The world’s largest monthly farm machinery sale has taken place for the first time in six months at the Cheffins showground in Cambridgeshire.
Some 2,000 lots of machinery – including about 430 tractors – went under the hammer at the sale ground at Sutton, Ely, on Monday (7 September).
“It’s lovely to be back,” said auctioneer Bill Pepper, head of machinery at Cheffins, who welcomed back bidders after the coronavirus lockdown.
“I can’t believe that we haven’t had any live auctions for six months – the last live auction we had was back in March.”
Machinery was sold successfully online, while the sale ground was closed during the lockdown, and had proved very popular, said Mr Pepper.
But many bidders said there was nothing like the buzz of attending a live auction.
As well as tractors, sales included about 450 lots of cultivation equipment and 350 lots of plant and associated machinery.
Sales included a New Holland T7.260 tractor (£38,200), a 2012 John Deere 6210R (£42,500), and a 2017 Massey Ferguson 7718 (£51,000).
‘Way of life’
Stephen Walmsley, managing director of Walmsley Tractors, travelled to the sale ground from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
“We sell a few tractors for export here. We mostly sell; we tend to buy privately,” he said.
“It’s sort of a way of life for us – we’ve been doing it for 50 years now, so we are a long time at the job and coronavirus has been a complete disruption.”
James Harrison, of dealers Harrison Tractors – who are based at nearby March – was at the sale ground looking at some Manitou telehandlers.
“You do miss the place – a lot of our business contacts are here,” he said.
“We always come to have a look – we don’t really buy much out of here, but it’s good to look around to see what the market is doing.”