Contractors To Sell Off Equipment In Giant Auction

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COWETA COUNTY, Ga.,None — A panel of experts on Monday declared the great recession officially ended in June of last year.

PHOTOS: Construction Equipment Auction

Any upswing since comes too late for the dozens of contractors who are selling off their equipment in a giant auction in Coweta County.

"We're still in a tumultuous economy right now," said Darrin Hogeboom, as he walked along a row of dump trucks. Hogeboom runs the Ritchie Bros. equipment auction. The 2,000 pieces of construction equipment parked on his lot will draw bidders from all 50 states and probably three-dozen foreign countries.

"The buzz is like nothing I've ever seen in this industry before. It also has a little flavor because it is a local contractor here in Newnan, Ga."

About 175 of the pieces carry the Setco logo. Local developer and Setco owner Stan Thomas told Channel 2 Action News consumer investigator Jim Strickland that he sees no sense continuing to make payments on equipment that's been idled in the sour economy.

Thomas said his companies have laid off 90 percent of their staff.

Even buyers looking over the equipment are unsure where new business will come from.

"We just have nothing. Usually we see six months out, but we're not seeing that," said Ed Hoy, a quarry operator from Virginia.

Hoy said he would like to snag a rock truck for $250,000. Hogeboom said that's the upside. There is cash out there to invest in giant equipment.

When you look around here, there's work being done. Maybe not in the southeast, but somewhere in North America, in Asia, in Australia, there's work being done.

The auction begins Wednesday at 8 a.m. Officials said it could bring in $30 million.