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Machinery boom has farmers turning to tracks

Machinery boom has farmers turning to tracks

An analysis offers a look at changes in track tractor buying.

Editor’s note: Analyzing trends in machinery buying offers a glimpse into what’s happening in the market. Farm Industry News is teaming with sister publication Equipment Watch to provide information about resale values and other trends affecting specific equipment classes. First up? Changes in track tractor buying.

While the most agricultural tractors sold in North America are wheeled models, track tractors gained popularity during the industry’s boom years of 2010 to 2013.

In the first six months of 2014, track tractors represented 6% of tractors in the resale market, up from 5% during the same period in 2013. Track tractor market share jumped in May as overall sales volume approached seasonal highs, but no clear trend emerged year over year.

Compared to tractors with conventional tires, track tractors offer a smoother ride, smaller field footprints and increased flotation, but those advantages can come with a premium price. Producers seeking to buy a new Case IH, Challenger or Deere track tractor can expect to pay 14% to 21% more than a comparable wheeled model.

Price differences within the resale market are also dramat­ic, especially for Challenger and Versatile models. Analysis of the 20 best-selling track tractors reveals that on average, tracked models were priced 11% higher than wheeled mod­els with equal horsepower ratings. The price gap was lowest for Deere’s 8RT and 8R series tractors. The 8320RT, 8335RT, 8345RT and 8360RT have average prices that are only 1% higher than prices for wheeled versions, allowing buyers to choose the model that’s right for their operation.

Below you'll find the data on track tractor vs. wheel tractor resale prices. Click the image to view the full chart, which can also be printed:

Click image to view full chart

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