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Reliable 30 Series still bring strong bids

GREG PETERSON 01/12/2011 @ 11:04am 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

Since last fall, I’ve been heading out to machinery auctions all over the country to shoot video for my new YouTube channel on Machinerypete.com. Some videos feature late-model equipment; other videos show equipment in not-so-great shape. Both the big and the little are caught on tape. But the one common denominator at all these auctions has been the great stories behind the equipment.

Good folks from Nebraska, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Illinois, South Dakota, and Ohio love to talk used equipment. Me too. We’re on the same page when we’re talking iron, whether it’s about a 1-year-old combine with the latest GPS or a rusty 70-year-old tractor. I shoot the video and post it for all to see on my website.

But Back To The Stories

Last summer I attended a big-dealer auction in Davenport, Iowa. A line of 26 combines sold that day from seven regional dealer groups.

Tim Colgan, a sales rep with KSR Equipment in Lacon, Illinois, came up to visit with me as we moved down that long line of 26 combines. Turns out Colgan has been using my Machinerypete.com data for a long time, but we’d never had the opportunity to meet. We got to talking about the good old days of the farm equipment business. Colgan’s dad, Joe, had been a dealer, as had my dad.

I’m not sure how it even came up, but Colgan mentioned he had photos at home of the day in August 1972 when John Deere unveiled its new 30 Series tractors at a dealerships like his dad’s. That would have been Colgan Company, a John Deere dealership in Wyoming, Illinois. Colgan mentioned seeing a John Deere 4230 with cardboard over it, waiting to be revealed to the world.

See for yourself in the image below taken on August 19, 1972. Check out that revolutionary rounded cab on the Model 4230.

Colgan sent me pictures and I posted them on my Machinery Pete Facebook fan page. The images struck a nerve with Scot Perry, a farmer from New York.

“Still have memories of this event 38 years later,” Perry e-mails. “Dad worked for Greenwich Farm Supply, which was the John Deere dealer in southwest Washington County, New York. On Friday night, August 18,1972, we all piled into our car and Dad took us up to the John Deere dealer. There were two big doors that would open for getting equipment from the shop into the showroom. Those two big doors opened up and in drove a brand-new sparkling clean 125-hp. Model 4430 and a 125-hp. Model 4430.

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