Machinery Pete: Never a Better Time to Buy

November 7, 2015 02:42 AM

Given the high supply of large, late-model used equipment on the market, there might never be a better time to update your fleet.

If you have used equipment, seven to 10 years old, in nice condition, you’re in a sweet spot to trade up. Head on over to and click on the “175 hp” tractor category. You’ll find nearly 10,000 tractors listed. Take your search a step further to see how many late-model tractors are for sale by brand (as of Oct. 29): 261 John Deere 8335Rs, 242 John Deere 8235Rs and 163 Case IH Magnum 290s. Now, look at the scarce number of slightly older model used tractors: 26 John Deere 8120s and 22 John Deere 8220s.

Dealers will likely be more open to a trade if it’s a nice seven- to 10-year-old used tractor. You have a tractor they could move fast.

“I want a $100,000 rather than a $250,000 item on the lot,” says Casey Seymour, remarketing manager with Prairieland Partners, a John Deere dealer in central Kansas with 10 locations. Seymour reports a good level of buyer activity in the under-$150,000 used price range.

After analyzing auction price data in the 170 hp to 250 hp segment of seven- to 10-year-old used tractors, I found they’ve been selling for approximately $100,000. 

A slightly older 2002 model John Deere 8220 tractor with 3,557 hours sold at auction on Sept. 12, 2015, in Missouri for $95,000. A week later in Minnesota, another 2002 model John Deere 8220 with 1,261 hours sold for $90,000. These are the two highest auction prices I’ve seen for John Deere 8220s this year.

Strong sale results carry over to slightly older used tractors as well. A one-owner 2000 model New Holland 8870 (180 hp) with 1,360 hours sold for $82,000 at a Sept. 11, 2015, farm auction in central Minnesota. That’s the second highest auction price ever on a New Holland 8870. At a July 24, 2014, farm auction in southeast South Dakota, a one-owner 1997 model Case IH 8940 (200 hp) with 2,675 hours sold for a new record price of $92,000. 

When you trade up to used late-model equipment, there is significant technological advances. Let’s not forget about the remaining manufacturer warranty, which has benefits that extend beyond dollars and cents. Time is valuable in the spring and fall; and it’s nice to know your machine is under factory warranty. 

Manufacturers realize the importance of an extended warranty and protection to buyers, so most now 
offer a certified used program. That benefit makes the two- to five-year-old late-model used machinery items all the more attractive.

While the inventory for large late-model used equipment is plenty right now, it won’t always be that way. Markets will change, and dynamics will turn the table. 

Is now the time to sit on the sidelines, or is it better to jump in and upgrade your machinery fleet? At the very least, carefully consider all of your options.  

If you’re in the market for used equipment, check out the all-new Machinery Pete marketplace. To shop for used machines from across the country, visit

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Spell Check

Chappell, NE
11/3/2015 06:55 PM

  With grain prices well below the cost of production and a total goose egg from our fine farm program, I can't think of a worse time to buy.


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