equipment for maintaining a farm

« Back to Home

The Age-Old Question: Used Or New?

Posted on

It's time to get a tractor, and just as you would with any vehicle, you can look at both new and used to see which might be the best one for the job. If this is your first time trying to find a tractor, though, you've got a few extra issues to contemplate that you wouldn't have with something like a passenger car. Tractors work in very different circumstances and have particular safety concerns.

Cost, of Course, but in More Than One Way

Used tractors, like used cars, are generally cheaper than their new counterparts. In that sense, anyone looking to stick to a lower budget would benefit from buying a used tractor. But you should verify with the company that issues your farm insurance about how a used tractor might affect your premiums and coverage. It's possible that you'll save more money, of course, but hidden factors (the age of the tractor, etc.) could result in an increase, too. You need this information before you can make a decision. Fuel efficiency is also a factor to look at.

Pesticide Residue

What does the company selling the tractor (or the former owner, if you're going the private-party route) do to clean potential pesticide residue off the tractor? Do you know where the tractor was last used? You want equipment that isn't going to bring in residues that you don't want on your own land. The same goes for soil pathogens—what disinfection or inspection procedures has the tractor been through? You should be able to find out what a sales company does—but if you can't get the information, you may want to stick with a new tractor that hasn't yet been used on ranch or farmland.

Age and Rollover Protection

Sure, that vintage tractor may have been kept in great shape, but tractors are at risk of rolling over, and in models made after the mid 1980s, rollover protection is a standard feature. The system first became available in the 1960s, so tractors older than those from the mid 1980s may also have the system, but many don't. While owning a working vintage tractor may seem attractive, you need that rollover protection.

All that being said, sometimes a used tractor is a great investment, while other times a new tractor offers the qualities you need. Investigate both types thoroughly by visiting sites like to find equipment that will last a long time.