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Paul Hendrix, equipment pricing analyst for IronPlant, provides these eight tips that could save you from a lemon. If you don’t know what to look for, you may end up bringing home a machine that costs you more than if you bought a new one, Hendrix says. You either need to hire someone to inspect a vehicle or train yourself in how to assess the equipment.
1. Focus on the features
Make sure the product you’re buying has the features you need. “Used machinery can have every available option on it, or it can be plain vanilla and every combination in between,” Hendrix says. “If the one feature you need is not there, and you happened to miss that, then you’ve just wasted valuable time and money.”
He cites a job in south Florida where he was asked to assess 15 late-model, low-hour John Deere tractors for a row-crop grower in the Midwest. The tractors were fully equipped with air conditioned cabs, mechanical front wheel drive (MFWD), and plenty of hydraulic remotes. But they had a short axle, which was an option from the factory. “What a short axle meant to the buyer was that he couldn’t use dual wheels, which are almost a given on tractors used in the Midwest,” he says. “If I hadn’t noticed that one spec, the tractors would have been useless to him.”