7 Common Tractor Buying Mistakes

So you’ve moved out to the country. Congrats! But more land requires more work to make it productive. That’s the type of work only a tractor can handle. Buying your first tractor is a major milestone, but like any big purchase, making the wrong decision can lead to big regrets.

Here’s how to avoid buyer’s remorse and get the ideal tractor for your needs.

The 7 Most Common Tractor Buying Mistakes

We’ve rounded up the seven most common mistakes that people make when buying a new tractor. 

Not Understanding Your Needs

Mowing, baling, digging, landscaping, planting, plowing, sowing, spreading… The right tractor can do it all. But what do you really need from a tractor? Step one in your new tractor pursuit is making a list of the tasks you need it to perform. Think about tasks you perform daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Is there a one-off project, like clearing land for a foundation, that you’ll need it for immediately? Do you plan to mow three of your 10 acres during the summer? Knowing your needs allows you to plan for the right size tractor with the correct attachments. For help mapping this out, download our free Landowner’s Planner resource.

Buying Too Small

The biggest regret most tractor buyers have is buying a tractor that’s too small for their needs. Buyers look for ways to cut costs—who doesn’t want a good deal?—but it’s best to get a little more horsepower than you think you need. For instance, if you choose a tractor with a cab, just powering the AC is going to pull 5-10 horsepower in the summer. Pushing your tractor past its engine horsepower range can damage it over time. Think big.

Going All-In Too Fast

Getting a new tractor is exciting, and no doubt you want to get yours engaged as soon as possible. However, there’s such a thing as ramping up too fast. While it may be tempting to load up on every attachment on the planet when you buy your first tractor, it may be better to go back to the list of tasks you expect to perform and use that list to buy only what you know you’ll need in your first few years. Remember that you can build up your investment over time. 

Choosing Cheap Over Reliable

Everyone wants a value, but choosing a tractor based solely on how cheap it is can cost more in the long run. An off-brand choice might save you a few hundred bucks up front, but it may be more likely to fail on you when you need it. Brand choice matters. There are brands that are known for their reliability and performance for a reason. For example, all new Yanmar tractors come with an industry-leading, 10-year limited powertrain warranty.

Not Accounting for Hidden Costs

The newer and more popular your tractor, the easier it will be (generally) to get yours hands on parts when you need repairs. Older, less popular models might have nostalgic (and budget) appeal, but will cost more to upkeep in the long run. In addition, depending on the type of jobs you want to do, you may want to invest in attachments, ballast weight, and additional features that you haven’t budgeted for. 

Not Checking Roll Bar Height

If you’re going to be parking your tractor in a garage bay, remember to account for the height of the roll bar, or to choose a tractor with a foldable ROPS. A foldable ROPS has a specially designed hinge that allows it to be folded down. This makes it easier to park in a garage bay or other tight spot. Also measure the access points for any areas that you want to use your tractor in. If the tractor you want to purchase can’t get through the gate, you should choose another tractor—or install a different gate. 

Rushing Into a Decision

You’ve done the research, you have the money, and you’re ready to buy. But buying the first tractor you can get your hands on is like marrying someone on the first date. Take a test drive. Take the weekend to think it over. Evaluate exclusive offers and rebates. This is a major purchase. If you find the right tractor, you could have a machine that lasts you a lifetime. 

Connect With Yanmar

At Yanmar, we’re committed to helping you get the most out of your tractor. If you’re in the market for a new tractor, check out our Tractor Buyer’s Guide. This guide will help you select the best tractor for your land, based on the jobs you plan to do, the size of your property, and the conditions in which you'll be working. If you’d prefer to contact us by phone to discuss your needs, give us a call at 678-551-7369.

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