(806) 244-4453 Fax

What To Look For When Buying Farm Tractors At Auction

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Auctions are a great way to get affordable farm equipment. However, before you commit to purchasing a tractor, you want to make sure it fills your farming needs and is in working order. The best way to determine the condition of a tractor is by checking it over at the auction: outside, inside, engine stopped and engine running. If the tractor meets your criteria, you may get a real bargain.

Make sure the tractor fills your farming needs

Before you attend an auction, consider everything you need in a tractor. Are you simply looking for a general farm tractor? Do you need more power for winter farming? How many hitches do you need? Knowing exactly what type of tractor you are in the market for will help you during the auction.

If you are considering purchasing an old or antique farm tractor, you may notice it is missing something vital: PTO. PTO, or power take-off, is a device that transfers power from the engine to an attached implement. You may want to avoid buying farm equipment from an auction that is too old to have PTO.

You will also want to consider what type of hitch you need and its uses. You may desire a tractor with a loader or other attachments. Some even have comfort features like an air-conditioned cab or stereo system. Of course, older tractors will not have many bells and whistles.

Check the outside and the inside of the farm tractor

You will need to examine the exterior completely at the auction. How do the tires look? Does the tractor have dents, cracks, or peeling paint? Avoid purchasing farm equipment from auctions that was stored outside, which can be costly to fix up and repair. New tires are not very affordable, so you want to bid on a tractor that has good tires already on it. Signs of bad tires include bulging, worn tread, and cracks. Do a visual check of the battery and check for signs of wear and tear.

Now open the cab door. How does the inside look? If it is clean, then the tractor was taken care of and probably well maintained in all aspects. A muddy farm tractor with torn mats or dirty controls is a sign of improper maintenance. You will need to take a look at the tractor’s hours of operation. Don’t be worried if you see a high number. If this farm equipment has been taken care of, it still may be worth purchasing at the auction despite a high number.

Start the engine up

One of the best ways to tell if a farm tractor is in great shape is to start it up. Does the ignition crank up easily? How does the engine sound? Leave the engine running and lift the hood to take a look. Examine the hoses, hydraulics, and fuel lines for any leaks. Make sure the engine will pass current emission tests, and check the air filter. To find out more, ask the auction house for a copy of the tractor’s maintenance log, if it’s available. This log should provide you with insight into what type of repairs and maintenance have been performed.

Check for oil leaks too. Make sure there is no smoke coming from the engine upon startup, which could be a bad sign. Move the steering wheel around to ensure it’s easy to steer the farm tractor without problems. Check the oil dipstick so you can tell if the oil has been changed recently and the previous owner kept up maintenance.

Considering purchasing a farm tractor? Contact High Plains Auctioneers and find out when our next farm auction is and what we will have up for auction. Give us a call at (806) 244-6776. You can also contact us via email with your questions or concerns.