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Late-Model Grain Carts

One of the first harbingers of an impending shortage of late-model and large used equipment has announced itself in grain carts this past summer and fall.

Three years ago, supplies of late-model used carts were ample. My marketplace research at that time found availability of 1- to 4-year-old carts at 757 (2012 to 2016) units on dealer lots. Auctions of the time featured long lines of the machines.

At press time, that number had dwindled to 262 of 2014 to 2018 model-year carts. Also, 1,000-bushel-plus carriers are particularly in short supply. 

The end result is that late-model grain cart values have firmed up. Three years ago, I pulled out an example of Brent 1196s. The 2014 models of that brand ranged from $35,300 to $85,400. That was a considerable spread. The marketplace then was in flux with dealers working feverishly to rid themselves of excess used and new inventory. As such, they were willing to discount carts on hand.

The Pocket Price Guide bears witness to a tighter value spread of 2016 Brent 1196s on the market ($49,500 to $62,500). That’s a sign of tighter used supplies.

Large Grain Carts Gaining in Price

So it appears that at this time (just prior to Midwest harvest) well-maintained large grain carts are generally gaining value.

Is that a glass have empty or half full situation? If you own a late-model cart and are looking to upgrade capacity with a new cart, the opportunity to cash in on potentially higher trade-in values exists. 

You can go into that transaction with the knowledge that cherry carts are more valuable backed by reliable pricing information on your old equipment. The internet has given you access to a massive database of auction prices and dealer asking values. “Sellers and buyers today are so much more informed about values than in the past due to the internet,” says Scott Steffes of the Steffes Auction group.

Pricing Dependent on Accessories, Options 

When looking to trade in or buy, defining the exact grain cart you want has certainly gotten more complicated due to a wealth of options being offered on trailers today. 

While differences among wagons primarily center around tire sizes, lighting packages, and tarps, carts are feature-rich. This is particularly true for carts that offer over 800-bushel capacities. Camera systems, scales, hydraulic doors, flow controls, unload auger options, LED lights, and adjustable spouts are some of the accessories that can impact a grain cart’s value. 

Undercarriage Influence

Generally, the accessories that have the greatest impact on cart values are in the undercarriage area, including high-flotation tires, tandem-axle duals, and tracks. 

Here is a snapshot view of average dealer asking prices for grain carts built between 2013 to 2015 with different undercarriages. 

Brent 1396

With high-flotation tires 

   Average price: $49,200

   Price range: $41,290 to $59,500 

With walking tandem duals

   Average price: $51,800

   Price range: $49,500 to $54,500

With tracks  

   Average price: $78,500

   Price range: $76,500 to $81,000

Kinze 1300

With high-flotation tires 

   Average price: $58,000

   Price range: $53,500 to $64,500

With tracks 

   Average price: $87,125

   Price range: $84,500 to $98,500

J&M 1326

With walking tandem axle 

   Average price: $45,080

   Price range: $41,800 to $47,500

With high-flotation tires 

   Average price: $48,600

   Price range: $46,500 to $49,300 

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