Auction action lands bus bidding record

Action aplenty at this week’s BIC Conference Big Arvo Out with an auction record falling and an operator taking delivery of a specced-up school bus, already assigned to a fleet upgrade program

Auction action lands bus bidding record
Auction action lands bus bidding record

By David Goeldner | October 29, 2010

The winning bid at this year’s BIC Big Arvo Out Iveco bus auction came from Donric Group CEO Peter McKenzie who will place a new SB50 school bus into the Group’s TransNorth operation in Mackay.

Auctioneer Tony Hyman (pictured) generated the right measure of excitement, securing a record bid for the Iveco-Custom Coaches school bus at $361,000.

Going toe-to-toe for most of the bidding action was Warrnambool Bus Lines Sam Lucas who gave way to McKenzie at $360,000.

McKenzie says the Melbourne-based Donric Group is delighted to be supporting the industry, and the SB50 will be the ideal vehicle for their TransNorth depot at Mirani, just west of Mackay.

He says since the start of Donric Group’s association with TransNorth earlier this year a fleet upgrade program had commenced in Queensland, and this vehicle would be part of that upgrade.

McKenzie says his bid was higher than planned, but didn’t have an expectation on the price prior to the auction.

"It’s a good quality vehicle that will fit into our fleet," he says.

"TransNorth has a number of Iveco-Custom Coach vehicles in its fleet already, and this is a new style for us with the SB50 body."

Auction coordinator, Iveco Bus and Coach General Manager Steve Heanes says the Custom SB50 comes with an Iveco Delta Euro 4 chassis, seat-belted and fitted with 57 McConnell seats, and Thermo King air-conditioning, along with several other extras.

Heanes says a variety of suppliers contributed to the SB50, supplying components at a discount or free of charge.

Other items auctioned at the Big Arvo Out, held at Sydney’s Luna Park this week, included a helmet signed by MotoGP champion Casey Stoner, cricket bat signed by Australian batting legend Matt Hayden, and a montage of the history of the Australian bus industry, designed and created by Thea Hillier.

Heanes says all proceeds from the auction goes towards BIC’s lobbying efforts in Canberra on behalf of suppliers and operators.

This is the fifth Iveco bus auction at BIC national conferences.

"It’s a unique event and brings a different dimension to the bus industry and the day out for BIC conference delegates," Heanes says.

As part of the winning bid, McKenzie receives free accommodation for five nights in Fiji with flights and registration to attend the BIC National conference in 2011.

How to get a bus delivered to auction at next year’s Fiji conference is yet to be worked out, but BIC Chairman Scott Grenda says the committee will look at a range of options, including an auction which supports local aid work with Fijian Island communities.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook