King County Fleet Administration held its version of a spring garage sale last month, but customers weren’t shopping for gently-worn sweaters or antique dishware. Instead, bids were taken on scores of tractors, autos, vans, pickups, trucks and heavy machinery.
Fleet Administration holds two auto and heavy equipment auctions each year, one in spring and one in fall. Both are on Saturdays, and both are open to the general public as well as to nonprofits and government agencies and employees. Here’s an inside glimpse at what you might see there:
The 2017 Spring Auction drew a record 500 bidders on Saturday, May 20, at Harold Mather Auctioneers in Renton. These bidders submitted their best offers on Fleet vehicles and equipment that have outlived their useful life for County operations, but are still have some life left in them for a new owner.
Also up for auction were a mobile crane, a large lot of metal lockers (“like new!”), and some more esoteric items collected by other County departments, including:
- Diving boards,
- Solar panels,
- Hybrid bus batteries,
- An ambulance,
- 13 refuse trailers,
- 10 small boats found abandoned at Dockton Park on Vashon Island,
- Unclaimed bicycles submitted to lost-and-found, and
- A banded stack of broken 4×4 sign-posts (which sold for over $500!).To make the most of taxpayer dollars, King County sells many of its surplus items at public auctions or sealed bids, along with items from other government agencies, and the spring sale this year generated $865,000, which is returned to each of the agencies submitting the items auctioned.If you missed out this time, mark your calendar for the fall Fleet auction of autos and heavy equipment in October.