Blackmon Auctions has much less product to promote nowadays, however the third-generation enterprise has loved a banner 12 months, in line with Thomas Blackmon.

“It is in all probability the very best we have had in 20 years,” mentioned Blackmon, the founder’s grandson who has led the corporate for all of these years and 6 extra.

Blame the incongruity on the supply-chain disruption attributable to the covid-19 pandemic. Whereas the public sale firm has fewer merchandise to promote to the best bidders, the merchandise it does deliver to market are in demand, he mentioned.

“There is a extreme lack of provide proper now,” Blackmon mentioned. “It isn’t getting any higher. It is exhausting to get good gear. That is the conventional for the subsequent 18 months.”

Sooner or later final week, the 73-acre lot off Interstate 40 in Lonoke County the corporate owns was dotted with an assortment of big-rigs, trailers, work vehicles and heavy gear as part of the corporate’s normal end-of-the-year annual public sale open to anybody who needs to promote one thing.

Usually, Blackmon says, it’s a firm which does not wish to be caught with stock that could possibly be taxed beginning Jan. 1. The client may be an organization that made cash and desires to purchase some gear to assist offset taxes, he mentioned.

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Blackmon spent many of the day perched in an organization truck that slowly drove down the road of sale objects, stopping at every one to permit Blackmon or one other auctioneer, Invoice Hartnedy, to conduct the auctions with the assistance of not less than three public sale assistants, or ringmen, all through the day.

Prior to now, it might take three days to public sale all the pieces obtainable, Blackmon mentioned. Large rigs lined up in an extended row throughout the expansive yard. Identical with trailers, work vehicles, heavy gear. This time, there’s only a handful of every.

Final week’s public sale attracted about 75 folks, together with a number of from Texas and Tennessee. At the very least 450 extra folks participated on-line. That’s one other change from pre-pandemic auctions when extra folks participated in particular person, Blackmon mentioned.

Amongst these attending in particular person was Scott Franco of Scorching Springs, who lists his occupation as a forestry mulcher. He stood off from the principle crowd, watching the motion, a pen and checklist of public sale objects in hand.

He was on the lookout for a mini excavator, amongst different issues.

“There isn’t any mini excavators,” he mentioned. “There was one small dozer. No Bobcats. Nobody’s letting unfastened of something as a result of they can not exchange it.”

The distinctive financial circumstances proved a shocking boon to the Arkansas Division of Transportation. It has enlisted Blackmon for the previous seven years to carry auctions for its surplus gear.

Due to the pandemic, no public sale was held final 12 months. Throw within the provide chain disruption, which has hit the automotive trade exhausting, and it fashioned the “good storm,” in line with Blackmon.

The company had loads of product — greater than 150 used pickups in addition to 47 dump vehicles, 30 sedans, 16 motor graders, 11 Chevrolet Tahoe police pursuit sport utility automobiles, tractors and different gear.

Danny Keene, who leads the division’s gear and procurement, mentioned the division often culls its oldest automobiles and gear from its stock.

Usually, an company pickup is six to eight years outdated and has amassed wherever from 150,000 to 200,000 miles, he mentioned. The division has about 1,100 pickups in its steady, unfold all through its 10 freeway districts, its central workplaces and statewide models.

Many are assigned to the company’s development inspectors, who’re required by federal regulation to watch the varied levels of development on highway and bridge initiatives all through the state which might be paid for, in part, with federal cash.

Nationally, it’s a vendor’s marketplace for automobiles, in line with Brenna Buehler, a senior public relations supervisor for Kelley Blue E-book, a car valuation and automotive analysis firm based mostly in Irvine, Calif.

Prior to now 12 months, the common transaction worth for used cars has gone from $23,973 a 12 months in the past to $30,286 this month, a 26.33% leap.

The rise in costs for used pickups was smaller, however these automobiles are usually costlier than cars. Figures Buehler supplied mentioned the transaction costs for used mid-sized and full-sized pickups have gone from $32,666 in December 2021 to $40,942 this month, a 25,33% enhance.

The Transportation Division’s vehicles fetched nowhere close to that quantity, however the distinction in costs between the 2019 public sale and the 2022 public sale was hanging. The place two years in the past, the common worth of its pickups at public sale was $4,900, this 12 months it was $9,700, in line with Keene.

“A 100% enhance,” he mentioned. “That would not maintain throughout the board, however it’s a fairly good indicator.”

The division’s general haul was considerably increased than anticipated.

“Pie within the sky?” Keene requested. “We thought we would get $2.5 million tops.”

As a substitute the company obtained $3.6 million, he mentioned. The public sale earned Blackmon $231,929.40, which represented its 6% fee.

In 2019, the public sale netted the freeway division about $1.4 million.

“We knocked it out of the park,” Keene mentioned.

  photo  An auctioneer for Blackmon Auctions requires bids Wednesday on the Blackmon lot. (Noel Oman/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

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