The annual parade of heavy iron past the viewing stands at the Ritchie Bros. auction in Orlando, Fla., is often taken as a bellwether for the health of the equipment industry. The signs this year are encouraging. A new record for the Vancouver, B.C.-based auction house, more than $188 million worth of heavy equipment, compact equipment and trucks were sold at the Feb. 20-24 event.
“It was quite a bit larger than last year. The mood is quite good right now,” says Jake Lawson, senior vice president with Ritchie Bros. “There’s anticipation that the new [U.S.] president will spend big on infrastructure, and a few customers are betting big on that, filling out their fleets.”