Duffy Sells Monster Trailer With Alex Lyon & Son

Sat July 13, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams


The trailer along with the additional attachments of the gooseneck, draw bar and header cost approximately $500,000 exclusive of the transportation and tax according to Duffy.
The trailer along with the additional attachments of the gooseneck, draw bar and header cost approximately $500,000 exclusive of the transportation and tax according to Duffy.
The trailer along with the additional attachments of the gooseneck, draw bar and header cost approximately $500,000 exclusive of the transportation and tax according to Duffy. The trailer has 12 axles, there are eight Michelin tires on each axle, and each axle has independent steering and braking.

When Bill Duffy had to sell a monster trailer that had been sitting for three years, he turned to his many years of experience and modern methods to help him. The no longer manufactured 34-year-old behemoth, was marketed to domestic and international clients using the most modern tools of the Internet age.

Duffy of Winchester, Mass., is the president of Contractors Equipment Service Corp. of Billerica. The company repairs, sells, rents and appraises all kinds of construction and transportation machinery. Duffy has been a salesman and manager in this heavy iron rental and leasing field since 1990.

Duffy facilitates sales exchanges. His experience as equipment manager and vice president of Bank of New England Group of Boston for five years was invaluable for equipment recovery and sales. In fact, his experience leasing, selling and lending money for construction equipment goes back to 1974. He has appraised construction machinery, mining equipment and other large iron for banks since 1970 and sold machinery for other companies since 1965.

Duffy drew on all that experience when the Shaughnessy Company of South Boston approached him through his affiliation with the Alex Lyon & Son Auctioneers last year to help them sell a transportation trailer. The trailer is so massive that only a few companies in the world might have use for it. Shaughnessy Co. had been trying to sell the trailer for about three years, with no luck according to Duffy.

The Talbert 450-ton (408 t) trailer in question once moved small forests by itself. Shaughnessy Company purchased the trailer in 1989 brand new for more than $1 million. It is 83 ft. (25.3m) long and has a hauling or load capacity of its advertised 450 tons.

The trailer has 12 axles with eight Michelin tires on each axle.

“Each axle has independent steering and braking. It is towed by one tractor and pushed or braked by a second depending on the application and job requirements,” said Duffy. “There were two Prime Movers, or truck tractors, each with 70,000-pound front ends and one having a 90,000-pound rear end, and the second with a 125,000-pound rear end which was the primary tow vehicle.”

The trailer — along with the additional attachments of the gooseneck, draw bar and header —cost approximately $500,000, exclusive of the transportation and tax according to Duffy. The two prime movers were purchased used; one coming from Canada, and the second also from outside of the United States. The movers were used in heavy logging applications according to Duffy. The tractors were manufactured in 1974 and 1975.

“This equipment was used by the Shaughnessy Company in the moving and rigging of transformers for the power companies across the New England area,” said Duffy. “The cost of moving these transformers became very expensive and the power companies changed (over) to much smaller transformers, which were easier to move and to install.”

Though municipalities, utilities and private contractors have all shifted to more maneuverable transportation, Duffy said overseas markets remain viable as potential buyers.

“There still remains a very active foreign and domestic market in off-road applications, such as oil field and heavy construction,” said Duffy. “Despite this customer base, the huge trailer, well, simply didn’t move. A strong effort was made by the Shaughnessy Company to sell this equipment (domestically and internationally) over a three-year period, but to no avail,”

“I have had a relationship with Jack Lyon and the Lyon Auction Company from the early 1990s, up to this present time, deriving lenders and lessors in the liquidation of their assets with many years of experience, maximizing their returns,” said Duffy. “I have maintained a large equipment storage facility in Billerica Massachusetts, to also assist contractors in staging their equipment for internet sale at a Lyon auction. The Shaughnessy equipment remained at their location at 346 D Street in South Boston, where it was staged for showing and photographic exposure.”

After nearly three years of the stalled trailer sale, Jack Shaughnessy, Sr. contacted Duffy in mid-November of 2012 and authorized him to market the trailer through Alex Lyon & Son.

“The initial work was to gather all of the records, specifications, maintenance records and work history for the equipment, then write an accurate description for advertising in hard copy and on the Internet,” said Duffy. “This copy would then be finalized by the Lyons Auction people. This effort took approximately one month, which then put me into mid-December and the advertising had just about started to hit the market and the Internet with me as the contact person for Lyon Auction.”

Worldwide exposure, via the Web and Alex Lyon & Son Auction Company International, combined with local exposure to the Shaughnessy equipment in South Boston, cemented the sale in the next few months.

“Many of the interested parties came from Australia, South and Central America and Puerto Rico, beyond the U.S.,” said Duffy. “I also had an inquiry from an oil field contractor, who, believe it or not, owned eight of these trailers.”

Duffy’s next effort was to procure quotes for trucking to the Ports of New Jersey and Baltimore. Many potential foreign buyers came to inspect the equipment in South Boston, and then flew to Kissimmee, Fla., to be physically present at the auction site that took place in February.

Bids were taken, and a high bidder from Puerto Rico bought the Shaughnessy trailer and related equipment for $405,000 after bids were taken both online and at the Kissimmee site.

Duffy remained involved in the load out, work with the customer and disassembly by the Shaughnessy Crane Co. and their rigging crews.

“The complete process was very successful and is a great credit to the Lyon Auction Company and the use of the Internet and all of the assistance from the Shaughnessy Company,” said Duffy. “I was very pleased, because the response was overwhelming; both national as well as international.”