Machinery Pete: Grain Carts Hold Steady

Machinery Pete: Grain Carts Hold Steady

Everything is bigger—tractors, planters, sprayers and combines. Just when you think size and power are maxed out, up they go, along with the price tag. 

When I’m covering machinery auctions around the country, you can bet several conversations will turn to the escalating cost of new equipment. I like to ask, “What do you think your great grandpa would think about what that tractor, combine or planter costs?” 

I’m sure great grandpa would also be taken aback by the size of equipment today. The Allis Chalmers WD might have a little trouble pulling a 1,300-bu. grain cart. 

This J&M 1051 grain cart in excellent condition sold at an east-central Illinois farm auction on March 6, 2015, for $38,500. 

For the past two years, I’ve been reporting values for large, late-model used equipment have been falling. According to Machinery Pete data, auction prices for this machinery sector have decreased 25%. 

Grain carts, of course, have also grown in capacity. So, does the same trend of softer prices hold true for large, late-model used grain carts? Check out the latest auction prices on the largest used grain carts below, and you’ll see softer auction prices but not as pronounced as tractors, planters, sprayers and combines. 

I have a theory there is more shelter for machinery values under the $100,000 mark—especially when prices are well below that threshold.

For example, on the data table below, check out the two 2009 model Brent 1394 grain carts that sold at consignment auctions in northeast Missouri. One sold July 26, 2014, for $41,000, and the other sold for $37,000 on Jan. 31, 2015.

It’s worth highlighting another example. A Dec. 19, 2014, farm auction in southeast Minnesota featured four John Deere 9330 four-wheel-drive tractors (that sold higher than expected) and five Kinze 3700 24-row planters (that sold on the soft side). The same auction also had four Brent 1594 grain carts, which sold on the soft side. The three 2010 models sold for $40,500 each, and the 2011 model sold for a bit more at $44,000.  


In 2013, the two nicest Brent 1594 grain carts sold were both 2009 models. One sold for $46,500 at a Dec. 12 farm sale in north-central Iowa, and the other for $57,500 on Nov. 20 in southeast South Dakota.

In the data table below, I purposefully left out models with tracks to avoid an apple to orange comparison. However, auction values for grain carts with tracks are also interesting to evaluate. Here’s how several grain carts with 36" tracks in excellent condition sold at a farm auction in northeast South Dakota:

  • 2011 Brent 1194, $58,000  
  • 2011 Unverferth 1110, $51,000
  • 2012 Unverferth 1315, $62,000

Many farmers are also interested in values on smaller capacity used grain carts. Prices for those models are holding better. Check out the table on page 50 that lists average auction prices for several common models in the 600 bu. to 875 bu. range. Values in 2014 were up in three of the five cases compared with 2013 values.

What would great grandpa say? 

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