At the Auctions: Claas Cougar mower leads Kivells dispersal

More than two million pounds’ worth of machinery and equipment went under the hammer at Holsworthy market in Devon last week.

Hosted by West Country auctioneer Kivells, the record-setting auction exceeded the market’s annual machinery sale total in just one day.

David Kivell and James Morish juggled nearly 2,000 online bidders, along with the crowds that turned up on the day, as they presented 1,400 lots of tractors, trailers, balers and arable equipment.

Along with a hoard of general listings, the sale also featured dispersals of two large firms, Lark Plant Agricultural Contractors of Ashwater, Devon, and KEA Agricultural Contractors of Truro.

“It was a fantastic sale with buyers travelling to Holsworthy from as far afield as Yorkshire, Usk, Kent and Birmingham,” said director David Kivell.

“This was the biggest and greatest-value sale ever conducted by Kivells in its 137-year history.”

See also: Dizzying prices from the RC Baker retirement auction

Below is a round-up of some of the lots. 


Claas Cougar 1400

© Kivells

While the prize for the highest price of the day might have gone to a John Deere 7480i self-propelled forage harvester, selling for £69,000, another green-machine hogged the limelight.

Arguably the most interesting lot at the sale, the spider-like Claas Cougar garnered a fair bit of attention.

The 2007-built, self-propelled five-gang mower is believed to be one of only two in working condition in the UK.

With a relatively low hour count of 2,318, the unusual machine sold for £39,000, and was taken home by the Easterbrook family, based in Exmoor. 

Fendt 828 Vario

© Kivells

Kicking off the lots from Truro-based KEA Agricultural Contractors, a 2013 828 Fendt Vario with 4,950 hours on the clock, a hydraulic top link and plenty of tread left in the tyres, sold for £68,200.

John Deere 6930

© Kivells

A slightly older 2011 6930 on unknown hours fetched £34,000.

John Deere 6150R

© Kivells

A 2015 John Deere sold with more than 6,000 engine hours clocked, making £43,100. It was specced generously, with an Auto Powr transmission, electric mirrors, front linkage, air brakes and Michelin tyres all round.

John Deere 6930

© Kivells

The selling point for this 2012 6930 was the relatively unworked Quicke 265 loader, which contributed to its £41,600 hammer price.

Another of the offerings from the Truro contractor KEA, this well-worked tractor had completed 7,100 hours, had a Powr Quad Plus 50kph gearbox, air brakes and front suspension.

JCB 536-60 Agri-Super Loadall

© Kivells

A JCB 536-60 Agri-Super sold complete with pallet forks for £56,200. The 2017, 1,100 hour machine will go to its new home with a JCB premium cover warranty until September.

JCB 536-60 Agri Super loadall

A duo of slightly older 536-60 JCB Agri Super handlers, built in 2014 and 2015, and each around the 6,000-hour mark, sold for £28,000 and £30,000 respectively.

Holsworthy bidding stats

  • The sale exceeded £2m
  • 1,889 registered online bidders
  • 30% of lots sold online
  • 59% of lots received an online bid 
  • 86% of lots sold


In what may be a sign of a change in the market, the appetite for newer tractor models seemed to be lacking on the day.

The bidding activity points to a demand for those produced between 2012 and 2017, while several modern machines went unsold or failed to meet their reserves.

Below are a few that didn’t find a new home:

Fendt 724

This unsold, but usually desirable, 2020 Fendt 724 tractor was in immaculate condition, having completed 3,097 hours and with 1,500 warranty hours still in play and with 1,500 warranty hours still in play.

John Deere 6215R

From the same year and also unsold, a John Deere 6215R, with just a few more clock hours (3,266).

New Holland T7.210

© Kivells

With similar hours and age, a 2019 New Holland T210 had completed 3,148 hours and was also a non-seller.  

Smyth Field Master 16t silage trailer

Surprisingly, this sparkling, showroom-condition, 16t Smyth silage trailer failed to turn heads.

It was purchased new by Lark Plant Agricultural Contractors in 2021, and has remained a shed ornament for months, having never been used.

Claas Lexion 440 combine

Bucking the trend, this 1998 Claas combine with 6m header has been used to cut around 120ha annually and had a new wobble box fitted last year.

It has clocked up 3,200 hours, and sadly didn’t find a new owner on the day.


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