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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default What to look for when buying a used tractor?

    Im going to look at a used JD 2520 this weekend. I have been doing reseach and reading a lot here. This will be my first tractor and Im going alone. What should I be looking at on the tractor and what questions should I ask?

    I think the 2520 is a good choice for what I am planning. We have a small horse farm on 9 acres in southeast Massachusetts. 4 acres is grass and the rest is woods and swamp. The tractor will be used to cut the grass, spreading/leveling sand, moving firewood, some brush cutting for riding paths, working a food plot and snow plowing around the barn/paddocks and our 800+ driveway. Im looking for something with at least a front loader. I will add the attachments I want when it is in the budget.

    Any advise and suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor 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: What to look for when buying a used tractor?

    I'm sure some 2520 and other Deere CUT owners will respond, but the first thing I suggest is doing a search on TBN. Use "buying used tractor" (or a variation of that) as your query.

    I'm on my third used Deere. All bought from dealers, BTW. I always give it a good lookover for any damage I could attribute to misuse or abuse. I expect it to start quickly and any smoke should clear up in a minute or so. Shouldn't need glow plugs or intake heater above 40 degree or so.
    Since I'm a gear transmission guy, I want the clutch to pick up smoothly and the gears to shift with no grinding or double clutching required (however, a non-synchro tranny won't shift on the fly). I also run through all the controls and, if possible, run an implement on the PTO.

    That's about it for me. Since I bought two (of the three) tractors from the same dealer, they treat me pretty good and know I'll make a pretty quick decision.

    Buying from a private party...about the same procedure except I do want to see an implement driven by the PTO!
    I'll also want to see any maintenance records.

    Generally, if the tractor is in good condition (I don't want to see a recently detailed machine with Armoralled tires!), it's probably OK. If you're comfortable buying a used car, you should be OK buying a used tractor.
    Roy Jackson

    "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch..."

  3. #3
    Bronze Member zr2blz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Berthoud, CO
    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used tractor?

    Make sure you get the updated 3-point arms. I had a 2006 with bad arms that would rug tires. JD re-did and traded with owners of bad with the new type. Do a search on 2520 3 point and see all the comments.
    I had mine for 4 months and put on 127 hours (dug craw space for sons new house) when hyd went south, so make sure loader goes up all the way and will push down and lift the wheels. Almost when going straight, you don't have to keep rotating wheel. Listen for un-normal sound from trans.
    Good luck, I liked the 2520 before it started acting funny, but I really like my 3320.
    2007 3320 os / 447 BH / 300CX - 5' bucket / 7' rear blade / 4x2" skidsteer spacers on rears
    2014 825iS4 full wrap around, winch, hardtop, pwr tilt box, 3 sets of top lights, blinkers
    2006 Honda es Foreman 500 with 5' blade

  4. #4
    Platinum Member saracenas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Lithuania, EU
    Present: 2003 Kubota M9000 DTF. Sold: 1985 Kubota L2202

    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used tractor?

    Stay away from a tractor, which blows BLUE smoke. White or black - no problem (cases when fuel or air filter is clogged). Black smoke under load is also normal. Actually yes, as "RoyJackson" said, any smoke should clear up at idling.
    I would say that is the main thing to look at.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Southern Indiana
    JD 3520, 300CX, 448

    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used tractor?

    Good advice given already.

    Another thing I do (third used tractor myself) is ,when buying from a dealer, tell them you'd like to try it on your property for a day or two. The dealers around here have no problem sending used OR new tractors home for a test drive. This will give you plenty of time to give it a thourough workout and see if it's really the right size for you.
    Good luck!

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