ROH Engineering is an iconic manufacturer, famous in New Zealand for their mechanical hacksaws still found throughout our nations’ workshops. ROH later went on to invent and manufacture a highly effective turf coring machine, exporting through major brands through the US and the world. Not happy to stop there, they moved on to building their own frost protection fans installed throughout New Zealand and Australia’s wine and fruit growing regions.   However, at over 80-years old, it was time to retire. Skylarc provided the Rohleder family with a valuation for all plant and machinery, and a plan to sell the machinery in short order.

The challenge

With the building sold, Skylarc needed to run the auction and clear the site within a short eight week timeframe. The site was complicated with 50 years of machinery and associated tooling spread over the site. The largest vertical machining centres and CNC lathes were located furthest from the door, with limited access doors and an older style low stud factory making access with cranes and hiabs for removal impossible.

The process

Skylarc visited the site and provided a complete valuation of all of ROH’s plant and machinery, providing a valuation with integrated photos of all major plant, along with estimated sale prices (low and high) to give a realistic expected sales value.

All aspects of the sale process were detailed, including timeframes, example listings, the asset removal process and health and safety.

The factory had been idle for several years so machinery needed to be cleaned and tested. A professional industrial cleaner was commissioned to clean all of the machinery and former staff were employed to assist with getting machinery operational. Once cleaned and tested, machinery was photographed, tested and detailed descriptions outlining condition and specifications were created. The auction set up took four weeks; 945 lots were photographed and described. Video footage of machinery operating was included for all workshop machinery. CNC lathes, mills and welding robots were demonstrated and their videos uploaded to YouTube for inclusion in the Trade Me listings.


A comprehensive plan to sell all assets via an online Trade Me event was produced backed by a detailed marketing plan incorporating online advertising, a targeted Facebook campaign, industry email outs, display advertising in Engineering magazines, advertising in the major Hawkes Bay papers along with radio advertising through NewsTalk ZB. To hear our advert click here

The outcome

The auction ran for 8 days. Total sales exceeded the valuation by 40% with turnover significantly exceeding expectations. Total individual people who watched at least one lot in the auction: 6,752; total unique bidders 1,653; total unique buyers 345. Decomissioning and removal was a major task with three weeks of machinery removals.


Collection was staged for better health and safety and customer service, with small items movable by hand collected over a three day period, followed by medium-sized machinery movable with a forklift and finally heavy machinery that required specialist equipment and disassembly. The site was cleared within three weeks.