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Machinery Pete: Harvest-Ready Machinery

June 25, 2016

Gearing up for harvest includes getting your grain from the combine to its destination. There’s a healthy supply of equipment to do just that on dealers’ lots and the auction trail.

We now track our search-traffic data patterns at The 10-week period ending May 10, 2016, experienced quite a few spikes in search traffic on grain-handling related equipment categories compared with the prior 10-week period. For example, searches for the following categories were up:

  • Grain cleaners—28%
  • Grain vacs—31.1%
  • Grain trailers—126%

The second half of 2016 will be a great time to buy used grain carts. Generally speaking, used grain cart values have been softening a bit for the past 18 months or so, most notably on large, late-model units. Secondly, the supply of good used grain carts has been on the rise. Part of the supply increase is due to the sharp jump in the number of machinery auctions around the country since July 2015. Each of the past 12 months have seen upticks in the number of machinery auctions by as much as a 25% to 40% year over year. Many of these machinery auctions feature a fleet of large, late-model equipment, including grain carts. 

In addition to the grain carts on the auction block, there’s also a good supply of late-model used grain carts for sale on dealer lots. A quick check at showed 1,400 listed for sale (and those listings are updated daily).

        Grain handling equipment continues to get              bigger and bigger. Demco’s new Harvest Link         storage unit has 3,000-bu. capacity. 

Just as I’ve been seeing an increase in the number of used grain carts sold at auction, I’ve also seen a significant boost in the number of grain trailers sold in early 2016. Let’s look at Timpe 42' grain trailers as an example. In all of 2015, I saw 41 sell at auction. In the first 18 weeks of 2016, I’ve seen 38 sell. Prices are up just a bit, from an average auction price of $14,308 in 2015 to this year’s average price 
of $16,201.

The Timpe 42' grain carts are an exception; as a whole, used values for grain carts have been slightly down in 2016. Buying opportunities are ahead for the rest of the year.

The lower auction price trend was evident at a large custom cutter auction I covered on July 1, 2015, in southwest Nebraska. The lineup of large, late-model equipment included 12 John Deere 2014 model combines and nine 2014 model corn heads. To the astonishment of the huge crowd, prices were very strong across the board, despite the high number of almost-new large equipment items offered. The crowd did seem to think there was one “soft” spot in the sale, however—grain carts.

The three Brent 1594 carts sold for $37,500 (2008 model), $42,500 (2010) and $55,000 (2011). The prices don’t seem too out of line when I compared them to other 1594 grain carts we’ve seen sell at auction. For example, a 2009 model 1594 sold for $37,000 at a March 9, 2016, consignment auction in east-central North Dakota.

Staying with large-capacity used Brent grain carts, check out the 1082s models listed in the data table at right. I saw quite a run of Brent 1082s sell at auction in early 2016—12 were sold between Feb. 18 and April 12, 2016, 10 of which were sold at farm auctions. The average auction price on 
the 12 Brent 1082 grain carts was $26,979. That is down 6.3% from the $28,806 average auction price of the previous nine Brent 1082s sold prior to 2016. Three years ago, the average auction price on a Brent 1082 was $35,250. shows about 80 Brent 1082 grain carts listed for sale.

One trend we continue to see in the grain handling equipment sector is new models getting bigger and bigger, as with all machinery sectors. 

On Dec. 20, 2015, on the Machinery Pete Twitter feed, I posted a picture of Demco’s new 3,000-bu. Harvest Link storage unit. Wow! What an impressive sight. The post generated a ton of feedback and interest from around the world. The Harvest Link storage unit isn’t your grandpa’s grain cart, that’s for sure. 



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