EUGENE, Ore. — Where can you buy a used car, truck, tractor and even a used LTD bus all in one place? At the Lane County Fleet Auction.
The 15th annual county auction started Thursday. This year, the inventory of items is bigger than ever before. Buyers who come will find deals on everything from boats to bulldozers. The county departments that provide all the merchandise hope for a deal, too–to add some extra change to help fill the gaps left by budget cuts.
Ron Gernhardt with Lane County Fleet Services is honest with his customers. He says some of the equipment being auctioned off has been through a lot, but he says they’ve still got plenty life left.
“We’re not selling them because they’re broke. Now there are some and we’ve noted that, but most of these cars were being driven a month ago and we keep them in good shape,” Gernhardt said.
Each one of these cars, trucks and tractors were owned by the county or a number of city agencies who pitch in on the inventory. EWEB, EPUD, the City of Springfield, and even LTD solicited Gernhardt’s superior selling skills. Over a decade of auctions have shown he’s a pretty popular guy
“Half these people know me by name because they’re return customers. We have a lot of people who have bought these cars over the years and have had really good luck with them or are still driving them, and I’ll see them and think, ‘Oh I sold them that car five years ago’,” Gernhardt said.
He’s got a pretty solid track record, too. He’s only not sold one auction item in the last 15 years. County departments appreciate it, especially now, when money is tighter than ever. Gernhardt says some divisions are relying on every penny they can make.
“They’re facing some real steep budget cuts. I mean, millions. We’re not talking paper clips here. We’re talking millions, so I’m really hoping I can sell their equipment so that can come off the books,” Gernhardt said.
This auction could mean an extra $100,000 or so for some departments, and Gernhardt hopes it does. He’s anticipating sale proceeds totaling around three quarters of a million dollars, which would mean a nice pay day for some pain-stricken pocket books.
The auction will run Friday and saturday. Bidders should know the results of their bids sometime next week. If you’d like more information on the auction, click here.