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Best buy of the week

This week marks the end of two weeks of whirlwind online auctions, many of which were originally to be held live in March. But because of the COVID-19 outbreak, those auctions were delayed and then switched to online sales.

For this week-in-review report I’m focusing on Bigiron.com’s sale that moved just short of 1,500 pieces of equipment on Wednesday.

Best Buy Of The Week

Certainly one of the best buys I’ve seen all winter goes to whoever paid just $64,250 for a six-year-old Deere 4940 sprayer.

That applicator, sitting in Mississippi, was showing 2,974 engine hours and 431 sprayer hours and was dressed out with a 1,200-gallon stainless steel tank, five-way nozzles on 20-inch spacings, four-wheel air struts, deluxe operating station with Deere 2600 SF1 monitor, halogen lighting, stainless inductor, 170-gallon rinse tank and 3-inch Quick-Fill connection. In other words, this sprayer sold fully loaded.

What makes this such a great buy is that dealer asking prices for 4940s with similar hours (2,600 to 3,000 hours) range from $124,900 to $155,00. True, the sprayer sold at auction (auction prices often are 20% to 30% lower than dealer values). Yet, further evidence that this was a great buy can be found in the $60,500 sale of a 2006 model 4720 sitting in Nebraska.

That sprayer was nine years older . . . had 3,241 hours showing . . . was a smaller sprayer all around . . . and didn’t come with nearly as many bells and whistles as were offered on the Mississippi 4940. But it sold for just $3,750 less!

This is proof there are good deals to be found if you are willing to look ­for them and then act when opportunity presents itself.

Best "What's The Story Here" Buy

During the Bigiron.com sale, a 2011 Peterbilt 386 showing 834,966 miles went for JUST $8,200. I read the truck’s description thoroughly, and there is no mention of any mechanical issues that the truck presented. It sold with a Paccar MX360T diesel, Eaton 13-speed, suspended sleeper, air ride suspension, and aluminum outer wheels. Mind you, Peterbilts of this age and mileage regularly bring $15,000 to $25,000 and greater money. Actually, similar Petes have been bringing $30,000-plus on a regular basis in recent weeks. So why did this particular truck sell for only $8,200? Either someone got themselves one heck of a buy or will pay $10,000s in future repairs.

Best “I’ve Always Wanted To Own One Of Those” Buys

The Bigiron.com sale saw a rusty looking Cat 12 motor grader sell for $3,800. True, the grader was a gamble as it was old (no age was listed but it appeared to be very long in the tooth) with a tach showing 633 hours (very likely turned over long ago), and its pony engine wasn’t working. (Pony engine? Yup – it’s old). But once pull started, the Cat grader’s six-cylinder diesel ran well. So why would anyone part with $3,800 to buy a motor grader needing work? Because many farmers are tired of using a rear blade to do road or earth work and would appreciate owning even an aged motor grader for such occasional work. Besides, making such a buy would give you bragging rights in your neighborhood as the only guy around to own a motor grader.  

Best Classic Iron Buy

In my spare time I am editor of a farm collectibles publication called the Ageless Iron Almanac. As such, older classic machinery is of keen interest to me. So when the 1948 International KBS6 in pristine condition (restored and running like a top) pictured at the top of this article sold for $17,250, I was envious. That vehicle showed just 57,781 miles, and it exemplifies a time when trucks were highly styled. What a work of motor vehicle art!

Now, $17,250 is a pretty penny to give to own a work of truck art. But it’s worth every nickle as I’ve seen seen collectors give more for similar trucks that were unrestored or wrecks.

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