Gross sales for Cheffins’ monthly Machinery Sale in February fell just shy of the record for a February sale which was achieved the previous year, despite many regular overseas being unable to attend because of Storm Ciara.
With the storm at full power on Sunday and inundated with calls from frustrated regular overseas buyers stuck at airports, Bill Pepper, director and head of the machinery auction sales, had contemplated calling the sale off for the only time in 30 years.
By Monday, the storm had abated enough for the auction to safely take place and there was a good attendance and very strong trade.
That said, Cheffins were left to think what might have been without the travel disruption.
Tractors - Drive Through
East African buyers attended the sale and kicked off the auction in grand style, quashing rumours circulating about import bans for tractors going to Sudan.
In competition with a fresh crop of buyers, they helped produce the best trade ever for neo-classics and prices for some models reached new peaks, too.
With just about every Massey 290, 590, 690 etc being sold, Cheffins are left with virtually zero stock of these tractors and, with telephone enquiries happening on an hourly basis, plenty of replacements are needed for our next sale.
A decent offering of Case and McCormick tractors saw some quite punchy trade, the highlight of which was a retail quality 2018 Case Puma 140 nudged £50,000.
Ford/New Hollands once again proved popular - probably more so than the previous month – and were mostly purchased by Irish buyers both sides of the border, though a TS110, SL spec’d will be heading to the Far East.
The market for fresher Massey stock was also very upbeat, the highlight of which was a 2016 7618 which made over £50,000.
John Deere’s always figure prominently each month and, despite several of our key buyers absent due to flight delays and cancellations, we still had great trade. ‘R’ series can be a little fickle but for the second sale running, these have found favour with a number of buyers from a variety of countries: a 2014 6190R made £40,000, a 2008 7530 c/w Quicke loader made similar money and is off to the US, while a 6145R in great shape was knocked down for £49,000.
JCB Fastracs sell out just about every month and this sale was no exception with the top example being a 2014 2170s making just shy of £41,000.
Tractors - Static
Once again, Masseys, even hedge-row specials, attracted a flurry of bids and sold mostly north of some quite lofty reserves. Fords did well, too, many going to central or east Asia and Zetors/Universal/Belarus tractors sold to Eastern European. It was another great result.
The plant auction progressed smoothly with a good attendance overall. Telehandler trade was very similar to last month with a good selection of machines being moved on. This month it was the Manitou models that were most in demand with nearly 80 per cent being purchased. One of the more impressive results was on an elderly Manitou MT728-4 which smashed through its reserve achieving over £7500 and is off to a new home in Hungary.
JCB machines this month were slightly scarcer in number, but they still moved on at a reasonable percentage. A very straight 530-70 on a 2003 was the pick of the bunch due to it being so tidy and it created quite a stir before eventually selling online at over £16,000. There was also demand this month for CAT, Weidemann, Matbro and Sanderson machines. One of the better results was for a Wiedemann 4270 CX100T which after much interest sold for £28,000.
Cheffins cannot get enough excavators from the mini up to 8-ton mark. We sold almost 70 per cent of the available models, with Kubota, Cat, JCB, Sumitomo, Hitachi and Yanmar models all being purchased by the eager buyers.
Dumper trade this month was slightly more challenging due to the conditions but there were still several machines sold. Mainly demand this month was from Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and the home market.
Self-propelled roller trade was very good, achieving a sales rate of over 70 per cent with a nice selection of Hamm, Cat, Benford, Bomag, Terex and Amman machines all being moved on. Generator trade continues to be impressed with a good selection and a good few selling in the auction and a few deals concluded afterward. The tidiest generator available was a Bruno GW180F which had come direct from a local business and achieved a figure of £10,000, a very pleasing return. Engine trade also continues to be buoyant with a reasonable selection and over 50% being sold.
A healthy 48 per cent sale rate was achieved in the Machinery section of the sale. Pallet tine trade was a little stronger, pairs of bare pallet tines seemed stronger than those with backplates; tractor loader trade was buoyant with a John Deere H310 selling over reserve at £2,600 and a Quicke loader selling for almost three times its reserve at £1,400, further quicke and MF loaders sold well too.
Bucket trade was difficult; we are noticing 20 Tonne plus attachments difficult to place, however the highlight was a 13 Tonne selector grab selling on reserve for £1,000.
Fertiliser trade was driven by Amazone models again with 2013 ZAM 2501 selling almost at reserve for £2,900 and a 2011 model selling for £700 over reserve at £2500. Vicon trade continues to be varied older small hopper models are now lacking interest with high reserves and it was evident PS models attracted the attention of the crowd. Howard rotavators continued last month’s trend and were snapped up by overseas buyers.
Cultivation equipment received mixed results, clean stock drew the most interest with a set of 2014 Gregoire Besson discs selling for £8,200, a McConnel Shakerator for £3600 and a well presented 2016 Maschio DC3000 power harrow for the same money. Dowdeswell ploughs struggled to find new homes, although a tidy Lemken DL110 3 furrow sold for double its reserve at £1,400 and a well presented Overum Variflex auto reset plough selling for £1,550 over reserve at £4,050.
Our excellent entry of Ivor Williams trailers continued to sell well across the board, agricultural trailers continued to change hands the highlight being a Veenhuis slurry tanker and 6mtr injector selling for £4200. Seed drills continue to be selective but a locally entered ex farm 2007 Amazone 4mtr Cirrus trailed disc drill sold well for £6350.
Grass equipment sales were up this month as people look ahead to the season, rakes were in demand with a Claas 870 tedder selling for £4,300 and an excellent McHale square bale wrapper selling comfortably over reserve at £6,600. Baler trade saw little action but a clean and tidy MF conventional baler sold for £3,050 and a 2011 Claas 455RC sold post sale for £10,500. A small number of sprayers sold well the standout being a trailed John Deere 840i 24mtr for £7,400.
March will see the introduction of a ‘seasonal row’ starting with grass machinery to consist of mowers, wrappers and rakes replacing the current row of cultivation and plough equipment, these will move after balers until the summer to allow for this new section. We look forward to receiving entries to start off this new section.
Horticultural, Wheels and Tyres, Misc
Due to the time of year the mower part of the sale was a little light on entries. However, good quality mowers sell all year round and this month was no exception.
Other popular lots during the winter months are compact tractors and UTVs, and we had a plenty to go around for buyers.
The spares section this month was full to the brim and despite the weather 60 per cent of all lots sold. Massey Ferguson spares sold well as usual, all mostly going to East Africa.
Wheels and Tyres section was very busy and some good prices achieved: a set of 700/40 Flotation wheels sold at £1000, 2 sets of 48/20 & 66/25 sold at £1500 each. £500 would buy you a set of JCB Fastrac rowcrop centres and £500 for a full set of Case Rowcrops 11.2/48 & 11.2/32 wheels.
Monday March 9th is the date for the next sale and, as per usual, entries are invited in all sections and with some big gaps to fill, we need plenty of fresh kit.
February normally marks the beginning of the busy spring season and this year was no exception. The March auction is often the highlight of the season and with the excellent results we’ve had in January and February, March looks more than promising in continuing this trend. Catalogue entries close Friday 28th February.