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  1. #1

    Default Buying used tractors

    I'm a new user to this site and looking forward to gaining a lot of helpful information. I'm wanting to buy a tractor and I can't afford to go brand new, so I have to go used. What do I look for when buying a used tractor? I don't want to get stuck with lemon. Are there telltale signs to look for that could be future problems?Is there a rule of thumb to go by?. I would appreciate any help and if this subject has been brought up recently I apologize as this is my first post. Thank You

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Janesville, Wisconsin
    None -yet. Until then FunBuggy (EZ-Go) will have to do!

    Default Re: Buying used tractors

    Welcome Roadtrash!

    You've come to the right place to get information. The brain trust here at TBN will provide tons of help.

    You might help by filling in your profile. It's always easier for guys to answer questions when they know where you're located and what kind of conditions you might be "tractoring" in.

    Have you tried doing a search yet? It's really easy. Just click on the Search function at the top of the page and then type in "Used Tractors" (or some other term/word). You can also click on any of the Forums and see a listing of the threads for that Forum, then click on a thread you're interested in reading.

    Since you're looking for used tractor information, try visiting <A target="_blank" HREF=></A> . It's a site where you can search for used equipment and get an idea of what particular models, etc. are worth.

    Good luck on your quest! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000

    Default Re: Buying used tractors

    As with cars, if you don't know much about tractors ir might be worth the money to pay a tractor mechanic or other knowledgeable person to inspect any tractor you are considering buying. And I'm certainly no expert but will try to tell you what I, personally, would do or look for:

    1) General appearance; does it look like it's been taken care of?
    2) Check all fluids; hydraulic oil, engine oil, antifreeze; are they clean, filled to proper levels, any visible signs of leaks?
    3) Any missing nuts or bolts?
    4) How hard is it to start? Was it cold when you started it or had the owner "warmed it up" first?
    5) How does the engine sound? Do you have a pretty good idea of what a diesel should sound like?
    6) Any "play" or slack in the steering components?
    7) Tire wear? If it has an hour meter and is a fairly recent model, do the tire wear and the hours on the meter correspond?
    8) Run it in all gears; does it shift smoothly, engine run smoothly, any unusual sounds, brakes work, clutch work smoothly, PTO engage/disengage, 3-point raise and lower a weight properly?

    And perhaps most importantly, do you like it and is the price right?[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    And of course, it also would be worth your money to buy Muhammad's book, The Ultimate Compact Tractor Guide, advertised here on the forum.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Bethel, Vermont
    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Buying used tractors

    I bought a used John Deere 670. It had 600 hours on it.

    What to look for? Well, let me ask you..what are you looking to pay?

    First, overall condition: paint, rust, dents. Is the seat in decent shape. If it looks like it was beat to sh!t, it probably was.

    Tires and Wheels: Tires in decent shape? any punctures? Weather cracking on the sidewalls? You don't specify your usage, but if you're going to use this machine to mow, you probably don't want Agricultural tires. Replacing the tires could cost several hundred dollars.

    Engine (I'm assuming you'll go for a diesel): start easily? A diesel will smoke a bit, but not constantly (if it's in good shape). Expect a puff when you rev the engine. Drive it, if you can (if the owner or dealer won't let you...go elsewhere). Does it pull smoothly?

    Transmission: I know nothing about Hydrostatic (someone else will help you there). If a gear tractor, will it go into gear without grinding? Does it shift to a higher or lower gear (you may have to stop completely to shift...the tranny on my 670 isn't really designed to be shifted on the go. You pick the gear you need and start there...not like an automotive stick shift where you shift up the gears. If 4 wheel drive, does it shift in easily (don't drive 4wd on hard pavement too much!!!)?

    Brakes and parking brake: Does the parking brake work? Do the brakes work?

    Hydraulics: Make sure the 3PH operates smoothly. If there is a Front End Loader, operate it up, down, curl and dump the bucket. You may hear a squeal at the limits of lever travel, but not at less then that.

    Manuals: Does the seller have the manuals for the tractor? Loader? Any implements included?

    Personally, I'd buy through a dealer. At least there is some recourse if the machine has problems that arise after you buy it.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Cub Cadet 7360SS & Craftsman GT3000 23 HP w/50

    Default Re: Buying used tractors

    I bought a used tractor also. I am VERY satisfied with how it turned out. Let me relate the approach that I took.

    I spent months researching what tractor to buy. I put together a spreadsheet (sorry, I'm a computer geek) with all of the pertinent attributes (like weight, size, HP, lift capacity, tires, etc.) I then filled in the data for all of the major brands and models... Deere, kubota, NH, Kioti, and Cub. I went to a few dealers and looked at the new ones to compare things like seating, reach, finish, etc. Then I decided which tractor I wanted. In my case, the Cub Cadet 7360 was the right choice.

    Now I went to the local Cub dealer and the internet looking for what was available for a 7360. You will need to decide just how urgently (or not) you need this tractor. In my case, I had time to be patient. We had bought our farm, but were only spending weekends and holidays there. So I looked, and looked, and looked. I kept looking to find a low hours machine. I used eBay, Deere's MachineFinder, and other equipment search sites.

    Finally found one with only 90 hours at a Deere dealer in Alabama. I was a little concerned about buying sight unseen. I just couldn't travel from New Hampshire to Alabama to kick the tires. I called the Sales Manager at the dealer to get a very complete discription of the machine and its condition. From the phone conversation, I made a judgement on how much I trusted them. I then called BBB to check them out. I had them send a sales agreement, which I checked thoroughly to insure that I was protected. And I went forward.

    Keep in mind that equipment prices vary with different areas of the country. The south is usually a little cheaper, as will other high agriculture areas. My local dealer wanted $20K for a new one with a FEL. I ended up paying $13K for this one, plus $1K to ship it to NH. And 90 hours is next to nothing in the lifespan of a tractor. This unit met all of my expectations when it arrived. It was exactly as described. And two years later, I am very happy with the entire transaction and the tractor.

    By the way, the dealer was General Equipment Company in Scottsboro, AL <A target="_blank" HREF=></A>

    Good luck with your adventure.... have patience.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Buying used tractors

    Consider buying a trade-in from a local dealer, with the intention of closing the deal by asking for a 30 day warranty. Dealers are different about how much of a guarantee they will put on a machine, but certainly you will get no guarantees from an individual. Buying used from a dealer is a good way to start a relationship with that dealer. Also if you trade in again with him there will be less monkey business about price, becuase you will both know what you paid for yours.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Seattle area
    JD 855 4WD, HST

    Default Re: Buying used tractors


    I bought my JD used form a private party. I tried to use my best judgement (looks good, starts easy, tires look good, etc) I also took along much advice from the forum here. I am very pleased with my machine - I'm putting on the hours as fast as I can. I think I probably lucked out because I really had no idea what I was doing. Must be good clean living. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    If you can find a used one at a dealer at least you have the dealer standing behind it - but you will usually pay more. Welcome to the forum. You picked the right place to get info - these folks know their stuff.

    Good luck.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    South Weber Utah
    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Buying used tractors

    A couple of things to consider: Try to use it where you can pull a load, this will tell you if the hydro is working on it. Put the three point and FEL up and shut it off. Put some weight on them and let them set of a period of time to see if they will hold the load or if there are hydraulic leaks.

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Rest in Peace
    frank_f15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    kubota b2400- R4 tires

    Default Re: Buying used tractors

    just use your common sense and the resourses avaivable to u here. i found my tractor used. i went to http:// then click on search and type in your critera and just follow along. u might get lucky as i did.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Lancaster PA
    Yanmar 186D

    Default Re: Buying used tractors

    There is some pretty good advice here already. I wanted to add that the small diesel tractors, which are for the most part made in Japan, are incredibly reliable and long lived. It is not uncommon for a well maintained small diesel to run 4000-5000 hours before needing overhaul. Last winter I was at the JD dealers. They had a 1050 in parts being overhauled with over 11k on the clock. The mechanic said it shouldn't have needed it then except the owner let it overheat. Even a used machine could out live us if it is cared for.


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