Top tips on how to bag a bar­gain model

10 ES­SEN­TIAL ME­CHAN­I­CAL CHECKS

Irish Independent - Farming - - MACHINERY - Does the en­gine start eas­ily from cold? Lis­ten to the en­gine. Does it run smoothly? Look for any ex­cess blue or black smoke. There should be good bite on the clutch with­out slip­page. Take it for a drive to run through the gears and test shut­tles. Check al

SOME OF the con­sid­er­a­tions farm­ers need to make be­fore de­cid­ing to pur­chase a sec­ond-hand trac­tor are: ÷ 1. where will you buy from — fran­chised dealer, pri­vate seller, UK ver­sus Ire­land? ÷ 2. de­cide on and stick to your bud­get; ÷ 3. what work will the trac­tor be tasked with? ÷4. what are the ba­sic me­chan­i­cal checks to look out for?

For many, the first ques­tion of where to buy from will pose the big­gest dilemma.

There are pros and cons to each op­tion. Well known and rep­utable trac­tor deal­ers will be more ex­pen­sive, but the flip side is they tend to have the best af­ter-sales sup­port and usu­ally of­fer some form of war­ranty.

Even on sec­ond-hand trac­tors worth less than €20,000, the more rep­utable deal­ers will of­fer up to six months war­ranty. That peace of mind in know­ing there is some come­back, even when buy­ing a used trac­tor, is price­less.

Some buy­ers are in­clined to take more risk in a bid to pay less.

For such farm­ers, buy­ing pri­vately or look­ing across the wa­ter is often an at­trac­tive op­tion, but the old mantra ‘buyer be­ware’ is rel­e­vant here.

Pri­vate or dis­tant sellers will be a mixed bag — some will be gen­uine and of­fer­ing good ma­chines; oth­ers will be try­ing to off­load a prob­lem­atic trac­tor and, of course, turn a profit in do­ing so. Re­mem­ber, they don’t have to face you again should the prover­bial hit the fan.

The answers to ques­tion three will come from sit­ting down and mak­ing a list of the jobs the trac­tor will be charged with do­ing.

A trac­tor used for just spread­ing fer­tiliser and some light loader and trans­port work can re­al­is­ti­cally be a smaller pow­ered and cheaper op­tion.

But if you plan on do­ing more power-hun­gry jobs like win­ter feed­ing, spread­ing slurry, haul­ing bales and mow­ing silage, it is bet­ter to look for more power and a four-wheel drive unit.

All of the usual spec­i­fi­ca­tion de­tails are im­por­tant and, if not of­fered on view­ing, you should ask the seller for in­for­ma­tion on the trac­tor’s gear­box type, hy­draulic out­put, lift ca­pac­ity and cab spec.

Don’t just take the in­for­ma­tion for gospel — go and do your own re­search on sim­i­lar mod­els and cross check with what you see on your po­ten­tial pur­chase. Over the years, we have all heard of tales of farm­ers be­ing found in pos­ses­sion of stolen goods af­ter money has changed hands. There is no come­back, so en­sure you check out own­er­ship and fi­nance-owed po­si­tion be­fore let­ting money change hands.

If you are sus­pi­cious about a seller, sim­ply go with your gut feel­ing and walk away. It goes with­out say­ing you should en­sure you are in pos­ses­sion of the new regis­tra­tion cert and own­er­ship trans­fer­ral pro­ce­dures have been fol­lowed cor­rectly.

Bring­ing some­one with a ba­sic me­chan­i­cal knowl­edge along to view the trac­tor and check­ing some ba­sics is al­ways worth­while. Re­mem­ber, if it means throw­ing them a few euro, it can be money well spent be­cause it fac­tors in some peace of mind. If you can’t find any­one to come along, know some of the ba­sic boxes that need to be ticked from a me­chan­i­cal point of view.

The con­di­tion of the cab often tells its own tale about a trac­tor’s con­di­tion

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