Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the world's largest auctioneer of heavy equipment and trucks, conducted two unreserved auctions in Las Vegas last week. The first auction, a charity event at World of Concrete on Wednesday, Jan. 25, generated $558,000 for Concrete Industry Management's post secondary education program — a new record for the annual auction. At the second auction, which took place at Ritchie Bros.' Las Vegas site on Friday, Jan. 27, the company sold more than $24 million worth of equipment for more than 200 consignors. All items in the two public auctions were sold to the highest bidders with no minimum bids or reserve prices. Bids were made in person at the auction site, online in real time at www.rbauction.com, or by proxy.

"This was the biggest CIM fundraising auction we've ever been a part of — the $558,000 raised at this auction will greatly benefit the future leaders of the concrete industry," said Mike Johnston, senior vice president, sales, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "World of Concrete and the CIM fundraising auction are great events that we and our customers look forward to every year. To save our customers time and money we always try to schedule our first Las Vegas auction around these annual events — and once again it has proven extremely beneficial for our bidders and our consignors. Our bidders have the benefit of tying two trips into one and our consignors benefit from the larger, more diverse crowd of potential buyers attending the auction."

The 2012 CIM fundraising auction attracted more than 400 on-site and online bidders from around the world and surpassed the annual auction's previous record by more than $185,000. The auction featured a wide range of donated items, including equipment, cement and sports packages from companies like Caterpillar Inc., Lafarge, Argos Cement and more. The premier item in the auction, a Mack cement mixer truck, sold for $130,000 to an on-site buyer.

More than $24 million worth of equipment was sold to more than 480 buyers in a single day at the Jan. 27 Las Vegas auction with close to 90 percent of sales going to buyers from outside the state of Nevada. The auction attracted bidders from as far away as Jordan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. In total, more than 2,700 bidders from 41 countries, including 47 American states, nine Canadian provinces and one territory, registered for the auction. More than 1,500 of those bidders (55 percent) participated online.

The auction featured more than 1,200 heavy equipment items and trucks from more than 200 consignors, including a great selection of specialized concrete paving equipment from consignors like Peek Construction and Williams Brother Inc.

"Timing this auction with World of Concrete benefited the sale prices of our equipment immensely," said Andy Eisenzimer, equipment manager for both Peek Construction and Williams Brother Inc. "Our equipment is very specialized — it's not the type of concrete equipment you see on the street everyday — so it was very important for me to consign it to this January Las Vegas auction in particular because I knew the buyers would be there — both on-site or online. For example, for Peek Construction I consigned a 2004 CON-E-CO concrete batch plant and it sold to an online buyer from Canada."

The auction was also the first Las Vegas auction conducted in its recently completed auction facility, which includes a 33,000-square-foot auction building with a 500-seat main auction theater and a 300-seat virtual ramp theater. The official grand opening for the new facility will be held at the next Las Vegas auction on May 4.

The Ritchie Bros. auction calendar currently features more than 100 unreserved public auctions around the world, including a six-day auction at the company's permanent auction site in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 13-18, which already includes more than 8,500 heavy equipment items.

To see a complete list of upcoming auctions, visit www.rbauction.com.

Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers conducts hundreds of unreserved public auctions each year, selling a broad range of used and unused equipment, trucks and other assets utilized in the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries. Ritchie Bros. has more than 110 locations in more than 25 countries, including 43 auction sites worldwide.