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Machinery Pete: IHC 706 tractor sells high

Agriculture.com Staff 04/29/2010 @ 10:27am

It's about more than numbers.

Pick a piece of farm or construction equipment. Any piece of equipment. What's it worth? I can tell you. I've been compiling auction sale prices on all types of equipment now for 20 1/2 years. These fingers have typed in over 500,000 sale prices into our computers.

But more and more I've come to realize, this is about more than prices. It's about people too. In a powerful way.

On an auction last Saturday, April 24, in northwest Missouri, a 1966 IHC 706 gas tractor in "good" condition with 4,587 hours sold for $5,750. My friend Eddie Pickett was the auctioneer on this sale.

Way, way back when I first began collecting auction sale price data I called Eddie after one of his machinery auctions. I was only 23 or 24 years old. Just a kid. Eddie couldn't have been nicer. Very helpful. I never met Eddie in person until this past winter when I made my way down to northwest Missouri to shoot video at a small farm auction Eddie had (watch the video). After the sale we visited for a bit in Eddie's auction trailer. Same nice fella I'd talked to on the phone two decades before.

Back to that 1966 IHC 706 tractor sold on Eddie's auction Saturday. This Monday I received an email from Kyle Stith. The auction Saturday was for Robin & Sharla Stith and children, one of whom is Kyle. Eddie's auction sale bill said: "Due to our children being in college and down-sizing our operation, we will hold an auction of good quality, efficient machinery that has been well-maintained at our residence east of Polo, Missouri."

Kyle e-mailed me wondering what I thought about the $5,750 sale price on their 1966 IHC 706 tractor. I emailed back saying I thought it was a very strong sale price, as it should have been for such a nice older tractor. I relayed to Kyle the $5,750 sale price was in fact the highest auction sale price I'd seen on an IHC 706 tractor in over 3 years (see link below for list of Pete's auction prices on IHC 706 tractors).

"We purchased the tractor 10 years ago at a farm auction near Pattonsburg, Missouri," said Kyle in a follow-up e-mail to me.

"We used the tractor for our cow/calf operation until we sold out last year. My dad is a full time pharmacist and when I left for college he didn't have time to run the farm. Primarily we baled hay, hauled hay and worked ground with the tractor. I can remember driving the tractor around the driveway the day we bought it when I was about nine years old. In high school I always drove the tractor in the homecoming parade as the FFA float."

Kyle is a now a student majoring in Pharmacy at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He hopes a good job after college can help him get back into farming. Here is a picture of the Stith's IHC 706 tractor and another picture of Kyle driving the 706 in the Homecoming parade with an FFA banner on it.

This is about more than sale prices.

It's about people, like Kyle Stith, like auctioneer Eddie Pickett, like the buyer of that IHC 706 tractor who I'm sure will put it to very good use and appreciate it for the tractor it is. Twenty-plus years into this gig of compiling auction sale price data and my eyes are being opened. Check out the last 2:00 of our latest Youtube video, you'll see what I mean.

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