Aaron Traffas: Hello and welcome to Purple Wave’s Auction Podcast. My name is Aaron Traffas. We’re conducting an auction for Ruzic Construction in Neillsville, Wis., that will close on April 17. This morning I’m going to speak with Gary Ruzic himself about his retirement auction. Good morning, Mr. Ruzic, and thanks for joining me.
Gary Ruzic: Good morning.
AT: Tell me about your company, how you got started and how you evolved to be, as you call yourself, one of the little giants in the Wisconsin bridge building industry.
Ruzic Construction auction flyer
GR: I started contracting on my own in 1971. That’s 43 years ago. I started out doing some residential work. Before that, I worked for a contractor out of Milwaukee on heavy industrial – schools, hospitals, factories – that type of work. Concrete and steel, that’s all I’ve done for 52 years. I moved up here to central Wisconsin where I was born and raised, and when I got back up here I started out doing some residential work. Then, the county highway commissioner asked me to do some repair work on some bridges. One thing led to another. I got pre-qualified with the state in ’76 and have been doing bridge work with the state ever since.
Why are you having an auction?
The reason I’m having an auction is the work has been very thin – not much of it – in the last four years. That, plus my age – I just turned 73 and it was just time anyhow. It was hurried along by the very poor marketplace that’s been there for the last couple of years. It’s going to be picking up greatly in the next couple years in the state of Wisconsin. With the age factor in there, I figured it was just time to step aside.
Well, the decision to sell your equipment after such a long and successful career couldn’t have been easy, nor, do I imagine, was the selection of an auction firm to handle the liquidation. Why did you decide to use Purple Wave?
I called an awful lot of people that I knew that sold out in the last three to five years – people that I’ve known for a long time. Some of them that sold out within the last three to four years went with an online auction and said it was much better than a traditional auction. Some of the people that I’ve talked to in different states and in the state of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa – they recommended Purple Wave quite heavily. They said that they did a good job on it, the prices were good, they were treated very good, they had a lot of help with it – it just sort of swayed my thinking that this was the company to go with.
As we speak this morning, I’m looking at about 400 items listed at purplewave.com. Tell me about the types of equipment that we’re going to be selling for you and give me some details on what you would consider to be some of the marquee assets in this event.
Well, we are a bridge-builder, so everything is, of course, bridge-builder-oriented here. The cranes, we have two sixty-ton and one fifty-ton crane left here – Americans – 5299s. Two of them are 5299As. They are in good shape. They were gone through again this fall and every year we have them – we have a company come out and they’re certified every spring. We didn’t certify them this spring because we’re not going to be using them. They were ready to, and I know they would pass easily, and the same with all of our trucks, trailers – everything is checked out and certified by the state that everything is roadworthy and in good running order. I’ve had my yard foreman that I had here was with me for 36 years and he was pretty well a stickler on maintaining everything. He had a good mechanic on hand here. If it’s the pile drivers, the pipe rule, the deck finishers – there’s two of them – the cranes, backhoes – everything is in good, working order and ready to go. The cranes – I know I talked to the mechanic when he was done this last fall. It was about Thanksgiving – he wrapped up with them putting in new air lines and brake shoes and clutches and he said we could have all three cranes on the job and working within three days. He said load them up, get the booms on them, get the cable out and we could be driving piling.
Well, I’m seeing a huge quantity of forms and tools, trailers and generators and supplies. All of this equipment is listed as being in Neillsville. Tell me about the location. Is it all in one place?
It’s all in one place right here. We’re on Highway 73 about three miles north of Highway 10, just north of Niellsville. Everything is right here. When they have the open house on the third and the thirteenth of April, anybody can come in here and take a look at, start up and run any piece of equipment. Everything is right here and ready to go. If it’s anything to do with bridge construction, concrete, steel, pile driving – and there’s also – we have the piling, pipe pile, H-pile, and sheet piling here. In the H-pile and the pipe pile, there are certifications for the state on all that material.
Gary, you mentioned the open inspection periods on April 3 and April 13. Each is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Let’s say I’m a prospective bidder and, for some reason, those times don’t work for me and I’d like to take a look at something before placing a bid. Who do I need to contact to be able to do that?
If you could contact me on my cell or a land line – cell number is probably the best. I’m within reach of that twenty-four-seven and anybody is welcome. They can come at virtually any time and take a tour of the entire yard. You can drive through, around everything. This infernal snow we’ve been getting – I’ve been plowing steady to keep plowing out everything I can. I can be here to open up the shop and you can take a look at everything that’s palletized and on display here all over the floor of the shop and cold storage areas. There’s pallets of material actually covering an area that’s probably 80′ x 140′ – just about solid pallets.
2001 SkyTrac 8042 Legacy telehandler
Let’s talk about after the auction. Once everything is sold and a winning bidder has made payment to Purple Wave, what’s he going to need to do to arrange pickup?
They come in here – everything is paid for, they have a receipt that is paid for and we’ll have a forklift here, an 8000 lb. forklift which can hold virtually anything. There are a few things we’ll have a – we’re asking that the 50-ton crane stick around for about a week. There are a few things that we can load – like the 50′ long 36” beams, you can load them with a forklift but it’s much easier and safer if we could load some of that real heavy stuff right away with the crane and then ship the crane out and finish everything else up with the forklift.
Gary, tell me about shipping. What options are available to somebody who needs to move some of this equipment a fair distance?
As far as trucking for anybody throughout the United States here, they have ConsTrucks, a company from Stevens Point, that has a lot of lowboys and flatbeds. They can haul anything that you have to haul. Length, weight, width – won’t make any difference. They can haul it nation wide, really, and there are other local trucking firms around here that would be glad to haul for you. I know Andrews Trucking would be willing to haul.
1996 Kobelco SK220LC Mark IV excavator
What kind of time frame are you hoping to have everything removed by?
I hope we could have everything removed within a couple weeks after the auction. By May 1, if we could have everything out of here I would appreciate it.
Gary, is there anything else you’d like to say about this auction?
You mentioned there were a lot of forms here. The forms are all 3/4” plywood – exterior plywood on them and 2 x 6 skeletons. They’re good forms. The plywood has been replaced on them. They’re all in perfect shape. There’s probably about four semi loads of forms and a lot of ties that go with them – 30″, 36″, 39″ down to 15″ and 24″ ties. There are just a lot of them here for anybody that would be interested in that. I don’t know of anything else I’d have to add right now.
Alright. I’ve been speaking with Gary Ruzic from Ruzic Construction about this retirement auction of construction equipment that ends on April 17. Thanks again, Mr. Ruzic, for joining me this morning.
Bidding for the Ruzic Construction retirement auction is open now and will close on Wednesday, April 17, beginning at 10 a.m. central. To view the items before bidding, stop by during the open inspections from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 3 or April 13. To schedule an inspection outside of those times, call Gary at 715.937.1211 or talk to Purple Wave’s John Hengel or Andy Artley who have been working with Gary on this event.
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.