A Guide to Buying Used Tractors.

Buying a used tractor can be a difficult task for a first-time buyer. This excerpt discusses the various considerations that you should make when purchasing a used tractor for sale.

Type of tractor. 

Subcompact and compact utility tractors are best suited for small farm applications. Utility tractors have more horsepower than compact utility tractors. Besides, they have a variety of attachments hence, making them suitable for applications such as tilling and hay production. If you have a huge farm, purchase a row crop tractor that can be used to cultivate, plant produce, harvest and spray pesticides. When shopping for the tractor, consider a brand that is reputable for longevity, availability of spares and ease of repair. 

Ease of operation. 

The power take-off (PTO) shaft is where you attach devices such as mowers and harvesters, which require power to run. Some tractor models have a transmission power take-off shaft. In this system, the PTO shaft stops moving if you disengage the tractor's transmission. Therefore, it is considered inefficient. Preferably, look for a tractor with an independent or live PTO shaft. A live PTO system has two clutch modes. If you press the clutch halfway, you disengage or engage the tractor's transmission. If you push the clutch all the way, you disengage or engage the PTO shaft. An independent system has a separate clutch for the PTO shaft. The tractor you purchase should have a three-point hitch. These hitches improve the tractor's traction when under load. Besides, you can attach a large variety of farm implements on the hitch. Tractors with power steering systems are easy to operate on the farm.

Inspecting the tractor. 

Below is a short guide to assist you inspect the tractor. 

  • While a little rust is acceptable, do not purchase a tractor whose underneath, body and engine bay is full of rust. Also, check for dents and structural cracks.
  • The tractor should easily start when cold. Blue or white smoke is a sign of engine problems.
  • If the tractor has a hydraulic system, it should extend to its full length without any problem. If you detect noises when lifting heavy objects, the hydraulic pump could be faulty.
  • Check the engine for oil leaks and head seepage from the gaskets. Engine noises could be a sign of a slow knock.
  • Take the tractor for a test drive and feel its power, braking and transmission systems. 

Finally, ask for the tractor's inspection report to know which parts require urgent replacement. 

When purchasing a used tractor, decide which tractor best suits your farm, look for reputable brands, check the tractor's ease of operation, and inspect the body and engine.