Maximizing equipment resale value

Everybody loves a sparkly, brand-new piece of machinery or equipment. Someday you might sell it or trade it in so after you drive it off the lot, the next thing you should do is buy a notebook. Jot down everything from where it was purchased, to maintenance and repairs throughout its history. This will show your pride in ownership and give peace of mind to the next owner.

Dave Mowitz is the executive machinery editor for Successful Farming magazine. He says this is especially impactful on older tractors.

"If you see two tractors, basically similar years, similar hours sitting in a machinery line at an auction and one of them has all this equipment, has the service records posted on the wall of the cab, you taped them up there. And there’s the notebook you’re going to get 10%-15% more for that tractor at a minimum," says Mowitz. "And it also helps if it’s been well cared for and you see that on the outside of the machine."

That includes keeping the machine clean. It’s had a bath, been waxed, and the grime has been scrubbed out of the engine. Clean out the cab, too. If it’s really ratty, you may want to make some interior improvements.

One thing you don’t want to do is repaint the machine.

"Farmers will look at a painted machine and think that a tractor jockey has gotten that thing and has given it a paint job to get it sold and it’s hiding some problem. It’s just a perception. It absolutely has nothing to do with quality, well, it does have to do with quality. A repainted machine will be a higher quality machine in some regards because it’s got a new coat of paint," he says. "It’s just the perception that somebody’s trying to hide something."