Austrias motorway operator auctions off snow ploughs and lorries

ASFINAG has auctioned off 200 vehicles and pieces of equipment in Graz-Raaba (Styria) yesterday (Wednesday) to finance a new car pool.

The 200 pieces that went to auction – ranging from small cars to snow ploughs and lawnmowers – were used by ASFINAG, who is responsible for planning, building, maintaining and operating motorways in many parts of Austria, across the country.

The spokesperson for ASFINAG said Walter Mocnik: “The objects are taken out of service when they reach a certain age.” Cars have to have driven 200,000 kilometres or be over five years-old and lorries are retired after 12 to 14 years of service on Austria’s motorways.

ASFINAG auctions take place twice a year – in Graz and Wels (Lower-Austria). The reason for the regular change is that the firm needs equipment which is at the top of the technology in order to guarantee the best quality operations. The old vehicles are not able to fulfil that function.

There is rarely ever anything left over at the auction house. Car pool manager Klaus Ohner said: “The highest bid was once a bridge inspection device worth 650,000 Euros (new). We weren’t sure we would be able to sell the piece of equipment, but we managed it. I think someone paid 25,000 Euros, but the device was 20 years old.”

ASFINAG’s last auction brought a total of 340,000 Euros to the firm, who once again sold every item. The money will flow into financing the new car pool. ASFINAG however pointed out that the sum recouped at the auction is just a small part of the expenditure, as buying new lorry is an expensive operation.

Anyone interested in placing a bid has to pay a deposit of 500 Euros which is then calculated according to the object on which the bid is placed – or returned if the person in question leaves without any purchases.

The auctions is carried out by the Dorotheum Graz auction house.