ECN Forum
Posted By: Elec N Spec Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/10/07 03:07 PM
After almost 40 years in business doing commercial and industrial electrical contracting it is time to retire. The industry has been good to me, and with the business climate like it is now, I thought I’d leave electrical contracting to the next generation, and continue to do some part time electrical inspecting. The problem I am having is trying to liquidate all the equipment and supplies I have accumulated over the years? None of my old employees want a business or are in a position to buy it if they did. I have man-lifts, benders pullers and everything else you would need for this kind of work, but there just isn’t enough for an auction. I’m afraid I’d lose too much money on a deal like that. I guess I’ll have to try and sell everything off by advertising everything individually but I need a source for used electrical equipment to get some comparative pricing. Does anyone deal with a company that sells used electrical construction equipment? I could use a web site to get an idea how to price this equipment. Thanks for your help.
Posted By: Admin Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/10/07 03:16 PM
Elec N Spec,

When you get ready to list the items for sale I hope you'll make use of our free Classified Ad website at

Posted By: mhulbert Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/10/07 03:32 PM
Start watching eBay for auctions similar to what you have, this will give you some info on what pricing you can expect.

I know name brand stuff like greenlee get a good amount of money. If it's off-brand, don't expect as much interest or money.
Posted By: Elec N Spec Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/10/07 03:40 PM
Yes, I will use the classified ads here and thanks for reminding me. It should be quite a long list but stuff like Enerpac benders, 4" Greenlee benders and Super Tuggers are a bit tough to ship.
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/11/07 12:05 AM
Elec N Spec:
I'm doing the same thing you are! Time to hang it up. Let my guys 'go' last Fri.
Hopefully, a deal can be done tommorrow, if not....another long list on the classified section.

Posted By: e57 Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/11/07 07:08 AM
Young guy talking here... Have you guys ever thought about passing on the biz to your employees or to someone else by selling it off interest in it? Existing customer base, branding, collective experiance and equipment that took a long time to gather has quite a bit of value these days. Hand over the reins as you pull your capitol out - maybe hold a small interest as income if it goes well.
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/11/07 12:07 PM
Considering a lot of what you said above, but if that don't pan out, I need an alternative.
Posted By: Scott35 Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/12/07 09:52 AM
I concur with what Mark ("E57") posted - pass on your Company, Clients and most of all, your years of experience to some qualified individuals, with you remaining as a partner (50% ownership at least), and as RMO, until the time comes where you may disassociate and turn over the Company to others.

Your trade experience is valuable, and so is your Business experience - both of which are major assets to pass on to future tradespersons.

Along with those items, having experience in dealing with Clients, Architects, Engineers, Building Departments and the other trades, is such a valuable thing to pass on to others.

Becoming an Inspector is a great thing - but as we all know it's at times a very "Thankless Job"; where very few people will say "Thanks" or even want to talk with you about your experiences.

Hope this is not a common thing in your area, but it's very common around So. California, when inexperienced or arrogant persons are running jobs.

I hear Inspectors all the time, mentioning what they had to deal with, from the last 3 jobs they Inspected before coming to my Project - and it seems to be getting worse!
I don't understand why some forepersons have to fight with Inspectors!
(rant beginning - topic will now be terminated!!!).

Anyway, if you do close the doors, maybe you could advertise your tool stock at a few Wholesale Houses, in conjunction to the Classifieds here at ECN.

Along with this (and possibly in conjunction to the Inspector Gig), maybe try being a Consultant for your Clients, and/or take a position with another EC as a Designer or Consultant - but not as a P.M.!!! (unless you find a company that isn't looking for a new P.M. ... more on this later).

If you are passionate to educate, try an Instructor position.
A person with lots of trade + business experience would make an excellent Instructor across many aspects of the trade.

Good luck!


p.s. The term "P.M." = Project Manager, and "Finding A Company That Is Not Looking For A P.M." is directed towards the way many Companies have very high Employee turnovers (replacement) for P.M. positions, due to those employees resigning after the insanity kicks in.
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/16/07 01:02 AM
I'm happy to say I reached an agreement with another EC today. Clients, tools, materials, and one van. Two guys have a job, if they want it also.
I will hang in as a 'consultant' for a transition period.

Why? you may ask? AHJ job, teaching at Vo-Tech (PT) and CEU Instructor are paths that I want to walk down now. Age, business climate, and pursuit of other interests related to the trade.

Best part is...I don't have to "HOG" Mr Bill's Classified thread.

PS: I'll still be here.

Posted By: Elec N Spec Re: Retiring & Used Equipment - 05/19/07 01:03 PM
Thank you for all your input gentlemen. I took some of your advice and eBay is an excellent place to get pricing on both new and used equipment.

As it turns out I have been offered and accepted a position as a full time plan reviewer and electrical inspector for one of the fastest growing municipalities in the state because of my commercial and industrial experience. I wouldn’t have time to joint venture with someone while they bought my business nor would I like worrying about how they were operating the business. That is one reason I never took on a partner in the 40 years I was contracting. If things didn’t go right I was the only one to blame. None of my old employees are in a position to purchase a business and I don’t have any children who are in the trade. I have placed an ad in the largest newspaper in our state and will attend our electrical contractor’s association’s monthly meeting and announced it there. I may also place ads in the wholesale houses as well.

In all my years in the trade I always treated electrical inspectors with great respect. I’m not saying that they were always right but they had a job to do too and a quick trip to a code book usually solved any misunderstanding. I have loved this industry and to me this is something I am really looking forward to. On top of that it actually seems funny that somebody else would be willing to paying “me” to sit home on holidays and while I’m on vacation. After all these years somebody else will have to worry about, FICA, OSHA, Federal Taxes, State Taxes, Unemployment Taxes, Business Taxes, CPA’s, Bankers, Employees, Estimators, Salesmen, Advertising and the list goes on and on. I wish all you young contractors the very best and hope to see you on the job some time.

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