Cheffins’ first timed online auction of potato and root machinery proved such a success it has made a strong case for a regular slot in the sales calendar.

The top price for specialist machinery in the sale was achieved by an ASA lift TRS150 Trailed carrot harvester which sold for £33,825, although a 200hp New Holland tractor sold for £48,700.

Over half of the lots sold and there were 23,000 visits to the page of Cheffins’ website in the ten days the sale was open in January.

David Wilson, machinery valuer at Cheffins, believes the results laid a good foundation to build upon.

“There was good trade for grading equipment, separators and bed cultivators,” he said.

“Prices for trailed harvesters were poor because last autumn’s difficult harvest has persuaded many people that self-propelled machines are the future, and there are a lot of trailed machines on the second-hand market.”

Feedback from the sale was very positive and customers were particularly impressed by the ‘extending clock’ system. This eliminated ‘bid sniping’ in which electronic devices are used to place bids so close to the deadline that other bidders cannot reply.