Investing in Used Construction Equipment - Pt 1

10/31/2017 2:31:21 PM by Carissa Shaul

Used equipment for sale. Those four words have been known to send chills of excitement down many a farmer's back. But with fewer and fewer farm auctions and a little extra cash in their pockets, farmers have turned to investing in iron from other industries not faring so well during tough economic times – like construction.

“As the construction industry softened over the last few years, the tools it used – backhoes, telehandlers, excavators, and forklifts – became more affordable for farmers,” says Illinois farmer Patrick Watson. “And many have taken advantage of that opportunity.”

The many includes Watson and his uncle, Jim Trainor, who purchased a 2007 Ingersoll Rand VR 638 telescopic handler from their local dealer, Illini Equipment. With only 1,500 hours on it, the machine was originally used as a rental in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. But it ended up for sale at the Pontiac, Illinois, dealership when the housing market collapsed.

Versatile performer

When we first bought it, the idea was to use it for a year and then sell it. But it has so much more capacity than my 45-year-old loader that it might stay around for awhile,” says Watson. “We use it to move trees, as a forklift, and for other odd jobs.”

Introduced in the summer of 2004, the VR 638 was a popular item among builders for reaching high places with ease. Back then, the list price on a new machine was around $70,000. Today, you can find one for less than half that amount.

It's deals like these that farmers simply can't pass up. Yet, it's not just the price that's catching farmers' eyes; it's also the versatility of these machines. For the best of both worlds, farmers and construction tractor users alike can search, buy, and sell used parts from both farm and construction machinery at