How to Buy a Used Tractor? Best 2023 Used Tractor Buying Guide!

Are you in the market for a used tractor? Whether you’re an experienced agricultural worker or are just starting, buying a good-quality used tractor is no easy task. But not to worry!

We’ve gathered all the information to make informed decisions when determining what type of tractor best suits your purposes.

Read on as we discuss some top tips and tricks to help guide you through every step of finding the perfect used tractor.

Take away key points:

  • A second-hand tractor might be as good as the new model but on sale
  • You need to consider multiple factors in advance and arrange a test drive to see how it works in general. Check the tires, brakes, engine, PTO, oil, and other parts before the final sale to eliminate further leaking, air filter issues, poor seals, and similar issues
  • Refer to our guidelines to avoid poor performance, so as not to spend your hard-earned money in vain

Looking for the best-used farm tractor? We’re here!

If you need a complete used tractor search to fit your needs, you’re at the right place! We have gathered all the important information for you, so you can make the best decision once you conduct a thorough inspection of the used tractors.

Let’s start.

Are used tractors good for purchase?

should i buy a used tractor

Buying a used tractor is a great way to save money and get the equipment you need for your farm or property. However, there are some important factors to consider before making a purchase.

First, you’ll want to make sure the tractor is in good condition. Conduct a visual inspection and check for any visible signs of wear and tear, such as rust or dents. Make sure all the parts are functioning properly and that it has been serviced regularly. You may also want to ask for proof of service records from the previous owner.

Second, consider what type of tractor you need. Different types of tractors have different uses and features, so it’s important to find one that fits your needs. For example, if you plan on using your tractor for plowing or hauling heavy loads, you’ll need larger tractors and more powerful models. If you’re just mowing lawns or doing light work around the yard.

Finally, research different models and brands before making a decision. Read reviews online and talk to other farmers who have purchased well-maintained used tractors in the past. This will help ensure that you get the best value for your money and choose a reliable machine that will last for years to come without expensive repairs.

Overall, used tractors can be an excellent choice if you take the time to do your research and find one that meets your needs. With proper maintenance and care, they can provide many years of reliable service at an affordable price and in good shape.

Best tips to choose the right used tractors for your needs

If you’re not sure how to buy used tractors, and whether they will be reliable for your needs, here are some things to consider and questions to ask.

They include:

What work will the tractor do?

what to check when buying a used tractor

When buying tractors, the first step is to determine what type of work you need them to do. Consider what size of the tractor is best and which attachments and accessories may be necessary.

Start your search online by looking at listing photos and asking questions of sellers. However, it’s important to always view the tractor in person before buying it to get a better sense of its condition.

What horsepower do you need for operations?

Tractors are usually divided by their horsepower rating.

Subcompacts come in at 20-30 horsepower and are great for property management tasks.

Compact tractors range from 25-60 horsepower,

Utility tractors feature 40-70 horsepower for medium to large farming or construction jobs.

It’s always a good idea to get more power than you need and various tasks. Investing a bit extra in the right size can make sure your tractor can handle any task with ease.

Is the used tractor certified and pre-owned?

When looking for a used tractor, you may find certified pre-owned tractors offered by dealerships. These have been thoroughly inspected and are guaranteed to be in working order.

They often come with warranties or service guarantees and usually have fewer working hours than their non-certified counterparts. Therefore, a certified pre-owned tractor might be an ideal choice for agricultural operations.

How many working hours has it been used?

It’s important to check the hours on a used tractor before purchasing. Are the hours low or high?

A lower number of hours may indicate that the tractor has had less use and will thus last longer. High readings of 35,000 up to 45,000 miles may mean that the tractor is nearing the end of its life and may not necessarily be worth investing in.

Does the used tractor have a maintenance history?

It’s important to look at the maintenance logs for a used tractor, as well as its storage history. Has it been inside or outside?

Look for signs of rust, weathering, cuts, and cracking on the exterior. Check for leaks underneath, and ask about any minor or major repairs that have been done.

Additionally, ask the seller if the tractor has had any history of downtime and request photos to document any repairs. Doing your due diligence when purchasing a used tractor can help you avoid potential issues down the road.

What tractor transmission do you need?

Standard mechanical transmissions on older tractors allow for more driver control but can be prone to breakdowns as the tractor ages. Hydrostatic transmissions are easier to use, but at higher levels of horsepower may not be as effective.

A hydraulic transmission type is designed to give consistent power with each compression and is a dependable choice for maintaining steady performance.

What attachments can you add to the chosen tractor?

Before you buy a used tractor, make sure it can handle the necessary attachments and equipment for your farm.

Consider researching online through sites such as Fastline to learn about planters, mowers, balers, and other compatible add-ons for your new acquisition.

Power take-off system

Pay close attention to the PTO horsepower rating of the tractors for sale too. This will indicate which type of equipment they can effectively operate in the field.

If you’re working with a dealer, let them know what you intend to use your tractor for so they can recommend the right model as well as any applicable attachments.

What’s the overall tractor performance and state?

When buying a used tractor, it’s important to take it for a test drive. Check that it is stable and easy to get on and off of, that your cab includes all necessary equipment, and that you can perform steering left and right easily. If the cab includes the guidance system, inspect receivers, displays, and other electronic components to ensure they are in working order.

Check the hydraulic lines, metal shards, tractor’s engine, rear axle, and other units to check for some knocking or scratching sounds. Also, inspect other parts of hydraulics as well, for any signs of cracking, and make sure that the headlights and dash lights are functioning correctly.

Additionally, look at the rollover protection structure, seat belt, and safety switches to ensure they are in proper condition. The engine should start immediately with no rough idle or excessive exhaust tractor smoke.

Pay special attention to how smoothly the steering, brakes, hydraulic lift, clutch, and power take-off function. Doing so can help you mitigate issues down the road and have peace of mind when using your tractor.

Of course, don’t forget the articulation point as the major moving part of the tractor. The articulation point should always be greased, and you should avoid costly repairs and keep your hydraulics generally optimal.

what to look for when buying a used tractor

Do you know the seller?

When buying a used tractor, it’s important to do some research into the source. Check online reviews and see if there is any word-of-mouth information about the seller. If you’re purchasing from private sellers, talk to people who have potentially dealt with them before.

When speaking to the seller, be sure to ask specific questions regarding maintenance history, how the tractor has been used, and any expected downtime that could result. Also, check for extra safety features (ROPS) and similar standards to ensure the maximum safety features when using it later.

Also, inquire about warranties and whether or not a dealership has examined the tractor. Get all paperwork regarding warranties in writing so that you can ensure they transfer over when ownership changes hands.

Are tractor parts available or not?

Before investing in an older tractor, it’s worth researching its availability for parts. With antique tractors, the cost and difficulty of finding suitable replacements may be quite high.

For this reason, a little bit of research beforehand could save you thousands in repair or machining costs down the line and a fair deal when buying replacement parts.

Where can you find a used farm tractor?

If you’re looking for a used tractor, dealers may carry a selection of pre-owned models. But, it’s important to keep in mind that these are usually priced high and often come without a warranty.

They may also have sales associates on hand to help you find the best type of tractor for your needs, and they can help arrange service if necessary. Other sources include local farmers who may be looking to upgrade their equipment.

You can also check websites like Fastline and other online classifieds like, with thousands of listings online, farm auctions, and, auction houses, and estate sales. Whichever option you choose, do your research and take steps to protect yourself before any purchase is made.

Utilizing new and used tractors: What’s the better option and why?

Tractors are an essential part of any farming operation, and the decision between a new or older tractor can be difficult.

New tractors offer the latest technology and features, such as more efficient engines, advanced safety systems, and improved ergonomics.

However, older tractors may have lower purchase prices and can provide reliable service for many years with proper maintenance. When considering which option is best for you, it’s important to consider your budget, the size of your operation, and the type of work you need to do.

If you have a large farm or need to perform heavy-duty tasks like plowing or tilling, a new tractor may be the better choice due to its increased power and durability. On the other hand, if you have a smaller operation or only need to perform light-duty tasks like mowing or land clearing, an older tractor may be sufficient.

No matter which option you choose, you must take proper care of your tractor to ensure that it runs smoothly and safely.

Regular maintenance should include checking oil levels, inspecting hoses and belts for wear and tear, cleaning air filters regularly, and changing fluids as needed. Improper maintenance will lead to excessive wear, engine block, and damaged equipment and cause a higher cost or extra repairs.


What is the best time of year to buy a used tractor?

The best time of year to buy is typically in the fall. This is because many farmers are done with their harvest and will be looking to upgrade or replace their existing tractors.

Additionally, many dealers will have sales during this time of year as they look to clear out their inventory before the start of the new season.

What is a good price for a used tractor?

what to ask when buying a used tractor

Used tractors range from $3,000 for the smallest under 40 hp tractors to $75,000 and more for a tractor between 100-174 hp. Compact and small tractors with up to 40 hp sell for anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000.

How many hours on a used tractor is good?

When buying a used tractor you should look for one with fewer than 5,000 hours on it to get the most out of your purchase. The tractor engine should still work after 5,000 to 10,000 hours of use.

This is considered a good amount of hours for a tractor and with proper maintenance and care, it can last even longer. Smaller tractors with diesel engines may be able to last up to 3,000 hours before needing an engine rebuild.

How to price a used tractor?

The most efficient way is by attending farm machinery auctions. You can also consult a used tractor value calculator to get a ballpark figure and base your pricing decisions around that.

You can go to the manufacturer’s website of your tractor and use their dealer locator to identify the closest dealer to you. Contact your dealer and ask them for an estimate on what they think it would be worth in its current condition.

Larger models with engines that have 100 hp or more will generally cost more than smaller ones with less power.


Do your research before buying a used tractor. You need to evaluate the tractor for performance and safety, as well as understand how it fits into your budget. By evaluating all factors, you can rest assured you will get a great piece of machinery.

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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

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