A Guide to Buying a Used Tractor

resizedimage318230-Used-TractorsAre you looking to buy a tractor?
The following guide will walk you through what you should consider during the buying process.
Buying a tractor can be complicated,as there are a huge range of manufacturers and models to pick from.
Not only that, a brand new top of the range tractor can be expensive – sometimes more than a high end sports car.

That means if you want a cost effective way to buy a tractor then you need a guide to …..

Used Tractors

Popular tractors from makers like John Deere, New Holland and Case II can be bought second hand, giving you a significant saving on brand new models. Second hand tractors should be mechanically sound with a good service history, a reputable second hand supplier will try to ensure that is the case. Tractors can perform tasks that they were designed for, for many years.

A well-maintained tractor should last a long time, you might even be able to sell the tractor again in the future. A family car might last ten to fifteen years, a tractor could last well over thirty ! giving you the opportunity to get value for money in the long term.
Buying a used tractor requires research and patience.
It’s important to do the research, because you will be buying independently with no professional dealership advice, ultimately you are responsible for your decision.

How to make the “right” decision!

An important consideration is the purpose of the tractor….
Is it for farming and agriculture,
Is it for construction, forestry,or commercial grounds care
Are you a homeowner looking to make renovations.

Think about how your tractor will be used, and what kind of power it will require
Whatever the desired activity, the right used tractor will get the work done quickly and efficiently.

 

Purchasing Options When buying a Used Tractor

There are a number of different purchasing options when it comes to buying used tractors.

Auction
The classic option is to go to a used machinery auction, where they will often have a good range of well-known makes and with enough
dedication, a bargain can be found. There are usually second hand machinery auctions within rural and farming counties so it is advised to look online.
Also check the classifieds in trade magazines such as Auto Trader and Farmers Weekly.

Online
In the modern world we live in, there are plenty of ways to carry out your research online, which might be the easiest option for you. You generally get a good overview of the machine with some details and images , you also get to check out the various dealers around the country – perhaps find one local to you so you can physically view the machine. Many websites will offer reviews on different makes and models so you can make more informed decisions .

Local Dealer
Of course you may have a local dealer that you trust and have done business with in the past . However it pays to check prices online just to keep a local dealer on his toes and to keep  you informed of “going ” prices for certain makes and models.

Buying from a trustworthy dealer who has plenty of experience is generally the best option here, as the risks are minimised.

It’s Not All About Price

The main advice is not to base your decision entirely on price.

There are some low-priced machines that are simply not good quality, or user-friendly, this may provide a poor return on your investment. The sensible thing to do is to go with a brand that you know; like the tractor manufacturer, John Deere. Take your time when you are researching to compare between brands, between lines within the brand, and between models within the line.

The aim is for your tractor to last for a long time, therefore the age of equiptment is a consideration. When you find a machine that is within your
budget,is not too old and a reputable brand, consider the location of the machinery as shipping costs may be a factor .

What To Look For

Now you are ready to consider looking at the used tractor’s descriptions and specifications. Better still it’s good to see the tractor so that you
can get a good inspection of the following:

  • The overall condition of the tractor: The wear and tear of the tractor cab and tyre wear should coincide with how much the tractor
    has been used. If it hasn’t been used a lot, it will show little wear on the foot pedals, carpet and mats around the pedals.
  • Tyre wear: It’s important to look at the age or newness of tyres and tread depth remaining. If the remaining tread depth is worn down
    to half its original lug depth, the tyre may be kicking and will not transfer all of the tractor’s power to the ground.
  • Fan: Check the fan belt for wear and splits. It is also a good idea to check the fan bearings.
  • Steering wheel: Move the steering wheel back and forth with some force and see whether it feels normal.
  • Look for leaks: Streaks of oil across tyres and hubs may mean a defective shaft seal. If this is the case, then check hydraulics for
    leaks.
  • Battery: Watch out for three things; low water level, green deposits on poles or a moist layer of dirt on top.
  • Damaged cables: Damaged cables and defective or poorly adjusted lights can mean the tractor was treated badly.
  • Inspect the engine: Check how the engine starts, and how it sounds. Black smoke billowing from a diesel on start-up is okay. Check
    the engine’s ventilation by closing the end of the pipe with a piece of paper to collect any oil that blows out.
  • Pick-up hitch: The swing-back pick-up hitch is prone to wear through operator misuse. As the hitch is lowered, it swings back and out
    from the rear of the tractor. Applying the brakes when lifting a trailer forces the hitch to lift the load and pull it forwards, causing excessive
    wear on the pins.

Those are the main points to consider, but it is also worth considering the extra features and equipment that might be included. These features
should be related back to your main uses for your tractor and your main reasons for buying one. This could be a cab with heat and air conditioning,
a wide front end, dual rear wheels and power steering. Anything that will make a tractor more comfortable and easier to use may add additional costs
to your purchase, so the benefits should be considered.

Don’t be afraid of asking the seller plenty of questions. They should be willing to answer them, and a good dealer should be knowledgeable in the
machinery they are selling.