Les Wyles describes himself as "pretty much a hands-on type of guy." Les started working in the aggregate business in British Columbia, Canada in 1960; he bought his first crusher in 1974. He retired two times in the coming years—but kept buying more equipment and getting back in the business.
In 2010, unable to stay away from work, Les came out of retirement once again and founded Belvedere Aggregates Ltd., a company specializing in custom crushing, mine pit preparation and haul road maintenance. In 2012, the seventy-eight-year-old felt it was time to try retirement again. The next step: selling about CA$3 million of equipment, including rock crushers, loaders and rock trucks.
"We want the best dollar"
Les contacted Guido, his local Ritchie Bros. representative, explaining: "When you are buying or selling, why not go to the best?"
Les has a long history with Ritchie Bros., as a buyer and seller. "I've been to a lot of Ritchie Bros. auctions—in Canada, all over the US and the Philippines. Ritchie Bros. are the professionals. They always look after their customers and as a customer I appreciate that," says Les. "But what matters most is getting the best price for all the toys we've got. We want the best dollar—and you get your best price with Ritchie Bros."
From advertising to auction day
Together with his business partner Bruce Kitsch, Les made plans to sell the company's construction and aggregate equipment at Ritchie Bros.' March 2013 auction in Edmonton. With a date set, advertising for the complete dispersal began months before the auction. Almost 5,700 people from across Canada, the U.S. and more than 30 other countries registered to bid at the auction. "I am happy with the outcome," says Les. "There is no question about the advance marketing paying off."
Next step: retirement?
Les describes the whole auction experience as "really excellent"—thanks to the people he worked with. "Guido always got back to me right away when I had a question. Jeff Kohler, who looked after all our equipment coming into the Edmonton yard, was very helpful and accommodating. And Trent Vandenberghe, Regional Sale Manager, ran me around and gave me a ride whenever I needed it," says Les. "They really did go the extra little bit."
And Les is now set to retire. Maybe.