Farm machinery sales keep up the pace in 2017

On site report from Methwold, Norfolk and Bill Pepper, Director, Machinery sales reports on encouraging start to 2017

Potato and Onion equipment makes strong sales at Cheffins’ on site auction

Cheffins’ on site auction for Darby Methwold near Thetford saw high prices paid for potato and onion equipment and a fleet of Fendt tractors, with the final sale total achieving over £350,000.

Four Fendt tractors were offered in excellent condition and saw competitive bidding from both farmers and dealers. A 2013 Fendt 716 with 3,900 hours made £64,000; a 2006 Fendt 714 with 11,000 hours made £22,500; a 1993 Fendt 309 Farmer with 17,500 hours made £12,200 whilst a 1997 Fendt F395 GT Carrier with 17,000 hours made £14,500.

Similarly, the potato and onion equipment saw significant demand with high prices paid across the board. The top price in this section was for a 1998 Herbert potato grader which achieved £25,000 whilst a Swiftlift extending elevator made £17,000.

As always trailers and irrigation equipment were in demand with the top price being £8200 for a 2011 Marston FEN 10 tonne and £17,000 for a 2011 Perrot TR40 reel.

Bill King, Director, Cheffins comments:

“The rise in potato prices being achieved was reflected in the scores of farmers and dealers in attendance at our on site sale for Darby Methwold near Thetford yesterday. The stronger prices paid for potatoes for this seasons harvested crop has been reflected in an increase in demand for the best second-hand grading and harvesting equipment. This sale saw mainly a domestic trade of farmers and growers for the potato equipment, whilst dealers dominated the sales for tractors and machinery. Higher prices for new machines has continued to have a knock-on effect on our sales and we have seen second-hand prices rising month on month as a lack of supply drives demand across all sectors of the farming industry. Our on site sales are going from strength to strength as farmers continue to view them as the best way to achieve the highest prices for unwanted kit.”

The sale took place on the 8th February at Methwold Hythe, Thetford. Cheffins has a series of on site sales throughout 2017, with the next taking place in Berden, near Bishops Stortford on the 23rd February.

For more information contact the Cheffins on site team, t: 01353 777 767.

Encouraging start to 2017 with strong sales throughout January and February – Cheffins sale report

Bill Pepper, Director, Cheffins comments:


The January sale is always the quietest sale of the year although this month, despite the smaller entry, we had a fantastic first auction of 2017. Prime Minister Mays’ comments regarding Brexit prompted the pound to drop a few points and this in turn encourage both old and new European buyers to make the journey to Sutton and make their first purchases of the year.

It will be interesting to see how the year develops going forward. Supply and demand will play its’ part as will the aforementioned exchange rates but generally I can see that the second hand machinery trade during 2017 being the strongest for years. The only question marks ahead are Brexit and how the agricultural industry reacts and Trump and how the world reacts! Nobody, even the so-called well informed really know so as I said, it’s going to be an interesting year.


A smaller overall entry of some 250 machines were offered and the trade was exceptionally buoyant for so early on in the year.

The “Drive Through” section did well again and this has certainly been the stand out success since we introduced it back in September. The new format has encouraged online bidding and the amount online has increased month on month over the last 5 months.

This month John Deere, Massey Ferguson and New Holland experienced the most demand although as per usual, anything well-presented romped away to buyers both home and away. Some examples would include: a 1989 Case 685XL 2wd with loader sold for £8000, an M reg Case 4230 again with a loader made the same money, £20,000 was paid for a 2012 McCormick X60.20 with loader, a 1987 Case International did well to make almost £6000 and £11000 was paid for a tidy Case 5130 Pro with a Quicke 450 loader.

We had some great New Hollands entered: a 2013 T7.200 is off to Ireland for £32,000, its’ smaller brother, a T7050 is off to Spain for a shade over £20,000, a 2004 TS125A seemed good value at £14,000 and almost £12,000 was paid for a well turned out 7840 Dual Power.

The line-up of green and yellow tractors enticed some of the most enthusiastic bidding of the day especially for some of the newer tractors: a 2012 7280R is off to Portugal for £55,000, a similar aged 6190R tipped just over the £50,000 mark and was bought direct by a farmer, a 2014 6150R realised £43,000, a snappy 2014 6125R commanded over £39,000, a 2011 7830 sold for almost £31,000 and a 2012 6930, well spec’d with TLS, front linkage and showing 7800 hours sold to a UK farmer for £33,000. Trade for all tractors looks encouraging over the coming months and all entries are welcome.

The static rows of tractors did slightly better than previous months as some African, Cypriot, Lebanese and home trade bought the fresher examples on the block.  Reserves are still too high for the majority particularly when you take into account the quality on offer. Stock levels are however low, we still get enquiries every day and suitable entries are welcome for next sale.


Nobody really wanted to talk about Plant during the week before Christmas. When we were looking for entries many customers were distracted by preparations for the festive holiday season. Time needed to recover from those festivities after New Year may also have hampered our mission to consign and so the number of items on offer at Monday’s sale was smaller than we had hoped for. Despite, or perhaps because, of the limited number of machines for sale, the trade was incredibly good in just about all sections.

A good attendance, particularly for January, helped by a strong Euro and a nationwide lack of machinery, helped us achieve a much better result than we anticipated. Two nice JCB 3CXs are on their way to Sri Lanka having reached a respectable £14K for a manual 1994 and almost £22K for a 2006 Powershift. A good selection of telescopic handlers catered for a variety of tastes and budgets resulting in over 72% selling mainly to the UK and Eire as well as Poland, Romania and Belgium. Interesting prices included £26K for a 2014 JCB 531-70 A/S, £17400 for a 2007 example of the same model, £14K for a 2006 JCB TM300, £21400 for a nice looking 2012 Caterpillar 337 with under 1400 hours showing, nearly £9K for a 2002 JD 3400 and £12500 for a 2010 MF 8925, to mention just a few. Since the sale we have taken several phone calls from people looking for JCB 530-70s and 531-70s so if you have any, please let Paul know.

Moving onto the other sections, a 2000 Volvo A30C Dumptruck sold just short of its’ £18K reserve, a good looking 2006 Hyundai R180LC exceeded its’ £16K reserve by some margin, a very sharp looking Hitachi ZX55U which was built in 2014 saw almost £23K, an equally good looking Doosan DX27Z showing just 1100 hours hit nearly £16K and a 2007 Cat 302.5 came straight from a user to make him smile with a £9500 price tag. Skid steers and rollers created more interest than in recent months selling to top prices of almost £10K for a 2006 Bobcat S250 and £4400 for a 2004 Bomag 125. Irish buyers held up the industrial forklift trade buying the large majority leaving just one to go to the Lebanon.

So, a good day overall. A small entry but a good trade from a welcome crowd and a larger than usual on-line attendance brought us a better result than we were expecting. With such a high selling rate we are now desperate for your new entries in all sections for February which is traditionally one of our best sales of the year.


We started this year with a new look machinery sale.  All the equipment was available online for customers to bid on and the two machinery auctions were combined as one sale.

There was a roaring trade to start with and a great demand for forks, loaders and buckets with the vast majority finding new homes. Spreader trade remained as impressive as ever, with over 70% selling. The Vicons and Amazons continue to be the choice makes with nearly all on offer being sold to predominately Irish and English buyers. Hedgecutter trade continues to impress with demand over 70%, the highlight was a 2012 McConnel PA55E Hi Reach Hedgecutter which had much interest before topping out at £7000.

Trailer trade continues to be popular with buyers vying to get their hands on the best models.  Two very nice Chieftain Low loaders caused much pre-sale interest and sold at just over £5000 and £3000 respectively.


In the Horticultural section this month the RTV and Compact tractors were popular; a very tidy Kubota RTV 900 sold well at £3400 and a John Deere HPX Gator, running and clean, sold at £4500. Compact tractors were next and a Ford 1000 2 wheel drive sold at £3500, an Iseki TS2220 over reserve at £800 and a clean Kubota B7001 for £2200.

Smallholders equipment and yard supplies including hay racks, gates, posts, fencing and IBC water containers all sell well at this time of year and we had a larger supply than usual this month.

With few good engines available Perkins 4 cylinders were the most sought after and clean 4 cylinders versions were selling at £400 along with 4 cylinder Kubota versions selling at £300. Complete and undamaged 4 and 5 cylinder Deutz engines got away at around the £500 mark and once again will be heading for the overseas market.

Spares, including weights for most makes of tractors, are always available and up to £500 can be paid for a set of John Deere weights and over £500 for John Deere weight blocks. Good quality wheels and tyres are keenly sought after with a pair of 800-65 flotation wheels selling at £1000 and a pair of Case 20.8-38 tyres at its’ reserve of £1000.  These prices are a fraction of the cost of new wheels and tyres.


Second sale of the year often heralds the start of our busy “auction season” and the sale on Monday was an encouraging start to this selling period. Overall we had a great entry of new kit which attracted much attention and with the pound still trading at a favourable level, plenty of the lots found new homes in Europe, further afield as well as in good ol’ Blighty.


Anyone who is involved in the sale of used agricultural tractors will be aware of the relative scarcity of such machinery at the present time and this was illustrated by the number of tractors entered for this month’s auction. We were light by 50 or so units which, although not surprising, was a tad disappointing as we obviously prefer a yard brimming with equipment for sale. However, where there’s a negative, there’s a positive and of the 270 tractors entered, most were fresh stock, new to the sale, and of these, we had the greatest success rate for years, quite literally.  Many vendors were more than pleased with the bullish prices achieved and the universal comment we heard from most sellers was “I wish I had more in.”

The generic trend this month were quite obvious: just about anything sold regardless of pedigree OK, perhaps the older Massey Fergusons in tractor sale 2 didn’t quite ring the bell (although more were sold this month than the last 3 auctions) but we just about sold out of tractors offered through the “drive through” sale. Big horse power, later models attracted the most attention particularly if they were liveried green: a 2008 8430 was the largest tractor on offer and commanded the highest price of £58,000, a 6210R showing a few hours topped £44,000, a brace of 6190R’s made £48,000 and £54,000, a direct from farm 2008, 7530 with high hours sold for nearly £27,000 and a year newer version with just short of 8000 hours is off to Spain for £30,000. Other models were in high demand too: the ever popular 6920 with Power Quad gear boxes sold out, rarely making less than £20,000 for even the highest houred machines and we had a variety of 6430, 6530 and 6630’s all making low £20,000.

Deeres’ didn’t have all the fun! We had a lovely line up of finance company Massey Ferguson 2016, 5611 and 5612’s all circa 1200 hours and all selling for circa £34,000, a well spec’d 2010 MF 6499 made £30,000, a 11 year old 7495 and perhaps showing its age nudged £18,000, and an ever popular 390  with loader ended up at £11,00 and is destined for Cyprus. Changing colour again, a Fiat 82-94 4wd with a mere 2700 hours recorded was snapped up for £11,500, an ever popular JCB 3170 Plus, 2003 in the year and showing circa 8000 hours was sold to an on-line bidder for £24,000, £17,500 was paid for a 2009 New Holland T6080 and a direct from farm Zetor Proxima 85 c/w loader and showing just 1750 hours made a deserving £17,000.

Next sale is on Monday March 6th and we hope to continue with the success we have enjoyed so far in 2017. Entries in all sections are invited and the more the merrier! After the auction we have some big gaps to fill and a packed sale ground always attracts the greatest number of buyers.



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