Essex Rental Corp. this week announced it will offer a portion of its surplus crawler crane inventory in a sealed bid auction.

"Essex Rental Corp. is continually evaluating the rental assets we own to ensure that they meet the needs of our customers and provide the highest possible return for our shareholders,” said Ron Schad, president and CEO of Essex. “In an effort to accelerate the sale of currently underutilized cranes, we have engaged Hunyady Auction Company to manage the sale of certain of our crawler cranes in a sealed bid auction. The assets being offered represent approximately 6 percent of our crawler crane fleet. Over 80 percent of the crawler cranes that will be listed for sale are traditional cranes whose utilization and return on capital have been unsatisfactory. Unlike a live auction where equipment is sold to the highest bidder, in a sealed bid auction potential buyers propose a price they are willing to pay for a particular crane and we have the ability to determine whether the offered price is acceptable. As with prior sales, we will use the proceeds from the sale of excess equipment to repay debt and to improve our fleet.”

The bidding period on the assets offered in the sealed bid auction is scheduled to end March 18, at 5 p.m. eastern.

Essex, through its subsidiaries, is one of North America's largest providers of rental and distribution for mobile cranes (including lattice-boom crawler cranes, truck cranes and rough-terrain cranes), self-erecting cranes, stationary tower cranes, elevators and hoists, and other lifting equipment used in a wide array of construction projects. Headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill., it is No. 44 on the RER 100.