Q:

What should you look for when buying used cattle equipment?

A:

Quick Answer

Make sure the used cattle equipment fits the needs of your farm before making a purchase. If you plan to buy mechanical equipment, such as tractors or milkers, make sure that the equipment works properly before you buy it.

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Full Answer

Consider how many cattle you have and whether you plan to grow your ranch. A small operation may be able to get by with a smaller tractor or other basic equipment, but it's worth spending more for a larger tractor if your farm is large. Look for equipment that matches your current needs. If you have a solid plan for expansion in the near future, then you may consider equipment for those plans.

Look for a seller that is upfront about how the equipment has been used and maintained. Ask to see maintenance records for mechanical equipment. Inspect used handling equipment thoroughly for signs of wear or other damage that might fail to contain the cattle properly. Make sure chutes and gates open and close easily. Minor wear or easy repairs may be worth it, but major repairs can be quite costly or impossible depending on the type of damage.

Before you make significant purchases, spend some time doing your research and planning your farm. Buying equipment you do not need just because it is a good deal can cost you a lot more in the long term.

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