Even though I am not in the market for another tractor I do stay informed on what they are worth. Watching machinery dealer lots and auction results there is a trend that is easy to see. Farmers are looking for and wanting to buy well cared for older tractors. Especially the tractors manufactured in the 1970's and 1980's.

Farmers are not looking for those older tractors to drive in parades and take them to shows. They want to put them to work on the farm. They are not a lot different then the new tractors. Sure, they do not have all electronics, gadgets, and "bells and whistles" as the new models. But they have cabs with heaters, air conditioners and radios that keep you comfortable.

One of the major reasons older tractors are valuable is because of the cost of new tractors. This is the fifth year in a row commodity prices have been low. Farmers look at the cost of a new tractor and get "sticker shock." Then farmers think, maybe I can find a used tractor that has been well cared for that can do the job for a small fraction of the cost?

Another reason farmers want older tractors is maintenance costs. Most farmers are good mechanics. Those older tractors they can repair themselves. Plus, parts are still easy to get from the dealer even if the tractor is 40 to 50 years old. The new tractors with all the electronics you need computer codes to get into the systems which is owned by the manufacturer.

In the picture is my 1975 John Deere 4430 pulling a 12 row planter. It has been updated with new and more lights, larger alternator, new style steps, radio, air conditioner and hydraulic seat. I have a satellite receiver on the top of the cab for the planter monitor. I could even add the "hands free" guidance system to my 45 year old tractor!

I could sell my 4430 tractor for more than it cost new from the John Deere Dealer 45 years ago! That would be great if I was retiring but if I need a tractor the one to replace it would cost much more! So, I will keep driving the 4430.


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