Inspecting a used tractor: Tips before making a purchase

used tractor

When a farmer sets out to buy a tractor to use on their farm, they know exactly what they are looking for. Some not only know the make and model of the tractor they want to purchase but also the specific attached they need it to have. If you are on a mission to search for the best tractor for your farm, use the following tips to land the best options according to your needs;

General outward appearance

Look at the tires, body and form an opinion based on how it looks on the outward. If the paint is peeling in some places and there are dents or cracks on the body; this is an indication that it was stored in place where the elements ate it. The tires need to be well treaded – replacing tires alone can cost you up to $30,000. Want to know how much time is left of the tires? Measure the tread depth and match to new tread depth of the same make of tires and manufacturer.

Point of articulation

The point of articulation is the main moving component of the tractor and it must be greased at all times. If there are metal shards visible, it means that the previous owner did not conduct proper maintenance hence the level of wear.

Operational inspection involves firing up the engine and driving the tractor. Be on the lookout for knocks when moving back and forth – a knock indicates transmission slip. What happens when you turn the steering wheel to the right or left? A loose or wandering steering wheel could be an indication of damage or bent pin. If the steering wheel feels too tight, it could mean that the pins require greasing or the hydraulic cylinders are damaged.

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Engine compartment

You need to inspect the engine while it is running so start it up, open the hood and watch. There should be no form of leakage from the hydraulics or pipes. The engine plate will reveal the engine horsepower – compare this against jurisdiction regulations/standards.

If you have a mechanics stethoscope, listen for scratching or knocking when held against the engine block. Some buyers use screwdrivers for this same task and it works. Switch off the engine and remove the air filter. This engine and in cab component should actually be replaced every 100-200 hours and 300-400 hours respectively. The air filter should never look dirty if the manufacturer’s replacement recommendations have been followed.

The cab

A look inside the cab will reveal how well it has been maintained over time. The fact that used tractors are used in muddy and dusty areas is no excuse for having a dirty cab. You are lucky if the van or truck you are inspecting has a guidance system; it simplifies the process of checking the receivers, displays, and electronic components.

PTO (Power Take-Off) shaft

All equipment with a mechanical drive like manure spreaders, augers and grain carts must have a functional PTO shaft. It is important to ensure that the specifications for the attachments you need match the ones on the PTO. A tractor that has a higher horsepower or PTO specification compared to what is actually needed performs better in terms of fuel economy and efficiency.

To check the working of the PTO, start the engine and listen; odd noise could be an indication of damage. Repairing the PTO is costly and often involves complex mechanical steps.

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Hydraulic power

When checking the hydraulics, poor seals and leaks are red flags. The types of attachments to be used will determine whether the present lines and outlets are sufficient.

Maintenance log and supporting documentation

The merchant who is selling the van or truck you intend to purchase must be willing and able to supply its inspection lists, work orders and maintenance logs. These and other supporting documents for the particular vehicle are an insight into the nature and frequency of repairs. More information on the application can be obtained from the previous owners; some allows sellers to share their contact with potential buyers so it is a good idea to ask.

When you are ready to buy your van or truck, go to Tradus. A global marketplace where both buyers and sellers go to find each other, the platform hosts not only second-hand commercial vehicles but equipment too. The platform allows buyers to view and compare vehicles and equipment drawn from different parts of the world. It is one thing to find the piece of equipment that fits your specific need but yet another to get it at a favorable price; both these tasks are made easy on Tradus. As a seller, the extensive exposure on a global platform will not only accelerate sales but it will also expose what you are selling to people who are deliberate about what they are looking for. To publish any inventory on the site, sellers simply need to contact the platform support.