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Looking For A Tractor At Auction? Follow These 8 Inspection Tips!

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018
farm equipment auctions in Texas

When you attend an auction to purchase farm equipment, you probably already know which machine you need. Whether you are looking for equipment with a specific number of hydraulic outlets or a certain model, you should still conduct an inspection before the auction. This is a general guideline for you to use when attending an equipment auction so you are ready to bid on your next tractor.

Verify the overall condition of the tractor

You should always inspect the whole machine if possible, paying close attention to how the engine sounds and if there are any leaks. If there has been any lack of maintenance or neglect to the tractor, you should be able to see or hear that while it is running. Check to make sure the transmission is operating properly by driving the tractor forward and back a couple of times, if the auction house allows you.

Check the cab for wear and tear

If the tractor has been well cared for, it will show in the condition of the cab. If you notice little wear and there is no damage to the interior, you will know the previous owner probably took care of their equipment. Ensure all displays are in working order and remember to check which type of transmission the tractor uses. You should also know that the hydraulic controls are operating and look at all other accessories. Having to repair or replace these controls can become costly.

Look at the odometer and serial number

Verify the serial number on the unit to ensure its year, make, and model. It is important to know you are getting the right type of tractor for your needs and the number of hours it has on its engine. If this is a newer model tractor, you will be able to find the driveline hours also.

Check the tractor’s engine

Lift the hood after you’ve started the tractor and let it run for a bit. Check for any signs of leaks from the hoses or hydraulics or for any cracks in the fuel or coolant lines. One useful method to listen for knocks or scratching sounds is to hold a screwdriver to the engine block. This test will tell you if any unusual sounds are coming from the cylinders. Once you’ve turned the engine off, check the air filter to see if it’s been changed regularly. A clean air filter will be another sign the previous owner took good care of the tractor.

Check the PTO shaft

Check to make sure the machine has a functioning PTO shaft. You will need to know if it has the right specifications for the attachments you’ll be using with the tractor. Turn the shaft on while the tractor is running and look for a smooth rotating movement. Make sure there are no unusual knocks from the running output shaft, as this could indicate the need for costly repairs.

Inspect the tires or tracks

Be sure to inspect the tires or track on the tractor. Look for the make, quality of tread, and size along with the rims to ensure there are no cracks or deficiencies. With a track tractor, you will want to check for tears and ensure the depth of the tread, and look at the rollers to for excessive wear.

Check the articulation point

The articulation point should be well greased. Check this both visually and operationally for any metal shards, as this will tell you if there has been a lack of proper maintenance. If you feel a knock while reversing the tractor or moving it forward, this is a sign of a transmission slip. While driving the machine, check the steering capabilities for any looseness that would indicate the main pin is damaged.

Ask for all supporting documentation

Not all sellers will be able to provide you with documentation regarding maintenance or operations. However, you should still ask the auction house if documentation has been submitted. Maintenance logs, work orders, and inspection lists are very useful to you in knowing what has been repaired on the machine.

To learn more about how to Bid or Sell farm equipment at auction, contact the experts at High Plains Auctioneers today. You can call us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by email to find out more about what we can do for you. Don’t forget to check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we currently have available!