Before you go out and spend your hard earned money on a tractor (or anything else for that matter) remember, to sit down and thing about what equipment you actually need. Once you have that figured out, make sure you know your preferred brand, specs, attachment and horsepower requirements before you start shopping.
Buying an older tractor rather than a new one doesn’t mean you have to be a mechanic but you do need to be aware. One of the first things you should look for is a used tractor with a good hydraulic system that works well. Often referred to as a 3 Point Hitch, this is the three arms extending from the back of the tractor. They lift and hold whatever attachments you use with the tractor. These attachments might be a tiller, snow blower, blade, mower, etc.
The age of a used tractor is not easy to determine. The way to determine the age of the tractor is to find the serial number. You can look it up on the Internet to find information. A good website to find information is Yesterday’s Tractor Registry. Buying a used tractor at an auction or dealer is a good place to start looking for one. Depending on where you live, you may also have a decent sized selection in online classifieds such as Craigslist or Kijii.
Many used tractor have metal foot pedals. They often have a grid or thread that show some type of wear. This is just one factor to determine age but looking at the overall condition of the tractor is a way to determine if it is s good, very good, fair or in passable condition.
Don’t buy a used tractor that leaks oil or has wobbly steering and bad braking unless you are prepared to do a lot of work. This is sign that too much time and money may be needed to repair it. Sometimes a seller will repaint a used tractor to make it look newer. Look beyond the paint job to how it works mechanically.
When you buy a used tractor if you have to replace tires this can cost between $400 to 800 to replace. Look carefully at the tires look for deep cuts and cracks from weather. In fact, its not a bad strategy to include the cost of replacing the tires as part of your budget when you buy a used tractor.
Find a used tractor that is easy to start in the cold weather. Buy from reputable dealers and auction houses so you get a good product.
When you want to buy a new tractor think of the amount of horsepower you will need, weight, size and lift capacity and front loader. You will need to think about four wheel drive and different type of transmission. A new tractor requires less work and upkeep than a used one but it will cost a whole lot more. It all depends on your budget and the amount of money and time you want to invest in repairs and maintenance.