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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone big on buying tractors at auctions? I always been kind of gun shy cause you just dont get a chance to really put one through its paces. Always nice to find one on a farm to see how the other equipment is cared for and to be able to work one some. Having said all that is there anything specific people check at an auction, any tips or tricks?
 

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Dad and I have bought almost all of our tractors through auction sales. Always like to talk to the owner, can usually get a good idea just from that conversation. When looking at a tractor its general appearance will tell a lot of how it was used and taken care of. Dents, dings, faded paint, cut and respliced electrical, slopped out hole in the draw bar are things that make me shy away.

Usually can save a lot of money buying a used tractor at an auction sale vs buying from a dealer. I've never had a bad experience buying a tractor at a sale though, but I've heard of a few people that have.
 

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Hay Master (Supposedly)
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A conscientious seller will offer a "ride and drive" guarantee. If you are the winning bidder, you get to drive the tractor on the auction lot and if you don't like it you don't own it.
 
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A good farm auction has held right on the farm how you can kind of get a good feel for what's going on there, and talk to the owner may be a neighbor is an excellent place to buy a tractor. The downside is those tractors off to bring a fortune. I would say buying a tractor at one of the consignment sales in the area would bring a risk half the tractors at a consignment sale would be okay a local farmer and an old 1086 up there cuz he needed money or at the other had a couple too many used ones on a lot I just had a good one down to the Consignment sale but the other half of the tractors at a consignment sale have a very serious problem and the owner did not dare to sell them anywhere else
 

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A waxed tractor is not always the sign of a well maintained tractor.I know some guys well spend more time waxing then greasing.And some with the shiney tractors like to screw the pumps open to the max.

On the other hand if it's beat to crap it probably isn't well maintained either.

I've only bought 3used tractors in my life and one was the waxed shiney tractor with the smoke screw cranked.I turned the Pump back down but had transmission issues 3 yrs later.

I bought a rough tractor cheap at auction and spent a couple grand just on all the little things.Got it under load and it ran hot,couldn't keep fan belts on because he had run 1 instead of 2 and pulleys were wore uneven.Leak in the radiator that he had not fixed.I figure he ran it that way a long time and it used oil and the engine was weak.

Traded tractor 2 for tractor 3.So far so good.The tractor was clean and had all the service records with it.
 

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I have purchased two at auction. They are just as good as the one purchased private treaty via CL. I bought a 72 model about 10 years ago. I have put a clutch in it and associated parts while the tractor was split. No other issues. The second was a couple of years ago, it is an '82 model. It had a lot of misc. issues and leaks. We fixed all of the leaks and linkage issues that ended up being the direct result of neglect. I think I maybe put $400 into getting it right. Seals, O-rings etc.

Someone on here said once that when you buy at auction you should buy it cheap enough that the only surprises are good ones. I have found that to be true. I have found some simply amazing deals at auction, and not just on tractors. I look for the deals during the off peak times of year, on poorly advertised sales, hidden in unrelated items etc.

I have yet to get burned but my day is coming I am sure. There will come a time that someone will get me on one. With that being said however, I have found most sellers to be very honest when asked direct questions. They may not offer the information that I want, but they won't lie about it when asked specifically. I think that a little meeting over the tailgate goes a long way in evaluating a prospective purchase. If it doesn't feel right, or if they are not forthcoming with the information just walk away.

Truth be told, the worst deals that I have ever made were through a dealership. I have developed an allergy to dealing with them on used equipment. I prefer farmer to farmer deals.
 

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My tractors are generally dusty looking. For the fact that they don't spend anytime outside other then when they are working so they don't get a chance to have the dust washed off by the rain. That is what I would like to see if looking for a used tractor. That and plenty of somewhat fresh grease around any grease points.
 

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Another side benefit of online auctions. It's hard to sabotage a tractor when you don't know where exactly it is.
 

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An ounce of doing is worth a pound of talk
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Talk to the previous owner if you can, and if there has been any work done to it by a dealer maybe talk to the mechanic that worked on it.

I bought a swather off of auctiontime, and a tractor through tractorhouse; Maybe I was just lucky, but they turned out to be in good shape; have not had to do much to them. Now on the other had I bought a 3x4 baler from a dealer and have had nothing but problems, I even looked at it.

So you just never know; just turns out to be a crap shoot.
 

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Goontard
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That should be BEFORE you bid. Once you bid and win it's yours.
That is pretty common here to have the right to reject after winning the bid if it won't start/drive etc...

Of course, it depends on the seller...especially at consignments. Consignments, here, have a stigma of being a place to get rid of junk. The sellers that have better tractors will still sell there and offer the guarantee as a way of making their word, that the tractor is as they say, have a little bit of value.

A lot of the tractors also have the "Georgia guarantee"...if it breaks into two pieces...you own both of them. ;)

73, Mark
 

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That is pretty common here to have the right to reject after winning the bid if it won't start/drive etc...

Of course, it depends on the seller...especially at consignments. Consignments, here, have a stigma of being a place to get rid of junk. The sellers that have better tractors will still sell there and offer the guarantee as a way of making their word, that the tractor is as they say, have a little bit of value.

A lot of the tractors also have the "Georgia guarantee"...if it breaks into two pieces...you own both of them. ;)

73, Mark
Try to resell a tractor that was rejected by the winning bidder, you'll take a bath for something that could be minor. That's why all machinery should be inspected before bidding. Georgia Guarantee is given free of charge! ;)
 

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Here is how it goes in the great state of Georgia and our explicit guarantee is a limited one.....
The first guarantee is the Texas taillight warranty......once the tail lights is out of the driveway, your warranty is now null and void.
Now if you were to find a real good seller, he may offer the Colorado warranty......in which case, if it falls into a bunch of pieces, you get to call ALL of them.
Georgia has no other warranty or gaurantee, unless you happen to have married your first cousin from Alabama, then things get touchy and special privileges are envoked ;)
 

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I have had bad experiences buying at auctions.....never bought a tractor at an auction but two different combines which both ended up being junk and a few pieces of hay equipment which also turned out to have problems. Unless it is a retirement sale I don't think I will be buying anything else from an auction. Seems like there is a reason why a lot of stuff is sold at an auction......at least around here.

I have bought two tractors sight unseen from dealer advertisements on tractorhouse and both have turned out to be excellent machines......they had better be though because I paid top dollar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Seems crazy I see prices at dealer levels on auctions and signs everywhere saying as is no warranty. Guess i was thinking more of consignment auctions; we dont see many estate type anymore. Just hear so many stories of people getting stuck with problems or they buy a tractor that stays in and out of shop for a year then take it back to the sale. At least most dealers here will help out some with repairs at cost or cut rate on labor if problems arise right after purchase.
 

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Seems crazy I see prices at dealer levels on auctions and signs everywhere saying as is no warranty. Guess i was thinking more of consignment auctions; we dont see many estate type anymore. Just hear so many stories of people getting stuck with problems or they buy a tractor that stays in and out of shop for a year then take it back to the sale. At least most dealers here will help out some with repairs at cost or cut rate on labor if problems arise right after purchase.
Arfowler, would you update your profile so as to let us know approx where you hail from.....most of our dealers abide by that "as is no warranty" claim.....if your close I might give your guys a try ;)
 

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I've seen first hand some excellent deals at consignment sales. The uncle picked up a TW20 Ford and a John Deere 4755 at different consignment sales. Got good deals on each and they have been reliable tractors. You just gotta keep in mind you may have to do some repairs, so don't go overboard on the price when bidding.
 
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