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Old tractors, like-new prices
In December 2009, I saw auction sale prices paid for good-condition used tractors–particularly high-horsepower models–spike higher. Ditto for the end of 2010.
Generally speaking, I saw this trend on used tractors from 120 hp. on up. The age of the tractor didn't matter so much either. Whether five, 10, 25, or 35 years old, if that tractor was in very good shape and had been well cared for, then chances were it sold for a premium on farm auctions around the U.S. and Canada.
Let's zero in and look at a narrow slice of the used tractor market: 150-hp. to 165-hp. tractors that are 25 to 35 years old. Check out the data table (right) for a quick list that shows some examples of tractors in this category.
The 1980 Allis-Chalmers Model 7060 tractor with 3,317 hours sold for $13,000 on an auction in west-central Illinois. That is the highest auction price I've seen on an Allis-Chalmers 7060 since 1999.
On a farm auction in northeast Missouri in December 2009, a 1982 White Model 2-155 tractor with 3,122 hours in excellent condition sold for $22,250. Again, that is the highest sale price I've seen since 2001.
On December 4, 2010, at an auction in southeast Michigan, there was a pair of very nice 1981 John Deere Model 4640s. One of the tractors had 3,592 hours; the other had 4,200 hours. The final bids on those tractors were $31,500 and $30,000. Those were Quad Range transmission Model 4640s–not the more expensive power-shift models.
On a sale December 1, 2010, in west-central Illinois, a nice 1986 John Deere 4650 front-wheel-assist tractor with 4,738 hours sold for $46,000. That's the highest auction price I've seen since 1999.
On a farm sale November 12, 2010, in east-central Illinois, a 1984 IHC 5288 with 6,500 hours sold for $29,000.
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. A one-year online subscription is $69.95. A one-week subscription is $10. Read more in his weekly column at www.agriculture.com/machinery.
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