Tractor Purchase Guide

Inspection Tips While Buying a Used Farm Tractor

1. PTO (Power Take-Off) shaft
Ensure that the PTO has the proper specification for the attachments you will need to run. When it comes to horsepower, PTO power specification, etc, it is better to buy a tractor that has more of what you need. Keep in mind that repairs to the PTO can be costly as the tractor's rear end.

2. Tires, Body and Overall Appearance:
To get a good idea of how much life is left in the tires, use a tire gauge to measure the tread depth left on the tires and compare to the tread depth measurement on the website of the tire manufacturer. Signs that shows a tractor was stored outside and perhaps even abused are the peeling paint, dents or even weathered, cracked or bulging tires.

3. Hydraulic power
When inspecting hydraulics, check for poor seals and leaks, possible signs that damage to the outlets or hydraulic tank may exist. Ensure the tractor has the proper number of outlets and lines for what you need to run.

4. Articulation point
Metal shards are signs of wear and most likely a result of improper maintenance. Start up the tractor and drive it back and forth for the operational inspection, a transmission slip could be the culprit, if you feel a knock when moving. Tight or difficult steering shows that the pins need to be greased.

5. Engine Compartment
Though a mechanic's stethoscope we have seen some buyers use a screwdriver, and hold it up to the engine block and listen for any knocking or scratching sounds coming from the engine cylinders. The air filter should not appear dirty if it regularly replaced every 100-200 hours.

6. Cab
Guidance systems in cab can be costly to replace or repair. Check that all displays, receivers and other electronic components are in working order.