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Age Has Little Impact on Value of Used Tractors

The wealth of late-model and low-hour tractors in the high-horsepower classes has been capturing all the attention at auction or on dealers’ lots of late. As the marketplace works its way through a glut of iron, be on the lookout for some good deals.

This fact is also putting pressure on the values of 6-year-old to 10-year-old and older horsepower, proving you the opportunity to get a good deal on those tractors, as well. The Pocket Price Guide at the end of this article testifies to the current values of tractors that are in the 240- to 260-PTO horsepower range.

Investigating the values of this age of tractor got me wondering what was happening to even older horsepower. So, as a test, I dug into prices being paid for a particularly popular model line of tractors.

My subject was the 20 series John Deeres that were built between 2002 to 2005. The data I uncovered offers you some basic prices to work with when shopping for these tractors. The numbers also confirm an interesting effect that occurs once a tractor gets beyond 8 to 10 years old.

That effect is, the age of a tractor has little impact on its value. Instead, it’s all about the hours with old horsepower.

Look at the prices paid for the more than 90 Deere 20 series tractors that sold since the summer of 2014.

  • Model 8320 (215 PTO hp.) average price was $68,371, with bids ranging from $56,400 to $87,000.
  • Model 8420 (235 PTO hp.) average price was $78,714, with bids ranging from $57,100 to $120,250.
  • Model 8520 (255 PTO hp.) average price was $83,536, with bids ranging from $69,750 to $111,200.

What immediately leaps out is the lack of price difference between 8420s vs. 8520s.

So, if you are in the market for an 8420, why not just buy an 8520 instead? You’ll likely pay about the same for an 8520 and end up with 20 more horsepower as a bonus.

Back to hours
Below is a listing of the top-selling 8420s out of the 41 tractors of this model that sold at auction:
Price            Year         Hours
$120,250      2004        3,543 hrs.
$119,600      2006        3,934 hrs.
$100,100      2003        4,060 hrs.
$93,500        2006        3,412 hrs.
$91,100        2004        4,288 hrs.
The basic similarity among these tractors is their hours. They are all within 900 hours of each other. It turns out these are also the lowest-hour tractors among the model 8420s that sold.

I also crunched the numbers on model 8320s and 8520s and found the very same pattern. Age had little effect on final price. It was all about the hours.

I’m speaking in generalities here. How a tractor is equipped as well as its overall condition affects its resale value, as well. The first-cut gate, however, in determining what to pay for a tractor of this age is to always look at the hours on its tach.

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