This coming Saturday (June 19) sees Wilsons Auctions hold an online auction on behalf of Bord na Móna, which is steadily going about reducing the size of its tractor fleet.
Around 100 tractors are to be sold off, in addition to many other items surplus to requirements at the Derrygreenagh site, Co. Offaly.
Currently, Bord na Móna has approximately 700 tractors on its books and the upcoming sale will see that figure reduced to 600, with further sales lined up at different sites for the future.
The organisation has a policy of running two sizes of machine, 70hp and 140hp. Most of the units in the sale fall into either of those two power brackets, providing scope to pick up a handy yard tractor or a larger field capable machine.
Mechanically well maintained
Although most of the tractors look worse for wear, Shane Egan, maintenance and machinery programme manager at the site, points out that they have been well looked after mechanically.
“We tend to over-maintain our machines; there is a three-month period when we are cutting peat and half of that we may be held up by the weather. So they often get a winter service well before they are due,” he said.
His words are supported by the low hours being shown on many dashboards.
A Fiatagri 65-49 has just 4,663 hours to show for its 26 years on the bogs, while a Ford 4610 of at least 32 years, has a mere 2,409 hours, or just 75 hours per year.
Click on an image below to enlarge and scroll across for further images.
Both of these examples are shod with standard tread tyres and the ford is two-wheel drive. These features tend to be found on less used tractors.
Those machines with specialist tyres and four-wheel drive tend to have led a busier life.
As an example of this, a 1998 Ford New Holland 8360 with ‘balloon’ tyres has 10,270 hours showing, this equates to 447 hours annually.
Unfortunately, Bord na Móna never had sheds large enough to accommodate the tractors so they have been left out all year round.
This accounts for the less than pristine condition of many of them with some rust and somewhat casual touch ups with a paint brush being widely evident.
Plenty of choice, plenty of interest
However, they are what they are and and not all are in dire need of some TLC.
A 2012 John Deere 5070M and 2009 Valtra N121 have been included, not because of any fault, but simply because they are based at Derrygreenagh and there is little reward in transporting them between sites.
According to Lee Geary of Wilsons Auctions there is tremendous interest being shown in the auction. He points out that there is a wide selection of buyers:
“Many buyers are local farmers who know the tractors. There are also tractor enthusiasts looking for a project and some machines have a sentimental value with their operators buying the tractors they used to work on.”
Both Shane and Lee agree that holding an auction online does not appear to affect prices.
Wilsons Auctions has provided both photos and a short video for each lot on its website, while public viewing is still possible by appointment.
Now for something completely different
In addition to the tractors there are a handful of trucks, a wide selection of tyres and some locomotive engines and cabs.
The latter would appear to have little use but are often bought as garden huts for children to play in.
The auction starts at 10:00a.m on Saturday, June 19. Full details of all the lots are available online at the Wilsons Auctions website.