A new online truck and equipment auction service has been launched this month by Fleet Owner to help fleets, especially small to medium-sized carriers, buy and sell used equipment faster and with less expense when compared to traditional auction methods.

“The great benefits to the online auction portal is that you don’t need to move your vehicle to a physical auction site, nor do you need to spend time and money traveling to a physical site to buy or sell equipment,” said Logan Mellott, director-- fleet and distribution for AssetNation, the technology company that powers the Penton Online Auction Service platform run by Penton Media (Penton Media is the parent company of FleetOwner). The Penton Online Auction Service platform will also serve equipment buyers in the municipal and agricultural markets.

“As a seller, you can be certain that your equipment will be exposed to buyers throughout the country and enable you to convert your equipment to cash quickly,” Mellott said, pointing to the 7-million equipment buyers and sellers within the Penton Online Auction community. “Also, as a buyer, you’ll have access to dozens of equipment categories and quickly find what you need.”

He expects the online auction format to be of particular benefit to small and medium-sized carriers that don’t have the time or resources available to dispose of their used equipment via traditional auction avenues.

“Buying and selling equipment is not a core business function for fleets,” Mellott said. “Their core business is hauling freight, or delivering gravel to construction sites, etc. Having a way to quickly and easily list equipment for sale, or search for equipment to buy, is a critical asset for them.”

The issue of buying and/or selling used equipment is of more importance today because of the growing shortage of such units in the marketplace.

“Think about just buying used equipment at an auction today,” Mellott told FleetOwner. “Let’s start with you traveling to the physical location of a traditional auction. You’ve got that base expense to start with. Now, say you don’t find anything you’re looking for, or your bids are not the winning ones. All that money you put into traveling to the auction is now a sunken investment for you.”

Online searches for equipment, however, can be conducted without ever leaving the computer, he pointed out. Equipment can be easily listed for sale through this medium, requiring only photographs and data, eliminating the transportation costs associated with moving a vehicle to a physical auction site that could be located hundreds of miles from a fleet’s home base.

Mellott explained that FleetOwner’s online auction site will list commercial vehicles of all types, from pickups to Class 8 highway tractors, to give a very broad base of equipment choices to meet the needs of almost any trucking application.

“There’s certainly no single ‘go-to’ place in the physical sense where you can buy or sell such a wide variety of trucks and trucking-related equipment,” Mellott said. “That’s the benefit of an online auction site. First, we’re not going to run out of physical space to store all of this equipment. And second, you can target your searches quickly to look for the specific equipment you want, rather than walk up and down long rows of trucks to find what you are looking for.”

Photos help provide the details regarding the equipment listed on the site, and Mellott eventually expects video options will be added as well.

“It’s all designed to create a one-stop shop type of environment for fleets looking to buy and/or sell their old equipment,” Mellot said.