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Heavy Equipment Market Trends in 2018 Florida Auctions

During February 2018, EquipmentWatch tracked the total sales of $305,918,204, representing 8,685 sales transactions from 451 auction participants. This includes heavy construction equipment, agricultural equipment, lift and access equipment, and heavy commercial trucks. In February 2018, the total number of transactions increased by 7% from February 2017 and the total sales increased 36%. In summary, a larger volume of equipment was introduced into the market at younger average age and higher average prices compared to the prior year. In addition, Ritchie Brothers., the largest auctioneer in the annual Florida mega auctions as well as the largest industrial auctioneer in the world, reported that they had the largest auction in its 60-year history in Florida this year.

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Top 10 Equipment types made up 42% of the total sales transactions with mostly construction equipment types.

We tracked top 10 heavy equipment types that were most commonly sold at auctions during February 2018. The most popular type was crawler mounted hydraulic excavator, followed by wheel tractor and 4-wd articulated wheel loader which have been the top 3 types for three years in a row. The market share of these equipment types went up from 15.6% to 19.2% of the total sales transactions indicating not only volume but also market share of these equipment types increased that they became more popular compared to last year. Crawler Mounted Hydraulic Excavator, wheel tractor, 4-wd articulated wheel loaders had 1.0%, 1.9%, 0.8% increase in market share, respectively. This means auction is becoming a more reliable channel to buy and sell equipment, and that more people are using auction to get or dispose their equipment.

This graph shows the year over year volume comparison from February 2017 to February 2018 for the six most commonly sold construction and lift and access equipment.

There was a 6% increase in the overall volume for the equipment listed in the graph above. The only type that had lower volume compared to last year is the electric self-propelled scissor lift which had a 40% drop in volume. The most significant increase was observed on skid steer loader by 16%. Telescoping boom rough terrain lift truck had a slight 4% increase whereas the other three construction equipment types showed increases between 13% to 16%. The year over year volume increase on Lift and access equipment was not as high as the increase of construction equipment types but the equipment types above reflect the overall volume increase.

This graph shows the year over year age comparison from February 2017 to February 2018 for the six most commonly sold construction and lift and access equipment.

The average age of the equipment types above declined by 0.7 years, which means that newer equipment was brought into the auctions in February 2018 compared to February 2017. The decline in age this year is lower than the decline from last year which was 2.5 years. Although the decline is lower, this is a good sign for buyers because it means there are more choices of equipment at different price points, with different conditions from inoperable to like new. Looking at the above graph, the biggest decline in age was found on 4-wd articulated wheel loaders with 16.7%. Electric self-propelled scissor lifts had a marginal decline of 0.1% staying at the same level. The other equipment types all had a decline from 1.3% to 9.7%, showing more machines at younger age were brought into the market compared to last year for popular machines.

This graph shows year over year price comparison from February 2017 to February 2018 for the six most commonly sold construction and lift and access equipment.

Looking at the above graph, all equipment types except for skid steer loader had an increase in average price from 3.7% up to 87.8%. The highest price increase was found on electric self-propelled scissor lifts at 87.8% which could be a result from the scarcity in electric self-propelled scissor lifts during February 2018 because the average age was on par from last year. 4-wd articulated wheel loader and telescoping boom rough terrain lift truck had the next highest price increase at 20.2% and these types also had the second and third highest average age decline which explains the price increase on these equipment types, because the price of newer equipment is typically higher. Age and utilization are important factors to set used equipment values, and the average age decline could have led to higher average prices of equipment. Having more of higher priced equipment in the auctions tells that buyers and sellers did not necessarily expect cheaper and average conditioned machines at auctions any more. This tells that auction is becoming more reliable channel to buy and sell equipment and offers more varieties in price, condition, age, and type.