Talking About Agricultural Practices

Three Tips For Buying Used Farm Equipment

If you need a big piece of farm equipment, you can often save thousands of dollars by buying used. There are perfectly serviceable combines, harvesters, and tractors out there that are no longer used and being sold by their original owners. However, since used farm equipment does not come with a warranty, you need to be careful what you buy. Here are three tips to ensure you get functional equipment at a fair price.

1. Venture outside the farm auctions.

Farm auctions are a common place to buy used farm equipment, but since so many people are at the auction looking, prices tend to climb up. You can often get a better deal if you look elsewhere for used equipment. Search online auction sites, classified ads, and even newspapers in your area. You can even drive down the road in a farming community to see if you spot any equipment out to the road with a sign on it. In these alternative situations, sellers have to work harder to find a buyer, so they are often happy to accept a lower price.

2. Consider buying off-season.

If you do not urgently need the equipment, consider waiting until the fall to shop around. Fewer people are looking for equipment in the fall, so you may find more available -- and often at a higher price. Plus, when you shop in the fall, the farm selling the equipment often will have just used it that previous season. You can ask how the equipment worked that season, whether any repairs need to be made, and so forth. If you wait until spring to buy, the equipment will have sat through the winter, and the farmers' experiences with the equipment won't be so fresh in their minds.

3. Try it out as best you can.

It's not always possible to try equipment out before buying it. For instance, if you buy a harvester in the fall when there's no corn to be seen, you can't exactly watch it harvest before making the purchase. Do, however, make sure that the seller turns on the equipment and lets you observe the motor running before you buy it. If you notice anything is not running quite right, don't automatically walk away from the sale. Have a mechanic look at it and give you a quote for the repair. See if the seller will knock the cost of repairs off the sale price.

Buying used farm equipment can save you a fortune, but you do need to be wary of the tips above and pay attention. To learn more, visit