Three Considerations When Purchasing Used Equipment

used equipment


Equipment can be one of the most expensive investments you can make for your business. And with today’s lower grain/milk prices and tighter budgets, many farmers are considering used machinery as an alternative to buying new. However, the hours logged on a piece of machinery are not always a reliable indicator of the health of the engine. Below, are listed three considerations that may help you make a final decision when you are in the market for “new-used” equipment.

  1. Get an oil analysis.
    Potential buyers can look for leaks and damage when inspecting used machinery, but even if a piece of equipment looks good on the outside, it’s harder to tell the condition under the hood. That’s where an oil analysis can be a valuable tool for the buyer. It is like a blood test for a machine’s engine, transmission and hydraulic systems. The cost of an oil analysis kit ($15 to $25) is minimal considering the valuable insights it can provide on a machine that likely costs tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy.
  1. Consider the age of the engine and the fuel it’ll need.
    Most equipment found at an auction will have logged hundreds or thousands of hours. Tier 3 and Tier 4 engines require a higher-quality fuel to run at peak performance. Traditional #2 diesel fuel can leave deposits on vital engine parts, which may clog fuel filters and cause injector failure. A premium diesel fuel like Cenex® Ruby Fieldmaster® is specially formulated to protect modern engines from deposits and buildup. Investing in a premium diesel fuel is essential to protect new and used equipment and ensure your machine runs efficiently throughout the year.


  1. Enroll the equipment in a warranty program.
    There are very few quick fixes on today’s modern farm equipment. When a system fails or a critical engine or hydraulic part is damaged, repairs can cost thousands of dollars and can take days to complete. The Cenex Total Protection Plan® Warranty Program covers both used and new equipment that use Cenex premium diesel and lubricants products and conduct regular oil analysis. Used equipment can be registered for up to eight years or 8,000 hours for a one-time fee of $399 and no deductible. The warranty is also transferable for future sales.

For help with specific equipment performance issues or to purchase an oil analysis kit, contact us or a Cenex certified energy specialist. To learn more about the Cenex Total Protection Plan and Cenex products, visit

Original Source: Cenexperts® Blog


  1. As you said, buying used equipment can save a lot of money in farming, or even in contracting. These are some great ways to make sure you get the quality you need for the right price. I especially like the advice on getting an oil analysis. These tips will certainly help in any future, used equipment purchases.

  2. I like the recommendation to consider the age of the engine and the fuel it needs. It makes sense that buying an older engine would be good as long as you get the right fuel and keep it repaired and maintained. It’s something to remember just to make sure that whether it’s a truck or a generator, the engine will last a long time.

  3. Thank you for the wonderful read. You mentioned that you should consider the type of fuel you’ll need to run the equipment you are interested in. If you have easy access to that kind of fuel, you wouldn’t have to worry about how much you run the thing. I’ll have to relay this information to any of my friends when they are in the market for farm equipment.

  4. My wife and I do so many different projects at our house that we think that it would be more beneficial to jut buy a machine rather than having to rent different ones every time we have a project. You mentioned that it is important to make sure to do an oil test on the equipment that you are going to buy to find out information on the engine, transmission, and hydraulic systems. If I were to do that, I would be able to know if the machine is going to last me as long as I will need it to. I appreciate the tips and I am going to make sure to put them in practice.

  5. My brother is in need of some new equipment to use on his farm, and he is wondering what he should be looking for. So I appreciate you letting us know that if he looks at used machines, he should be sure to get an oil analysis on it so that he can be sure that the entire engine is in good condition. I will be sure to tell my brother that if he focuses on used farm equipment, he should definitely invest in getting an oil analysis done.

  6. I like the info provided by you and found this very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing the great article.

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