A used tractor is a fantastic way to cut down on the cost of equipment you need to run your agricultural operation, but buying used comes with a few obstacles, including questionable sellers, iffy condition, and a huge selection to choose from. It can be a bit overwhelming. That's where your friends at Everglades Equipment Group come in. We know buying a tractor is a big deal, whether you're going new or used. That tractor needs to be a reliable powerhouse capable of working when you do. In that spirit we've put together this short guide with some tips to help you buy a used tractor.
Buying a used tractor is going to be less about finding the right listing and more about finding the right dealer. There are certainly tempting internet ads, but having a dealer you can trust to do fair business is the best thing you can do to ensure your tractor will be up to snuff, and it will put you in a good position either for future purchases or else a local name to trust with repairs and service.
Start by finding out who sells the equipment you want and from there check their online reviews and credentials. Hopefully they're a certified provider of the manufacturer you're after, and at the very least they should have all the information you ask for, including proof of ownership, maintenance and service records, and clear history of title. Shy away from dealers who make excuses or tell you how those items aren't important. Stick with a dealer who is upfront about their stock for sale!
If you want the best used tractor you can get, you'll need to perform an in-person inspection to make sure everything is in working order. Perhaps you're not a tractor expert yourself. That's fine. Just make sure to bring along someone who does know a thing or two about farm equipment. If you do end up looking at online inventory, give more weight to listings with tons of pictures and informative details. In either case don't hesitate to ask questions! If a dealer doesn't have an answer for an important question, then don't buy their tractor. It's not impolite to ask for records or other information you might want to see, so don't hold back.
There are a couple of components to pay special attention to when inspecting a used tractor. Cab and tire wear should match up with operation hours. Low hours show little wear on things like foot pedals, carpet, and mats, and the age and condition of tires should reflect this as well. The same goes for tire tread. Open up the tractor for a peek inside; look for leaks, damage to or around the battery, and the general condition of the engine, including engine oil and coolant. Also check the 4WD swivel pin for wear. You'll also want to give the tractor a test drive. Once you have it turned on, check the steering and feel for any operating inconsistencies.
After you figure whether or not a used tractor is in suitable condition, you'll want to do a background check to make sure nothing is hiding in its past. This will ensure the tractor won't fall apart on the job or come from a questionable line of trades. When buying from a dealer, ask if the tractor is owned by them or if it's under a lien. You can also check ownership against the serial number or VIN. Run those through a private service to find out its history and whether it's been reported stolen. Buying equipment that doesn't have a clear title or has a lien against it may forfeit ownership to another institution, so it is extremely important to verify ownership!
The process of buying a used tractor doesn't have to be an overwhelming onslaught of worry. Just be sure to take your time when searching for what you want, compare options, and get the information you need from the seller so you can confidently make a purchase. For those after more tips, or if you're just interested in taking a look at our stock of new and used tractors, head into Everglades Equipment Group. We have locations throughout Florida, including West Palm Beach and Clearwater. Head in today and let our team of courteous salespeople answer all your questions and help you find what you're looking for.