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Prime Time to Trade in Tracked 4WDS

The December sale of a 2013 Case IH 450 Quadtrac was a litmus test of the current value of large-horsepower tractors. Selling at this dealer inventory-reduction auction was a Quadtrac 450 with just 917 hours on its tach. It was also loaded with high-capacity hydraulics supporting six hydraulic outlets and a Power Beyond port, a PTO, deluxe cab, and a full set of HID lights.

The final bid on that Quadtrac was $221,000.

For a comparison, I went back to another auction I attended in July 2016. On that day, a 2012 Quadtrac sold, and it had similar hours and features as the tractor mentioned above.

Its final price was $165,000.

high-horsepower tractor values strong  

All things being equal, I would say that the $56,000 difference between those nearly identical Quadtracs is a sure sign that the value of large-horsepower equipment is on the rise.

Luke Sullivan of Sullivan Auctioneers (the company conducting the sale of the 2013 Quadtrac) had warned me the day before the dealer auction that high-horsepower tractors like the Quadtrac were escalating in value. “We’ve seen four-wheel-drive values on the increase and expect that Quadtrac to possibly bring a season-high price tomorrow,” he predicted.

Indeed, values on Quadtracs – actually, on all late-model four-wheel drives – are escalating this winter. At that same Sullivan sale, which was held in central Iowa, three 2015 model year John Deere 9470s with 379 to 493 hours, sold for between $224,000 and $226,000. Checking back to 2016, the average sale price of 9470s with similar hours to those tractors was $175,000 to $192,000.

great time to trade up horsepower  

These and numerous other recent sales, as well as the dealer asking prices I’ve been monitoring, support the recommendation that this winter offers a prime opportunity to get a strong trade-in value on your late-model 4WDs.

Certainly, Quadtrac values have strengthened. I offer as support of that statement the dealer asking prices on various Quadtrac models seen in the Pocket Price Guide. As mentioned before, Deere 4WD prices have strengthened, as well. Tracked 4WDs are garnering stronger auction and trade-in values (as witnessed in the Deere tracked tractor analysis below). Tracked technology has established its reputation as fuel efficient while offering the benefits of minimal soil compaction. These advantages have attracted more buyers in the last six months, driving up used values.

If buying a tracked 4WD, look for these key features that will influence price:

  • High-capacity hydraulics. The presence of six SCVs and a Power Beyond port quickly add to values.
  • PTO and 3 point. Both are common on lower horsepower 4WDs that are often employed for hauling planters and grain carts in addition to tillage tools. The importance of a PTO cannot be understated: adding a PTO can set you back $15,000 to $25,000 if it has to be added.
  • A box scraper. Scraper use particularly affects a tractor’s transmission and reduces the longevity of its tracks. 

late-model green tracks trends

The recent rise in Quadtrac values is also reflected in dealer asking prices for 2014 to 2016 John Deere tracked two- and four-wheel-drive tractors. The following are price trend snapshots of the most popular green tracked tractors as listed at the John Deere dealership website,

Model 8370RTs. All the tractors sorted for this comparison were equipped with 25-inch tracks, high-capacity hydraulic systems, and a PTO.

  • 2014 (1,489 average hours):
    • Average price: $261,800
    • Price range: $240,000 to $304,200
  • 2015 (1,135 average hours):
    • Average price: $248,500
    • Price range: $209,900 to $279,000
  • 2016 (822 average hours):
    • Average price: $280,570
    • Price range: $265,000 to $299,900

Model 9560 or 9570RTs. All the tractors sorted for this comparison were equipped with 30- or 36-inch tracks.

  • 2014 9560RT (1,555 average hours):
    • Average price: $282,400
    • Price range: $226,500 to $325,100
  • 2015 9570RT (869 average hours):
    • Average price: $348,100
    • Price range: $319,500 to $430,000 
  • 2016 9570RT (840 average hours):
    • Average price: $341,500
    • Price range: $329,500 to $409,500
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