Tractor Shopping – What to Look for When Buying Used

Farm equipment is never a flippant purchase. For farmers, every piece of machinery they buy is an investment in their livelihood, as well as the wellbeing of the consumers who depend on their work. Only the highest quality equipment should be put to work on a commercial farm.

That said, there is nothing wrong with buying a pre-owned machine. Many farmers sell their equipment when they relocate, leave the business or upgrade. This means there are perfectly good used tractors, trucks and other machines just waiting for new homes.

Shopping for used machinery does come with additional concerns that a buyer might not face when purchasing new equipment. Farmers and land workers should always seek reputable retailers of heavy machinery, especially when purchasing used pieces. Some of the potential indicators of problems during past ownership to look for while shopping include:

Clues pointing to fire or flood damage.

This can be anything from obvious repainting to seals and rubbers around the engine and cap having been replaced, if the damage was due to fire. Fire or flood damage can compromise machine performance.

Inconsistent or unusual wear and tear.

The apparent wear and tear on the machine and all of its parts should be consistent with the amount of work the machine was used for during past ownership. If not, this is a red flag warning of a dishonest seller.

The look of the battery and surrounding area.

Check for green discharge or buildup, worn out connections and cables or any other sign that the battery, engine and other primary components are not at peak function.

Signs of improper oil level maintenance.

The dipstick should show the presence of oil when removed, which will indicate that oil levels have been maintained adequately. Be wary of burnt smells or any indicators that leaks have occurred, as this could lead to the need for an engine overhaul. This would incur additional costs and negate the potential savings shoppers find by buying used.

Purchasing used machinery can be an investment that benefits the productivity of the agricultural business buying it, as well as their budget. Not only that, but buying used in any field of industry is also an environmentally sound decision. Whether it’s a used tractor or any other piece of machinery, farmers do themselves and the world at large a favor every time they choose to buy used!

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