The thing that impresses me the most about Ritchie Bros. is how fast they move their auctions along.
Time is money and Richard Hammond, owner of R.A. Hammond Construction, doesn't like to waste either of them.
"The thing that impresses me the most about Ritchie Bros. is how fast they move their auctions along," says Richard. "Other auctioneers try to squeeze us for an extra $500 to $1,000. Ritchie Bros. moves the sale along. When they say the auction is going to start at 8 a.m. and finish at 2 p.m., they always hit it pretty close."
Richard knew he wanted a career involving heavy equipment and fixing things at the age of seven. He never wavered. In fact, he formed Massachusetts-based R.A. Hammond Construction in 1965, a few years after graduating high school and attending Wentworth Institute in Boston. Since then his company has "been riding the tide up and down with the good and bad times." It has grown from a one-man show to a company with 25 pieces of equipment capable of working on multiple jobs simultaneously.
"We always try to have a good array of equipment on hand because sometimes we run as many as seven different jobs scattered all over the place," says Richard. "We have bought some new equipment, but we prefer to buy through the auctions. I think you get a better deal because a used machine will do the same amount of work as a new one will for less cost."
R.A. Hammond Construction specializes in site and utilities work for buildings, power plants, schools, public safety complexes, airport towers and sewer/water/drainage.
Richard first heard about Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers in the 1970s when he saw an ad for a Toronto, Canada auction in Rock & Dirt magazine. At that auction he was immediately impressed by the speed, comfort and integrity that Ritchie Bros. provided.
"I have followed auctions through the years so I have seen auctions where consignors have planted people in the crowd to push the price up, but you don't see that at Ritchie Bros. auctions," says Richard. "An auction is supposed to be a representation of the fair price and Ritchie Bros.' unreserved policy ensures that fairness."
Richard believes strongly in fairness and honesty, especially when it comes to business practices.
"Ritchie Bros. represents the equipment honestly. They don't try to sugarcoat it," says Richard. "Ultimately a machine is worth what it is worth on the day you sell it, not the day before and not the day after. Ritchie Bros. is fair and upfront about this."
Lately, as much as he enjoys attending Ritchie Bros. auctions in person, Richard does more of his bidding online because his time is so valuable.
"I can sit in my office and just see how the auction is going. If I do end up buying something it's great, but if I don't, I don't have to worry," says Richard.
Ultimately, whether he's bidding on-site or online, buying or selling, Richard knows he's never wasting his time or his money with Ritchie Bros.
Written and published: 2009