Equipment inspection tips: used mower conditioners

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Farming mower conditioners for sale at Ritchie Bros. equipment auctions.

What to look for when inspecting a used mower conditioner for sale.

When inspecting a used mower conditioner for sale at one of Ritchie Bros.' many onsite auctions or online through IronPlanet, we have a process which may help you decide on what type, make, and model you would like to purchase. We'll walk you through the process of inspecting used equipment, which will help give you tips to do the same.

1. Serial number

Serial number of the mower conditioner sold by Ritchie Bros.

The first step in the process is to verify the serial number on the unit you are interested in. Once you have reviewed and recorded the proper serial number, you will be able to verify year, make, and model through a dealership. If you are viewing a self-propelled mower conditioner, you will also need to verify the number of hours on the unit. These details are very important to know when buying used equipment.

2. Pull-type mower conditioner

John Deere mower conditioner

Once you have confirmed the piece of equipment is the one you are interested in purchasing, you'll want to confirm the condition of it. The first thing you should look at is the hitch, check for any wear or damage from previous owner(s) from over use.

Hydraulic lines and PTO

Continue to examine the Power Take Off (PTO) drive shaft, and determine whether it is a 540, 1000, or big 1000 PTO. Make sure the tractor you plan on using on the unit has adequate power to run the machine safely and possesses the correct hookups. Check hydraulic lines for any leaks and the PTO for any wear and tear.

discs, impellers and rollers

undercarriage of a mower conditioner

Next, view the discs, impellers and rollers. Check for any damaged or missing parts. Excessive damage underneath will show signs the unit was overused or not well maintained. Open the shields and check the condition of belts. You'll want to examine all the shields and outer condition for bends, dents and missing parts. The last step is to check the quality of the undercarriage. Make sure there is adequate tread and no missing rubber. View the rims for any cracks or deficiencies as these can be costly to replace and may need to be replaced before it is field ready.

3. Mower conditioner header

The first thing you should confirm is what type of self-propelled haybine this header will fit. If you are unsure, ask a Ritchie Bros. employee for assistance. Once you have confirmed this header will work for you, verify the overall condition and size. Starting with the reel, check for broken fingers, rust, dents, and bends.

Next, verify the condition of the knives and the drive type. There are two options: single or double knife drive headers. Check for damages to belts, motors and hydraulics. When inspecting the header, you'll be able to verify the auger condition as well. Continue walking around the header, and check the type and condition of the rollers. Open the shields and view the belts for any cracks or cuts, as you will want to budget for any repairs prior to purchasing the unit.

4. Inspect maintenance log and supporting documents

We encourage sellers to supply maintenance logs, inspection lists, work orders and other supporting documents. Make sure to ask for these documents. They provide valuable insight into how often and what types repairs were performed.

In most cases, we will be able to give you the owners information to allow you to contact them and get more details if needed.

If you're interested in buying used mower conditioners being sold in upcoming Ritchie Bros. auctions, visit the auction site to test, inspect and compare different models before you bid. Or see what's available for sale on IronPlanet, including a large selection with IronClad Assurance Equipment Condition Certification.

Register to bid online

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