Tractors are expensive; it’s a well-known fact that a brand new John Deere tractor would cost in excess of £20,000. So in times of financial hardship, the emphasis is turning more toward the used tractor market.
To a beginner buying a used tractor for the first time could prove to be a daunting and difficult decision. But by asking yourself just 6 simple questions, you could not only define what you buy but also save a large sum of money in the process.
Know the Usage
Firstly, what will you be using your used tractor for? The differences between using a tractor to plow a field or mow an acre of long grass may seem minor, but in reality, it’s of great importance.
As a used tractor buyer, you need to be specific. What kind of terrain will the tractor be primarily used on? For example, a tractor that will be used on clay terrain or steep hills would need more power.
As a rule, it takes 15 horsepower’s per plow bottom to power a tractor with one attached. So a tractor with more implements will need to have a higher powered engine, though the amounts do vary.
If you’re not only new to the used tractor market but also farming it is wise to buy a tractor first and then purchase the implements based on the power of your tractor.
This leads to the next question you need to ask yourself. What kind of machinery will your tractor be powering?
Key points to check
Dual remote hydraulic hook-ups are a necessity for most implements. The power take-off is also something that shouldn’t be overlooked. A tractor without it shouldn’t even be considered.
The reason power take-off (PTO) is so crucial is that it allows the tractor’s engine to power the implements with an easily connectable splined driveshaft system. A 540 rpm (revolutions per minute) PTO system is the most widely found, but it is becoming more common that a 1000 rpm PTO is needed to power to more and more attached implements.
A live hydraulics system is a great feature for a loader as it allows for hydraulics control when the clutch is depressed.
The type of hitch is important, but not crucial as one can always be fitted after the tractor has been purchased. A three-point hitch offers the best for all round use.
Knowing the brand and model of the used tractor you plan to buy will always play a big part, as is the age. Though the age shouldn’t be feared, it is important to that research is done. A certain model, brand or age of tractor may have been discontinued which could mean that the parts aren’t widely available. This could prove costly over time if something does go wrong.
Where can I get a pre-owned tractor? Used tractors can be found at farm auctions but as with the majority of auctions, once the tractor has been brought, it’s yours. Some “bargains” can inevitably turn out to be too good to be true, so whether it’s in brilliant or an awful condition, it’s yours.
Buying through a dealer is usually a more reliable way of minimizing risk when buying pre-owned. Costs are generally higher but financing can often be arranged to help you, the buyer pay for it. Remember a higher price but is more likely to get you a higher price if you eventually sell the tractor.
The most reliable middle range tractors available on the market are those manufactured by Massey Ferguson and White and will offer you something more realistic on a tighter budget.
Finally, the condition, what condition is the tractor? A used tractor needing work may at first seem like a simple fix, but in the long run, it can leave you tearing your hair out and splashing a great amount to sort the problem.
Some things to look out for include
Does the clutch slip?
Does the frame show welding repairs?
Is there excessive engine smoke?
What condition are the tires in? Is there a good amount of tread depth remaining?
Are the signs of abnormal engine noises or oil leaks?
With all this advice onboard you could be well on you should be well on your way to buying your very first pre-owned tractor.