While it might be nice to bring home a brand new tractor for your job site, farm, or property, sometimes buying a pre-owned option is the more prudent choice. Many lawn and motorsport dealerships have used tractors that run as well as new with an incredibly attractive price tag.
While buying a pre-owned tractor certainly makes sense, understanding what to look for isn’t as much of a “no brainer.” Here are some tips you can use to get the most out of your shopping trip by looking at used tractors for sale.
Understand Your Needs
Before you step foot at a dealership or even start researching how to get a great deal on your next tractor, you have to decide what kind of tractor you need. There are all kinds of different types of tractors, as well as makes and models that handle a variety of tasks. Some used tractors are meant for very specific purposes, while others a great for more general uses.
Most likely, you’ll either be looking for a compact utility tractor, a utility tractor, a row crop tractor, or an articulated 4WD tractor. Here’s how they compare:
Compact Utility Tractor
Imagine any tractor you’ve seen on the farm. Compact utility tractors are pretty much the same thing but smaller. These machines are primarily used in landscaping and smaller jobs.
When you go with a utility tractor, you’re adding size and power over their compact counterparts. Whether you’re looking for help with hay production, excavation, or general chores, utility tractors can take on the job. You can even add additional attachments to help with more specific jobs like post-hole digging, snow removal, and more.
Row Crop Tractors
If you spend your days producing crops, you’re already familiar with these beasts. These tractors are a great starting point for new producers or are a part of the everyday life of a seasons veteran. Row crop tractors are the larger machines meant to take on specialized jobs in the field.
Articulated 4WD Tractors
From pull planting to prepping large areas of land for growing crops, Articulated tractors are the largest in the industry. They also come in handy for leveling land and other large projects around the house.
Do Your Homework
Once you know what kind of used tractor model you need for your honey-do list, it’s time to dig into the details. Make sure you understand what the tractor is capable of, what it costs new, etc. Now you can start looking at options in your area.
When you find a few options that meet your needs, now it’s time to do some research. You want to know the history of this machine if it’s had any repairs or replacements, and what kind of work it was used for in the past. Your used tractor dealership should be able to help you get all of the information required to make a good decision.
Buying a Tractor Is Not Like Buying a Car
Most drivers have a specific persona and attitude when it comes to buying a used car. They come in ready to do battle with the sales team to ensure they get a good deal and don’t get played.
Shopping for used tractors may have some similarities to buying a used car, but there are some critical differences. The most prominent difference is the lifespan of the machine. Even a great used car is probably only good for 10-15 years. A used tractor can have 25 years on it and still have more than 25 left to go if it’s well maintained.
If you find the right dealership, you can even let your guard down and spend more time focusing on finding the right tractor versus trying to avoid making a bad deal.
Details in The Sale
So you’ve found the right model at the right dealership, and you’re ready to seal the deal. This is when you need to work with your sales advisor to discuss things like financing, transporting it to your property, etc. You can also discuss service contracts or warranties to ensure you leave with peace of mind.
While buying a large piece of machinery may seem like a stressful event, it doesn’t have to be. So long as you understand how to approach the process, do your homework, and know what you want, your next shopping trip may be the most exciting in your life. You’ll definitely appreciate how your used tractor makes life easier for many years to come.
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