You want the end-user to buy your item instead of going to their local dealer. When preparing a truck, ask yourself, “Is my truck ready to work today?” - Photo: Ritchie Bros.

You want the end-user to buy your item instead of going to their local dealer. When preparing a truck, ask yourself, “Is my truck ready to work today?”

Photo: Ritchie Bros.

Just saying the word “auction” likely brings to mind a picture of energy, excitement, and the booming voice of that fast-talking auctioneer.

Utilizing auctions to sell used fleet units is an essential part of any solid remarketing plan. It’s important to understand the auction process to make the most of it for your truck fleet.

Ritchie Bros. shares info and tips to get the most out of auctioning your truck fleet assets.

Starting the Auction Process

Any truck fleet manager’s goal is to attract end-users for your item, as they often have an immediate need and are willing to spend top dollar for a quality truck.

“To attract end-users, make sure your equipment is detailed and cleaned, all maintenance and repairs have been completed, tires/brakes are strong, and no warning lights (fault codes) are showing. Normal ‘wear-and-tear’ is acceptable but try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. You want the end-user to buy your item instead of going to their local dealer. Ask yourself, ‘Is my truck ready to work today?’ ” asked Rob Slavin, senior valuation analyst for Ritchie Bros.

Keep in mind, end-users also tend to have higher expectations because they want to put the truck to work as soon as possible so it can start producing money, Slavin warned.

“The price range for truck tractors can vary widely, depending on a variety of factors, including make/model, miles/hours, condition, specifications, location, etc.,” he added.  

Once your truck is consigned to one of Ritchie Bros. sales solutions, high-res photos are take and if needed, a complete inspection report is provided, so Ritchie Bros. can start marketing your assets to the world.

“The earlier an item is consigned, the more time we will have to market it to the world,” Slavin said.

Readying the Trucks

Once a truck arrives at an auction, the start of the sales process begins.

“For our full-service onsite unreserved auctions, we have a whole process we run through for each item, so potential buyers have all the info needed to bid. Once the truck arrives on site, we capture high-resolution photos and specification details for each truck and upload them to our website so that interested buyers can inspect them ahead of the auction. Buyers can also visit our sites to inspect and compare items in person,” Slavin said.

On auction day, each item is sold in lot number order. Due to COVID-19, currently, all buyers register and participate in the auction online, with an auctioneer calling out ask prices.

“Every item in the auction is sold to the highest bidder on auction day, regardless of price,” Slavin said.

For Ritchie Bros. online marketplaces, IronPlanet and Marketplace-E, the truck, trailer, or other pieces of equipment will stay on the fleet’s property and is accompanied by an inspection report, backed by IronClad Assurance.

Once a truck is “SOLD,” Ritchie Bros. handles the escrow process and pays out sellers within 21 days.

Choosing an Auction Type

Ritchie Bros. offers a variety of selling solutions to meet the many needs of fleet customers.

“Our unreserved onsite auctions, which are being held 100% online now due to COVID-19, offer certainty of sale. We have weekly online featured auctions through IronPlanet, where equipment is not required to be transported to a central location to be sold; and a reserved daily marketplace called Marketplace-E, which offers increased price and process control,” Slavin said.If you have a truck to sell, Ritchie Bros. offers an Asset Valuator tool to help you get a better idea of what your truck may be worth.

The Bottom Line

Ritchie Bros. sold more than 25,000 tandem-axle truck tractors in North America in 2020.

“Late in 2020, we also introduced an Asset Valuator tool that allows you to quickly search historical prices by make, model, year, and region. It’s easy to use and will help you better understand the current market value for similar items,” Slavin said.

Ritchie Bros. issues a monthly Market Trends summary report, with price indices, data, and other analysis showcasing equipment trends by industry and equipment type.

The most recent Market Trends summary report had truck tractor prices up 8% for the three months ending December 2020 (compared to three months ending December 2019).

“With the rise of online shopping and last-mile delivery due to COVID-19, we see strong demand for trucks and other transportation equipment,” Slavin concluded.

Originally posted on Work Truck Online

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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