Guide to Heavy Equipment Auctions

guide to heavy equipment auctions

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Who says you need a brand-new piece of heavy equipment for your upcoming construction job? Used equipment is just as productive as new equipment, which is much easier on your wallet. In addition, you can purchase or finance used heavy equipment and invest the extra money into other areas of your construction business or save it for the future. You have several options when you are ready to buy used heavy equipment. These include equipment vendors, equipment websites, and heavy equipment auctions.

Auctions are a great way to obtain top-quality heavy equipment for far less than its retail or fair market value. In this Balboa Capital blog post, we discuss auctions in great detail. We think this guide to heavy equipment auctions will be quite helpful. It explains what they are, how they work, and more.

How do heavy equipment auctions work?

A heavy equipment auction functions similarly to the traditional auction process. An independent contractor or a construction business offers a public sale of a piece of heavy equipment to the highest bidder. An online or brick-and-mortar auction house facilitates the transaction and takes a percentage of the final sale.

Before an auction takes place, you are typically given some information. In addition to the equipment make, model, and description, you will see its identification number, serial number, maintenance history, number of operating hours, and inspection report. Some heavy equipment auction houses also list the buyer and seller history and fluid levels, among others. Having access to this information instills confidence and can help you make an informed decision.

What types of auctions are there?

Before the Internet, you would have to visit an auction house to bid on equipment. Today, there are many online auction houses to choose from that list all types of equipment. The top online auction houses offer live onsite and online bidding, and some have in-person auction sites in small towns and big cities throughout the United States.

Moreover, the leading online auctioneers have robust websites regularly updated with new listings that let you search for specific types of heavy construction equipment by region, price, year, and more. In many cases, you can even inspect and test the equipment before placing a bid. In addition, most auctioneers post auction calendars on their websites, and some offer auction email alerts.

If you want to participate in an auction, do your research and become familiar with the process and policies of the auctioneer you select. In addition, you will need to understand the bidding choices (e.g., onsite, online, or proxy), the bidding methods (e.g., reserved price, unreserved price), and the equipment delivery options.

How do I start bidding?

To place a bid on a piece of heavy equipment, you will first need to register with the auctioneer. This can be done online. Basic information such as your name, business name (if applicable), telephone number, address, and driver’s license number is required. In addition, depending on the heavy equipment auction you choose, you might need to provide a refundable deposit equivalent to a specific percentage of your bidding limit.

Once your registration is approved, you will be given a bidder card with a number used at an in-person auction. If you opt to bid online, you will use the number associated with your account.

My bid won; now what?

Congratulations, you were the highest bidder on a piece of heavy equipment. The next step is to pay the bid price to take ownership of the equipment immediately. The auctioneer may collect your payment through a wire transfer, credit card, or an online payment app/service. In addition, some auctioneers offer in-house financing and work with lenders that provide heavy equipment financing.

What about shipping?

The last order of business is to have your equipment shipped. In most cases, organizers of heavy equipment auctions will provide you with the carrier company and tracking number once you make your payment and complete all necessary paperwork. When picking up the equipment at the auction site, the carrier company’s driver must present a proof-of-payment receipt.

If possible, get the carrier company’s contact information to provide them with the receipt and any special instructions the driver should know about. This can help ensure smooth and trouble-free delivery of your heavy equipment.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.