Top 7 Used Equipment Maintenance Problems: Why Extended Service Plans are Important for Your Heavy Equipment

An used John Deere Tractor on a field.

posted on Thursday, December 15, 2022 in Blog

Whether used or new, equipment issues occur. These issues can compromise our safety and the safety of others; they can also create unnecessary downtime and unexpected costs. John Deere certified pre-owned equipment has been thoroughly inspected, and the dealership is willing to certify that all parts are in working order. 

John Deere dealerships may offer a warranty on used John Deere equipment or include a service guarantee with your purchase. You can protect your investment with an extended warranty that provides additional protections beyond standard factory warranty terms. For instance, the PowerGard Protection plan is designed to preserve the performance and reliability of aging equipment. Any remaining PowerGard coverage is fully transferable to a new owner, and that process is free.

The new plan option now provides limited engine and powertrain coverage on out-of-warranty, customer-owned units, which include tractors, combines, sprayers, self-propelled forage harvesters, cotton harvesters and nutrient applicators. 

A PowerGard Protection Plus plan includes coverage for the engine auxiliaries’ hydraulic and electrical systems, plus the operator’s station. Here is a list of problems to look out for before you decide on used, customer-owned equipment. Remember to always keep safety and performance in mind when taking the tractor out for a test drive:

Top 7 Used Equipment Maintenance Problems
1.    It should feel safe and simple to get on and off the tractor. A used tractor that seems like it’s about to tip over once you’re in it is a red flag. 
2.    The hydraulic lines should not exhibit any signs of cracking. 
3.    Check all points of the auxiliaries, including hydraulics, coolant pump, air brake, radiator fan, and compressors–things dependent on the engine’s power and speed. 
4.    Make sure the tractor’s powertrain is in working order. The powertrain’s engine components create power and propel your machine forward from the engine to the wheels on the ground. The powertrain includes the engine, transmission, driveshaft, axles, and differential.
5.    Examine the electrical system —headlights, dash lights, etc. to ensure they function correctly. 
6.    Check to see and hear if the tractor’s engine is sputtering or smoking. It should turn on smoothly with no rattling or vibrating. A clear smoke is best, while white, blue or black smoke can indicate, among other issues, potential internal cylinder and piston ring problems. 
7.    Safety is important. Check the operator’s station; look at the rollover protection structure; check the condition of steps, ladders, and other devices used when getting on and off the equipment. Safety features are an essential part of a long-lasting tractor. 

Knowing what is covered and what to look for before purchasing used equipment will save you money and allow you peace of mind. Contact a reputable equipment dealer who has guaranteed and certified their used machinery and check True North Equipment Service Page for more details. 

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