Ritchie Bros. Hosts Auction, ARB Meeting in Los Angeles

Tue June 26, 2007 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Proposed regulations discussed May 25 at a public meeting of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) in San Diego generated additional consignments at an unreserved public auction held this week in Los Angeles.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers conducted the large industrial equipment and truck auction at its permanent auction site in Los Angeles, Calif. on May 22 to 24. The three-day auction generated more than $41 million in gross auction sales and featured more than 2,900 lots from over 500 consignors — new site records for number of lots and sellers. Since the site opened in 2000, Ritchie Bros. has sold more than $500 million worth of trucks and equipment at its Los Angeles location.

Almost 2,600 registered bidders from 40 countries, including 43 U.S. states and all 10 Canadian provinces, attended the auction either in person or via the internet. Close to 800 of the registered bidders participated in the auction live and online, using the company’s online bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live. A Los Angeles company internet record was broken, with more than $12 million worth of trucks and equipment purchased online by 181 internet buyers.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) held the public meeting to discuss proposed new regulations for off-road diesel-fueled equipment, including construction equipment. According to the ARB’s “Diesel Risk Reduction Plan,” the regulations are intended to reduce diesel particulate matter emissions by 75 percent by 2010, and 85 percent by 2020. The ARB is expected to vote on the proposed regulations in July 2007. According to the ARB’s April 2007 “Staff Report: Initial Statement of Reasons for Proposed Rulemaking” there are 180,000 off-road diesel vehicles in California. If the vote passes, equipment covered by the new regulations will have to be retrofitted, re-powered or replaced — at the expense of equipment owners.

“Our customers know that our auctions attract bidders from across the country and all over the world,” said Richard Aldersley, Ritchie Bros. regional manager. “Many equipment owners are choosing to sell with us rather than paying for expensive upgrades or scrapping their equipment. Using other asset disposal methods in the local market under the proposed regulations, that equipment may be devalued. We transcend those local market conditions. In their current condition, many of these pieces of equipment still have a long useful life in other markets.”

The auction featured trucks and industrial equipment from more than 500 consignors, including several million dollars worth of equipment from Skanska USA Civil, a leading provider of construction services in the United States.

“We chose Ritchie Bros. to sell our equipment because we’ve had good experiences with them before. It’s a seamless way to market our equipment and to achieve good values for it,” said Lloyd Smith, senior vice president of Skanska USA Civil. “We’re not fighting the new ARB regulations; we’re moving forward with the times. But the proposed regulations certainly accelerated our plans. We need to be updating our fleet with newer equipment and selling some of the older equipment in preparation for the regulations that are coming down the pipe, so we put a lot of equipment in this sale rather than spreading it out over months.”

The company also announced that it has acquired property near Paris, France, on which it intends to construct a new permanent auction site. Although the company expects to have regular auctions at this location in 2007 and 2008, construction of the auction buildings will commence in 2007 with a view to a grand opening in 2008.

More than 35,000 items will be sold in 39 unreserved industrial auctions and 43 unreserved agricultural auctions coming up on the Ritchie Bros. auction calendar. The next unreserved auction in Los Angeles is scheduled for Aug. 28 to 29.

For more information, visit www.rbauction.com.

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