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Skid steers rebound

GREG PETERSON 09/05/2012 @ 2:22pm 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

Values on good used skid steers are up.

Auction sale prices I've been compiling have most definitely been trending higher on nice-condition used skid steers for a while now. Of course, they had nowhere to go but up after tanking, along with the general economy back in 2008 and 2009.

You can see what's happened with used skid steer loader values in my Machinery Pete Used Value Index quarterly report (an excerpt is shown on the next page). In this report, I break the used equipment market down by segments; skid steers is one of those segments. Note how the trendline plummeted lower from 2008 all the way through 2009.

Economy dumped loaders on market

No real surprise there. With the housing and construction industries tanking as they did, many contractors went out of business or at least downsized. This caused a big spike in the amount of used equipment that hit the marketplace. More folks looking to sell equals more auctions.

The brutal reality was that at the same time, there were, of course, drastically fewer buyers. The obvious result was much lower auction sale prices in 2008 and 2009 when it came to gear used in the construction industry.

And there wasn't much help waiting on the agriculture side for used skid steer values in 2008 and 2009. Struggles in the cattle business with rising commodity prices and struggles in the dairy sector didn't help demand for used skid steers.

Values rise in 2010

But in 2010, I began to see demand for good used skid steer loaders slowly creep back higher. Notice how the graph at right trends upward. That upward trend accelerated during the second half of 2011, and it has carried into early 2012. The proof comes in the form of stronger auction sale prices.

Take, for example, the Case Model 1840 skid steer loader with 1,486 hours that sold on a farm auction January 13, 2012, in north-central Iowa for $15,000. That is the highest auction price I've seen on a Case 1840 in five years.

This same auction also had a spiffy little Case Model 1825B with only 206 hours that sold for $13,000. That was a very strong price, too.

Case 1840s

Case 1840s actually provide a pretty clear example of what's happened with used skid steer values over the last few years. See for yourself by referring to the table at left.

Notice back in 2006 and 2007 (before the general economy crash) Case 1840s were selling around $9,000. And then they lost a third of their value through 2008 and 2009. That loss in value amounted to just over $6,000 on average at auction. Since that time, Case 1840s have been gaining value back.

Case 1845Cs

Case 1845C skid steers are another good example. Take a look at the auction price table on the previous page that lists some 1845Cs that sold in the last two years.

Now note the skid steer loader that is highlighted in red. Here is a 1999 Model 1845C that sold August 27, 2011, on a sale in south-central Iowa. This loader only had 157 hours on it at the time of its sale and was rated as being in excellent condition. The final bid on that machine was a whopping $30,500. That final price was for a 12-year-old skid steer.

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