JM Wood held a big five-day auction from March 17 through March 21 at the company's Montgomery, Ala., headquarters facility. The auction was live all five days and pre-inspections were available before any piece went on the auction block. However, with the coronavirus pandemic, JM Wood encouraged customers to bid online, and many safeguards were in place and obvious to the attendees at the sale site to ensure safety for all.
"This has been an interesting week and one for the ages," Russ Wood stated. "We just successfully held the largest auction in our 47-year history in what will go down as the rockiest week in US economic history. I feel like we have a unique perspective after the last five days. We considered all options but ultimately made the hard decision on Monday to press forward and have the auction.
"Here is my perspective: One — Contractors have more work on the books than ever. They came to buy what they needed, and they paid top dollar for the late model low hour equipment and trucks. Two — Older equipment that was over 6,000 hours was tough. Dealers probably did not participate as they normally do and would not speculate on this older equipment, so the contractors got some bargains. I would say 10 percent off. Three — My biggest takeaway from this week was that we all live in a world of entrepreneurship. Ninety percent of the people we deal with work for themselves. They do not have 401Ks nor do they follow the NYSE. They are heavily invested in themselves and confident in the work they have on the books."
Wood added that the auction opened each morning with prayer, as always, and that "fortunately, the good Lord looks after children and fools … perhaps we fall in the latter!"
It was a very strong selling at JM Wood's March auction in Montgomery, with $77,792,787 worth of equipment heading across the ramp and $24,029,037 registered in online sales. Overall, 31.6 percent of buyers purchased equipment via the web and 62 percent of the auction was affected by the online bidders.
Highlights of the auction included over 200 Alabama county-owned dump trucks as well as three-year-old Alabama county Caterpillar machines.
Featured equipment from the southern company included a Cat D10T from Alabama Power Company that sold for $230,000 to a mining company in Missouri and a Cat D11R that sold to Maryland.
Featured sellers included Alabama Power, Brasfield and Gorrie, Claiborne Hauling, Crane Works, Flint Equipment, Good Hope Contracting, HO Weaver Construction, OK Trucking, ST Bunn Construction and over 700 other sellers. CEG
Bill Mitchell (in cab) and Gene Taylor of Warrior Tractor discuss the condition of a John Deere 450J dozer on construction equipment sale day.
Looking for machines for their logging operations are Hunky Daniel Sr. (L) and Hunky Daniel Jr. of Daniel & Son Inc., Union Springs, Ala.
Inspecting some dozers of interest are Mike Cates (L) and Chris Cates of Wayne Cates Logging, Bremen, Ala.
Tom Dotson of Dotson & Gibbs, New London, Mo., puts a Komatsu PC220 excavator through a complete operational inspection.
Independent contractor Shane Booth of Flomaton, Ala., is looking a little small in front of the blade of one of the Cat D10’s in the sale lineup.
Inspecting a Komatsu D61PX dozer are Roger Wenning (in cab) and Nick Wenning of Wenning Excavating & Draining Inc., Greensburg, Ind.
With the high volume of online bidding, Spencer Clark of JM Wood Live helped customers register online and navigate any issues with the process. Customers who traditionally bid onsite had the option of inspecting machines, setting up their online account with the help desk, and then bidding from the comfort and convenience of their own vehicle.
Coworkers David Moore (L) and Bob McGee (R) of Construction Equipment Sales & Rentals, Jackson, Tenn., practice safe social distancing while deep in thought about several machines of interest.
Day three of the five-day sale saw an incredible array of good quality heavy iron rolling across the ramp.