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Self-Propelled Sprayers

Like new” was an understatement in describing a 2013 Case IH Patriot 3330 sprayer that sold on a miserably cold day last winter. There were only 169 hours registered on that applicator’s meter. The machine was immaculate. In fact, its cab still smelled new! The 3330 was loaded with a 120-foot boom, 1,000-gallon stainless steel tank, Active Suspension, side and rear cameras, HID field lighting, AccuBoom, AutoBoom shut-off, and a full array of Raven electronics. 

Here was a good test of the used iron market last winter. 

The Patriot was one of several highly anticipated items on the auction block at a farm sale being held near Kirksville, Missouri, conducted by Sullivan Auctioneers. Dan Sullivan said there were as many online bidders registered as live participants, partly due to the Patriot sprayer. 

“A well cared for sprayer like this is gold, particularly for online bidders,” Sullivan said, explaining the high participation of Internet buyers.

Like-new bids? Only if you look at base price
So when the final bid was taken that day, the 2013 model Patriot 3330 left that farm for $237,000. For comparison, the base list price for a 2014 Patriot 3330 is $234,860.

This sale proved that a brand-new price was given for a like-new late-model used machine. That has been a well-established trend the last five to seven years. (I later found out I was wrong with that assumption.)

Self-propelled sprayers are as option-rich an iron commodity as there is on the market today. Their used values are greatly influenced by how well they are equipped when originally purchased new.

Looking back at that 2013 Patriot 3330, I added up the various options it was equipped with using the handy “Build and Price” page of Case IH’s website.

The Patriot 3330 that sold at the Sullivan event was equipped with an estimated $94,000 worth of options, accessories, and electronics at 2014 prices. 

So if you account for $90,000 in added value (in 2013 dollars), it appears the 3330’s final bid was flat compared with one to two years ago when it may have brought an extra $30,000 to $40,000. I based that on prices I accumulated for such sprayers that sold in 2011 and 2012.

Still, as Sullivan points out, well-cared-for equipment consistently brings top dollar at sale or at trade-in.

Sullivan quickly adds that lower commodity prices are having a negative impact on used values. “We have a lot of late-model machinery in the countryside at the present time,” he says. “Until all that iron works its way through the market, its average value is going to be generally depressed.”

Well equipped?
To help you put a price on late-model self-propelled sprayers, you’ll find recent sales of these machines in the Pocket Price Guide on the next page.   

When going over these figures, be sure to take into account how the sprayers were configured. For starters, note the differences in boom widths. They range from 90 feet to 120 feet. 

Take a look at their tanks, not only for size (which ranges from 800 gallons to 1,600 gallons) but also for construction (poly vs. stainless steel containers).

Not all of these sprayers are four-wheel drive, a feature that might be worth the extra cost if you think you’ll be running in wet fields. 

Pay attention to the accessories (particularly electronic controls and guidance). They have a huge impact on their worth. 

The electronics package on the Patriot 3330 that sold at the Sullivan auction conservatively added $26,000 to $30,000 to the value of that machine. That doesn’t include the value of its advanced suspension system, HID lighting package, premium cab, chemical eductor package, and rinse tank.

Be sure to spend time spec’ing out a sprayer that meets your needs before participating at a sale in person or on the Internet.

Best buy recommendation is to go bigger

Options aside, the base configuration of a self-propelled sprayer (boom width and tank size) should have a big impact on its value.

Or so I assumed when crunching the numbers on late-model John Deere sprayers. I chose Deere applicators because they represent the largest number of transactions since August 2013. All told, I tracked the sale of 82 late-model sprayers. Here are the average prices paid by model:

  • 4730 – $161,223
  • 4830 ­­– $154,782
  • 4930 – $163,424
  • 4940 – $242,002

For a fair comparison, I looked only at 4830s and 4930s built from 2008 to 2011. I only included in my calculations 4830s with 100-foot booms and 1,000-gallon stainless steel tanks (a standard configuration) compared with 4930s with 120-foot booms and 1,200-gallon stainless steel tanks. My assumption was that the bigger 4930 would sell for much more.

That was not the case. On average, I found you could buy a 4930 for just $1,500 more. In addition to offering wider booms and larger tanks, the 4930 runs with a 325-hp. diesel compared to the 275-hp. in the 4830 (both are full-time four-wheel-drive with hydrostatic transmissions).

Surprise high-boy prices

During an Internet search, the sale of a John Deere model 6500 popped up. Surprisingly, this high-boy applicator with 2,173 hours on its tach, sold for $27,000, garnering up to 12 bids before the sale was closed.

The staying power of an antiquated applicator showed up again when another search for other 6500s over the past six months was done. Clearly, the 6500 shown above must have been a cherry machine, as eight other 6500s brought between $10,200 and $19,800. Sales of the 6500’s replacement, the model 6700, are brisk, as well. Seven out of 15 of these 13-year-old applicators brought between $29,200 and $55,000.


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