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Across the Editor's Desk: August 2007

Agriculture.com Staff 08/07/2007 @ 8:01am

What's it worth? As one sports fan might scream at another to win an argument: "You can look it up!"

In machinery, indeed you can. Greg Peterson, better known to most of you readers as Machinery Pete, has compiled the ultimate portable price guide on used farm machinery. It is titled simply, What's it Worth?

The 400-page book is published by Successful Farming magazine. It is packed with actual auction prices on more than 14,000 pieces of farm equipment less than 30 years old compiled over the past several years.

Peterson has organized the auction price information into 45 equipment types from ATVs to V-rippers. In addition to the obvious big pieces of equipment, you'll find categories on garden tractors, soil movers, snowblowers, generators, posthole diggers, rock pickers, combine heads, sugar beet equipment and all types of equipment for livestock.

Gathering auction sale prices on farm and construction equipment across North America has been a passion of Machinery Pete since 1989 when he first started his business, the F.A.C.T's Report.

"What an incredibly fun ride it has been, building this business from the ground up," he reflects. "I think of the 700-plus auctioneers I've worked with to compile this data. So many great people and stories."

Machinery Editor Dave Mowitz, a true gearhead himself, is awed by what Machinery Pete has accomplished with his business.

"His purpose seemed simple; the work was not," explains Mowitz. "Consider the challenge. He set out to amass tens of thousands of prices from hundreds of auctioneers and equipment dealers.

"And for good measure," Mowitz adds, "he validated those prices with invaluable insights, listing the quality of machinery, its geographic location, and scale specifications. No one knows more about values of equipment than Machinery Pete."

Peterson says a strength of the book is the depth of detail about each piece of equipment listed.

"We give you all the details that affect a sale," he explains. "I don't want to simply tell you a 1979 Chevy C70 truck sold for $21,500 on an April 2006 auction in northwest Minnesota. You'll see that the truck was a twin screw with a 427 engine, Eaton 5/2-speed transmission, had a 20-foot Buffalo box, hoist, roll tarp, three-piece end gate, was plumbed for drill fill, and had 61,064 miles.

"Compare that with the other 25 Chevy C70s sold at auction the book lists, and now you know what C70s are worth," he adds.

You can purchase What's it Worth? for $19.95 by calling toll-free 800/678-5752 or by visiting www.successfulfarmingbooks.com. At that site you can also view a list of stores where you can buy the book. In addition, you can see some sample pages that show the details you learn about each piece of equipment.

Adds Machinery Pete, "My hope is that this book's information can help you make more informed buy/sell/trade decisions that keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. And I hope you enjoy it on a personal level, by the sheer fun of seeing what all this machinery has sold for at auction."

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