4 Best tips for buying used or old farm equipment

While I was thinking about what farming equipment I need to buy when I get my farm, something dawned on me. I have no idea what to look for when buying used to farm equipment, so I took to Twitter to ask what tips you have for buying old farm equipment.

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The first tip that I got was research, research and more research. Research is so important is because it gives you an idea about the type of old farm equipment you are looking at. It also helps you get an idea about what is a good price for the piece of old farm equipment you want to buy.

You should research the make of the piece of equipment you are looking at, the age of the equipment, and the its condition. For example,  John Deere is a decent brand. What years are good years for John Deere? Those are the types of questions that you need to ask.

We know not all equipment is equal. Sometimes you will run into a situation where one piece of equipment is better than the other piece of equipment. That is why research is so important. It helps you find which makes are the best. It helps decide what age is too old, and it helps you find what condition is okay.

Questions you might ask yourself when doing research:

  • What am I going use it for?
  • What make is the best?
  • What is the best year?
  • What year(s) should you avoid?
  • What are common problems?
  • What are the repair costs if any?
  • Does it function?
  • What is the cost of replacement parts?
  • What is a good price?
  • What price is a deal?
  • What price is a rip off?

I found a very detailed website about tractors that has detailed information about tractors specifically. It is mostly information just about the specifications, but it is still helpful.


What the tool looks like is not vital to its functionality. We all know the old expression, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” We should apply the same to farming equipment. Just because farming equipment doesn’t look fancy and brand-new, doesn’t mean it won’t get the job done. This is particularly true if you are a new farmer. You can’t afford the fanciest equipment out there. Keep that in perspective when you’re looking at equipment

Sometimes when equipment has been outside it doesn’t look as good as it actually is. Despite the fact it has been outside,  it doesn’t mean a piece of old farm equipment won’t work perfectly.


Make sure you have the aptitude to test the piece of old farm equipment. If you don’t know how to check the piece of equipment you are looking to buy, chances are you either a need somebody to help you, or you did not do enough research. In either case, it is helpful to have a friend with you. They can be your second set of eyes to catch anything you might miss.

If what you’re looking at is a new tractor, try starting the tractor to make sure that it runs. If the tractor is not able to start, you need to decide how much work will go into the tractor to get it to work. Sometimes just by looking at the piece of equipment you can judge whether it will start or not. Sometimes all it needs is a bit of elbow grease and it will start, other times they will need a lot of hard labour.

Can you fix it

Make sure you are mechanically inclined. That is to say, can you fix a broken piece of equipment. If you are not able to fix a piece of equipment, make sure you know somebody who can. This is where community is of vital importance in farming. When you have friends you can always call on them to help you fix is equipment.


From the dry savanna of Ghana, Yendi. I love nature and always want to affect it positively. positivity and consistency is my synonyms. BSc Earth Science. Proud African, Agric Fanatic

3 thoughts on “4 Best tips for buying used or old farm equipment

  • November 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I agree that you should do some heavy research when buying agricultural equipment. You also mentioned asking yourself what you are actually going to be using this equipment for. I think it’s a good idea to choose a brand of equipment that you’re familiar with.

  • January 16, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    I have heard that a man with no tools can efficiently cultivate one acre of land. That number skyrockets once the man acquires some farm equipment. I agree with the article that even if the tool looks old and beat up, it could still be worth the investment. The idea isn’t to jump to the top all at once. It is better to slowly and steadily climb the ladder to maintain a solid foundation to fall back on.

  • August 30, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Buying used machinery, in my opinion, can be cheaper and more beneficial to the buyer than buying new. I agreed with what you said about being cautious to not judge a book by its cover. Getting the job done the biggest part of buying a used part, it won’t’ always look pretty. Thanks for the post!


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