New tractors are expensive and we are talking tens of thousands here with many models, so if you are new to tractors and are a beginner buying a machine for the very first time, a used tractor for sale is likely to be your best bet.
For beginners, it can all be a bit daunting, so here are some quick and simple questions you can ask yourself to help you to make the difficult decision of choosing which used tractor to buy that little bit easier.
What will be using the tractor for?
The obvious question, but it's a crucial one. For example, ploughing a field and mowing an acre of long grass may seem to be very similar activities, but a lot depends on length of grass, soil type, etc. A little differences can actually mean a lot.
What terrain will I be using?
The more specific you can be the better. For example, clay soil or steep land will need more power and a machine with a higher horsepower to cope with the demands of the work. The actual distance covered might not be much, but more difficult conditions require different specifications of tractor.
What machinery will the tractor be powering?
If you're a beginner, it's usually best to purchase the tractor first and then to consider buying the implements you might need according to the tractor's power. But you need to think of being able to use implements in the future. Therefore, you need a tractor with a hydraulic hook-up and PTO (Power take-off) is really a must. 540 RPM suits most needs.
Live hydraulics are particularly handy for use with a loader. Hitches can be fitted after purchase, but a three-point hitch is the best and look out for models that already have them (most do).
What brand or model should I buy?
Our brand guides give some useful info about specific manufacturers and will help you to choose wisely according to your individual needs. Older tractors should certainly not be ignored - tractors can give many, many years of sound and reliable work. However, if a brand or model of tractor has been discontinued, it may be more difficult to pick up parts in the future.
What should I look for in the condition of a tractor?
A used tractor that needs immediate work should only be considered if you are confident that you can do the necessary repairs and/or you are comfortable with the cost incurred. Some things to look out for include whether the clutch seems to slip and whether the frame has evidence of welding repair work.
Other things to consider are whether there seems to be an excessive amount of smoke coming from the engine, if it appears particularly noisy or if there are signs of any leaks.
These types of issues might not be anything sinister, but they are often indicators of costly repairs being on the horizon, so proceed with caution.