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Used Equipment Prices Are Strong Right Now. Here’s Why.

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Supply chain constrictions, industry demand for certain types of equipment and a construction market that’s proven resilient are all leading to a current strong demand for used equipment, according to an industry panel.

Sponsored by Ritchie Bros, the panel included three Ritchie used equipment experts and a dealer, Michael Vazquez, vice president of Miami, Florida-based MECO Miami.

Supply side issues are contributing to the picture, Vazquez said, with customers waiting three to four months for both large and compact excavators from certain brands. “We’re seeing an enormous problem when it comes to the new side, and I think it’s only going to get worse,” he continued.

And on the used side, “everyone’s looking for late model equipment, but it’s difficult to source right now,” Vazquez said.

“I think we’ll continue to see healthy increases in pricing until the supply chain issues even out,” added Doug Olive, Ritchie senior vice president, pricing.

Still, Vazquez said 2020 turned out to be a “very good year. Our business, for example, was up 20% in 2020 from 2019,” he said, crediting the booming Florida market.

And overall, said Vazquez, “Associated Equipment Distributor members are seeing a tremendous amount of growth on the smaller side of equipment.” (Vazquez was also speaking as an AED board member.)

In 2020, telehandlers were strong in terms of number of units sold on both the auction side (Ritchie Bros.) and retail side (Rouse). Not so strong: wheel loaders and dozers.In 2020, telehandlers were strong in terms of number of units sold on both the auction side (Ritchie Bros.) and retail side (Rouse). Not so strong: wheel loaders and dozers.Ritchie Bros.

Overall, “there was an uptick in some of the assets we sold, especially with telescopic forklifts, compact track loaders and scissors,” Olive said. “There was solid demand throughout the year for all of those assets.”

Retail

“Aerial lifts and telehandlers are rental-first equipment and a lot of rental companies have been cycling over their fleet after those fleets grew substantially” in the past few years, said Doug Rusch, managing director, Rouse Services, a Ritchie division.

Retail pricing has followed suit, Rusch said. (In addition to auction prices, Rouse tracks private retail transactional sales for more than 200 large North American fleet owners.)

“Demand is matching up nicely with sell off, and when you have that dynamic you have a lot of stability in retail values,” Rusch said. Retail prices in 2020 were just 3 percent lower than in 2019, according to Rouse’s retail value index, which tracks fair market value prices.

“We really did not see a Covid-19 trough in the retail marketplace,” Rusch said. “This is quite a remarkable statement given all the headwinds.”

The retail value index is important to dealers, said Vazquez, because it’s something banks closely watch. If prices plummet, banks are less likely to lend. “About 70% of our deals are still retail deals,” he said, “and the residual value of our products is essential to maintain a strong number at the end.”

According to Rouse figures through January of this year, the average age of retail equipment sold was 64.4 months. This number has been trending upwards since January 2019, when the average age was 50.1 months.

Auction pricing

On the auction side, the Rouse Forced Liquidation Value index is showing that pricing “is seeing a remarkable recovery, with 5% higher auction prices than last January,” Rusch said, and 11% higher than in spring Covid trough. “The pricing is quite strong.”

Ritchie said U.S. heavy equipment auction prices have strengthened compared with the same time frame a year ago. The company’s Mix Adjusted Use Price Index shows that prices have gone from a year-over-year 3% decrease at the end of March 2020 to a 5% increase at the end of February this year.

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The shifts were more dramatic on the lift and material equipment side. Prices for these machines in the company’s Mix Adjusted Use Price Index went from minus 7% in March 2020 compared with the same time period in 2019 to an increase of 9% in February, when comparing it to February 2020. 

There has also been a depth of market along with the strong demand, according to Olive.

“If we can find the assets, there’s depth to the asset sectors,” he said. “Where we didn’t see depth year ago, there certainly is now.”

“There is so much strong demand in the marketplace.” Olive added. “All you have to do is look at indicators such as our watch lists, PriorityBidding and site visits.”

Ritchie, which has been running online-only auctions since the pandemic broke, has seen its PrioirtyBid option open up in the virtual environment, said Kevin Kobus, Ritchie’s vice president, U.S. live auctions and operations.

With PriorityBid, bidders can set a maximum proxy bid on a piece of equipment, one that will increase incrementally up to the maximum account.

“They don’t have to worry about overpaying for it or losing it if they weren’t able to be in front of their computers when it was sold,” Kobus said.

Virtual vs. live

Videos have become more important in the machine inspection process, and Ritchie is exploring a “concierge-type” service where prospective buyers will ask questions virtually while an inspection is occurring.

Another option, one the company is looking to expand, is what Ritchie terms a “virtual sale,” where an inspected machine is sold where its located instead of being transported to a Ritchie sales facility. One of the top sellers in the company’s recent Orlando event — a $460,000 2015 Cat 374F L excavator with 2,698 hours — was a virtual sale.

Which raises the question, are live auctions a thing of the past?

Kobus left the answer open. “That’s under evaluation,” he said. “Certainly, there’s a social aspect to a sale, but it’s all about choice. As we collect this data, we’re going to evaluate what the auctions of the future look like.”

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Cat’s Next Generation 255 and 265 Get More Power, Lift Height

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Caterpillar is bidding farewell to its 259D3, 279D3 and 289D3 compact track loaders with the introduction of its new, next-generation 255 and 266 models.

The completely redesigned models debuted at media and customer events at Caterpillar’s Edwards, Illinois, Demonstration and Learning Center last week. The 255 and 265 offer improved engine performance, more lift height, a roomier cab and more standard technology than their predecessors.

“We kept the DNA of the D3 series while reimagining the possibilities of loader performance using voice of customer feedback to lead the way,” says Trevor Chase, product application specialist for Caterpillar. “Both next-generation models leverage the many benefits offered by the vertical lift design. The new Cat 255 replaces the 259D3, while the 265 replaces both the 279D3 and 289D3 machines.”

The CTLs are the last of Cat’s building and construction products to get the next-generation treatment and simplified nomenclature. The first number (2) represents the skid steer loader and compact track loader machine family; the middle number (5 or 6) designates the machine size; and the ending number (5) is the compact track loader identifier. Skid steers will be identified by a 0 end number. Additional new models will roll out in the coming months, the company says.

Caterpillar 265 compact track loader carrying a blockCaterpillarMore power and torque

Cat equipped the 255 with a C2.8T engine and the 265 with a C2.8TA engine, both at 74 horsepower. This gives the new machines a significant boost in torque – 13% for the 255 and 43% for the 256 – over their D3-Series predecessors. The engine and cooling package are mounted lower in the frame for added visibility out the rear window and stability while lifting heavy loads.

Customers attest that the added lift height makes truck loading easier. The 255 offers 10 feet 4 inches of lift height, while the 265 can reach 11 feet high.

“The lift height has made a big difference when loading trucks,” said Derrick Roger, owner of Coast to Coast Lawnscapes, who spent several months testing the 255. “You can get on top of that truck now and empty the bucket; whereas, before you would have to shake the bucket to try to get the material to fall out.”

The 255 delivers 36% more tilt breakout, 26% higher lift breakout force and a 24% increase in rated operating capacity (ROC). The 265 also delivers 19% higher tilt breakout force and 22% higher lift breakout force.

Standard hydraulic pressure has been increased to 3,500 psi, allowing the 255 and 265 to operate all Cat Smart Attachments with the standard auxiliary hydraulics provided.

If demanding attachments require additional hydraulic flow, customers can have their Cat dealer activate the high flow functionality on the machine or remotely via software update. This makes it possible for the CTLs to hit 30 gallons per minute of flow at the standard system pressure.

A High Flow XPS factory option increases auxiliary hydraulic system pressure to 4,061 psi for both models, while also increasing the hydraulic flow to 30 gallons per minute for the 255 and 34 gallons per minute for the 265.

The torsion suspension undercarriage delivers better operator comfort, track wear and material retention, plus the stiffer design results in smoother graded surfaces, Cat says. A new 12.6-inch bar-tread narrow track option is available on the 255.

A more spacious cab

Cat says it has increased the cab width by 2.75 inches without making the machines wider and the footwell-to-ceiling height by 1.8 inches. The larger cab gives operators an additional 1.5 inches of hip room and 1.1 inches more width between the joysticks.

A range of new mechanical and air-ride suspension seat options are available, including a ventilated and heated seat. A new automatic temperature control allows operators to set a specific temperature. Relocated vents help cool or heat the machine quickly.

The standard package includes the same 5-inch LCD monitor as the D3 Series CTLs, which offers Bluetooth connectivity and functionality for the rearview camera feed, creep, job clock, and maintenance reminders.

Customers can upgrade to a new 8-inch advanced touchscreen monitor, like the display found in Cat’s next-generation mini excavators and small loaders. It delivers advanced radio control and supports the 270-degree multicamera option. The advanced monitor pairs with the advanced joysticks for integrated control of all machine functions and adjustments.

“You can adjust the movement – or the aggressiveness or the conservativeness – of how your tracks and lift arms work through your advanced touchscreen display,” Dante Thomas, skid steer and CTL marketing manager, said. “And you can control of all of your display functions from the advanced joysticks. There are buttons with enter and select functions on those joysticks that you’re able to change any functionality that is possible.”

Cat also redesigned the entry, making the 255 and 265 easier to enter and exit. The cab door can be opened even when the lift arms are not fully lowered to the frame stops. It can be removed without tools in less than one minute.

Advanced technologies

Calling the 255 and 265 “one of the most attachment-friendly machines on the market,” Thomas says both the standard and advanced monitors can run Cat Smart Attachments, such as the dozer and grader blades and backhoe.

“It has attachment recognition that when you plug the attachment into the machine, it recognizes which attachment is connected. It adjusts your joystick pattern, so it gives you intuitive and simple control,” says Thomas.

The available Cat Product Link Elite system tracks machine hours, location, asset utilization, provides fault code details and delivers advanced monitoring and machine health, that is remotely accessible via VisionLink. In addition, Product Link Elite provides remote flash and troubleshooting capabilities and quickly enables the remote activation of the SEA High Flow feature.

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Quick Data: 2023 Top-Selling Wheel Loaders and Auction Trends

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Quick Data is a snapshot of new and used wheel loader sales trends from Randall Reilly’s EDA equipment financing data, TopBid auction price service and EquipmentWatch market trend reports.

Demand for wheel loaders has softened with new and used financed wheel loader sales down year-over-year from August 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023 according to Randall Reilly’s EDA equipment financing data.

Financed new wheel loader sales dropped 10%, while used financed wheel loader sales fell by 15% compared to the same period last year.

Cat (22.4%), Deere (21.0%) and Komatsu (12.4%) held their positions year-over-year as the top three sellers of new financed wheel loaders. Top models sold included the Deere 544 P-Tier (401), Deere 624 P-Tier (380) and the Komatsu WA270-8 (364).

[Watch: “A Really Solid Machine” – Test Run of Komatsu’s WA475-10 Wheel Loader]

Cat (28.5%) and Deere (22.9%) also snagged the No. 1 and 2 positions for the highest number of financed used units sold, with Case (14.7%) claiming the third spot. On the date we examined the data, the top-selling models were the Case 321F (340), Cat 926M (164) and the Case 621G (159). 

During this period, there were more buyers of new loaders in Florida (955) than in any other state. Buyers of new wheel loaders were also prevalent in Texas (893) and Illinois (665). Those states were also top buyers of used financed machines, with 712 units sold in Texas, 413 in Florida, and 412 in Illinois.

EDA data is compiled from state UCC-1 filings on financed construction equipment. EDA continually updates this data as information comes in from each state.

[Related Content: A Rundown of the Latest Wheel Loaders for 2023]

Used Wheel Loader Market

Used wheel loader prices rose 10.1% for the 12-month period from August 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023, according to Randall Reilly’s EquipmentWatch market trend data.

The average price for a used wheel loader was $137,465 in July 2022 compared to $151,367 in July 2023. The average age of used wheel loaders fell slightly during the period, dropping from 8.8 years to 8.3 years.

EquipmentWatch Used wheel loader price and age chartEquipmentWatchThe average age and price were calculated on 153,356 resale listings during the period in the EquipmentWatch database.

Over the last 12 months, prices for used wheel loaders have in general increased, with the largest gains in October 2022 (6.5%) and February 2023 (2.9%).

EquipmentWatch defines fair market value (FMV) as the monetary value of an asset that can be expected in a transaction with a single seller and single buyer, neither of whom is under any compulsion or time restriction to complete the transaction. FMV for heavy equipment is most closely associated with the private resale market, as opposed to the public auction market.

Wheel Loader Auction Prices

Caterpillar also dominated the auction charts, accounting for 18 of the top 20 wheel loaders sold in terms of price for the 12-month period of September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2023. Deere and Komatsu were the only other manufacturers to appear on the list.

The top auction price spot went to a 2021 Cat 966M with 2,188 hours. It sold for $400,000 at a Ritchie Bros. auction in Orlando, Fla., on September 21, 2022. The second-highest price paid was $315,000 for a 2019 Cat 980M with 7,836 hours at another Ritchie Bros. sale in Atlanta, on December 1, 2022. Rounding out the top three was a 2018 Deere 944K with 8,941 hours. It sold for $290,00 at a J.M. Wood Auction Co. sale in Montgomery, Ala., on March 21, 2023.

In total, there were 358 wheel loaders sold at auctions tracked by Top Bid during this time, with an average price of $99,747. (This does not include any units sold for less than $5,000.)

EDA, Top Bid and EquipmentWatch are owned by Randall Reilly, parent of Equipment World.

[Related Content: Heavy Equipment Auctions Set for Second Half of 2023

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Video: A closer look at Rokbak articulated dump trucks

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Volvo Construction Equipment bought Terex’s off-road truck line in 2014, and six years later, it rebranded its articulated haulers under the Rokbak name.

On this episode of The Dirt, we hear from Paul Douglas, Volvo vice president of rigid haulers, who explains the differences between the old Terex line and the Rokbak trucks. He also gives a hint at some of the new things coming from Rokbak, including redesigned cabs and replacing the current trucks with new models. There’s also the possibility of a new size truck to hit the market.

Rokbak, as with other construction equipment brands, is working toward a zero-emissions future. On this episode, he explains where the articulated dump truck market is heading in terms of alternative fuel. He adds that customers will see big changes in emissions and engines in the next five years, with the ultimate goal of reaching zero emissions within 10 years.

So to learn more about Rokbak and what the brand has in store for the future, check out this episode of The Dirt.  

Equipment World serves up weekly videos on the latest in construction equipment, work trucks and pickup trucks – everything contractors need to get their work done. Subscribe and visit us at equipmentworld.com!

In This Episode:

  • 00:00 – Rokbak Articulated Haulers
  • 00:30 – Is Rokbak More Reliable Than Terex?
  • 03:22 – Brand New Cab
  • 06:10 – More Changes to Upcoming Rokbak Trucks
  • 09:20 – What Will Rokbak Do in the Next 2-5 Years?
  • 11:24 – What Alternative Fuel Will Rokbak Haulers Use in the Future?
  • 14:53 – Final Thoughts

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