Buyer's Guide for Farmers: Used Ploughs

Our team of experts have written an in-depth Used Farm Plough buyer's guide, to help you find the farm plough that best suits your farm machinery needs. With our expert guidance and comprehensive information, you can be confident that you're making the right choice in selecting the best farming equipment for farmers and estate managers. Whether you're in the market for a secondhand plough, or not sure how many furrows you need, AMTEC's used ploughs buying guide is designed to help you choose your next plough.

 lemken plough

Agricultural ploughs

The plough, a timeless and essential farm implement, has stood the test of time as one of the oldest and most utilised machines in agricultural history. Even with the rise of reduced tillage practices, the plough continues to hold its significance. Since 1990, Dowdeswell ploughs have been a cornerstone of our machinery offerings at AMTEC (formerly Ellis Machinery). Drawing upon our years of experience, we have curated a comprehensive buyer's guide to buying used ploughs.

Different Types of Ploughs

There are three main types of ploughs available, with the reversible plough being the most popular choice in modern times.

Reversible plough

The reversible plough cuts a furrow with the ploughshare, or point, which is then lifted, turned and inverted via the mouldboard. The flat land side presses against the furrow wall during this process, preventing the plough from lateral swinging. The reversible plough is more efficient than the conventional plough, which throws the furrow slice to one side of the travel direction because it has a lower draught requirement and a larger field capacity.

 reversible plough

Conventional plough

The conventional plough was the original version usually pulled by animals and used over 4,000 years ago. Little has changed with the design since then.

 conventional plough

Disc plough

A disc plough uses round concave discs with a sharp or scalloped edge they are best used on hard, rocky, or shrubby land. It reduces friction by making a rolling furrow bottom instead of a sliding one.

 disc plough

Plough Brands

Kverneland

Kverneland Ploughs are widely known as one of the leading plough manufacturers in the world. Using cutting-edge technology, they are moving one of the oldest agricultural tools into the modern age.

Used Kverneland LO Ploughs

The LO Plough has been designed for "On Land and In Furrow" ploughing. With a 300HP rated headstock, the plough is robust and has the necessary strength to carry out large ploughing tasks. One of the top advantages is the ease of adjustment, not only from On Land to In Furrow, but the Variomat control gives infinite hydraulic furrow width.

Dowdeswell

Dowdeswell Ploughs used to boast of being the largest plough manufacturer in the UK. Sadly, those days are over, but the ploughs themselves are still unmatched for simplicity and strength. Designed to plough the heavy clay soils around Southam, Warwickshire, they are heavily built and easy to use.

Used Dowdeswell DP7 Ploughs

The Dowdeswell DP7 Plough was the most popular plough built at the Blue Lias works, and at their pomp, Dowdeswell built literally thousands of them. Still popular amongst many of the original users, the DP7 now offers an affordable entry to ploughing.

Lemken

Lemken Ploughs are another well know plough manufacturer built in Germany to exacting standards. Lemken uses its experience in designing all types of cultivation equipment to build a wide range of ploughs.  

Used Lemken Vari-Opal Ploughs

Like Kverneland Lemken has brought the plough up to date by adding the latest technology to the age-old machine, the Vari-Opal is a popular model with the hydraulic vari-width adding flexibility for the user to adjust the furrow width whilst ploughing.

 

Market Price of Ploughs: How much do they cost?

Market price of ploughs

Like most machinery, the price of the plough depends on the age, condition, and features that the plough has.  Quite a number of original plough manufacturers have stopped making them, so the secondhand plough market sees a number of discontinued models.

Price of new ploughs vs used ploughs

There can be considerable savings in buying a used plough v’s a new one.  As previously mentioned, the new ploughs tend to incorporate a lot of new technology, ISOBUS, electrical sensors etc.. In contrast, a good straight secondhand plough can give you all the basics at a greatly reduced price.

 

Price ranges of ploughs by brand

Kverneland

Kverneland ploughs range from the older lighter, weight models like the LB85/160 and /240, which sell for between £2,500 and £5,000 depending on condition and the more recent i-plough, which is ISOBUS controlled and fetches over £20,000.

Lemken

Like the KV range, the Lemken pricing largely depends on the capacity and power rating of the plough. Lemken ploughs range from between £4,000 and £16-£17,000 for the larger OF models. Lemken also does an up-to-date plough range called the Jewel, which sells for over £20,000.

Dowdeswell

With no ploughs being made for several years now, all the Dowdewell range is dated, and the DP7’s and DP8’s price range is from a few hundred up to approx. £3,000, whilst the newer larger models can fetch as much as £10,000.

 

Price of buying used plough parts

Providing that the frame of your plough is in good condition, straight and with no cracks, the maintenance of a plough can be low cost. Usually, the only parts that will need replacing are the wearing metal and, depending on your soil type, the fast-wearing metal, i.e., points, wings and shins, will be all that needs replacing for a long time.

Where to Buy a Secondhand Plough

There are several places where a good secondhand plough can be sourced but the main thing when buying a used plough is to take the time to ensure that the frame and legs are in good condition.

auction

Auction

Auctions have been a popular marketplace for machinery for many years. During the Covid outbreak in 2020 a lot of machinery auctions moved online which made it easier to access them. The downside is most machinery is sold as seen at auctions so can look like a deal but might not work out that way.

classified adverts

Classified advert

A traditional method of buying and selling in the industry. Magazines like the "Farmers Weekly" used to thrive on it, but with new, low cost, market places on the internet more of it has moved online.

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Private sale

As per the above a lot of this goes on through online market places these days but there is still room to move machinery between farming neighbours and by word of mouth. 

Defects to Kkeep an Eye Out For

The plough is a simple tool and, to date, not overly complicated with electronics etc. but there are several things to look out for when buying a used plough that can make a good price looks not so good.

worn metal

Excessively worn metal

Whilst not terminal to the plough’s future, completely re-metaling a plough can be an expensive task so a plough with very worn metal would need to be a bargain. The other thing to look out for if the metal is excessively worn is that the frogs and legs haven’t worn as well, if metal has been left for too long it can wear other parts of the plough.

hydraulics

Issues with hydraulics

More modern ploughs tend to have more hydraulics and in turn electrics and hydraulics working together. If these are damaged, then the issue can be hard to trace and cost repair cost potentially high.

frame damage

Damage to main frame

This is the really important point. With metal and other parts replaceable there is potential to solve most issues. On the other hand, if the frame of the plough is bent or damaged repairing it can be much more difficult. Sure, plating and welding can sort some frame cracks but often weakness can remain and if the frame is bent then the finish of the ploughing can be affected.

Safety and Compliance with Legal Requirements

PUWER

PUWER Regulations also known as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 were updated when the UK left the EU. The points that apply when buying and selling farm machinery are that the machinery is suitable for the intended use and most importantly that it is safe for use, maintained in safe condition and inspected correctly. If you buy machinery from AMTEC you can be sure that we have checked that it is safe to use and replaced and broken guards etc.

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