Crisis? What crisis?
Well, not exactly. However, fleet owners and managers participating in a major construction-equipment auction held smack in the middle of Congress' on-again, off-again, on-again economic bailout shuffle appeared to retain their interest in doing business regardless of any doom-and-gloom chatter. Construction Equipment followed closely specific makes, models and years of equipment up for bids in an Oct. 2 auction hosted by IronPlanet, in order to compare the results to machines auctioned elsewhere in previous months. The IronPlanet event was held three days after the House of Representatives rejected the initial federal economic bailout plan and one day before it approved a second crack at the $700 billion plan.
The hand-picked auction results Oct. 2 were mixed — some up, some down — but certainly neither disastrous for sellers nor indicative of an industry gone stone cold. For example:
• A 2005 JCB JS220LC excavator located in Georgia sold for $52,000 after attracting 30 bids. Four sister machines sold during the previous four months at different auctions held by different companies throughout the United States went for an average of $48,500.
• A 2004 Caterpillar 938G Series II wheel loader located in North Carolina drew 57 bids and ultimately sold for $81,000. That was actually higher than each of three comparable machines sold at auctions elsewhere in the nation during March, April and May.
• Two 2005 Caterpillar 420D backhoe loaders, located in Arizona and Texas, respectively, sold for $42,000 and $35,000 after attracting 23 and 16 bids. Thirteen of the same machines sold at auctions throughout the country in the previous months went for an average of $40,154 apiece.
• Four 2004 Bobcat T190 compact track loaders were up for bids. While one in Georgia went for $13,000, the other three in Colorado went for $14,000 apiece, which is above the $13,667 average of comparable machines auctioned elsewhere in the month prior.
• A jewel of the Oct. 2 auction was a 2006 Caterpillar D6R LGP Series III dozer, located in South Carolina. It attracted 67 bidders and ultimately sold for $152,000. A similar machine sold back in the winter at a Florida auction for $200,000.
On the whole, those are not at all horrific results during a period of overall economic uncertainty.