During February 2017, EquipmentWatch tracked total auction sales of $224,614,568, representing 8,117 equipment transactions from 258 auctioneers. This includes heavy construction and agricultural equipment, lift and access equipment, and commercial trucks. This was a 14% increase in transactions over February 2016, as well as younger and newer equipment were brought into the market. In addition, Ritchie Brothers, the largest auctioneer in the annual Florida mega auction, also saw an increase of 9% in their gross auction process from last year and set a new site record on the total and online registered bidders and number of sellers. These are solid indicators that 2017 will be a great year for the equipment auction market.
We tracked the top 10 heavy equipment types that were most commonly sold at auctions during February 2017. The most popular type was the crawler mounted hydraulic excavator, followed by wheel tractors and 4-wd articulated wheel loaders, which are the same top 3 equipment types from February 2016. Other popular equipment types were electric self-propelled scissor lifts, backhoe loaders, crawler mounted compact excavators, skid steer loaders, compact track loaders and standard crawler dozers, all of them typical of construction job sites.
The overall volume for the most commonly sold construction and lift equipment had a slight increase of 5% despite 4-wd articulated wheel loaders and electric self-scissor lifts experiencing a decrease of 25% and 22%, respectively. The most significant change was observed on telescoping boom rough terrain lift trucks which had a 71% increase. Crawler mounted hydraulic excavator and backhoe loaders had a much smaller increase of around 5%, reflective of the overall volume increase.
The average age of the five most commonly sold construction and lift equipment declined by 2.5 years, which means that younger and newer equipment were brought into the auctions this year compared to February 2016. Younger age on equipment is generally a good sign for the market as they can attract more buyers as well as make sales easier for sellers. All of the equipment types had a decline in average age with the highest decline was on crawler mounted hydraulic excavators at 15%, followed by electric self-propelled scissor lifts at 12%, telescopic boom rough terrain lift trucks at 8% and backhoe loaders at 6%. Meanwhile, the average age of 4-wd articulated wheel loaders had only a 0.06% decline, essentially the same as last year.
An interesting trend on year over year price comparison showed that all three earthmoving construction equipment types had a decline in average price as opposed to lift equipment which had an increase. The most significant change was observed on electric self-propelled scissor lifts which had a 56% price increase. Telescoping boom rough terrain lift trucks also had an 11% increase. 4-wd articulated wheel loaders, crawler mounted hydraulic excavators, and backhoe loaders had a decline of 9%, 4% and 22%, respectively.