This past Saturday I took in my first auction sale of the season, a Mack Auction Company event near Langbank, Saskatchewan. This sale had an interesting lineup. It wasn’t primarily late-model, very-high capacity equipment like so many sales include these days. This one was mainly older machinery.
There were a lot of tractors under the hammer for a single event, with a number of them coming from different consignors. And judging by the hammer prices I saw, farmers are still willing to open their wallets for some types of older equipment, as long as its in good condition.
“Sales this spring have been very strong,” said Norm Mack of Mack Auctions Co., when I talked with him at the sale. “I think it’s due to demand for farm equipment. There’s not a whole bunch of
farm sales this year in Saskatchewan. There’s a strong demand for any of these (machines). Anything with a good maintenance program. Good, clean, used equipment sells.”
He’s certainly right about the number of sales, the listings for farm sales this year in Southeast Saskatchewan is a pretty short one. The number of on-farm sales has been in decline for years. But its even more obvious this spring.
At this sale there was a lot of livestock equipment, and it sold well.
“The livestock industry is doing well, therefore anything livestock related is going to sell pretty well too,” he added. “The U.S. dollar is up and it’s affecting machinery of all sorts.”
Mack has noticed that high-horsepower tractors with pre-
emissions engines are still getting attention from buyers. And
tandem trucks with the same pre-emissions technology sell well, too. But not every machine category is seeing good demand.
“With air drills, there are too many on the market and there’s been a drop in prices,” he said.
And when it comes to older equipment, particularly tractors, one brand is consistently still outselling its competitors: John Deere.
“John Deeres are still commanding top dollar,” Mack explained. “In the used, older sector, it’s by far the John Deere.”
That was plainly evident at this sale as a group of apparently well looked after Deeres sold beside another group of Case tractors of similar age. But arguably, the Deeres presented a little better, which may account for some of the price difference.
Here’s a comparison of the selling prices for those tractors.
JD 4430 w/loader 0159 hours showing $14,000
JD 4430 14,265 hours $20,000
JD 4440 7,403 hours showing $23,000
JD 4440 11,717 hours $21,000
Case 970 8,827 hours showing $3,250
Case 2290 8,016 hours showing $8,250
Case 1370 8,218 hours showing $4,000
A pair of clean Versatile tractors sold for these prices:
875 6,495 hours showing $31,000
835 6,954 hours showing $20,000
At any sale appearance is important, notes Mack. Equipment that shows well sells better. Apparently not many potential
buyers are in the market for something that looks like junk. So if you’re planning on selling equipment, spend some time sprucing it up. It might mean a bigger paycheque when the sale is over.
With everything looking reasonably well turned out at this sale, I certainly didn’t see anything that looked like it sold cheap!