7 used tractor buying tips

10/7/2015 10:32:59 AM by

Looking to get a new tractor or want to find a solid auxiliary unit? Here are seven tips for buying a used tractor:

Overall appearance

Though looks can be deceiving, but for tractors it's typically a good indication of the overall state of the vehicle. Take a good look at the exterior of the tractor, including body and tires. Chipped paint, dents, weathering, rust and cracked or bulging tires are usually signs that its previous owner did not keep it well maintained.

For tires, specifically, it's a good idea to have a tire gauge handy to measure the depth of the tread. If it's significantly below the manufacturer's levels, then you may have to replace them sooner rather than later, which can get rather costly.

Point of articulation

Perform both a visual inspection and an actual test of the articulation point of the tractor. Make sure it's properly greased. If you find any metal shards or odd signs of wear, that usually indicates improper up keep. While running the test, turn the steering as far as possible in both directions. If it feels too tight or too loose, these could be bad signs. Also, make sure gear changes are smooth.


Most people look under the hood when the vehicle is off, but it's also recommended to do this while it is running. It's easier to thoroughly inspect the tractor when it's off, but you can better spot leaks while it's running. If you hear any noises from the engine, like knocking or scratching, it usually means there's a problem with the cylinders.


Because cabs and their components vary from tractor to tractor, you need to adjust what you're looking for accordingly. For all tractors, check for a level of cleanliness you are satisfied with. This can often be a good indicator of overall level of maintenance. While on a test run, ensure all of the components and indicators are accurate.

Power take off shaft

If you're planning on using the tractor to haul things requiring a power take off (PTO) shaft, make sure the tractor you're looking at will be able to support the power requirements of that other equipment. Beforehand, make sure to research the horsepower and PTO requirements needed for those other units. Going over is fine, but going under, even by a little, could negatively affect the efficiency and longevity of both.


Inspect the hydraulic systems for leaks, poor seals and damage to the outlets or tank. Much like with the PTO, you need to consider the type of tractor you'll be using and purchase accordingly. It's often better to purchase a tractor with a more powerful hydraulics system than what you may currently need. Doing so will allow you to expand your operations down the road with ease.

Maintenance logs

Most people will keep vehicle maintenance logs and other supporting documentation. These can be great resources to better estimate the amount of use the tractor has and how much more you can get out of it in the future.

Whenever you buy a used vehicle, concessions will be made. When maintenance arises and you need replacement parts, don't waste time and gas driving from dealer to dealer. Instead, rely on our simple digital hub where you can easily and quickly search for what you need. The online database instantaneously searches through millions of records to give you a list of sellers around the country who have the parts you need at highly competitive prices. Best of all, they can ship them straight to you!