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What to Look For in a Used Combine

With combines being one of, if not the, most expensive piece of equipment on the farm, it's important to know what to look for when you are shopping, especially in the used market. While buying used equipment has many advantages, it does require a bit more research to make sure everything is in good working condition. Because used combines are often priced lower than new models, shopping used is a great way to save money while still getting a great machine. This article covers some of the most important things to consider when looking at used combines.

Combine & Header Size

It's easy to get caught up in the idea of the bigger the better, but that isn't always the case with combines and headers. Investing in a machine larger than what you need can decrease your overall profit due to higher operating costs and higher equipment investment costs. It is also important to make sure the combine capacity is greater than or equal to the header capacity. If the header capacity is greater than the combine can handle, more of the crop will be damaged or lost.

Engine & Separator Hours

It's important to pay attention to both the engine and separator hours when assessing used combines. Oftentimes sellers will openly disclose this information, but if they don't, make sure to ask. The engine hours show how long the engine has been run, and the separator hours show how long the combine has actively been harvesting crops These hours aren't a direct indicator of the quality of the combine, but it does let you know how much the machine has been used.

Service & Maintenance History

If you're searching for a used combine online, service and maintenance history is something you can often look at before spending time and fuel to look at the machine in person. One of the most direct impacts on machine quality is maintenance. Even if a combine is the perfect size and has low engine and separator hours, if it isn't well maintained and regularly serviced, some of the parts might have excessive wear and tear. Make sure to check what the service intervals should be for the combine and then compare it to the service history of the machine you are looking at. Comparing the recommended service intervals and actual services helps give you an idea of what service expenses will be coming up.

Machine Condition

Once you've found a machine that piques your interest, make sure to thoroughly examine the condition of the machine's interior and exterior. Looking at pictures of the machine is a great place to start but if you become more seriously interested in the machine, check out the machine in person. Look to see if the machine has any visual damage or rust. It's also important to make sure the interior fits what you want and has the features you need. The older the machine is, the less likely it is to have the modern features of newer combines.

If you are in the market for a used combine, reach out and our team will be more than happy to help you navigate this process. Our teams are here to help you get the equipment you need and they won't push you to buy a machine that isn't a good fit. Reach out to us at your local Heritage Tractor dealership.