Four-Wheel Drive Sales Remain Positive

October 4WD Tractor Sales Continue to Rise, Combine Sales See Sharp Decline

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Sales of four-wheel-drive tractors rose again in October. But overall tractor sales were dragged down by vastly lower sales of small, under-100 hp tractors. (Photo courtesy of John Deere)

The October 2023 Ag Tractor and Combine sales report shows that while sales of four-wheel drive tractors are up -- 12.6% up this October, compared to October 2022 -- sales in all other machine categories tracked by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) were down in October compared to a year earlier.

Ag manufacturers sold 726 four-wheel drive tractors in October. That's up 81 units over October 2022. For this year through October, four-wheel sales are up 36.2% -- 3,790 units sold the first 10 months of this year, compared to 2,783 four-wheel drive tractors sold in the first 10 months of 2022.

The greatest sales decline by percentage was combines. Sales of combines in October, compared to October 2022, were down more than 52%. That a difference of 866 combines this October compared to October 2022. It's been a sharply up-and-down year for combines. Monthly sales had been incredibly strong earlier in 2023. For example, in February combine sales were up 132% over February 2022. For the year, month to date, combine sales remain positive, up 4.5% over the same time frame in 2022.

A tractor that has been in positive territory most of this year, two-wheel drive tractors, seems to be losing some retail steam. Sales of two-wheel drive tractors were down 2.7% in October, compared to October a year earlier. It is the second monthly decline in a row. Two-wheel drive tractor sales fell 5.7% in September compared to September 2022.

In actual numbers sold, the difference between October and October 2022 is not large, however -- 115 more two-wheel drive tractors were sold in October last year. For the 10 months of 2023, 100 hp, two-wheel drive tractor sales remain up 5.7%.

Sales of smaller tractors, 100 hp and below, remain off those storied COVID-era highs. Sales of less-than-40-hp tractors are down the first 10 months of this year compared to January through October 2022. It's nearly the same story for tractors 40-100 hp. Sales this year, compared to same-time sales in 2022, are down 8.9%.

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Dan Miller