When it comes to buying a tractor, most people already know what they are looking for. However, there are times where you may realise you don’t know what you’re looking for in a tractor. Well then, you’re in luck as we’ve got some great tips for you when it comes to buying a tractor.
Hopefully, by this stage, you have chosen the model of tractor you wish to buy. Now comes the most significant part, investigating the condition of the tractor.
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Exterior & Tyres
If the exterior of the tractor is in good condition, there’s a good chance that it has been kept maintained and protected. Check the body for any scratches, dents and peeling paint to see if it has been abused or stored outside. Also, a good thing to check is the condition of the tyres. To test the state of the tyres, use a tyre gauge that measures the tread depth. If the tyres are second hand, compare the tread depth of the tractor you have measured to the manufacturers tread depth online.
Check the axes point
The axes point is the major moving part of the tractor. At all times it should be greased and serviced regularly. When looking for wear, keep an eye out for any metal shards. If you can notice any shards, then clearly it has not been properly maintained.
While investigating the articulation point on a visual level, it is also important to test it at an operational level as well. Start the tractor and drive it forward and back again. Notice any knocks while moving. This may be a sign of a transmission slip. Another way to check the articulation point is by driving the tractor for a couple of minutes. Notice if the steering wanders or it begins to feel loose at all. These are also signs of damage to the articulation point. On the other hand, if the steering feels too tight or difficult to steer, this may be a sign that the pins may need greasing or the hydraulic cylinders are not in working order.
Check the Engine
The engine is the most essential part of any tractor. Ensure that the tractor you are looking to buy can handle the amount of work you wish to use it for. A standard way to measure the power of a tractor is by how much horsepower it has. A larger number of horsepower means the stronger and more powerful the engine. If you are looking for a tractor that is only used for small tasks, then you probably don’t need a tractor with a crazy amount of horsepower, and vice versa.
Ensuring the oil of the tractor is in good condition will directly affect your tractors efficiency. To verify if the oil has been maintained, firstly check the dipstick to see the oil level. You want to make sure that it is at the correct level, not too full or too low. Secondly, inspect the colour. If the oil is black, that is okay, but try rubbing the oil between your fingers to ensure it feels smooth and has an “oily” smell. If the oil smells burnt or has a milky or frothy appearance, it is likely that the tractor needs an oil change and that there may be water leaking into the sump.
When purchasing a used tractor, you should treat it the same way as buying a car, or a motorbike. Ask the owner for all the service records and documentation that show support of regular maintenance. If the owner has not kept any records, that already is a red flag. However, if you’re still keen on purchasing the tractor, have a mechanic inspect the tractor before you purchase. That way, they will be able to highlight any significant maintenance issues and prepare you for any possible repairs that may be needed.
The right tractor, for the right job
When you’re looking to buy a used tractor, ensure you are purchasing the RIGHT tractor for the RIGHT job. Think about what you are buying the tractor for and that the type of tractor will suit the tasks you have planned for it. Ask the owner of the tractor what work it has done, how old it is and ask why they are selling it.
When it comes down to the crunch, use your common sense and be smart about what you want, what you’re expecting from the tractor and do your research! It’s a difficult decision to decide on a big purchase, such as a tractor, however as long as it ticks all the right boxes and gets the job done, that’s what counts.
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