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Buy Little-Used Tillage Implements at Much-Used Prices

The same conditions that have kept the dealer asking prices and auction bids suppressed for late-model, high-horsepower tractors and combines are also acting in your favor if you have been casting an eye at late-model fall tillage equipment.

Stocks of chisel plows, rippers, disk rippers, combination rippers, mulch tillers, and vertical tillage implements are currently healthy based on the listings found at dealer websites. For example, John Deere’s dealer website,, listed 243 disk rippers at presstime that were less than 4 years old. Further investigation of those numbers revealed that nearly 20% of those dealer listings are what is called new old stock, or brand-new machines that have been sitting on lots the past several years. 


Another factor that’s having an influence on the price of tillage equipment values is the fact that dealers are anxious to bring down their inventories of used equipment sitting on their lots. That inventory – whether it be large tractors, combines, grain carts, or tillage equipment – has been a burden on dealers’ bottom lines the past three years.

New machine sales have been sluggish, if not nonexistent. Regardless of low interest rates (which help minimize the cost of holding that equipment), dealers are looking for the opportunity to move used iron off their lots to strengthen their financial situation.

some incentives being offered on tillage 

“Some dealers are also offering attractive incentive packages such as lower interest financing on used equipment,” says Brad Tolbert of John Deere.

Not only that, dealer programs are available that also make acquiring machinery “much more adaptable to your particular needs,” says Nate Weinkauf of Case IH. “You can choose from multiple financing plans when buying today.”

Some financing packages being made available include on tillage equipment including no or very low interest rates. You can also negotiate with your dealer to have an implement reconditioned, which might include the addition of new ripper points.

Dealer incentives that are not available on fall tillage equipment include the various certified preowned programs (that feature extended warranties) as well as the ability to lease the purchase. 

late-model also means like new 

The major advantage of being able to purchase late-model implements at bargain price is their improved condition. Everything being equal when it comes to the way an implement is outfitted (see column below), tillage equipment that has seen years of use will likely need to be refitted with new soil-engaging components. Even basic points on a disk harrow can set you back $25 to $50 per point. The cost of wider and winged points quickly escalates beyond $75 per point. 

Those are the cheapest replacement parts needed on older implements. Swapping out worn disks or replacing a dilapidated tine harrow – or worse, a rolling basket – can set you back as much as the original price of the used implement.

accessories have major influence on asking price

The wide variety of dealer asking prices found in the Pocket Price Guide can’t be explained away simply by the size of the implement (as determined by the number of shanks and their spacing), although that feature does put a strong base value on a disk ripper.  

Accessories have a huge influence on asking values. Take, for example, the two Sunflower 4412s listed in the Guide. They are the same year and size. So what accounts for the $13,000 difference in their asking prices, beyond their condition, is how they are outfitted. The higher-priced Sunflower 4412 has chrome points, auto reset shanks, and a three-bar tine harrow. 

When searching for a disk ripper, particularly if you are shopping for one online, pay particular attention to the following accessories that can define a disk ripper’s value. Be warned: Some dealers are not very active in listing all the assets of their machines. So a phone call from you may be required to get specifications.

  • Shanks. While the shanks don’t vary, their ripper points do. These points can be as narrow as 2 inches or as wide as 10 inches.
  • Transport widths. Some companies sell narrow-transport-width versions of the rippers. This adds value to the machine.
  • Finishing disks. These disks can be smooth or notched, and some have hydraulic height operation. 
  • Finishing accessories. A common finishing option is the three-bar coil-tine harrow. The pricier option is a rolling basket, particularly the knife-edge design that slices through clods.
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