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How to Buy Used Farm Equipment for Your Farm Business

There is no shortage of used farm equipment for sale, and you can find some excellent deals that provide a great deal of value. However, even pre-owned items can cost a good deal of money, and you need to carefully consider all of your options before making a purchase. Here are some tips that will help make your buying decision easier and more successful.


It’s essential that you purchase used farm equipment that is in the best possible shape so you don’t risk wasting money on a faulty product. If you’re new to the business, determining condition may not be as easy as it seems. You should be able to see fairly quickly, however, if an item has not been maintained properly. Substantial rusting, missing bolts, and worn tires are just some of the signs that you need to look elsewhere. After all, if external components look like they’ve been neglected, that’s a pretty good indication that vital internal parts have also been ignored.

What to Look For

Here are some of the different types of used farm equipment for sale and what to look for on each before you make any purchase.

1. Tractors

Take a close look at the grease zerk, which is a metal fitting used to feed lubricant into the machine. Its condition will tell whether or not the tractor has been lubricated properly. If you don’t know how to check the engine, have the tractor checked by a mechanic. Test drive it before making your purchase so you can get a good idea as to whether it will be up for the tasks you need to perform.

Five Steps to Buying Used Tractors

Buying used tractors is a great way to stay on the low end of a budget for either your business or personal needs. The steps to purchasing a pre-owned tractor follow those similar of a car. Thinking of a budget, which type you’ll need, transportation and vehicle history will all play a major role in your decision. If you’re in the market for used tractors, consider these five steps to purchasing one.

Step 1: Think of a Budget and Stick to It.

Just like buying a car, it’s important to consider your budget when looking at used tractors. Think of the most you’re willing to pay for any model. Once you’ve decided on this number, you can eliminate looking for anything above it. If you’re planning on trying to negotiate, you might include models that are on the high end of your budget, but can be haggled down to a lower price. It’s also important to stick to your budget rigidly and walk away from anyone trying to push you past it.

Step 2: Look Online or Locally.

The next step is looking at used tractors. If you live in an area where they aren’t common, you might have the most success looking online. Also consider the different types that are made for different uses. You’ll likely encounter compact utility models, which are more dual purpose and meant for everyday tasks such as landscaping and wagon pulling. Whereas row crop tractors and articulated 4WD models are more specialized, dealing with dirt transportation, land leveling and tillage work.

Step 3: Learn the History and Ask Questions.

Once you’ve found a few models that you’re interested in, visit them and learn the histories. This is the time to find out all the details and features included with the particular models you’re considering. It’s also important to ask about any major repairs and how the vehicle has been taken care of up until this point. Sloppy maintenance and incomplete records could change your mind on a particular model.

Step 4: Purchase or Look elsewhere

If you’ve decided on a pre-owned vehicle that has been well maintained and is within your budget, it’s time to close the deal. During the transaction it’s important to address questions of transport and financing. However, if you’ve struck out and haven’t found the right one yet, it’s time to restart at step two.

Step 5: Enjoy It!

Once you’ve signed the paperwork and the vehicle has been delivered, all that’s left is to enjoy it. Remember to keep track of your maintenance records in case you ever plan on selling in the future. Keeping thorough records will instill confidence in a buyer. Also, now that you’ve been through the process, you can help out any friends or family who are planning on buying a pre-owned tractor. Share the lessons you’ve learned in the process to make their research and purchase easier.
Used tractors are going up for sale all the time, so patience is important when looking to purchase. By sticking to your budget and asking the right questions, you’re sure to find used tractors that are in good condition and reasonably priced.

2. Backhoes 

Look for any rust or leaks, particularly in the area of the motor. Normal wear and tear is to be expected, of course, but you don’t want something that’s been overused. Turn on the machine and stretch it as far as you can before shake it to make sure it’s not too loose.

3. Mowers

You want a product that will not have any apparent damage, but you also want it to steer easily. Look at the tires for signs of rot and also check the wiring. Take a look at the rotary blade to make sure it is correctly balanced. If it doesn’t cut grass evenly, that means the blade needs to either be adjusted or replaced.
When you are considering used farm equipment for sale, it’s very important that you check it thoroughly and give it a test run. If you’re purchasing from a dealer, make sure you can get solid warranties or guarantees that protect you in case something goes wrong down the road.

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