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What tips are there for buying farm equipment?

When selecting farm equipment you need to decide whether to buy something new, or buy something pre-loved. Both alternatives come with pros and cons, but these are some guidelines to consider…

1. Focus on the features
  • Make sure the equipment offers the features you need
  • Understand what the most important feature is to you and make sure you get it

2. Check the specifications
  • Do your research on the internet to find out what the typical specs of equipment may be
  • Do consider buying equipment with popular specs that you may not need. This makes the equipment more saleable in the future.
  • Make sure the equipment you buy has sufficient power for your needs

3. Know what similar assets are selling for
  • Research what similar equipment is selling for so you don’t pay too much
  • Check asking prices and compare against auction results
  • If buying at auction, determine your limit and stick to it

4. Research competitive brands
  • Don’t stick to just one brand. No one manufacturer is a centre of excellence for every type of equipment
  • Consider dealer support locations
  • Consider your level of use. Cheaper brands may be sufficient if your use will only be light

5. Assess condition
  • Condition has a major effect on value so check carefully
  • Electronics must not be obsolete or unserviceable locally

6. Check for attachments
  • Attachments are what make most pieces of equipment more versatile
  • Make sure you can obtain attachments for the unit you are buying if it will not be supplied with them

7. Assess dealer and service availability
  • Buy brands of equipment that you know can be serviced within a reasonable distance

8. Walk away
  • If an engine smokes or is hard to start, that’s an almost sure sign that major work is needed
  • If a gear does not engage, that’s likely to be a major problem
  • Structural problems like cracks and fractures in frames and plated areas should be avoided
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