Tractors are often necessary if you own an acre or more of land, but you may be intimidated by the price. Fortunately, purchasing quality equipment doesn't have to be too expensive. Used equipment can serve just as well as used. The following tips can ensure you choose a used tractor that has a lot of life left in it.
Tip #1: Check the paint job
A few scratches or scuffs aren't a reason to turn down a deal. The problem is if rust has begun to overtake the body of the tractor. Extensive rust may indicate flood damage or just overall poor maintenance. A shiny new paint job isn't necessarily a good thing, either, though. Make sure the paint was applied properly. If there are rough spots or areas with the texture of an orange peel, then the body likely has extensive damage that the new paint is trying to hide.
Tip #2: Inspect the tires
Depending on the size of the tractor, replacement tires can be very costly. There is no hard and fast rule for tire tread depth on tractors, as replacement depths are set by each individual tire maker. You will need to check for specifications with the tire manufacturer then check the tire treads to makes ensure there is still a lot of life left in them.
Tip #3: Know articulation troubles
A common problem area on used tractors is the articulation point. Begin with a visual inspection of the point to make sure there are no glints from metal shavings, since this indicates binding from poor lubrication. A test drive is also required. Go backward and forward, turning the machine. If you can feel the point catch or hear a knock as you turn, or if the movements aren't smooth, pass on this tractor.
Tip #4: General maintenance
The engine, transmissions, and controls can be a little bit harder to inspect if you don't have extensive mechanical know-how. At a minimum, the engine should look clean and well-maintained. There shouldn't be obvious leaks or wear on any belts or hoses. All controls should work properly and the transmission should go into gear smoothly.
If your initial inspection of the tractor confirms that all looks in good order, don't hesitate to bring in a mechanic for a more thorough inspection. Two sets of eyes are more likely to catch any potential problems.
For more help, contact a dealer with tractors for sale in your area.