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Utility tractors rally this fall

The everyday workhorse of farms and ranches alike, the utility tractor is enjoying a rally when it comes to availability. At press time a swarm of 2022 models were hitting the market, which will certainly modulate late-model used values that escalated along with anything agricultural and iron in the past two years. 

A sign of those times was seen in a 2020 John Deere 6R 130 with 568 hours, Deere 620R loader, and 24-speed AutoQuad transmission that sold for $149,500 at a June auction in central Nebraska. A brand new tractor of a similar size could have been purchased (if available amid the manufacturing components shortage) for between $120,000 and $170,000 (depending on how it is equipped). Such like-new prices for late-model used tractors have prevailed in high-horsepower tillage and planter models.

Wide Power Range

Depending on the manufacturer, utility tractors now encompass vehicles ranging in size generally from 60 hp. to 150 hp. and can even reach 250 hp. 

The prices of utilities (the do-it-all tractors that haul, bale, till, and plant) have been reasonable since 2020. Their availability was plentiful at that time, and this tempered a runup in their values, unlike that inflicted on high- T horsepower tractors, combines, planters, and tillage equipment. 

Steady new sales kept used utility tractor prices in check from 2013 to 2020, a time when high-horsepower row crop and four-wheel-drive new tractor sales were sluggish. During this time utility sales remained steady because of profitability in the cattle markets. This, in turn, kept the used tractor pipeline supplied. 

“Recently, low-hour loader tractors prices have ignited,” observes Scott Cook of Cook Auction (cookauctionco.com). This auction outlet (sales are held the second Monday of each month) attracts large numbers of loader utilities because of its location in central Missouri. 

“We get tractors from the Mid-South and western cattle country as well as the Midwest,” Cook explains. “So it is not unusual for us to have several dozen loaders tractors selling each month.” 

Cook saw market prices for utility tractors rise in the past 24 months, but he believes that trend has peaked and shows signs of dropping this fall. 

“This winter will be a great time to shop around for a late-model utility deals,” he says. “We’ve seen their availability increase of late.”

Huge Horsepower Spread

The challenge encountered when shopping in this class of tractors is not only the wide spread of their power output but also how well they are equipped. This makes it difficult to provide specifics about utility price trends. 

Models available at dealerships are in the 100 hp. to 130 hp. range (the most popular size in utilities). See the Pocket Guide here.

“That’s a common tractor across the south, central, and western U.S.,” Cook says. “Head east and utility tractors are smaller.” 

Listings of John Deere 6130Ms being sold with loaders at dealerships from the past five models years were searched. Deere sells this series of tractors in either R or M versions; the R utilities offer more bells and whistles such as the Infinitely Variable Transmission, front-axle suspension, cab suspension, and deluxe cabs. 

Below is the average prices for 6130Ms with loaders.

Year Average Price
2017 $88,500
2018 $108,500
2019 $112,900
2020 $119,600
2021 $132,825

The proliferation of features as is seen with R series Deeres has a major impact on the price of utility tractors with higher horsepower models providing a greater array of options. Front-wheel-drive and cabs are ubiquitous among makes. Major price differences can be attributed to enhanced transmissions, deluxe cabs, and the simple fact that some utilities are sold with a loader.

November Auction

November 5: The auction house’s annual fall equipment sale will be held in Paris, Kentucky, by Mallory Auction.

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