The seven tractors listed in the data table below are a small sample size, but they certainly affirm a trend I’ve been tracking for the past couple of years.
Each of the tractors has some age, from 11 to 38 years old, but what else do they have in common? Each tractor is in very good condition, has low hours and sold between Jan. 1 through early March 2019 for the highest auction price on that particular model in the past three to six years.
When a very nice, low-hour, two-wheel-drive tractor comes up for sale, it stands out big time—on paper and visually, particularly these two-wheel-drive models from the 2000s. A lot of folks think they look kind of odd. Case in point is the 2002 model Case IH MX200 with 1,700 hours that sold at a Feb. 28 farm auction in west-central Illinois. I posted a picture of the MX200 on our Machinery Pete Facebook and Twitter, and comments followed about the two-wheel drive. It might be goofy looking to some, but the somewhat rare MX200 sold for the highest auction price in five years.
Another factor contributing to the higher prices is the simple fact they cost less than their comparable front-wheel assist models. So there’s the whole saving money angle.
For example, let’s study John Deere 7720 tractors. Note the 2005 model in the table with 2,512 hours that sold for $67,000 at a Feb. 18 farm auction in southeast Iowa. That’s the highest auction price on that tractor in six years. Now let’s go back in time to a very nice farm auction in northwest Ohio on Jan. 2, 2010. At that auction a 2004 John Deere 7720 two-wheel-drive model with only 1,039 hours sold for the exact same price.
Thanks to the internet, the role geography plays in used tractor values seems to matter less today than in years past. Now I see used tractors with low hours in nice condition sell well no matter if it’s down south or up north. Notice the 1993 John Deere 7600 in the table with 1,360 hours. It sold for $52,000 at a farm auction in southeast Virginia on Feb. 23—the highest auction price in five years.
Bottom line: Nice condition, older two-wheel-drive tractors are just worth more now than they were a few years ago. I don’t think this trend will change any time soon.