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Hard to say goodbye to a classic

GREG PETERSON 10/21/2010 @ 8:56am Greg Peterson writes "Machinery Pete" column for Successful Farming magazine and appears on the Machinery Show on RFD-TV, talking about trends in the used equipment market

It's tough to let go.

Of that tractor you've loved for so long. This truth was driven home again this week via a phone call I got from a retired farmer in southern Kansas. Seems the caller had quit farming a decade ago, but had held on to his IHC 806 tractor. Now he was kicking around the idea of maybe selling it and putting the money towards other needs.

So he called me wondering how much his IHC 806 was worth.

Now of course current value on a 45-year old tractor depends upon many factors. How many hours does it have on it? How has it been cared for? Was it regularly serviced and shedded? Has it been overhauled or restored? Oh, and one last question I always like to ask...

How long have you owned it?

I've noticed over my 21 years of compiling auction sale price data that used equipment this is "one owner" or "2nd owner" tends to bring more money when it sells. Makes perfect sense. Potential buyers rightly place a premium on having an accurate sense of prior ownership of a used piece of equipment.

So I asked my Kansas caller to tell me about is IHC 806. Loving details poured forth.

He is the 2nd owner, buying the 806 back in 1973 when it had only 611 hours on it. Today it has 8,242 hours and is in excellent original condition (see pictures). The TA is getting a bit weak, certainly not unusual for an 806.

The caller mentioned praying recently about whether it may be the right time to sell the tractor. Days later a phone call from out of the blue, from a guy who used to live in the area. Years ago he inquired about the caller's IHC 806 and if he would ever consider selling it. Now he called back, unprompted, to ask the same question...do you still have that 806 and would you think about selling it?

He offered $8,000.

Back to Machinery Pete, what's the Kansas caller's IHC 806 worth? I jumped into our Machinerypete.com web site and clicked in our "auction results" database. I found 240 sale prices on IHC 806's sold over the last 14 years at auction. I clicked on our "Calculator" pricing tool and found the "Average Auction Sale Price" on 806's so far this year is $4,431. Last year the average sale price was $4,094. Two years ago $5,441. Three years ago $4,953. Ten years ago $4,300.

But my Kansas caller's 806 is a second owner tractor, in very nice shape, so I suggested we zero in on the nicest 806's sold at auction over the last few years. I've highlighted these nicest 806's in the link below, a list of all the 806's I've seen sold going back to 1996:

Is our Kansas guy's 806 worth $8,000? Definitely in the ballpark. Could be worth a tidge more.

A day after we talked on the phone, the caller emailed and thanked me for our conversation and the help with the valuation. He said he'd decided to hold onto his 806 a while longer. Maybe it would be nice to hand it down to one of his kids or grandkids someday. I wasn't too surprised.

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