What Is a Heavy Equipment Auction?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2019
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A heavy equipment auction is a type of selling environment in which manufacturers and others will put up new, refurbished, or used heavy equipment for sale to the highest bidder. Auctions of this type may be open to the general public or require that bidders complete a qualification process before being granted access to the auction. While a heavy equipment auction may be held at a physical location and involve real time bidding conducted by an auctioneer, this type of auction can also be conducted using an online auction format.

With a heavy equipment auction, owners have the opportunity to sell equipment like bulldozers, backhoes, tractors, work trucks and a wide variety of different equipment that is used in construction, road building and even farming operations. Even equipment such as forklifts and shop equipment that is normally used in a manufacturing plant may be included in the auction. The owners may be individuals or companies that have used equipment for sale, or manufacturers of heavy equipment wanting to sell off refurbished equipment or even certain makes and models of equipment that have been discontinued.


Bidding in a heavy equipment auction normally requires registering and qualifying for participation ahead of time. Owing to the fact that the cost of the equipment is usually significant, it is not unusual for auctioneers to require some sort of proof that the bidders have the financial resources to honor any winning bids that are placed. For this reason, a potential bidder may present a financial document such as a letter of credit from a local bank or other financial institution, attesting to the fact that the bidder has the resources to honor a bid up to a certain amount.

The actual process used for a heavy equipment auction will vary. Typically, a minimum bid must be received in order for the item to sell. Bids may be accepted from a floor, with the auctioneer recognizing each bid as it is placed and ultimately identifying the winning bid. The auction may be conducted using what is known as a blind auction method, in which bidders submit sealed bids that are evaluated by the auctioneer and the winner announced.

In recent years, the idea of holding a heavy equipment auction online has become increasingly popular, with the auction beginning at a scheduled time, allowing authorized bidders to log into a secure site and place bids in a real time fashion. Bidders can usually see the current high bid, but not necessarily who placed the bid. This format usually calls for closing the bids at the end of a set period of time, with the highest bidder claiming the heavy equipment.


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