Trucks appear for sale at auctions for many reasons including insolvent company liquidation, repairable write offs, written off for parts only, ex government or ex lease, as part of a clearing sale or excess trade-in stock from truck dealers.
Many small owner operators keep close eye on auction events in the hope of securing either truck or trailer at well below replacement cost, so at times there can be healthy bidding competition. So, be sure not to get caught up in the frenzy and stick to your bidding limit so as to secure a great price.
Bus auctions often include small 21 seat coaches through to larger 40 seat buses which can be ex-fleet vehicles from various government departments including Defence department, social services, from major fleet operators or from smaller business closures.
Always enquire the history of the vehicle and most reputable auction centres will supply details on title and
ability to be registered otherwise this should be researched. Remember, the auctioneers are earning a commision when they sell an item, so, they should be happy to help you with any pre-auction questions.
Popular makes often found at auction:
• Bedford • MAN • Mack • Mercedes-Benz • Mitsubishi • Nissan
• Volkswagen • Daihatsu • Ford • Hino • International • Isuzu
• Kenworth • Mazda • Mitsubishi • Nissan • Toyota • Volvo • Iveco
Tips for buying a used truck:
Application – What are you going to use it for – interstate, regional or local? The first challenge is to find a used truck with the specifications that most closely suits your needs. Also consider future needs of your new workhorse.
Mileage – How much life’s left in the truck? Many consider lower-mileage trucks be up to one million km and a really low mileage truck is in the region of 400,000-600,000 km.
Budget for an overhaul– Factor in a margin for future overhauls to engine and drive train.
Exercise due diligence – Look for tell tale signs of low maintenance like dry grease points, poor oil quality or damaged belts which may indicate a lack of maintenance or concern for condition.
Some truck and coach auction centres may also allow a mechanical pre inspection by a technician or provide a detailed report from their own mechanics which is well worth enquiring about.