1. Visual Exterior Inspection
Does the overall appearance of the tractor look as if it has been cared for?
Why is the tractor for sale?
Is the paint faded?
Is the sheet metal straight?
Are there a lot of 'dings' in the tractor?
Are there any decaying rubber or plastic components?
Are there any structural cracks? Look closely for hairline cracks.
Is there anything that looks like a 'makeshift' repair job?
Are the tires in good condition with good tread left on them?
Is there a calcium mixture added to the tires for better stability?
Is there still good tread left on the tires?
Is the seat in good condition?
Does it have a standard 3-point hitch?
Are there any puddles of fluid under the tractor?
Are there any oil spots on the ground around the wheels?
2. Engine Inspection
Is the engine warm?
Is there oil and/or fuel on the engine?
Can you see any seals leaking?
Is there oil around the rear axles, near the rear wheel?"
Is there oil around the PTO seals?
Are there oil leaks around the output shaft seals gearboxes? (4WD
Is the engine oil at or near the full mark?
Is the front axle dipstick at or near the full mark? (4WD)
Does the oil look clean? Black is ok for diesel engines.
Are there creamy white droplets near the top of the dipstick?
Are all the filters U.S. made?
Is the air filter intact?
Does the air filter have any tears or holes in it?
Is the fuel filter clean?
Is the fan belt tight and in good shape?
Does the air inlet tube have any cracks or holes in it?
Is the water in the radiator dark green? This is a good thing.
Does the radiator water have a milky looking scum to it?
Is there flaking or discolored paint around the radiator cap?
Is there moisture along the bottom of the radiator?
Is there any slop in the steering linkages?
Look over the tractor a second time to make sure you didn't miss anything?
3. Running Engine Inspection
Does the oil pressure register when you just turn the key?
Start the tractor. Does it start easily?
Does the oil pressure light go off or the oil gauge go up to about 30-80 psi?
Do all of the other lights go off?
Is the voltage meter (if it has one) charging a full 13.5-14.5 volts
Did you rock the steering wheel from left to right?(Do this with the engine running if the tractor has power steering)
Does the PTO spin in all gears?
Does the 3-point hitch work properly?
Does the tractor continue to smoke after it warms up?
4. Driving The Tractor
Does the tractor work through all of the gears?
Does the power shift feel 'weak' when shifting?
Is there any slippage when you quickly accelerate into high gear?
Does the 4WD engage properly?
Does the clutch slip?
Do the brakes work well?
Did you check the brakes by pushing one pedal at a time in low gear?
Does the tractor make any clunking noises from inside the engine?
Does the charging system work properly?
Do the wheels wobble at all?
Are the control levers in good shape and not flopping around?
Are the pivot pins badly worn?
Does any oil seep out of the extended spools (control valves)?
Are the hydraulic couplers capped?
Do the hydraulics work correctly?
6. Post Driving Inspection
Did the temp gauge ever get above the recommended temperature?
Did the temp light ever come on while you were driving it?
Did the tractor overheat?
Did the tractor run well even after it got hot?
Do you see any new leaks from the radiator?
Do you see any new oil and or fluid leaks?
Did you see excess smoke when you removed the oil cap?
Look over the tractor a third time to make sure you didn't miss anything?