5 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Tractor

February 16, 2015

Buying a used tractor can make sense, depending upon your situation and needs. Well-maintained used tractors provide close-to-new condition at a lesser cost for those looking to add to their fleet or make their very first equipment purchase.

John Deere Utility Tractors

Purchasing used is easy to justify, not only for yourself, but also for your business/financial partner. The most difficult part of the decision is actually selecting the right pre-owned equipment for your situation. Before buying a used tractor, consider the following:

1) Buying a Tractor is not the same as Buying a Car

Discussing tractor

When deciding on purchasing a used tractor, many people draw comparisons to the car buying process. While the two processes share some similarities, there are some fundamental differences.

For example, the typical automobile stays on the road for about 10-15 years while tractors can last indefinitely if meticulously maintained. You may not look for a 30 or 40 year old automobile, but a tractor that old just may fit within your price range and meet your needs.

2) Identify Your Needs

John Deere Tractors

Experienced used tractor buyers will already understand this, but for those looking to purchase their first tractor, it’s important to note that there are several different types to choose from on today’s market. Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to narrow down the category that best suits your particular needs. The most common types of tractors include:

  • Compact Utility Tractors – These are smaller tractors designed to be used for many everyday landscaping and grounds maintenance applications.
  • Utility Tractors – Versatile in capability, general-use utility tractors are often used for grounds maintenance, wagon pulling, and even hay production.
  • Row Crop Tractors – These tractors are more specialized in the tasks they are designed to perform. They are well-suited to work well with a variety of field-use implements and applications.
  • Articulated 4WD Tractors – Normally used in grain operations to handle tillage and seeding type work. Also often used for land leveling and dirt transportation.

Various implements and accessories are available for all types of used tractors—successfully broadening the range of versatility.

3) Consider Price Range

Determining Price

An important consideration in any major purchase is understanding and deciding on a price range. Quality pre-owned tractors are available even for the tightest budgets. By choosing a figure and standing by the decision, you’ll narrow the options even further—allowing you to focus your scrutiny on the most relevant used tractors.

4) Gather Background & Details

John Deere Dealer

Once you’ve narrowed down your list to several used tractor models that will fit both your intended use and your budget, it’s time to really dig in and do some research. You’ll want to find out all of the particulars of the models you’re looking at—everything from the tractors’ capabilities, to their history of use, and of course, what kind of maintenance and repairs were done in the past.

In an effort to simplify this process, John Deere dealers have begun implementing a Certified Pre-Owned program which employs a comprehensive inspection checklist to ensure all critical parts of the equipment perform as promised.

5) Close the Deal

Striking a Deal

Once you’ve more or less decided on a particular used tractor that you’d like to purchase, it’s always a good idea to double check how the sales transaction itself will be handled. For example, will financing with attractive terms be available for your purchase? Will transportation be provided by the seller, or will you need to arrange transport? Is an extended protection plan (warranty) available?

And, finally, the availability of parts and service on a timely basis is an important factor as well. The sales professional at your John Deere dealership can assist you with all of these questions. Wrapping up the deal is usually quite straightforward once you’ve chosen just the right tractor for your needs—most experienced sellers will be able to guide you through the process of closing the deal.

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