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The Best Value in Tillage Is Late-Model Disks

While the used equipment market has seen both auction bids and dealer asking prices recently rebound from historic low levels in 2015 to 2017 for large-horsepower tractors and combines, the same cannot be said of tillage equipment, particularly disks. I tracked sale prices on 2013 30- to 40-foot-wide disks in the April 2016 issue of Successful Farming magazine and discovered that like-new implements were selling for 60% of the price of a brand-new disk.

Current prices on late-model disks have strengthened this winter, but only marginally. Healthy supplies of used disks and field cultivators still exist on dealers’ lots in addition to a surprising number of “new old” implements, that include 2-, 3-, and even 4-year-old never-used disks and cultivators waiting to be sold.   

preplanting season may be the best time to deal on a late-model disk  

That makes the last several weeks prior to the start of the planting season a prime time to make a deal on a disk. Dogged by years of sluggish iron sales, dealers are anxious to be rid of aging used inventory before the dirt starts flying.

The Pocket Price Guide provides a sampling of the latest dealer asking prices on 28- to 38-foot disks (the most popular disk width sold) that were built between 2014 to 2016. 

If you are looking to purchase a similar disk or are negotiating a trade-in value of your old disk, use these prices as a general guide. Pay close attention to the specifications listed with each disk. Generally, implements of this age will not have run over enough acres that condition is an issue – although, with fewer acres on them, they do definitely attract higher values. 

the price impact of accessories  

As is certainly the case with other tillage implements, the single big feature influencing asking prices is accessories, particularly finishing attachments. Modern disks have become highly specialized, as manufacturers offer buyers different disk diameter sizes (which can vary from the front and rear gangs), disk spacing, various varieties of accessories such as cleaning scrapers, hydraulic leveling, single-point or automatic depth control, plus myriad finishing attachments such as spike-tooth or coil-tine harrows or rolling baskets.

Of all these additional features, the accessories that boost the asking price on a disk the most include hydraulic fore-and-aft leveling, hydraulic wing control, and rolling finishing baskets. Of these three, the rolling baskets bump up a used disk’s price the most.

prices pancake on older disks  

How a disk is equipped has an equal influence on the asking prices on older implements, an analysis of 10- to 12-year-old disks finds. Disks of this age are a mixture of the standard machines (no or few accessories) with some well-equipped disks that are selling with a finishing attachment (although disks with rolling baskets are rare in this age group of implements) and possibly hydraulic fore-aft leveling.

This search is limited to the most popular disk makes built between 2005 and 2008, and machines that are 26 to 38 feet wide.

Case IH Models 340 or 370

  • 28 feet: $20,000 to $27,500
  • 32 feet: $25,000 to $35,500
  • 35 feet: $26,750 to $37,900

John Deere Model 637 Sunflower Model 435 

  • 26 feet: $21,500 to $27,500
  • 26 feet: $19,900 to $22,500
  • 29 feet: $18,500 to $33,000
  • 29 feet: $20,000 to $35,000
  • 32 feet: $21,000 to $36,900
  • 35 feet: $22,900 to $38,500
  • 36 feet: $21,000 to $44,500

The single greatest influence on the asking values of disks this age is condition. This explains the huge price spread with 32-foot Deere 637s. The highest priced disk in this group came from a retirement sale and was described as being in like-new condition. The $21,000 in that group was reported to have had extensive blade wear. 

winners of the Highest retained value awards

EquipmentWatch, an analysis firm for the heavy equipment industry, announced its finalists for the annual Highest Retained Value Awards. The awards recognize manufacturers in 30 equipment categories spanning the construction, agricultural, and lift manufacturing sectors for products that show the highest retained value over the last five years.

Residual values of equipment are calculated according to market depreciation standards and proprietary algorithms, as well as market value and forced liquidation value records accumulated by EquipmentWatch. 

Here are the firm’s highest retained value rankings by equipment type.

  • Balers: John Deere 8 Series. Finalists included Case IH RB4, Massey Ferguson 2000, Vermeer 605, and New Holland BC 5000.
  • Combines: Massey Ferguson 9500. Finalists included Case IH Airflow 140, John Deere 600, New Holland CR, and Gleaner S8.
  • Corn heads: Case IH 4400. Finalists included John Deere 700C, Drago Series II, John Deere 600C, and Gleaner 3000.
  • Tracked tractors: Case IH Steiger. Finalists included John Deere 9RT, Challenger MT800, John Deere 8RT, and Challenger MT700.
  • Large wheeled tractors: John Deere 8R. Finalists included Challenger MT600, Case IH Magnum, John Deere 9R, and New Holland T8.
  • Small wheeled tractors: John Deere 5E. Finalists included Challenger MT500, Kubota BX, John Deere 6R, and Case IH Maxxum.
  • Sprayers: New Holland Guardian. Finalists included Apache AS, John Deere 4000, Case IH Patriot, and Hagie STS10 & 12.
  • Large skid steer loaders: Case IH SV200. Finalists included John Deere 320, Caterpillar 262, Bobcat S650, and New Holland L220.
  • Small skid steer loaders: Bobcat 5100. Finalists included Caterpillar 232, Gehl T1000, Bobcat S450, Volvo MC90, and Case SF100.
  • Large wheeled loaders: Kawasaki s90. Finalists included Volvo L120, Caterpillar 980, Caterpillar 966, and John Deere 844.
  • Medium wheeled loaders: Volvo L90. Finalists included John Deere 544, Hyundai HL900, Caterpillar 930, Komatsu WA320, and Case 621. 
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