Garden Tractors

The first task in the process of making a used mower purchase is locating several to check out. If you live in a rural area, mowers can frequently be found on local roadsides for sale in the warmer months. You should also check your local newspaper classifieds, Craigslist, and eBay for leads. Commerce for used items such as these is increasingly moving online, and the chances of finding a good deal on the web is really greater than anywhere else.

When examining a machine in person, the primary considerations are the engine, undercarriage, blade, and body. The first and most obvious observation you can make is on the mower’s body. Is it still smooth and new looking? Or is it chipped and rusty? The more visible wear on the outer shell, the more wear you can expect invisible mechanical parts to have. Ragged looking mowers have been used a lot and their lifespan has been shortened.

After a preliminary examination of the body, tip the mower on its side to see the undercarriage. You may need two people to do this, and something to prop the machine with. You usually do not want to lean the mower in a way that allows the seat and hood to contact the ground. This can be damaging, so use a board or other clean object to provide a buffer.

With the tractor on its side, inspect the axle and braking system for corrosion and signs of wear, the less the better. Also, take a look at the blade. Is it dull or sharp? You may be able to buy a new blade, and all mowers periodically need replacements. When looking at used garden tractors, make sure that a particular model’s blade is still available in stores before making a purchase.

To judge the engine’s quality, start the machine up. It is always helpful to have a mechanically inclined friend with you to judge the more complicated aspects of the engine in person. If you don’t have the luxury of one of these, though, listening to the sound of the tractor can give you a lot of information. How does it sound? Is the hum smooth and constant? Or is it inconsistent and sputtering? If the machine starts right away and hums smoothly, the engine is probably decent. Used garden tractors that sound choppy are usually approaching the end of their engine’s life.

Of course, you will always want to take your potential purchase for a test run before buying. Ride it around. Test the blade mechanism to make sure it functions properly. Raise the blade up and down, and take note of any non-functioning controls. Most mowers will have one or two controls that are no longer in stock condition.