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Open AccessArticle

Length of Operational Life and Its Impact on Life-Cycle Costs of a Tractor in Switzerland

Agroscope, Tänikon, CH-8356 Ettenhausen, Switzerland
Agriculture 2017, 7(8), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture7080068
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture Machinery for a Sustainable and Efficient Mechanization)
Assuming full exhaustion of their estimated service life—also referred to as estimated technical working life—the low annual utilisation of agricultural machines in Switzerland leads to a long operational life. To determine the costs of an additional year’s service, we calculate the life-cycle costs (LCCs), which encompass all costs for an 82 kW four-wheel-drive tractor over its entire operational life. Assuming full utilisation of the estimated service life of 10,000 h, five operating versions are compared, each with an operational life of between 10 and 30 years and matched annual utilisations between 1000 h and 333 h. A key finding is that an additional year in service increases LCCs by 4.5% of the tractor’s purchase price. In addition, we carry out a sensitivity analysis by applying discount rates of between 0% and 4%, finding that a comparatively high discount rate of 3% leads to almost identical LCCs for all operating versions. We conclude that the annual utilisation and the resulting duration of operational life have a strong impact on LCCs. A short operational life associated with high annual utilisation is a promising strategy for substantially cutting machinery costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: life-cycle costing; total cost of ownership; operational lifespan; machine; agriculture life-cycle costing; total cost of ownership; operational lifespan; machine; agriculture
MDPI and ACS Style

Lips, M. Length of Operational Life and Its Impact on Life-Cycle Costs of a Tractor in Switzerland. Agriculture 2017, 7, 68.

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