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There are good deals on tractors


Readers have commented that all I seem to write about is all the high prices. It can seem that way, I know.

That's because used values, in general, have been on this historic five-to eight-year run of rapidly rising sale prices all over the U.S. and Canada. Trying to keep you informed of the latest trends tends to make me pull forward recent record-high auction sale prices to highlight my points.

But I do have the other end of the spectrum covered, too.

When I started compiling auction sale price data back in November 1989, my goal was to gather as much sale price data as possible, on all types of equipment, from all over. Condition or equipment type didn't matter. I just wanted to know what it sold for.

The specifics

Let's talk specifics. This month, you'll see data on John Deere 4450 tractors.

John Deere made the popular 4450 model (140 hp.) from 1983 to 1988. It came in either two-wheel drive or with a mechanical front-wheel drive.

On my website,, in the auction results section, you'll find 1,138 auction sale prices that I've compiled on John Deere 4450s going back over 16 years.

Take a look at the data table on the previous page for John Deere 4450s from the past year. Notice that not all of these are sky-high sale prices.

A nice 1984 John Deere 4450 with front-wheel drive, 17,000 hours, and complete with a John Deere model 280 loader sold for $32,000 on a May 14, 2012, farm auction in west-central Saskatchewan, Canada. It was a second-owner tractor complete with a powershift transmission.

Now focus on the five model 4450s listed in the table that sold for under $20,000.

Pricing tool


A handy pricing tool on my website provides price trends (see right for a charting of the pricing trends).

Notice how the low price each year has held steady in the $16,000-to-$17,000 range, while the average auction sale price in 2012 shot up to $30,156. That's a whopping 17.3% higher vs. 10 years ago.

That's because folks have been paying increasing premiums for the very nice-condition items at auction.

Take a look at the highlighted (in red) 4450 tractor in the chart on the previous page. That's a new record-high auction sale price on a 4450. That was $50,750 given for a 1985 model with 735 actual hours.

The previous record on a 4450 was $50,000 set on a January 30, 1998, auction in west-central Indiana. That 4450, a 1988 model, had 711 hours, was rated in excellent condition, and came with a powershift transmission.

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