Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers conducted the largest auction in its 50-year history in February, selling almost 6,200 lots over five days for total gross auction proceeds in excess of $190 million. The company sold more than $51 million of trucks and heavy equipment on the third day of the auction: the most equipment ever sold at a Ritchie Bros. auction in one day.

Ritchie Bros., the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, conducted the unreserved public auction at its permanent auction site in Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 19-23. The auction surpassed the company’s previous largest auction – a $172 million auction conducted at the same site in February 2007.

More than 6,000 people from 71 countries, including all 50 U.S. states and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories, registered to bid in the auction either onsite or online. Almost $159 million of equipment (representing 83 percent of the total gross auction proceeds) was sold to buyers from outside the state of Florida, including more than $68 million of equipment (36 percent of the total) that was sold to out-of-country bidders.

The auction also set new company Internet bidding records. More than 2,000 of the registered bidders participated online using the Ritchie Bros. real-time Internet bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live, purchasing close to $30 million of equipment.

“We’re continuing to see strong demand for equipment in many sectors and geographic markets around the world and that was reflected in the international presence at the auction, as well as the results we achieved and the records we broke,” said Peter Blake, Ritchie Bros. CEO.

“The participation of bidders from around the world, both on site and online, helped our local consignors overcome the current economic conditions in the U.S. and achieve global fair market value for their equipment.”

Ritchie Bros. regional manager Gary Seybold said, “The auction was a great success. We saw stronger prices than we did during the fourth quarter of 2007, with especially good returns on motor graders, highway paving equipment and cranes. We had on-site bidders from as far away as Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, with active bidding from all over the world via the Internet.”

Among the equipment sold in the five-day auction: more than 70 cranes, 340 hydraulic excavators, 290 wheel loaders, 180 articulated dump trucks, 350 crawler tractors, 130 loader backhoes, 30 pavers, 140 drum rollers, 130 truck tractors, 230 boom lifts, 90 scissor lifts, 290 telescopic forklifts and 180 forklifts.

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