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Brandeis Machinery, Signature Auctions Call 43rd

Sat January 08, 2000 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Dec. 19, 1999 marked the 43rd anniversary of the Louisville Auction, sponsored by Brandeis Machinery & Supply Co. Inc., Louisville, KY. When things got started back in 1956, there were no hydraulic excavators, articulated trucks, backhoe loaders, or skid steer loaders. There were, however, plenty of bulldozers, loaders and off highway trucks that fueled a furious marketplace in Kentucky. How times have changed!

Historically Brandeis engaged Forke Bros. to call the Louisville Auction. Forke Bros. and Brandeis worked together until 1999, when Ritchie Bros., Vancouver, British Columbia, purchased Forke Bros. Ritchie Bros. declined to continue the auction tradition.

Fortunately for the Louisville auction fans, Brandeis engaged Signature Auctions, founded by Greg Forke and Kevin Duling. Forke and Duling quickly put together a proposal to conduct the annual December sale in Louisville, KY.

Over the years, this sale has been the annual year-end meeting place for most of the used equipment managers and dealers throughout the East and the Midwest.

In the heyday of the coal fields, the sale was enormous, with hundreds of big dozers, loaders and off-highway trucks being sold. The sale typically drew thousands of people. Over the past several years, with the decline of the coal business, the size of the equipment and the number of attendees fell.

However, 1999 marked a significant change in direction as the new Signature Auctions team put together a very nice sale with a good selection of equipment, from Bobcat skid steers to Komatsu and Caterpillar excavators, as well as many articulated trucks. The crowd was very attentive, bid rapidly, and paid some very nice prices.

One of the highlights of the auction was the “comeback” of Ted Forke, a former partner in Forke Bros. Ted retired after the sale of the company to Ritchie Bros., but the lure of Louisville was too much, so he returned to assist Signature Auctions in its inaugurall auction. Even though he’s been out of action for almost nine months, Ted has not lost his touch.

Brandeis and Signature Auctions can look forward to 2000 and many more successful auctions in the near future.

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