NEW ULM, MN - A four-hour auction of two Minnesota state departments' fleet units brought in $715,000, which will be used to offset equipment costs - including high fuel prices.

Sensing significant out-state interest in Minnesota's surplus equipment, the Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources and Administration teamed up to do a live auction in New Ulm, located in southwest Minnesota. Six hundred registered bidders tolerated wind and rain to bid on 67 cars and trucks, seven tractors, and about 25 ATVs, snowmobiles, and trailers, according to Dave Schiller, CAFM, fleet, safety & materials manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Having a rural Southwest Minnesota sale is new for both departments. Taking the sale to where the equipment has been utilized avoids transport costs, and customer interest is clear. Both departments plan a similar sale next year, Schiller said.