Buying a used tractor can be a great option for you and your business depending on your needs. It’s a great way to add in new equipment to your business without breaking the bank. In many cases, you can find a used tractor that is pretty much as good as new as well and sold at a price way lower than buying brand new equipment.
While there are many benefits to buying used, it’s important to understand what needs to be taken care of before you buy a used tractor. There are other things you need to consider beside the make, model and year of the tractor you are interested in adding to your fleet.
You can find used tractors in all shapes and sizes, but not all machines or sellers will be of high quality. There’s a lot of importance on the buyer to be able to properly research, vet and investigate any potential purchase. Whether you’re a veteran or a first-timer, here are some guidelines to help you on what you need to consider before buying a used tractor.
Buying a Used Tractor is Different Than a Used Car
Keep in mind that buying a used tractor is fundamentally different than buying a used car. The biggest reason being the difference between lifespan between the two. The typical used car might last 10-15 years if you get a good one, and buying a used car that was 25 years old might not be the best idea. On the other hand, a 25 year old tractor which was well taken care of is a fine purchase. This is because a good tractor can last you several decades.
How to Start the Search
If you don’t know where to start to look for your used tractor you can look through the newspaper classifieds, magazine ads, auction websites and Kijiji or Craigslist. There are many platforms and avenues you can use. We live in the internet age, so many experts recommend that you take your search online. Not only will you get to see live and up-to-date inventory, but many websites have upgraded so that they are user friendly and easy to search through to find what you’re looking for.
Even if you don’t intend to purchase online, it’s still a great resource to do your research. You can use different online tools to make comparisons between tractor models, and once you know what you want you can rest assured when you go into the store you can head straight for what you want.
Vetting Your Sources
If you want to buy a reliable used tractor, you will want to locate a reliable and trustworthy vendor. But how can you tell who’s worth it and who’s not? As a seller, reputation matters immensely. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to find background info on used tractor dealers as it is on used car dealers. The onus is on you as a buyer to find out all the details about a particular seller. You can dig around online for reviews, ask the locals, and look into the history of the seller. Watch out for any bad reviews, shady business practices or any incriminating records.
Use Timing to Your Advantage
You’re probably aware that the agricultural sector is governed by different seasons, and these seasons also affect tractor availability and price. If you’re looking to buy used, then it’s best to time your purchase with end-of-season sales.
Once you find the make and model you’re looking for from a verified seller, there are still some routine inspections you should do before purchasing.
First, take a look at the tractor’s overall appearance on its body and tires to be sure it was well-maintained. If the tractor is looking a bit rough, chances are that its owner didn’t take very good care of it. Tires are also expensive to replace, so be sure to bring along a tire gauge with you.
The next important part to check is the articulation part, which should be well greased and free from any metal shards. The seller should also allow you to start and drive the tractor back and forth. When you are driving it listen for any weird noises or knocking, as these can be signs of damage.
Then, check the engine and engine compartment. First, start the tractor and lift the hood to conduct a visual inspection to check for any leaks. Look for any damaged or cracked hoses and parts. Look for the engine plate to confirm the horsepower and make sure that the tractor meets emission standards.
When it comes to the cab, open it up and look inside for any dirt or mud which indicates improper maintenance. Check the hours of operation, displays, receivers and other electronic components to make sure they work. These can be costly to repair.
The PTO (power take-off) shaft should fit the specifications to work with the attachments you will be using with it. It’s best to just buy a used tractor that already has everything that you need without having to spend any extra money on upgrades. Be sure that the PTO performs a smooth rotating movement.
Inspect the hydraulics and make sure that there are no signs of damage like leaks or poor seals on the outlets or the tank. Take into consideration what you need for the attachments that you want to use and make sure that there are enough hydraulic outlets and return lines.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that the seller can provide you with the maintenance log and any other supporting paperwork for the tractor. This will help you learn more about how often the tractor went through repairs and what they were for.
Be sure to use this guide when you are planning to buy your used tractor, so you can make your next purchase a successful one. Just because it isn’t brand new doesn’t mean you won’t have a great addition to your fleet. Always do your research and inspections into the seller and into the tractor and it will be a great investment you can keep with you for decades.
Karthik Talwar is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb that helps businesses showcase their brand through enticing copy. When he is not working, he enjoys exploring new places and trying new foods.