Photo: Josh Fisher / Fleet Owner
These water tank trucks went up for bid on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers in Orlando.

Ritchie Bros. equipment auction tops $278 million in six days

Feb. 27, 2018
The annual mega-auction in Orlando breaks company records for sales, equipment, bidders and sellers.

More than 12,800 equipment items and trucks sold in just six days at Ritchie Bros.’ gigantic annual auction in Orlando, FL, last week. The company’s record-breaking auction topped $278 million in sales, making it the biggest in Ritchie Bros.’s 60-year history.

More than 13,350 bidders from 90 countries registered to participate in the Orlando auction, which kicked off on President’s Day, Monday, Feb. 19, and wrapped up on Saturday, Feb. 24. More than half of the bidders (8,600-plus) participated online, purchasing more than $123 million (44%) of the equipment.

More than 500 tractors were sold during the auction. “We saw a lot of trucks that came from leases from 2011-14,” said Doug Olive, Ritchie Bros. senior vice president of pricing and valuations. “The demand is strong now and we think that demand will pick up.”

While the heavy construction equipment makes up a plurality of the nearly 13,000 items up for auction in Orlando, trucks (transport, vocational and pickups) represent about 20% of the equipment up for auction.

• • • 

Auction by the numbers

  • $278,000,000: Gross transactional value, a new company record
  • $123,000,000: Amount sold to online bidders, a new company record
  • 13,350: Total registered bidders (onsite and online), a new Orlando site record
  • 8,600: Online registered bidders
  • 12,500: Number of lots sold, a new company record
  • 1,050: Number of sellers, a new Orlando site record
  • 760: excavators
  • 525: compactors
  • 470: skid steers
  • 455: truck tractors
  • 380: loaders
  • 365: boom & scissor lifts
  • 295: dozers
  • 165: articulated dump trucks
  • 155: cranes
  • 125: loader backhoes

• • • 

And while you could see cranes from anywhere you stood at the 230-acre auction site, trucks were well represented with hundreds – representing all classes of vehicles – were lined up on several Orlando lots.

"I love this February sale because it's so huge and there's so many buyers," said Olen Harvey of Neway Truck Sales & Leasing Inc. "Plus, with the internet you're all over the world—a lot of stuff is exported. There's a market here for everyone."

U.S. bidders purchased approximately 80% of the equipment in the auction, while international bidders from such countries as Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Australia and China purchased the other 20% of the equipment.

"We created history last week, with a record $278-plus million auction, which was a 24% increase compared to the combined Ritchie Bros. and IronPlanet GTV from last year — a monumental event for the used heavy equipment and transportation sectors," said Ravi Saligram, CEO of Ritchie Bros. "We consider this to be a barometer of both end user demand as well as superb execution of our sales, marketing and operations teams. Despite continued tightness of supply, which we expect to persist, our teams leveraged existing customer relationships, and penetrated new accounts. The auction results showcase the potential power of the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and IronPlanet combination and that the innovations we implemented in Orlando significantly enhanced the customer experience for sellers and buyers. I would like to thank our customers for their enduring trust and our employees who made this auction a tremendous success."

Ritchie Bros. used technology in new ways in Orlando this year to provide consignors more convenient selling options and offer buyers increased comfort and transparency into the auction process. For select items, the company offered a virtual consignment option to sell off-site items with IronClad Assurance, seamlessly integrating those items with the rest of the assets located in Orlando.

"We are pleased with the execution of our sales team and encouraged by the strong price performance throughout the week through most equipment categories and sectors, continuing the trend we've seen in our events early this year, including our auctions in Phoenix, Houston, and Tipton, as well as our weekly online auctions through IronPlanet,” said Jeff Jeter, president of U.S. Sales for Ritchie Bros. “We sold 12% more lots this year compared to the combined Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and IronPlanet Orlando auctions last February and saw a price per lot increase of 11%."

Ritchie Bros. also set up a huge tent in the yard with air conditioning and seating for up to 700 bidders, providing comfort to bidders in a third auction ring instead of walking them item to item to sell out in the yard. And, for the first, Ritchie Bros. brought its online auction clerks to Orlando to catch online bids right in the auction theater, providing amazing transparency to its online process.

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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