Buying AgTech Online

Agtech equipment, sensors, monitoring gear and all the accessories can be a bit of an investment and every piece is an important piece of a much larger puzzle. If you’re buying agtech equipment online be prepared for a few little hiccups along the way, but don’t let these turn you off. Landing the right equipment isn’t as easy as having a bag of fertiliser delivered from the Co-op.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’ve placed an order for some new equipment online.

Is the Equipment from the OEM?

Is the equipment an original factory product and from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)? Many vendors sell products of other companies or have accessory parts and equipment that they market for other manufacturers. 

This is especially important when buying replacement parts and consumables e.g. batteries, filters, oils and even tools used to facilitate repairs. Also, if you’re not planning on buying the maintenance and consumable parts from the original equipment manufacturer, then this may void your warranty or reduce the performance or life of your agtech.   

Is the product new? Is the box sealed? Some products come in a box, others might be delivered out of the box but with the software or integrations that you requested already wired in. What is worth emphasising is that however the product or equipment arrives – does it meet your expectations? If it doesn’t, contact the seller immediately and discuss a more suitable solution.

Did Your Delivery Arrive Safely?

Has the equipment been damaged in transit? Sometimes the damage may not be visible, so it is important to test your equipment when it arrives instead of putting it on the shelf and hoping it works the day you need it.

A damaged box is a definite watch out and shows that the product inside has been knocked and dropped (another reason to check that what has been delivered works).

Does the equipment exhibit structural damage like fractures or cracks? Protective casings are not bullet proof (unless, of course, their specification sheets say they are!), so even if a piece of equipment is meant to be able to take a few knocks, be wary if any protective casings are scratched. If any of the casings are cracked in any way, then don’t accept the goods as there’s a chance moisture, dust or other nasties may have made their way inside and could cause issues at a later date. 

Is your product safe to turn on?

Are there any proofs of safety and reliability tests of the product? 

If the product is manufactured overseas then you need to ensure the power cords, power supply boxes, chargers, transformers, and any other pieces that have electricity running through them have been certified for use in Australia. This will need to be done by a licensed electrician. There are no shortcuts here. Don’t risk messing with electricity.

There may also be risks involved with using the equipment, so staff, and anyone who could come close to the equipment (including children) need to be warned and trained. Workers using machinery and equipment can be entangled, have body parts severed or slip and fall near equipment.

Ask yourself, ‘Could the people around me or can I get injured when operating the machine?’

If the answer is yes, read up on machine safety for operators first. This article is a good introduction, https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/your-industry/manufacturing/publications/machine-safety-operators, but by no means does it cover everything. Consult a professional or workplace safety HR consultant if you are unsure or need advice.

If everything is certified, safe, and good to go…Good luck! Let our community know how you go.

By the way... have you already read our Practical Tips for Getting Started with AgTech article?

Had a good experience, or one that needs to be shared?

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If you have had experiences to-date with agtech (good or bad) we would love to know about them.

Email me at agtechfinder@foodagility.com.

AgTech Mike