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Old 4WDs, like-new prices

03/16/2011 @ 10:00am

Whether it's here in my column in Successful Farming magazine each month, in my weekly online column for Agriculture.com, or in my blog at Machinerypete.com, I always try to make my point early on in my ramblings. Easier for the reader to follow along, I think.

So look at the first two lines in the table at the left containing auction sale price data I compiled on older four-wheel-drive tractors sold from January 2010 to January 2011. A 1982 Allis-Chalmers Model 4W305 sold for $34,000, and a 1979 Case 4490 went for $22,000.

Here's My Point

Over the last year, a definite premium is being paid out there when very nice-condition older four-wheel-drive tractors show up for sale at auction. The Allis-Chalmers and Case tractors were both record-high auction sale prices — not just by a smidge either, but by a mile.

The next highest price on a 4W305 was $26,000, followed by $16,000 on the 4490.

I saw this trend at work numerous times in 2010.

On March 20, 2010, I was at a large consignment auction in southeast Iowa. On that sale was a 1978 Steiger ST325 Panther II tractor with 4,200 hours.

I got visiting with a farmer who drove from Ohio to Iowa just to bid on this Steiger. It sold for $27,500, the highest sale price I've seen since 1998 on an ST325 Steiger.

On July 16, 2010, I was in south-central Iowa at a nice farm retirement sale. A 1990 Case IH 9180 with 4,225 hours sold for $53,000, making it the second highest auction price I've seen on a 9180 since 1998.

On August 24, 2010, I was at a farm estate auction in northeast Missouri. A 1982 Massey-Ferguson 4840 tractor with 5,651 hours sold for $13,000 — the second highest sale price I've seen in the U.S. on that model since 2004.

Older Tractor, Higher Value

Here is more hard proof of rising values on used four-wheel-drive tractors.

At a March 1, 2000, sale in southeast North Dakota, a 1998 New Holland 9682 tractor with 1,050 hours (excellent shape) sold for $86,500.

On a November 28, 2009, auction in north-central Ohio, a 1998 New Holland 9682 with 1,560 hours (excellent shape) sold for $96,000. Here is a tractor that is almost 10 years older, with 510 additional hours, and it sells for $9,500 more!

Examples Galore

Look through the table. You'll see eye-opening numbers right and left. Note the $24,000 for the 1976 John Deere 8630 with 7,557 hours. That's the highest sale price I've seen since 2001 on an 8640.

Notice those last three items in the table — the three Deere 9200s. Those are the three highest auction sale prices I've ever seen in the U.S. on 9200s.

So you can see that it's not too hard to make my point this month. Used four-wheel-drive tractors in really nice shape, with a bit of age on them, are worth more now than ever.


Greg Peterson

Greg Peterson is publisher of www.machinerypete.com, which tracks auction prices on all types of farm equipment, plus free dealer and upcoming auction listings.

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