What to look for when inspecting used grain carts.
When inspecting used grain carts for sale at one of Ritchie Bros.' many onsite or on-the-farm auctions or online through IronPlanet or Marketplace-E, 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
The first 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. These details are very important to know when buying used equipment.
2. Inspect body details
The best way to inspect any piece is to start at the front and work your way to the rear. When inspecting a grain cart, we recommend starting at the hitch and looking for any wear or damage from being pulled. Examine the frame for any stress points and damage from previous owners. Continue your inspection by verifying the type of unload auger, including the size and length.
Check for damage and rust to the flighting, and ensure hydraulic hoses are free of leaks and tears. Once you are finished with the auger, check the clean out hatches to ensure they are functioning properly. Inspect the unit for a weigh scale. If you are unsure if one comes with, ask a Ritchie Bros. employee to verify. The next step is to verify the condition and type of roll tarp. Typically, a grain cart has a manual tarp, but some grain carts come with electric roll tarps. Once you have verified the condition and type, unroll it and check the inside of the cart for rust and damage.
3. Undercarriage and suspension
Grain carts can be equipped with rubber tires or tracks. When inspecting rubber tires, check make, size and quality of tread. Make sure to check the rims for any cracks or deficiencies. When inspecting tracks, you will need to check for missing rubber/tears, the depth of tread, and for excessive wear to the rollers and drive sprockets. These can be costly to replace and may need to be replaced before it is field ready. While looking at the undercarriage, check the frame for any stress points from being towed. You will also be able to tell if it has hydraulic steering wheels when doing this part of the inspection.
Grain carts will typically have scale monitors, and other additional parts. At each auction site, these will be kept indoors. When inspecting, ask the main office where they might be located to view them. It will be hard to test these devices, but you will be able to see if they have any damage to the screens or if they are missing.
5. 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 at the auction site for these documents. They provide valuable insight into how often and what types of 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 grain carts 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.
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