Used Skid Steer Values, No Where But Up

January 28, 2014 06:13 PM
Used Skid Steer Values, No Where But Up

Used skid steer values have had no where to go but up

Used skid steer values hit rock bottom in the second quarter of 2010, the lowest point in a treacherous fall that coincided with the Great Recession.

Why the correlation? Simple laws of supply and demand were at work. Countless construction firms were cutting back or going out of business in 2008, 2009 and 2010, forcing excess used skid steers onto the auction market just as the number of buyers was shriveling up.

"I stood shaking cold, shooting YouTube video of a 2011 Caterpillar 277C skid steer with 510 hours and 18-inch tracks selling for $48,500."

The graph you see in my Machinery Pete "Used Value Index" quarterly report shows a steadily sliding used value from a 6.0 rating in first quarter 2008 to a low rating of 4.0 in second quarter 2010. A 6.0 rating on my 1-10 scale means normal or stable used values.

Since then, used skid steer values climbed every single quarter from that low, reaching a high of 7.4 in second quarter 2013. After a slight dip during third quarter 2013 to 7.2, used skid steer values rebounded to a 7.4 rating in fourth quarter 2013.
The Phoenix Rises.
With the renewed strength in used skid steer values, particularly since 2012, I hear familiar echoes from the wider used farm equipment market. I used to only see the rising price of new equipment affect the value of good condition used tractors, grain carts, disks and the like.

Now I see the same trend with good used skid steers, too. For example, at a Dec. 10, 2013, online farm auction in northwest Wisconsin, a Case 1840 skid steer with only 225 hours sold for $17,050 ($15,500 final bid plus 10% buyer’s commission).

This was a new record auction sale price by $1,250. The former high auction sale price of $15,800 was from a Jan. 6, 1996, auction.

Values are rising on medium-age used skid steers and late-model used units. A 2004 John Deere 250 skid steer with 470 hours in very good condition sold for $18,000 at a Sept. 21, 2013, auction in north-central Ohio. That’s the highest sale price I’ve seen at auction in 7.5 years.

Compare that to the 2004 model John Deere 250 with 100 hours, which sold for $18,250 at a Feb. 2, 2006, auction in southeast Nebraska, and that was during a period of softer used skid steer values.

That was then; this is now. The strength in the used skid steer market shows even on big-ticket late used models. During a frigid Dec. 5, 2013, farm retirement auction in southeast Minnesota, I stood shaking cold, shooting YouTube video of a 2011 Caterpillar 277C skid steer with 510 hours and 18-inch tracks selling for $48,500, a new record high sale price by a mile.

Regarding the price tag of that skid steer, farmers at the sale and on our Facebook page said, "Well, what’s a new one cost?"

More money yet, which helps hold values on good used skid steers of all ages strong and steady. 

Since 1989, Greg Peterson has compiled more than 500,000 auction prices, which he updates at Read his blog and watch auction videos at E-mail him at

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