In today’s tight market for new tractors, buying a used model might be your best option.
You’ll find thousands of options for used tractors online, but you'll need to do your homework in-advance to make sure you’re making a solid purchasing decision. Factors here extend well beyond whether you should buy a John Deere, Case IH or New Holland tractor. Before you buy a used tractor, here are things we suggest you consider.
For your budget, are you looking for comfort or horsepower?
What’s the deciding factor for you – horsepower or operator amenities? If horsepower is a deal breaker for you, an older model will allow you to maximize the horsepower you need for the same or less money than a later-model unit with more features.
On the other hand, newer units often include more operator amenities, such as a more advanced transmission, a deluxe cab or lighting package, better hydraulics, advanced suspensions, and more.
When making your decision, set a budget, and identify wants vs. needs to help you stay within these financial parameters.
Are you willing to consider a different manufacturer?
John Deere tractors are a thing of beauty, but they come at a price. Especially in today’s tight market, we suggest you keep an open-mind and look at other makes and models, as you might be able to get more for your money.
For example, if your budget for a used tractor is $200,000, you might only be able to afford a 2010 John Deere model. But, for the same price, you might find a 2015 or 2016 Case IH or New Holland with more features and horsepower.
Our advice here: keep an open mind and weigh the alternatives. Consider things such as dealer support, GPS options, and potential applications.
Is this tractor equipped with the GPS amenities I need for my application?
GPS technology has taken over how we farm today, it helps farmers be more efficient, have better control of data, and increase profitability. Before buying a new tractor, take a look and see if the unit you’re looking at is equipped with the proper GPS components to fit your application. GPS equipment is multi-functional and can be used in other machines such as the combine or sprayer. Also, it can unlock new potential out of implements such as the planter.
This type of technology does carry a price tag for the initial investment. If you are not currently using GPS guidance but are curious about how it may benefit you, having the equipment included in a tractor purchase may be the right time for you.
What is the potential resale value on this tractor in 3-5 years?
It’s important to have a forward-thinking mentality whenever you buy equipment, and there’s no better time to start then when you buy it. Ask yourself questions like, “How long do I plan on owning this?”, “Will there be a wide enough audience for this tractor when I go to sell it?”, and “Should I spend more on features now which will help it sell better later?” are all important questions to ask.
There’s no telling what the market will bring in the future, but a good starting point would be to look at BigIron’s past auction results, which are available at no charge to all registered BigIron bidders.
There’s a tractor out there that’s ready to go to work for you, but it’s important up-front that you consider many aspects. Horsepower, amenities, and resale value should all be taken into account. Our best advice to you: do your homework, identify wants vs. needs and, above all, make sure that you’re doing business with an honest, reputable seller.
Cover photo credit: BigIron Auctions