What is the difference between old and used farm equipment?

old and used farm equipmentold and used farm equipment
old and used farm equipmentold and used farm equipment

What is the difference between old and used farm equipment?

When looking into purchasing farm equipment, the decision between used and old machinery can be a tough call to make. One may seem to be more affordable while the other offers reliability and fewer  repairs. Outlined below are the differences between old and used farm equipment, and their pros and cons.


What is old farm equipment?

In the debate of used vs old farm machinery, one must first understand what old farm equipment is. Old farm equipment does not always mean the farming equipment our ancient ancestors used to use, it can mean farm equipment that dates back to the 1940s and has been passed down from generation to generation.

One should consider it as different to used farm machinery because old machinery is passed down rather than bought and sold. You can also find old farm machinery at second-hand stores, however, these may be in pieces for assembly or may need hours of restorative work. This hard work can deliver fantastic results, however, and the restored old machinery can save you thousands that would be spent on new machinery.


What is used farm equipment?

Used farm equipment is different to old farm equipment in that it is newer and is sometimes in better condition depending on the seller. Used farm machinery can range in age from one year to five years, and if you choose to buy it from a dealer it will have a full service and repair history so you know exactly what you are getting when you purchase it.

Used farm machinery is a cost-effective purchase, allowing you to save money that could be used elsewhere on your farm. In the same manner as a car, farm equipment depreciates in value after the first use, but used farm equipment will depreciate at a slower rate. If you already have new equipment, investing in a used counterpart will allow your farm to continue operating should machinery breakdown.


Old vs used: the pros and cons


Old farm machinery

Old farm equipment has many benefits, although it is often overlooked in favour of new or used machinery. Outlined below are some of the benefits of using old farm machinery


Lower purchase price

Old farm equipment will be available with a much lower purchase price tag, which is a benefit to farmers with a tight budget. This lower purchase price will allow you to use the money saved on restoring the equipment back to its former glory and often these repair costs are low


Better fuel economy

Because old farm machinery relied on the power of horses to move them or used other manual power, their fuel usage was relatively low. These manually powered pieces of equipment, such as ploughs, hay rakes and compact tractors allow you to save on fuel, some even eliminating the need for fuel altogether.


Parts can be hard to find

One of the major disadvantages of choosing to refurbish old equipment is that the parts can be very difficult to find. You may have to source them from niche dealers, which may take time and extra money. Some agricultural equipment dealers may have the parts you need but it is likely that you will have to trawl second-hand stores for what you are looking for.


There will be a learning curve

As with any machinery you are unfamiliar with, you will find a learning curve when using old machinery. The learning curve may be steep, and you might have to spend time understanding the piece you have bought. This can take time, which you may not have while working on a farm. Be sure before you buy old machinery that you are willing and able to spend time learning about how to use it.


Used farm machinery

Used farm machinery is a more common choice among farmers, and below are some of the advantages and disadvantages.


It has been tried and tested

Used farm machinery has been tried and tested by previous owners, meaning that any problems have been fixed by the previous owners too. If the piece of equipment has been well maintained then you are investing in machinery that is reliable, problem free and highly affordable. Any defects will have been seen by the seller and rectified before sale.


There are more options than buying new

Used equipment often offers more options than buying new, as you are not restricted to choosing only what the dealers are offering. You will also find that older models are available if you buy used equipment, which can be helpful if you prefer a certain model for your farm.


Repairs and maintenance

With used machinery comes some need for maintenance and repairs. While this may not be on the level of old machinery, it can still be a significant cost. If you look for reputable sellers you may be able to avoid the repairs but eventually, wear and tear will set in and you will be forced to service your equipment.


A difficult process

Looking for reliable used equipment can be a more difficult process than finding new equipment. In both instances, you will have to perform inspections, but this need doubles when you are examining used farm machinery. You will also have to research the best market price for what you are buying in order to avoid wasting your money on equipment that could be cheaper elsewhere.



Using old farm equipment is ideal for smaller farms that have tight budgets and land that can be ploughed and worked on manually, but if you have a larger farm you should look into buying more modern, used equipment. Both options will allow productivity to increase on your land and you will find that you spend less than purchasing new equipment which can be restrictive in choice.

old and used farm equipment