The Real Cost of Unused Equipment

Back of a 4WD John Deere Tractor

Mark Stock
By Mark Stock
Co-founder and Owner of BigIron Auctions

How many pieces of unused equipment are in your shed? Find out what it’s costing you.We all have equipment sitting around that we can’t bear the thought of selling -- the first tractor we drove or the first one we bought. But when a few pieces of equipment turn into a building’s worth, what are all those sentimental feelings costing us? I think it’s more than just money.

How many pieces of equipment do you have sitting around?

At the Commodity Classic BigIron booth in New Orleans this year, I asked farmers how many pieces of equipment they had on their farm that they hadn’t used in the last two years.

The majority said half a dozen. One man said at least 50. Now that’s a pretty high number.

So what’s the cost of keeping equipment you don’t use?

  1. Lost Opportunities. Money tied up in machinery you’re not using could be used for crop inputs, updated equipment or land purchases that will help you grow your business.
  2. Space. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve gone to a farm and the farmer has his old equipment in the machine shed and the new equipment sitting outside. You’ve either got to build or sell.
  3. Equipment Rot.  There is a cost associated with maintaining equipment. Batteries, tires, hoses, seals and rodents are just a few of the things that cause equipment rot - little expenses that add up to big dollars.    


What should you do about it?

I’m not suggesting you get rid of every piece of equipment that’s been a special part of your life story. Heck, I’ve got a couple old tractors sitting in my shed too. But understand sentiment and emotion may overwhelm your ability to make a logical decisions about your equipment inventory.   


  1. Take inventory of what you have. Take plenty of pictures for a keepsake to help you remember your equipment.
  2. Pick the item(s) that mean the most to you - the ones that are the easiest to maintain - and keep them.
  3. Sell the rest. Use the money to grow your business, or better yet, take the family on a vacation and build some new memories.

Antique Farmall Tractor with BigIron Online Auction Sign on the WheelIf you don’t have the time or energy to sell

If your equipment is sitting around because you don’t have the time to get it ready to sell, we can help make it easy for you.    

Give BigIron a call at 402-678-2411 or click here:

Your area independent sale representative (we call them ISRs) will contact you to schedule a time to view your equipment and discuss the BigIron online auction selling process. Your area ISR will take all the pictures for you and write the equipment descriptions.

BigIron will do all the marketing for you, putting your name and your equipment in front of our huge buyer base.

All you have to do is answer calls from interested buyers and/or show them the equipment when they come to take a look.

Bidders want to talk to the owner. They want to hear your story and the equipment history. They will pay more for honest representation.   

Once your items are sold, BigIron will collect from the buyers and send you the check.

Click here to learn more or to get started selling with BigIron.