Owning brand new farm equipment is a dream! Unfortunately, it is also an expensive dream at times. Purchasing new equipment to use on the farm is not always an option for many hard working people. Fortunately, there are many people and businesses who are willing to sell their used equipment for a fraction of the new price. This means that the “new to you” tractor that you need to have a great harvest this season might not be out of your reach after all. The key is knowing what to look for and what to avoid.
Know What You Need
A very important first step in buying used agricultural equipment is defining what it is you actually need. Understanding what you can go without and what you absolutely must have will help you find the best deal for your particular situation. For example, if you live in southern Florida, an air-conditioned cab might be high up on your list of priorities while someone in a more mild climate might be able to do without that specific feature.
Before you even set out and start searching for used farm equipment, make a list of the equipment you need and all of the features it absolutely must have. If you have a little extra time, it is even a good idea to list all of the “pluses”. These are features that you don’t absolutely need, but it would be nice to have. This list of additional features will help you narrow down the list of equipment even further to find the perfect piece of used farm equipment for an even better price.
Ask for Maintenance History
Purchasing used equipment can sometimes seem like a huge gamble in comparison to purchasing brand new farm equipment. The process doesn’t have to be so uncertain though. Anyone you purchase your equipment from should be able to provide some sort of proof of proper maintenance. This should be true for both independent sellers and businesses who repair and sell used equipment.
Things you should look for in a piece of used equipment’s maintenance history include fuel and oil filter replacements, winterization practices, and regular greasing. It is also a good idea to check out the battery and air filter compartments if those are present in the piece of equipment you are considering. Examining the contents of those particular compartments will tell you if the equipment has been well taken care of or forgotten in a shed somewhere.
Search For Grime
If a piece of equipment has been taken care of as it should have been, it will be clean when you arrive to inspect it. If used farm equipment is not kept clean, a variety of issues can crop up. For example, it is incredibly difficult to spot leaks and other signs of potential issues when a piece of equipment is dirty. Diagnosing mechanical issues is also very difficult when equipment is covered in grime. Assessing the level of cleanliness on and around a piece of used equipment is a great way to determine how well it was cared for by its previous owner.
However, cleaning up your equipment before selling it is selling 101. To be sure the seller is not being dishonest, it is a good idea to examine hard-to-reach places that might have been missed during a quick cleaning. Some good places to check before committing to a purchase include the chassis and behind the radiator.
Beware Deal Breakers
There are certain mechanical and structural issues that are full on deal breakers when it comes to purchasing used farm equipment. On the other hand, there are also problems that just come with the territory. For examples, huge deal breakers would include questionable wiring, black smoke emitting from the exhaust, and
Greasing is a necessary evil for all heavy duty equipment and tractor users. If a tractor is not properly and regularly greased the essential mechanisms that allow it to function properly will ultimately fail. This means that expensive repairs are an inevitability if operators are not making greasing a priority.
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