For some Kiwi farmers, buying your first tractor is like a sacred initiation process into becoming a true-blue farmer. As with any vehicle, making the smart decision about selecting and buying your tractor can be challenging (especially for small-scale farmers with more specific needs).

At Car Finance, we happily offer a tractor financing service to keen farmers ready to get rolling. But first, here are a few tips to help you on your hunt for the perfect tractor:

Shop or dealership

When making the decision to buy your farm equipment from a dealership rather than a ‘big box’ store, there is always risk in how much you are really saving overall. While you might be saving when you pay the initial cost for the machine or vehicle, you aren’t receiving any extended guarantees that the product will perform.

Of course, buying any equipment ‘as is where is’ will mean that you’ll also find it difficult chasing up all your own parts. A company dealing in new, well-known brands would be well supplied with parts, or else it will have an extensive list of reliable contacts through which to source them.

If you are prepared to take this risk, go ahead and shop around several dealerships with a friend. There is always strength in numbers, so having an extra person on your ‘team’ as it were will help you in and out of tough decision making and potentially pushy salesmen.

Study up

In cases where you are unable to obtain the history of the machine that you might be interested in, it pays to have a little prior knowledge to help you carry out your own assessments.

Taking responsibility in these situations can only help you in the long run. As with any man-operated machinery, it’s always an advantage to further your understanding beyond the control panel.

Research online or talk to other farmers who have traded enough farm machinery to offer experienced advice to you. Find out where the equipment came from, who was using it and for how long. Familiarize yourself with maintenance records. Do your homework!

Keep an eye out

When it comes time to inspect your potential purchase, there are a few aspects that will require your attention before you can feel confident about buying:

Fluids: If you are buying a second hand tractor, ask to see where the machine was stored prior to your visit to check for pools of fluid or strong smells which could indicate leaks.

Hoses and belts: You will need to check these for wear. Look closely for signs of wear: cracking or misalignment. Ask for an opportunity to test the clutch. Do you notice any chattering sounds? Does it respond immediately or does it delay? You can’t beat a tight gear. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth!

Sneaky repairs: You will need to look very closely for this check. You are looking for any notable add-ons or abnormal spots of welding in the tractor’s frame.

Battery corrosion: This will be easy enough to spot, but be sure to check the battery’s date (usually located on a stamp) while you’re at it!

Tires: If you are allowed a test drive, get a feel for the wheels. Tractor wheels tend to get wobbly and bent while travelling over the uneven surfaces of a farm.

We hope that these tips provide you with the knowledge and confidence to get out there and start browsing for your tractor! When you’re ready to start browsing, talk to the team at Car Finance to set up your tractor finance.