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Used Tractors: Late Model, Large, and Priced Right

A sure sign of the times can be seen in the Pocket Price Guide. Looking down the list of recent sales of late-model, high-horsepower Case IH Magnums, take notice of those last three model 315s. 

Listed are three 1-year-old tractors that have racked up a paltry 6, 5, and 44 hours. What about that 2013 model 290 with 24 hours described as “never been in the field?” 

These are, for all practical purposes, brand-new tractors. I’m not sure what the story was behind those four particular tractors, but I would bet the farm that they came off dealers’ lots to be sold at auction as part of an inventory-reduction sale. 

Large fleet of used large tractors

As mentioned in the January issue of “Machinery Insider” (pages 26-29) regarding John Deere 8310R tractor values, the marketplace – be it dealers’ or auction lots – is burgeoning with late-model tractors. “We have a lot of like-new large tractors for sale right now, and their prices reflect that,” says Scott Steffes of Steffes Auction. “I’ve never seen a better time to negotiate the purchase of low-hour horsepower than this winter.”

In an effort to entice buyers to their lots, many dealers are offering low- or no-interest financing on large, late-model tractors, which also often carry additional warranty coverage as part of a new wave of manufacturer certified pre-owned programs.

Case’s plan

In the case of Magnum tractors, Case IH’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program provides power train coverage for an additional 12 months or 2,500 total engine hours for Steiger and Magnum tractors. CPO standards include a 100-plus-point inspection, fluid analysis, and part replacement.

The offering of such preowned programs by every major farm machinery manufacturer is a game changer in the industry. The peace of mind gained from such programs re-assures buyers that the used machines are up to spec. A CPO program also shows that the manufacturer believes in its product so strongly that it’s willing to back it with extra warranty coverage. 

A price bottom?

That effect should strengthen dealer sales of late-model machinery this year. This, in turn, will reduce inventories and build a price floor under large tractor values that up until now has been soft, at best.

This has already happened to other pieces of equipment. Values on certain popular models of late-model large combines, planters, and self-propelled sprayers have either bottomed out or strengthened.

“That certainly is the case with certain brands of Class 7 combines, for example,” says Rick Vacha of Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers

The first signs of a price comeback on large-horsepower tractors may be seen already this winter, as the shock of making a living with $3.50 corn is fully absorbed and farmers get back to looking for used iron bargains. 

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