs, but the operating costs may offset this advantage. Note: these costs are explained in a later section.
An important aspect of the total cost of a machine is the down time. Whenever a machine is not available because of the need for repairs, the cost to the enterprise is not just the cost of the repairs; it also includes lost capacity or lost time. When the crop is ready for harvest and the combine is not available because it needs repairs, there is a cost associated with leaving the crop in the field after it is ready for harvest, because some of the crop will be lost.
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