If you are looking One of the greatest financial outlays for farmers is that of equipment purchasing. The cost of new machinery can be staggering, and it can be challenging to successfully amortize the purchase with production profits both rising and falling over time. It makes sense, then to consider buying used, where depreciation can reduce the selling price of a tractor or trailer by over 50%. How do you know you are getting the best farm machinery for the price when buying used?
Firs,t outline your needs in detail so that you are certain that your purchase will meet them. If you are looking to purchase a trailer for hopper bottom jobs, for example, you need to ask yourself questions related to your tasks: Does it have the capacity for the grains you want to move. Will it be too heavy for your truck to tow? Does it sport appropriate ground clearance for your swing hopper?
Once you are sure the equipment is a fit, you must be confident it will last. Your first impression is important; if you see a faded or rusting tractor instead of a clean, shiny machine, walk away. Ask to see maintenance records or a timetable of when service was performed. If you are not mechanically inclined, pay a local technician to join you in the inspection, or bring a friend for a second opinion.
If you are investigating a piece of farm equipment with an engine, start it up and drive it, checking for wear. Your partner should look for excessive smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. Pay attention to strange sounds and any hard-driving features, such as gears that grind excessively or steering with too much play.
Used farm equipment that does not meet your needs or is in poor condition will never provide value. You would be better off buying new to get the features you want and guaranteed reliability. However, if you do not compromise, and you process your inspection with care, you can find a used machine that will work for you.