If you’ve recently taken delivery of a compact utility tractor, chances are you’re not thinking about the day you will want to trade it in. But to get the most value out of your equipment, you should.
Whether you are on a regular trade-in schedule, or you just decide it’s time to move up (or down) in horsepower, what you do while you own a tractor can be of great benefit when it comes to trade-in time.
Because just like that shiny penny that catches your eye, equipment that is clean, well-maintained and complete with extensive records of service and maintenance will help bring top dollar if and when the time comes.
“Regular maintenance of your compact utility tractor is probably the single most important thing you can do,” says Matthew Carrigan, product marketing specialist, Kubota. “It not only helps you get the most life out of your equipment while you own it, but it shows when it’s time to trade in that the equipment has been well cared for.”
Having a dealer take care of regular maintenance brings the added value of having all the service records at one place. But if you do much of the service yourself, Carrigan recommends keeping detailed records in a folder or book. “Write down every service and repair, along with the date and hours. Keep track of all of your receipts. These documents are a paper trail that shows how you’ve cared for your equipment,” he says.
Ensuring a good trade-in also means selecting the right tractor for the job ahead of time. “If you push a compact utility tractor too hard, it can put a lot of early wear and tear on it,” Carrigan says. “Running equipment for what it’s designed to do, and in the right ranges, will help reduce the chances of unnecessary breakdowns and keep your equipment running longer. And that also means the equipment will last longer for you and a future owner.”
Another thing to consider is the brand of the tractor and the accessories. Carrigan says tractors with “a good brand recognition and in popular horsepower ranges will hold their value at trade-in better than tractors that may not have a nearby dealership or are in a horsepower or configuration that aren’t commonly used in your area.”
Cleaning a tractor after a long day can seem to be a tedious task, and probably the last thing on your mind. But here, too, Carrigan says the time spent cleaning and brushing off a tractor after messy job pays dividends. “Keeping it clean sounds simple enough, but it’s probably one of the most overlooked areas I see,” he says. “If you are coming in after a muddy job, or if it’s particularly dusty, or if you have grass built up on the mower deck, clean it up before you put it away.”
That helps keep the equipment looking good. “If the appearance is pleasing, and you have excellent service records, you are well on your way to securing a top trade-in value,” Carrigan says.