Aaron Traffas: Hello and welcome to Purple Wave’s Auction Podcast. My name is Aaron Traffas. We’re conducting a retirement auction of construction equipment for Louks Construction of Mantorville, Minn., that will close on September 19. I’m speaking this morning with Rodney Louks about this event. Good morning, Mr. Louks, and thanks for joining me.
Rodney Louks: Thank you.
AT: Tell me about Louks Construction. How did you get started and how long have you been in business?
RL: My father started the business back in 1965, pretty much on his own with some help from his brothers. It just continued to grow from there until he decided to retire at this time.
What kinds of projects have you handled in the past and what areas have you served?
We worked all over the state of Minnesota, in Wisconsin and into Iowa. We’re basically an underground telephone contractor. The majority of our work – we have done some underground power. We have done all sizes of jobs – some large jobs that were 300 miles to the small half-mile job. There’s never been a preference. We just continued to grow the business and do the best work that we could.
This event is billed as a retirement auction for your father, Richard. Tell me about that decision. Was it driven by anything specific or has it been a while in coming?
Oh, it’s been a while in coming. My father is now 75 years old, and it just came to a point where me and him decided it was just the best to retire. Being up there in age, it’s hard to continue a business and deal with everything that goes on from the day-to-day aspects of it.
Well that’s certainly a big decision, as is the selection of an auction firm. Why was it that you chose Purple Wave?
I read about Purple Wave on an article on AgTalk. It had some really good reviews that I read on there. People liked it, so then I did a little research on my own. When I met with John, I thought he was very well informed and understood what we were trying to accomplish. And, yet, there was an ease of it, of being able to set everything up without having to promote our product and our equipment and, I guess, it was done easily.
As we record this morning, we are a little over a month away, and I see almost 80 items listed at purplewave.com. Are there more items coming?
There are more items coming. There are trucks and trailers that will be added on, and that should be the final product. The trucks and the trailers will be the final listing.
Tell me about some of the different types of equipment we’ll be selling.
We’re selling rubber-tired backhoes, trackhoes – on the smaller side, 20,000 lb. machines and less. The trucks, basically, are Fords – 2-ton trucks. The trailers are all Tow Master trailers, to a certain extent.
That would you consider to be some of the marquee items in the auction?
We’ve got a 9010 Case trackhoe on there that we basically used when we were doing some digging during trench projects where we needed a three-foot-wide trench in development area. That machine only has 400-and-some hours on it. It’s just like brand new. There’s a Terex TC50 mid-sized excavator that has approximately 400 hours on it. If you take a look at the equipment – it was maintained, it was always shedded, it was never left to sit outside and it’s in excellent condition.
It sounds like you took really good care of everything. Has it all been well maintained?
Yes. Yes, the equipment has been very well maintained. Everything was done ourselves. Oil changes on the equipment were usually done every 100 hours. On our trucks, we basically changed oil and serviced every 2000 miles. I’m pretty proud of that fact that we’ve never had a motor failure or a transmission or anything of that sort on any of our trucks or equipment. No major items have ever been replaced. It’s always been maybe hoses or rubbing lines or something like that. Basically we did all the maintenance ourselves. None of our equipment was ever taken to a shop for major breakdown.
Is everything located there in Mantorville?
Yes, it is. Everything is located here at our site.
Tell me about the site. Is it easy to get to and is there good access?
Yes. We’re two blocks off Highway 57, just north of the actual main street of Mantorville three blocks. As you turn and go east on Eighth Street you just come to a big, red gate and right straight ahead is a stop sign and right straight ahead is our driveway.
We always recommend that a buyer takes a look at everything before placing any bids. To that end, we have an open inspection scheduled for Saturday, September 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone can swing by during that time and take a look at the equipment. If that day and time doesn’t work for someone, what does he or she need to do to make a special appointment to look at something?
I am available, if a person wants to come and look, by making contact with me. Even if I can’t be there, I can just set up a time because there are some dogs on the property and it’s kind of nice if somebody, if they could, let us know that they’re coming so we can take care of the dogs and put them away.
Tell me about pickup arrangements. After the auction, once payment has been made to Purple Wave and a buyer has receipt in hand, what does he or she need to do to come in and pick up the assets?
We will help load or whatever we can with what we have here. We do not have a loading dock. That is one little, minor downfall, so those arrangements have to be made if something needs to be put on a dock. Anything that we can help load or lift we will gladly help do.
Will you have a forklift or loader there of some kind that can help put something heavy on a trailer?
Yes. Yes, just make arrangements and my father would be more than happy to help them load stuff up.
How soon does everything need to be removed?
I would like stuff to be removed approximately by two weeks after the auction. That’s kind of flexible – we can make things work.
So communication is key, and the take-home is within 48 hours of the auction they need to let you know what their plans are and you will be fairly accommodating.
Rodney, what does the future hold now for you and your father now that you’re out of the business?
I have continued my career by going to work for MP Nexlevel. I’m very happy with that so far. My father has plenty of mowing and chores to do around the house so that always keeps him busy.
Rodney, is there anything else you want to say about the auction?
If anybody has any questions about anything that’s there for sale, I’ll give them a straightforward, honest answer. Like I said, I’m proud of what we have.
I’ve been speaking with Rodney Louks about the Louks Construction retirement auction. Thanks again, Rodney, for visiting with me this morning.
Bidding for the Louks Construction retirement auction is open now and will close on Thursday, September 19, beginning at 10 a.m. central. If you have questions about any of the assets listed, or you’d like to schedule an inspection before the auction, contact Rodney Louks at firstname.lastname@example.org – that’s r a l o u k email@example.com – or call 507.951.1335.
Like all Purple Wave auctions, there are no reserves or minimum bids. Items receiving bids in the last few minutes will be automatically extended to give everyone a fair chance to bid. There’s no advantage to waiting, so view the complete inventory listing – and place your bids now – at purplewave.com.