One of the biggest auctions ever held by an Edmonton-area company drew bids for used heavy equipment from 47 countries.

The auction by Ritchie Bros. closed Friday in Nisku, Alta. 

Kevin Tink said the depressed economy is a blessing in disguise for the used equipment sector.

"One of the beauties of the auction business and the used equipment sector is that when it does toughen up people go looking for good used before they buy new, " the auctioneer told CBC News. "They're trying to hedge their bets against what it would cost to replace it new."
 
About 8,000 items, including front-end loaders, bulldozers and cranes, were on the block. The low Canadian dollar made deals for foreign buyers even better. More than 800 of the buyers were from the United States.

"I think the prices are pretty high because I think the Americans are bidding online, because they get everything for free out there," said Kent Nichols, a bidder.

Ritchie Bros. said the auction was the second largest it's ever held had in terms of worldwide registration, bested only by a similar auction held in Edmonton last year.