Some buyers are inclined to take more risk in a bid to pay less.
For such farmers, buying privately or looking across the water is often an attractive option, but the old mantra ‘buyer beware’ is relevant here.
Private or distant sellers will be a mixed bag — some will be genuine and offering good machines; others will be trying to offload a problematic tractor and, of course, turn a profit in doing so. Remember, they don’t have to face you again should the proverbial hit the fan.
The answers to question three will come from sitting down and making a list of the jobs the tractor will be charged with doing.
A tractor used for just spreading fertiliser and some light loader and transport work can realistically be a smaller powered and cheaper option.
But if you plan on doing more power-hungry jobs like winter feeding, spreading slurry, hauling bales and mowing silage, it is better to look for more power and a four-wheel drive unit.
All of the usual specification details are important and, if not offered on viewing, you should ask the seller for information on the tractor’s gearbox type, hydraulic output, lift capacity and cab spec.
Don’t just take the information for gospel — go and do your own research on similar models and cross check with what you see on your potential purchase. Over the years, we have all heard of tales of farmers being found in possession of stolen goods after money has changed hands. There is no comeback, so ensure you check out ownership and finance-owed position before letting money change hands.
If you are suspicious about a seller, simply go with your gut feeling and walk away. It goes without saying you should ensure you are in possession of the new registration cert and ownership transferral procedures have been followed correctly.
Bringing someone with a basic mechanical knowledge along to view the tractor and checking some basics is always worthwhile. Remember, if it means throwing them a few euro, it can be money well spent because it factors in some peace of mind. If you can’t find anyone to come along, know some of the basic boxes that need to be ticked from a mechanical point of view.