12 step guide to taking the risk out of buying a used tractor
If you're on the lookout for a second-hand tractor, you need to protect yourself from getting stung with a bad deal.
The first choice you will face is whether to buy from a dealer or go private. Buying from a reputable dealer is a far safer option and offers a level of quality standard and back-up.
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If going this route, let your local dealer know what you are looking for and they can keep an ear out. Dealers regularly take in second-hand tractors and some even offer a three or six-month warranty, which ensures there is a basic level of after sales back-up available. The other option is to buy privately.
There are lots of deals available through farming classifieds and websites, but keep in mind that buying private is much riskier because you don't have the all-important after-sales service or any warranty. It is still possible to buy a good-quality tractor privately, but you need to do your homework because if the proverbial hits the fan, you are on your own.
Keep the following tips in mind before parting with your cash - these checks can be applied to buying any used tractor.
Look at the hub bearing wear. Jacking the front of the tractor up and shaking the wheels — top to bottom — will give an indication to the degree of bearing wear. If these are shot, it can be a labour-intensive job to rectify.
Check the axle hub seals. Dirt and grime can work its way in here and rupture the seals. These can be costly to replace and traces of oil around the inner rim are the tell-tale signs.
3. Hitch B
On machines that have been on a dump trailer, the linkage will not give an accurate reflection of the work a tractor has been subjected to. Have a look at the pick-up hitch in this instance. Significant wear on the hook or lateral play on the pick-up hitch is a better way to judge the workload.