Appraisal of farm tractor maintenance practices and costs in Nigeria


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Appraisal of farm tractor maintenance practices and costs in Nigeria is a well-researched topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate tractor maintenance practices and costs in Nigeria with a view to making replacement decisions and for overall farm budgeting. Design/methodology/approach – The information was obtained via a structured questionnaire. Tractor owners were grouped into three categories: government agricultural settlements, established
farms, and individual farms. Data used for analysis were collected from 60 farms located in major farming centers of the southwestern part of Nigeria. The report includes the formulation of repair equations, which relate tractor repair cost as a percentage of initial purchase prices to cumulative hours of use. The life cycle costs of three commonly-used tractors were also estimated. The derived equations, which showed that the repair costs per hour increased with hours of use, were used to
obtain the life cycle cost of each tractor model in different tractor owners’ farms. Findings – The proposed equation was found to be the best fit with coefficient of determination (R 2) ranging from 0.992 to 0.996 for tractors in the three user categories. The trend observed in the life cycle costing of the three common tractors gave the general picture of when to replace each of the tractors based on the strategies being adopted by the tractor owners. Practical implications – The results of this study would serve as baseline information to tractor owners regarding the optimum use of tractors for minimizing repair and maintenance cost per hour and for making replacement policy. It would also be helpful to government and other agencies for future planning in the provision of tractor services to the farmers at relatively lower repair and maintenance


The use of machinery constitutes one of the important capital inputs in agricultural production. Proper agricultural machinery management, therefore, requires keeping them in good working conditions, having them repaired or reconditioned as at when due, selection of suitable types and sizes, keeping cost record, and controlling it (Dauda and Ashami, 2000). The tractor is the most important item or power-farming machine, which requires a high initial investment. The most important aspect of tractor management is timely repair and maintenance. The value of a farm tractor depends upon the unfailing and efficient operation. The tractor has been manufactured such that it can sustain
thousands of hours of serviceable life. These hours can, however, be realized only by having in place, a systematic maintenance program and by providing for the tractor, clean high-quality fuel, clean air, and high-quality lubricants in the proper amounts (Bukhari et al., 1988).
In most mechanized farms, economic management of power and machinery is often overlooked as a factor in farm profits, yet it is usually a most significant factor (Hunt, 1974, 1977; Igbeka, 1986; Olaoye, 2000). Abimbola (1989) and Olaoye (2000) reported that the number of farm tractors available in Nigeria is on the high side. However, Anazodo (1982) revealed gross under-utilization and abundance of unserviceable farm
power in Nigeria. Farmer’s needs are rarely satisfied as a result of high demand for the tractor and equipment at the beginning of the cropping season. The agricultural industry as in other industries in Nigeria is plagued by a lack of maintenance culture (Lawal, 2000; Agunwamba, 2000).

Literature is replete with studies on maintenance practices, costs, and modeling of production machinery. Bukhari et al. (1988) reported that farmers could reduce their machinery repair costs by 25 percent by improving routine maintenance procedures. Okunribido and Ayodeji (1991) developed a model for determining the economic level
of operation around which the planning and budgeting for maintenance requirements could be set. Aduma (1991) developed an analytical model and computer simulation for the optimal preventive maintenance interval in order to reduce maintenance costs to maximize production profits for a group of small-scale industries in an urban area of Nigeria.

Ward (1990) presented a cost model for tractor ownership as a function of annual use in hours. It can be deduced from his findings that a reduction in repair costs by careful operation and adequate maintenance could result in a significant reduction in tractor ownership costs. Adekoya and Otono (1990) reported on the formulation of tractor repair models in Nigeria and concluded that the high tractor repair costs could
be attributed to the high costs of imported parts, misuse of tractors, and the negligence of preventive maintenance. Other similar reported works include Zaidi et al. (1992), Kareem and Aderoba (2000), Akinwole (1992), Agunwamba (2000), Oke, and Oluleye (1999), and Adebiyi et al. (2003).


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Agricultural Engineering

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