Even before they step out of their farms to purchase equipment such as tractors, farmers already know what they are looking for. Most of them not only have an idea of the specifications they want but also of the make and model. This is why a farmer will have to be focused and deliberate questions when they arrive at an auction. You need to understand the general condition of the piece of equipment before you – here are some tips on what to look at;
Outward appearance of the used tractor
Some tractors look new even though they have been in use for a long time. This is a clear indication that the previous owners took good care of them. The conditions under which a tractor was used plus how it was stored are key factors of how fast it will wear down. Do you notice peeled paint, dents or odd-looking tires on a tractor? If you are still interested in buying it in such a state, find out how much it would cost to restore it to good shape to establish if you are getting into a good bargain.
The condition of the articulation point
As a general rule, the articulation point should stay greased. Failure to keep it that way results into wear and will affect the performance of the tractor. To check that this part of the equipment is in good condition, conduct a visual check. All is well if the part is greased and free from metal shards. Next, you need to carry out an operational inspection; by moving the tractor back and forth. Did you feel a knock during movement? You could be dealing with a transmission slip issue.
The next test you need to perform is moving the tractor to the right and then left. As you handle the steering wheel, look out for signs of looseness or involuntary wandering. Any of these occurrences could be an indication of a bent or damaged pin. You should be concerned if the steering wheel feels too tight because this might mean that the pins are too dry or the hydraulic cylinders have been damaged.
The most important aspect of any type of machinery is that it roars to life when fired. This is the first indication that the engine is in good working condition. After turning on the tractor ignition, allow it to run for a few minutes then check if there is any form of leakage. Are leakages likely to happen after a few uses? You will know this from the condition of the hydraulic, coolant and fuel lines. Pay attention to any cracks and signs of wear.
Even though the engine still runs, match the emitted horsepower with what has been stipulated on the engine plate.
Further engine performance is determined by listening to any sounds that come from the cylinders; a mechanic’s stethoscope is the ideal tool for this exercise but some people use screwdrivers.
The final check of the engine should be on the air filter which should be done after the tractor has been switched off. Every manufacturer offers recommendation of how frequently air filters should be replaced. You will know if these have been followed from the appearance – at the very least, they should appear clean.
Inside the cab
The inspection of the cab begins right after you open the door. If there is mud or dirt, the tractor might have not been properly maintained by its previous owner. While the mileage or engine hours might not be a true indication of the condition of the tractor, the numbers will give you an indication of what to expect. For tractors that come fitted with a guidance system from the manufacturer, check that the electronic components still work properly.
The Power Take-Off shaft is a standard component in all items that are operated mechanically. The first thing you need to check here is that the PTO on the tractor bears the specifications for the attachments you are looking to use with it. In instances where you do not find a perfect match, a tractor with more of the PTO power specification, horsepower, etc. versus what is needed and preferred. This ensures fuel economy and accommodation of larger attachments as farm operations expand.
Apart from the specifications, it is important to check for smooth rotation when the engine is running. Any knocking or odd sounds could mean a potentially expensive replacement exercise. Keep in mind that repairing the PTO requires detachment of the rear end of the tractor.
Maintenance records and supporting documentation
Has the tractor inspection so far been impressive? It is now time to ask for the maintenance log and any documentation that supports it. These records are important in establishing when and which repairs have been performed on a tractor. Do not forget to ask the seller for list of attachments used on a tractor.
Have you already made up your mind on the type of tractor you want to buy? There are plenty of posts on used tractors for sale on Tradus so you are not likely to get confused. Tradus is the online platform you need to be on if you are interested in a good bargain. Hosting buyers and sellers in Europe and beyond, this marketplace ensures that you have a wide selection of high quality used tractors to choose from. You do not have to worry about being conned on this site because Tradus vets all sellers to establish that they are honest and legitimate. If you did not immediately get what you were looking for, signing up for alerts ensures that you do not miss the chance to do so. Do you prefer to use the Tradus app instead? It is available on both Google Playstore and Apple Appstore.