Top 10 tips for maintaining tractor value | Living the Country Life
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Top 10 tips for maintaining tractor value

Here’s a check list from Brandon Smith of Barker Implement for how you should maintain a tractor in order to get peak dollar for it whenever it’s time to trade up. “These things are important regardless of the brand,” says Smith. “You really can’t do much about the hours of use you put on a tractor, they are what they are. But the maintenance and looks of the machine, you have complete control of that.”
  • MECHANICAL MAINTENANCE

    It's not just about changing the oil and the filters by the book. That's important, but keep the records, too from a professional service shop or if you do your own oil and filters keep a receipt of those purchases.

    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • COSMETICS

    This one is about all the things you can see. I can tell if it’s been sitting out in the sun and rain for years. That knocks $1,500 off the value right there. It’s OK to wax a tractor, just like you would a car.
    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • MISSING PARTS

    Safety shields are there for a reason. Same for fenders and mounting steps and discharge chutes from the belly of a mower.
    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • KEEP THE SEAT DRY

    Is the upholstery cracked from weather or other abuse? That can let water in, and it will need to be replaced. “The very cheapest seat I know of is $86.”
    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • LIGHTS

    If they aren’t working on your tractor, that’s another trip into the shop after trade-in. If they have to be replaced, it can easily cost $500-$600.
    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • DIRT AND DUST

    Tractors get dirty, in the corners, cracks, and crevices. It’s not a bad thing, says Smith. “You’re using it for what you intended. But don’t leave it that way. Clean it up. Like you wash your car, wash your tractor and keep it looking new.”
    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • ENGINE OIL AND GRIME

    Clean it periodically to prevent buildup. If it has a small oil leak, get it fixed. You’ll either pay for it now, or at trade-in value later.
    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • TIRES

    Usually not much goes wrong here, normal wear and tear is unavoidable. Check your manual and keep tires inflated at proper levels. Sometimes, Smith says, people over-inflate for a heavy load, then forget to go back to normal inflation. That can cause uneven wear, and may impact value.

    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • WARNING LIGHTS AND GAUGES

    Again, nobody would buy a used car if the gauges don’t work. If a warning light is broke, that’s a $50-$60 fix to make it salable, Smith says.

    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012
  • CLUTCH, BRAKES, EXHAUST

    Smith looks for a brake that grabs on one side. On newer tractors, the exhaust is usually protected under the hood and not likely to get damaged or need maintenance. The most important thing is that it be tight and not leak. You can have engine valve issues if the exhaust leaks.

    Date Published: May 29, 2012
    Date Updated: June 1, 2012

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