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February 22, 2018 4:15 PM, EST
Ritchie Bros. Orlando Auction Offers Used Trucks to Global Buyers
Dump trucks at Ritchie Bros. U.S. auction in Orlando, Fla. Dump trucks for sale at Ritche Bros. U.S. auction in Orlando, Fla. (Roger Gilroy/Transport Topics)

ORLANDO, Fla.— Industrial auctioneer Ritchie Bros. jammed row after row of used equipment in all shapes and sizes riding on tires or treads onto a 232-acre site here to launch its annual premier auction in February, the first since acquiring rival IronPlanet.

The equipment came from the transport, construction, oil and gas sectors, mining and agriculture sectors. Among the 11,000 pieces, were about 1,500 dump trucks, tow trucks, fuel and lube trucks, cement mixers, boom trucks, utility trucks, flatbed trucks or Class 8 day cab and sleeper models plus related trailers.

“Everything here will sell,” Jeff Jeter, president of U.S. sales for Ritchie Bros., said Feb. 21. About 80% is expected to leave Florida.

“This is the Super Bowl of what we do. It is truly a scale that is pretty hard to get your head wrapped around everything that goes on in Orlando,” he said.

About half the eventual buyers would participate online, according to the company. An additonal 1,500 items were located at the company’s Atlanta facility and were primarily massive job boxes, each containing heavy hand tools used on a major construction site. All these could be seen and bid on online, too.

Ritchie Bros., based in Vancouver, British Columbia, believes offering more equipment attracts a greater number of potential buyers, which leads to higher prices. This year’s event ran from Feb. 19 to Feb. 24.

Trailers for sale at Ritchie Bros. U.S. auction in Orlando, Fla.

Trailers on Ritchie Bros. auction lot in Orlando, Fla. (Roger Gilroy/Transport Topics)

Transportation equipment was slated for auction Feb. 22-23, and the number of registered bidders was expected to be up from 2017. Final results and other data were not available when Transport Topics went to press.

In 2017, 10,000 registered bidders from 88 countries evaluated items offered by 1,129 sellers from 25 countries. In all, 10,092 pieces were up for purchase and brought in $188 million.

Jeter, formerly president of IronPlanet, said Ritchie Bros. was intent, however, on presenting itself as much more than simply an auction company.

“We have a number of different brands now, and we think those brands give our customers a number of different choices in how they think about the disposition of their assets; auctions being one of those channels,” he said.

The company also offers appraisals, inspection of the equipment, financing, warranties and transportation services.

“As we go forward, you’ll see the services that we offer our customers expand significantly because we have a huge marketplace,” he said, without unveiling any upcoming options.

A new brand Ritchie Bros. has offered since the acquisition of IronPlanet is its platform TruckPlanet, an online marketplace for selling used commercial vehicles and trailers.

TruckPlanet offers Classes 5-8 vehicles and related trailers that can be viewed on streaming video at live auctions or online from the seller’s site, said Don Nash, Ritchie’s territory manager based in Phoenix, who was at the auction here. TruckPlanet includes a feature called Fleet Locator that gathers similar trucks into a group. The platform can bring up those trucks so buyers could make an offer online “for two to two hundred,” he said.

“It works really well for fleets because fleets sell trucks at a myriad of times and intervals based on what their needs are,” Nash said.

Vehicles for sale on Ritche Bros. auction lot in Orlando, Fla.

Vehicles for sale on Ritchie Bros. auction lot. (Roger Gilroy/Transport Topics)

Some of the trucks come with TruckPlanet’s IronClad Assurance certification that means one of Ritchie Bros.’250 inspectors has reviewed items, taken pictures and conducted a comprehensive inspection of key systems and components.

That’s not always possible as some of the fleets still may be operating the equipment up to the point of sale, he said.

“Several hundred trucks” have been sold through TruckPlanet so far this year, Nash added.

Ritchie Bros. bought IronPlanet for about $758 million and completed the transaction in May 2017. It merged Ritchie’s activity as a leading auctioneer of heavy equipment and commercial vehicles with IronPlanet’s extensive online marketplace.

As part of the acquisition, Ritchie Bros. became Caterpillar Inc.’s preferred global partner for live on-site and online auctions. A handful of discontinued Caterpillar heavy-duty tractors (manufactured at the time by Navistar International Corp.) were for sale in Orlando.