A popular question we always see is what is my tractor worth? Especially with antique tractors, values and prices can be hard to determine. The simplest answer to the question, “What is my tractor worth?” is the classic response, it’s worth whatever price someone is willing to pay for it! But here are some tips and advice about deciding on a tractor’s value.
Tractor Values and Prices
While There is No Clear “Blue Book” Value for Many Antique Tractors, the Official Tractor Blue Book is Darn Close!
- There is no “blue book” value – While there is no “gospel” blue book value for antique tractors as there is for automobiles, the Official Tractor Blue Book is a close second. Valuing a farm tractor is much more similar to valuing antiques or real estate than it is to selling a car. However, this comprehensive guide provides detailed information on farm tractors produced from 1939 through 2008. Included is information covering approximate retail prices when new plus a high and low range of estimated average used values. In addition, this guide contains specification and information on engine size, transmission speeds, and PTO horsepower. There is also a section featuring tractor serial numbers to help you determine the exact year a particular tractor was built. Highly recommended for anyone buying or selling new or antique farm tractors!
- Historical sales data – This is the place to start! When real estate broker’s seek to value what a house and parcel of land is worth, they always start with historical sales data from similar properties in the area (and if there are none, they’ll expand their search to a wider region). But this is tricky with farm tractors, particularly with older antique tractors, because there are so many different models and variations.
Where to find this historical price data? Start by browsing the classified ads on our website here at SSB: farm tractors for sale or antique tractors for sale – text only and examining the asking prices for your make and model. If there aren’t any currently for sale, look for tractors of the same or similar size. You can also expand your search to include eBay and FastLine, among other such sites.
- Value Varies By Condition If you’ve ever watched “Antiques Roadshow” and seen the build-up to what an antique *might* have been worth in perfect condition, you can appreciate how much the condition of the tractor can affect its value. Obviously a tractor in “show” condition is worth much more than a rusted-out tractor ready to be scrapped for parts (or worse, for scrap metal). If you want to increase your tractor’s value, restore it first! SSB offers farm tractor manuals and antique tractor parts to help!
- Size Matters – Just as with cars, the more horsepower and optional features that your machine has, the more it should be worth. This is particularly true with unusual configurations, such as wide front or row crop machines. The rarer something is, the greater its value and price. And while we hate to mention it, in this day and age of rising steel prices, the scrap value of larger tractors should be kept in mind as a fallback price valuation.
- Price varies by location – A market that lacks liquidity (i.e. both limited supply and demand) tends to be fragmented by where the supply is located. In dealing with antique tractors, this means that price will vary based on the resources of buyers in your local area and who those buyers are. With all else being equal, prices for antique tractors will tend to be highest in the Northeast and along the West Coast, reflecting the higher cost of living in those areas. Prices will be lowest in the South and Southeast, reflecting both greater supply of these antique farm tractors in those regions and lower average cost of living. Combined with the high cost of transporting these heavy farm tractors, your location is a very important factor affecting the sales price of your antique tractor.
- Price varies by who the buyer is – It may be fairly obvious, but the commitment of your buyer will affect the sales price. It’s a good rule of thumb that someone buying an antique tractor for commercial use on a farm will be willing to pay much less than a dedicated collector of antique tractors looking to restore what he feels to be a classic piece of agricultural history. Conversely, someone parting out an antique tractor is likely to be a savvy buyer making a low-ball offer on the machine.
Tractor Values Vary By Location and Buyer
These are just some of the factors to consider when figuring out what your tractor is worth. Values and prices vary by location, type of buyer, size and condition of your antique tractor, and historical values. The best way to even begin to place a value on your tractor is to find out what others have sold the same or similar machines for and start with that. If all else fails, your antique tractor is worth whatever parting with it means to you!