Steffes Group


Never mind the model year – well cared for machinery is bringing great prices

Remember that 1983 John Deere 8820 combine we told you about a few weeks ago? The one with only 15.5 hours?

Here’s the rest of the story. At the end of an eight-day auction, that 36-year-old combine sold for $75,500.

Steffes Representative Scott Gillespie wasn’t surprised. “From the time we announced that we would be selling it, the phone started ringing like crazy. We probably had more calls on that than anything else we’ve sold in the last year. I don’t know what the record would be on an 8820, but I think this probably shattered it,” said Gillespie.

But that’s nowhere near the end of the story. The same bidder purchased a second combine – a 1990 John Deere 9600 with only 208 separation hours – for $68,000, also believed to be a record.

What accounts for such eye-popping results? The biggest single factor was the care and storage of those and other machines that had been acquired by Stan Zych, a Beardsley, Minnesota, farmer who died recently.

“Clean machinery that will perform well is bringing a premium – especially now, as farmers are struggling to make a profit with several years of low commodity prices. The price of these two machines is a fraction of what new combines would cost, so the buyer also got an outstanding value,” he said.

The auction also included eight antique tractors, as well as late model tractors, tillage equipment, grain trucks, pickups, and cars. Most had been stored indoors. “In this part of the country, storage doesn’t cost – it pays. What you spend on storage pays you back in lower maintenance costs as well as in the resale value. And right now, the market is really rewarding machinery that has been treated well,” he said.

Individuals interested in more information about selling equipment at auction may call Gillespie at 320-760-3066.