How To Maximize Your Warranty When Buying A New Tractor

April 2, 2021

Learning the ins and outs of your new tractor warranty can save you time and money

Massey Ferguson tractor pulls Krone baler in field
Massey Ferguson tractor pulls Krone baler in field

When you buy a new tractor, typically it will come with warranty coverage. This warranty package is provided by the manufacturer and serviced by dealerships associated with the manufacturer. Although it may sound simple at face value, there are many factors you should consider ahead of time that will affect your tractor's warranty and service.

What is a Warranty Agreement

A warranty agreement is typically a multi-page legal document (typically more than 10 pages) outlining your warranty privileges as a buyer and the terms of the coverage by the manufacturer. This is a legal agreement between you and the manufacturer stating that the manufacturer agrees to cover certain costs for parts, service and labor (“qualified expenses”) to ensure the reliability of the machine over a specified term.

The agreement specifies responsibilities required for both the manufacturer and you as the buyer. The manufacturer typically agrees to cover costs to ensure the machine is productive and meets a certain level of performance over a given term, while the buyer typically agrees to take care of the machine as specified by the manufacturer. Warranties are meant to instill confidence in buyers so they are comfortable making the purchase — they know they can expect a certain level of performance and life from the tractor.

Reality of Warranties

Farm equipment warranties are not large profit centers for dealerships. This may be surprising since common belief is warranties are big profit pools for other products such as automobiles and consumer electronics. Warranty maintenance is done to ensure a healthy working relationship with customers and keep their equipment running.

Typical Warranty

When you buy your tractor you will get a warranty sheet listing what is qualified and not qualified, as well as the terms and conditions. Warranties often have two levels of coverage:

  1. Base Warranty: Everything excluding the powertrain.
  2. Powertrain Warranty: Basically everything that oil touches (engine, etc). Engines tend have many moving pieces and are subject to more wear and tear than the rest of the tractor, so they have their own coverage category. Read more about powertrain

As a buyer you must follow the manufacturer guidelines to maintain your warranty in good standing. This usually includes using specified oil, fluids and filters. Using cheap or non-branded products can void your tractor warranty. It is common for the manufacturer and dealer to check that the proper parts and fluids were used when you make a warranty claim.

A typical base warranty may be for two years and exclude maintenance, parts, belts, oil and filters. Often the other tractor components are covered. Manufacturers typically offer separate powertrain warranties — such as a three year extension above the two year base warranty.

Making a Warranty Claim

When you make a warranty claim make sure you have a copy of your warranty agreement ready. It helps to have receipts and purchase records related to prior service for the tractor as well. It is best if you can have the warranty serviced at the dealership where you purchased your tractor. Often all manufacturer dealerships will honor your warranty, however it can be beneficial if you have the service done at the place where you bought your tractor. You can find dealers near you using our Dealer Directory.

Two categories are typically not covered by warranties:

  • Transportation costs to and from the dealership
  • Collisions, accidents and natural disaster damage are not covered by warranties. These are separate issues that an insurer covers (see insurance vs warranty claims).

5 Tips for Getting The Most From Your Warranty

#1 Maintain your tractor as required. Use branded fluids and filters. Follow manufacturer instructions to keep your tractor warranty in goodstanding. Using cheap parts and not following guidelines can void your warranty and cost you money down the road.

#2 Keep fresh fuel and treat it. Old fuel can cause problems in injection systems. Speak with your dealer to understand how to properly treat your fuel, and buy fuel treatment if your dealer recommends it. Low sulfur fuel can be tough on injection systems. Learn more about maintaing a healthy fuel system.

#3 Talk with your dealer. If you are having a warranty issue, then talk with dealer service people via email or phone. Remember your dealership is your friend and wants to maintain a long-term healthy relationship with you. Give your dealer the opportunity to take care of you. Dealers are there to help you.

#4 Record warranty end date and set a reminder. Set a reminder in your calendar 30 to 60 days ahead of the warranty expiration so you can remind yourself to check your tractor and let the dealer know if there are any items you want addressed before the warranty expires.

#5 Keep diligent records. Save purchase and service receipts and related paperwork. These are important if you need to make a warranty claim down the road.

Summary

Your tractor warranty keeps your machine healthy and running. It’s important that you understand how a warranty works, as well as your responsibilities as a buyer to ensure you get the most from your warranty. It is also important to remember that your dealership is your friend, and you should communicate with the service people and give them the opportunity to help you.

Resources

The team at Vahrenberg Implement created this helpful video below:

Look at OEM vs third party filter quality (video link)

Caring for your tractor's fuel system (video link)

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#tractors #new tractors #warranty #agriculture


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