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Used UTVs are hot

Utility vehicles, or side-by-side ATVs, are really holding their value in the used auction market.

I can't tell you how many times over the years I go out to cover a machinery auction and what do I find folks buzzing about? Is it the shiny new tractor, combine, or planter? Nope.

The most talked about item at the sale is often the late-model utility vehicle, also known as a side-by-side ATV.

This happened three times in a two-week stretch last summer. The first was a farm retirement auction just up the road from me in Oronoco, Minnesota. A large crowd turned out. Some folks came for the line of antique Minneapolis-Moline tractors, but many came for the 2006 Polaris Ranger 700 twin EFI 6x6 ATV with only 6 miles on it. It was loaded with features like a winch and a windshield.

Record highs

As I worked my way up and down the lines of equipment, there were always folks milling around that utility vehicle. People asked me what I thought it would bring. That's a big reason I went to the sale, to see for myself what a nice, used side-by-side ATV would sell for.

It brought $8,500. That's the record high auction sale price I've seen for a Polaris 700. After the gavel fell, the buzz didn't stop. I overheard folks saying, "$8,500? You could buy one off the dealer's lot for less."

Two weeks later I visited Rochelle, Illinois, for a CaseIH dealer inventory reduction auction. There was an impressive line of late-model red tractors and combines. But one of the hottest items was a 2008 Kubota RTV-900 utility vehicle. It sold for $7,700. Just days before, another 2008 Kubota RTV-900 from California with 288 hours sold for $7,000 on a Purplewave.com auction.

Two days after the Illinois sale, I attended an auction in Davenport, Iowa. Seven implement dealers, six of them Deere, brought equipment. My main focus was on the 26 combines.

Sale day arrived and the first line of equipment - six garden tractors - sold pretty soft. Then came an item that perked the crowd up. It was a sporty yellow Cub Cadet utility vehicle, 4x4, with 523 hours. Bidding was heavy and it sold for $4,900.

Ramping up

One month after I covered these three auctions, I saw industry reports that utility vehicle manufacturers were ramping up production due to excess buyer demand. What a good problem to have.

I can report a similar scenario on the used utility vehicle market. Excessive buyer demand and limited supply are working to produce competitive bidding and rising used values. Based on continued strength in the bidding, I'm looking for used values on utility vehicles to remain very strong throughout 2011

Learn more

Greg Peterson is publisher of Machinerypete.com, a guide to auction prices on farm equipment, as well as listings of equipment on upcoming auctions and through dealers. His website is updated daily and features auction videos. A one-year subscription is $69.96 (a one-week sub is $10).Phone: 800/381-0423

www.machinerypete.com

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