Buying a used tractor is a good way to add to your fleet. However, it’s important to be cautious when undertaking this task. Once you buy the equipment, it is yours. Thus, it’s in your best interest to make sure you are getting a good deal. It may be used, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it comes cheap. When you’re looking at used tractors, below are the things you should consider.
The first thing you want to check, according to Zhengzhou Bewell Machinery, is how the tractor looks. If it appears to have been well maintained, there’s a good chance it has been taken care of. However, it’s also a good idea to remember that most things take well to a washing. Make sure to do a deeper inspection before making your final decision.
As you walk around the equipment, check for any peeling paint, rust or dents. Depending on the size and type, peeling paint or dents might not be a deal breaker, but it could be a sign that the tractor wasn’t taken care of. If the tractor has rust, you’ll probably want to pass. Since this wreaks havoc on metal, there may be rust problems that you can’t see in addition to the visible spots.
You’ll also want to look at the tires and determine if the tread is still good or if there are any cracks or bulges. Tires can be expensive to replace, so making sure they are in good shape is important. You might also consider checking the tire manufacturer’s website to see how much life is left in the tires before you buy.
Appearance of the Cab
While looking at the overall appearance of the tractor, make sure to inspect the cab. If you see a lot of dirt on the inside, this could be an indicator that the current owner didn’t take very good care of the equipment. Other things you’ll want to inspect include:
- How many hours of operation it has performed
- Whether it has a guidance system
- Whether the displays, receivers and other electric components are in good working order
The moving parts on the tractor should move with ease. They should also be greased to prevent friction. You’ll want to visually inspect the articulation points, as well as do an operational inspection. If you notice any metal shards at the articulation point, this is a sign of wear or that the tractor hasn’t been properly maintained.
The operational inspection will require starting the tractor and moving it a short distance. You don’t have to take it into a field, but moving it back and forth will ensure that it moves without making knocking sounds (which could be a sign of a slipping transmission) and that the steering isn’t too loose or too tight.
Things to look for when inspecting the hydraulics include making sure there are no leaks or poor seals. You’ll also need to think about the attachments you’ll be using and make sure that you have enough outlets and auxiliary/return lines to use them.
While the tractor is running, take a moment to open the engine compartment and take a look at the engine. You’ll want to keep an eye open for any leaks, cracks or other damage on any of the components. It’s also a good idea to check the engine plate to see how much horsepower the tractor is capable of and if it meets emission standards for your location.
After you have inspected the engine while the machine is running, you can then shut the tractor off and check the engine once again. You might consider removing the air filter. This should be replaced on a regular basis, and if the tractor was maintained, then it should appear fairly clean.
Maintenance Logs or Other Documentation
If the current owner has any maintenance logs or other documentation that records how the tractor was serviced, make sure to look at these. It will give you insight into how well the tractor was taken care of.
Getting a used tractor can be a great way to add more equipment to your fleet at a more affordable price. Before handing over a check or cash, take the time to inspect the tractor and ensure that it’s in good condition.