You do not need to be an expert to buy a used garden tractor; you just need to due some research and use common sense. I hope my input will help you see through the jargon and make a better decision.
Buy A Used Garden Tractor will save you money –
Buying an old tractor is just like buying an old car, you must shop around because there are deals to be found. Just make sure you have a list of features in mind, here are a couple I suggest:
Know the capacity of your garden tractor. Know what tasks your tractor is going to do for you. You of course know the size of your garden and the work you will have to do with your garden tractor.
Pay special attention to the horsepower and the cutting width of garden tractors in your price range. Believe it or not, prices can vary hundreds of dollars for 1/2 a horsepower and 2 inches of cutting area.
Think of the attachments that you would like to have with your garden tractor. Snow thrower, rototillers etc are powered through Power take off (PTO). Go through the details of the available attachments for the models you are looking at. These will vary wildly. Usually you will get an idea of power requirements and features from the brand website and your local hardware store. This should help you further in determining the model that will meet your needs.
Once you have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 choices, it is time to pick your budget. Tractor prices are all across the board. Hopefully you will be able to pick a price range based on the features you want. That’s why choosing the right features first is so crucial.
Firm up our budget. Now that you know what features you like, pick your low and high price ranges. The minimum and the maximum you require to spend on old tractor can vary from $1000 to $3,000. This number is just an example. It doesn’t need to be an exact amount, just have a range with some flexibility.
Start looking around and never buy the first –
After you have firmed up your requirement, zeroed on a particular model of garden tractor and found out the other equivalents in the market, it is time to start looking around.
The speed with which the used tractors are sold in old tractor market is not the same as you see in the car market. Cars are bought and sold every hour, in fact a lot don’t even make it to the car lot before being purchased. Tractors are not the same. You have time to find a few that you like, and not be rushed to purchase. In fact, if you are being pressured to buy a tractor, I would walk away and not look back. Take the time to find a good deal, after all, this is a major financial decision for a lot of people.
Once you have it narrowed down price-wise, you can now start looking for minor differences that could sway the sell.
Inspection makes all the difference –
Engine Condition is a huge influence. Ask the seller to start the engine and let you test drive the unit. Since you drive you car or tractor day in and day out, you will know if there is any problem in power transmission. Check the maintenance record of tractor. This will give you the idea of the conditions in which you are buying the tractor
Body Condition while cosmetic, can indicate future problems. Examine the body of the tractor that you intend to buy. The dings, nicks will be evident on close examination of body.Make sure you look for rust on the visible areas of the fenders and hood. If you see any there it could indicate rust in the undercarriage. Heavy rust could lead to major repair work if not treated immediately.
Check the operation of attachments that are with the unit. Insist on checking the attachments in working condition. Get a cold demonstration of attachments.
Have this check all on the units you intend to buy and select your choice of model. I suggest taking a notebook with you to make notes. I don’t care how great your memory is, you will forget some things.
Haggle, Bargain, Bring The Price Down –
The price that the dealer is quoting is not like the sticker price on a new vehicle. Usually there is a margin for reduction in price. When you are discussing the price, try to figure out why owner is selling the tractor. This will give you a better idea of the margin that the seller has on the equipment. Point out what you may have to spend on bringing the tractor to its original condition. This will also help in bringing the price down.
Good luck with your tractor hunt. Always remember to take your time and be happy with your choice.