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Best buys of the week

There were far fewer machinery sales this past week as the auction industry winds down for planting. Typically, that would have happened a couple of weeks ago. But then COVID-19 hit and all the live auctions scheduled for March got pushed back to online sales in April.

Green paint premium

That green paint sure do sell, dear . . . even when corn is hovering around $2.70.

This week a 2000 model year John Deere 7810 two-wheel-drive tractor showing 8,012 hours sold at the online sale for $34,000.

Now, the 7810 put out 175 hp.

Which means this 20-year-old tractor equipped with the regular features . . . but NOT front-wheel drive or a powershift transmission . . . sold for $194 per horsepower.

During the same sale a 2007 New Holland TJ280 (pictured above) four-wheel drive with 3,471 hours on its tach sold for $44,250.

Again, I did some figuring and found that New Holland . . .which was seven years younger, had 4,500 fewer hours, was a 4WD equipped with a 24-speed powershift tranny . . .sold for $159 per horsepower.

Like I said, that green paint sure do sell, dear.

Sure, I know I was comparing a two-wheel- to a four-wheel-drive tractor. But really? That Deere 7810 is fast approaching an engine overhaul. So its owner will be potentially pouring another $7,000 to $12,000 into the tractor in the coming years. 

Good time to buy a round baler

I was finishing up my Machinery Insider report for the June issue of Successful Farming magazine this past week. That story, which features round baler price values, offers a great article from Kyle McMahon of McMahon crunched the numbers and found that May and June are the best months to buy a round baler.

So I took notice of a 2010 Deere 468 Mega Wide Plus baler that sold this past week.

This baler had turned out 11,000 bales and came equipped with a hydraulic pickup lift, feed assist roller, auto-tie, net wrap, bale kicker, and a Deere BaleTrak Monitor. 

The final bid on that baler was $16,500.

Semi Truck Sales Prove A Point

Semi trucks built between 2008 and 2012 were the guinea pigs of Tier 4 diesel engineering trials. As such, they are often shied away from by buyers when coming up for sale.

Proving that point, this past week a 2012 International ProStar Premium day cab tractor showing 386,688 farmer miles sold for $7,500.

Also selling this week was a 1979 Kenworth W900A with 831,492 Iowa farmer miles that brought $8,800.

True, the Kenny has more horsepower. But it was 33 years older and had over 444,000 more miles yet sold for $1,300 MORE DOLLARS.

Construction Equipment Of Interest

A Steffes auction this past week featured an old-time Deere 760 Motor Scraper (no known year, no cab, old-style hood) with 8,848 hours and a “great running engine” that sold for $4,500.

Last week I quipped how an ancient Cat 12 motor grader, which sold for $3,800, would be fun to buy if only because you would be the only guy in your area to own a motor grader. But a 760 box scraper is truly a handy piece of construction equipment many farms could use. The thing that would have made this a truly great buy is if it were a Deere 762 elevating scraper. That 180-hp. machine, one of the first elevating scrapers built, was a wonder for its time.

The Darnest Things Show Up At Auction 

I was cruising through sales when the words “Gopher Getter” caught my eye.

“What the heck is a gopher getter,” I pondered, thinking it had something to do with getting gophers but not in a kindly fashion. Sure enough, it was an invention out of California that uses engine carbon monoxide that is pressurized to 110 psi and injected through multiple probes into rodent burrows.

The company that made the Gopher Getter, H&M Gopher Control Manufacturing & Sales (, sells three different models of the gopher-getting machines.

Anyway, this particular Gopher Getter sold for $2,600 used. But it’s engine was not working at the time of listing.

Gee, you think gophers know how to disable an engine?

My Son Is Going To Kill Me

My 21-year-old, Ben, is going to once again have words with me.

You see Ben, still a college student, hints at getting a better car . . .with me picking up the bill.

So several months ago I filed an report from a Steffes consignment sale in Mt. Pleasant that featured a 1970 grain truck that had less than 25,000 miles. I quipped in that report that the truck would be a perfect vehicle replacement for my son.

He didn’t take that suggestion well.

Guess what, Ben? I came darn close to buying you another cherry straight truck this week.

The online sale had a 1976 Chevy COE65 with 50,384 miles sell for JUST $925.

This cute little stub-nose truck even had drop-down duals.

In seriousness, I am always amazed by how little straight trucks bring at sale. I’m not suggesting readers go out and buy them in lieu of semi trucks. But consider, this particular truck sold for less than $1,000. 

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