How to Read an Hour Meter on a Tractor

by Mark O'Brien
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Tractor image by Andrew Breeden from

When a tractor is up for sale, the most sought-after stat about the tractor is the hours on the engine. Unlike most vehicles that have an odometer that records the miles driven on the engine, tractors have an hours meter. A lot of tractor work involves running the tractor engine for PTO, or power take off, purposes such as grinding feed, scooping manure or filling a sprayer. Reading the hour meter is similar on all tractors.

Step 1

Climb into the seat in the cab area of the tractor.

Step 2

Look for the small rectangular 8-digit odometer built into the dashboard of the tractor. Newer tractors have them digitally displayed on the dashboard so you will have to turn on the tractor to view the hours number.

Step 3

Read the hours on the hours odometer of the tractor. Most tractor hour odometers have 6 digits for the hours, a decimal point and then 2 digits for a partial hour reading.

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