Late-Model High-Horsepower Tractors Pile Up as Inventories Continue Rising Among Most Used Equipment Types

According to Sandhills Global’s latest market reports, inventory levels are rising among multiple equipment sectors, with particularly noteworthy inventory surges in high-horsepower tractors (300 or more horsepower) and track skid steers. These inventory increases have led to lower auction values and a wider spread between asking and auction values.

“The new market reports show a mix of expected and unexpected trends, especially in farm equipment categories,” Ryan Dolezal, sales manager for TractorHouse, said. “With inventory piling up, we expect to see a wider gap between asking prices and auction values. It’s unusual, though, to see combine and high-horsepower tractor inventories continue to grow this time of year when those numbers typically start coming down.”

The key metric used in all of Sandhills’ market reports is the Sandhills Equipment Value Index (EVI). Buyers and sellers can use the information in the Sandhills EVI to monitor equipment markets and maximize returns on acquisition, liquidation and related business decisions. The Sandhills EVI data include equipment available in auction and retail markets as well as model year equipment actively in use.

U.S. Used Farm Equipment

  • Inventory levels of used farm equipment continue to rise after several consecutive months of increases, driven mainly by high-horsepower tractors. Inventory levels rose 3.1% month over month and 36.24% year over year in September. Although there is typically a seasonal inventory drawdown for combines and high-horsepower tractors, inventories in these categories increased in September.
  • Asking values were up 0.39% month over month and 8.91% year over year in September after consecutive months of increases.
  • Auction values decreased 1.07% month over month and 1.07% year over year in September, marking the first year-over-year decline since 2018. Combine auction values have been driving this market lower as other segments follow. Used farm equipment auction values are currently trending down.

U.S. Used High-Horsepower Tractors

  • There has been a surge in used high-HP tractor inventory levels since Q2/23, especially in 2022 model year row crop tractors. Among high-horsepower tractors overall, September inventory levels were almost double what they were last September, up 84.91% year over year. Inventory was also up 6.41% month over month following months of increases.
  • After consecutive monthly increases, asking values were up 1.27% month over month and 11.17% year over year in September. The spread between asking and auction values continued to expand as inventory increases.
  • Auction value decreases paused in September, posting increases of 0.65% month over month and 0.33% year over year. Auction values were down, however, compared to Q1/23 and are now trending sideways.

U.S. Used Compact and Utility Tractors

  • Inventory levels of used compact and utility tractors continued to set historic highs, pushed mainly by late model 2021 and newer models. Following months of increases, inventory levels rose 1.24% month over month and 32.82% year over year in September.
  • Tractors under 40 horsepower experienced the greatest year over year value decreases in September, as overall values in this market continued to trend downwards. Used compact and utility tractor asking values declined 0.98% month over month and 2.3% year over year.
  • Auction values dipped lower at 0.96% month over month after consecutive months of decreases and were 5.58% lower year over year.

U.S. Used Heavy-Duty Trucks

  • Used heavy-duty truck inventory level increases paused again in September, but the market is still trending upward for 2023. Inventory levels ticked up 0.56% month over month, rose 44.22% year over year and are currently trending sideways. Sandhills noted that sleeper trucks have experienced greater inventory swings and price volatility in 2023 compared to day cab trucks.
  • Asking and auction values held steady in September but are still trending downwards. Asking values were up 0.93% month over month, down 19.08% year over year, and are trending down.
  • Auction values increased 0.32% month over month, decreased 26.51% year over year, and are trending down.

U.S. Used Semitrailers

  • Used semitrailer inventory levels have grown month over month in 2023, and September was no different. Inventory was up 2.93% month over month and 70.05% year over year. Dry van semitrailer inventory levels have surged to more than double year-ago levels.
  • The gap between asking and auction values has reached a historic high for used semitrailers. Semitrailer values continued trending downwards in September, with dry van semitrailers experiencing the largest month-over-month decrease. Used semitrailer asking values declined 1.87% month over month and 20.55% year over year.
  • Auction values fell 3.21% month over month and 26.68% year over year after decreasing for several months in a row.

U.S. Used Medium-Duty Trucks

  • Used medium-duty truck inventory levels rose 10.28% month over month and 41.41% year over year, maintaining a trend of month-over-month increases throughout 2023 led largely by dry cargo delivery trucks.
  • Sustained inventory increases have applied pressure to asking and auction values, which have consistently posted month-over-month decreases since September 2022. Asking values fell 3.07% month over month and 15.32% year over year in September.
  • Auction values decreased 4.48% month over month and 19.97% year over year and are currently trending down.

U.S. Used Heavy-Duty Construction Equipment

  • Inventory level increases paused in September for this market, but the upward trend that started in Q1/23 remained intact. Following months of increases, inventory levels of used heavy-duty construction equipment were up 0.32% month over month and 10.87% year over year in September.
  • Values, meanwhile, are trending down, with the largest value decreases within this market observed in the dozer category. Asking values decreased 0.09% month over month and 4.23% year over year in September.
  • Auction values are decreasing faster than asking values as the gap between the two continues to return to normal levels. Continuing months of decreases, auction values declined 1.71% month over month and 8.01% year over year.

U.S. Used Medium-Duty Construction Equipment

  • Inventory level increases continued for used medium-duty construction equipment, with levels up 3.66% month over month and 53.63% year over year in September. Track skid steers are driving the change in this market, and there have been large increases in late-model units across the board.
  • As asking and auction values maintain their downward direction, the gap between them continues to grow to historic highs. Asking values decreased 1.38% month over month and 2.76% year over year in September.
  • Auction values decreased 3.11% month over month and 9.51% year over year. Notably, auction values for used wheel skid steers and mini excavators fell 12% year over year.

U.S. Used Lifts

  • Continuing an upward trend that began in Q1/23, used lift inventory levels rose 2.86% month over month and 9.01% year over year in September. The used telehandler and scissor lift categories contributed the greatest month over month change in this segment.
  • The gap between asking and auction values is growing. September asking values remained on par with year-ago values, up 0.09%. Asking values decreased 2.03% month over month and are trending down.
  • Auction values fell 3.98% month over month and 8.79% year over year, with the largest decreases in this market observed among used telehandlers. Auction values are currently trending down.

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