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Should you buy your next truck from a truck auction?

Lately my partner Kim and I have been working closely with Manheim Heavy Equipment Auctions and I for one have gained an education on a side of the trucking industry that up until now I never really took notice of. This is a fast paced business with a lot of moving parts to it. Our first meeting was enlightening to say the least we arrived expecting to see a field full of equipment and a couple double wide where the administration might be housed. What we saw instead was a 200 acre paved state of the art facility looking more like a spotless upscale business co-op than an equipment auction. What we saw included an MTO license office, a fully equipped shop where safeties can be performed along and refurbishing with detailing facility, and a de-identification department, on site financing, full intra and internet capabilities with on-line bidding not to mention a full cafeteria that churns out very good meal’s. After doing some reconnaissance on the competition we agreed to take the project on, the possibility of success is just too great to ignore for us, they appear to have all the right things going for them to not be dominant in this market and we know we can help them be successful.
What our research revealed was that this company blows away the competition in every area critical to buying or selling commercial equipment, including a commission structure that is less than half compared to the competition, a monthly sale, the 1st Thursday of each month compared to the primary competition which has a sale once a quarter, Manheim pays sellers within an hour of the sale the competition coughs up 21 days after the sale, they have reserved bids for sellers which the competition does not, the Owner Operator community is also welcome to each Manheim auction of commercial equipment.
So at the root of it, were asked to help them build volume to their sale by attracting both sellers and buyers of heavy equipment to their monthly sale. Now that I have revealed some of what we have come to know about what is available at the auction, the question is should an Owner Operator buy a truck at an auction?
I would suggest that purchasing equipment in this fashion is a viable option provided that you, as always are an educated buyer. By this I mean that you have a good idea of the type of equipment that you what/need before you start looking horsepower, tyranny, rear end etc. As you may have heard it is easy to get caught up in the action, you must also be disciplined in knowing how much you are prepared to pay for what you want. To do this I would research the internet and equipment magazines to see what prices were being asked for what I was looking for, I would get to the auction early and take my time checking the equipment over including taking a good hard look at the equipment reports. Manheim grades various parts of the vehicle, like the interior, the tires, the engine the overall appearance etc. With the potential of significant savings over buying retail you might even consider having your mechanic tag along for the event.
On June the 7th there were over 220 pieces of equipment that ran through the auction that I was at, many of which were certainly what I would consider decent specs and good looking pieces. Equipment auctions are a viable option if you are in the market for an upgrade on your ride folks, just be sure you do it right and the savings can be significant.
Auctions for Heavy Equipment are held the 1st Thursday of each month the next one is July 5th, at 8277 Lawson Road in Milton doors open at 9am auction starts at 10am so if you think this might be for you come on out and take a look at what this is all about. You can call for additional details to Manheim Heavy Equipment and Truck Auctions 1-905-275-000
Safe Trucking– RJH

Ray Haight

Ray Haight

Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations.
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5 Comments » for Should you buy your next truck from a truck auction?
  1. Derek says:

    Please read your stories carefully for mistakes before publishing them.
    Thanks, Derek.

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