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Ritchie Bros. launches industry's first online equipment wiki

09/23/2008

Company commemorates 50th anniversary with "Everything About Equipment" wiki site contribution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 22, 2008

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA), the world's largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, rolled out an industry-first today - a free online wiki for the equipment industry at www.RitchieWiki.com. Using the software provided by Wikipedia, Ritchie Bros. has created a one-stop public resource for equipment information, one that the community at large can research, read, add to and edit.

"Dave Ritchie, co-founder of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, has always wanted to collect the knowledge and expertise of our company and our customers and gather it in some sort of library or repository," said Clay Tippett, Vice President of Internet Services for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers at a press conference held at the MINExpo trade show in Las Vegas on Monday. "There is a vast body of information about equipment in the world - but it was not all in one place and a lot of it is hard to access."

Tippett said that a wiki is the best way to compile information and to ensure availability to the greatest number of people. Information can be constantly added, elaborated, and updated democratically by thousands of individual contributors that all have different information to share.

"The effect of a community of contributors is powerful, ensuring accuracy as the group creates and oversees the content, rather than just one author. Our goal is for manufacturers, associations, trade schools, equipment enthusiasts, industry journalists and authors, our customers and employees alike to embrace this new equipment wiki and give it that momentum."

The new equipment wiki, called RitchieWiki, has reference-quality material on equipment, manufacturers, people, uses, projects and history. There are also specifications for more than 9,200 different machines and growing. Not only can you find out the length and width of a machine, perhaps for transporting purposes, but you can also find out other information such as the depth an excavator can dig, or the bucket capacity of a wheel loader. There is also a comparison feature on the specifications tool that allows you to evaluate up to four different models of equipment at a time.

The free public site is sponsored by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, and will be moderated by the Company after the roll-out with rules in place to only allow reference-quality, encyclopedic material. No promotional, libelous or self-serving writing will be allowed on the site. Before the launch of RitchieWiki, Ritchie Bros. staff worked for months to populate the site with:

  • 2,000+ pages
  • 650+ photographs
  • 9,200+ equipment specifications
  • 500+ articles

"We are encouraging equipment enthusiasts and anyone with knowledge to share to edit the existing content and to add new information and photos to RitchieWiki," said Mr. Tippett. "With the industry's help, this will be the most comprehensive, up-to-date library of equipment information in the world."

The Origins of RitchieWiki

Clay Tippett and Ken Duncan - another long-time employee at Ritchie Bros. - were walking around at a trade show in Dubai late last year and found themselves arguing over whether a CNH loader backhoe they were standing in front of had a Ford design heritage or was largely Case DNA. They realized that there was a lot of knowledge in the equipment industry in heads covered with gray hair (sometimes no hair) and that the industry really needed a good repository for all that information. "We hope that this wiki project will engage others like us - and younger folks too - to participate," said Tippett.

About Wikis

A wiki is a web site that allows people to collaborate and share information online, editing and creating web pages with their web browser, and creating topic associations between them. A broader way of thinking of a wiki - Hawaiian for 'fast' - is that it allows communities (like equipment enthusiasts) to create and collaborate on ever-changing web content. Wikis are generally user-friendly with edits appearing instantly online. Wikis have been used for everything from exchanging recipes to information about quantum information science.

About Ritchie Bros.
Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) is the world's largest industrial auctioneer, selling more equipment to on-site and online bidders than any other company in the world. The Company has over 110 locations in 25 countries including 38 auction sites worldwide. Ritchie Bros. sells, through unreserved public auctions, a broad range of used and unused industrial assets, including equipment, trucks and other assets utilized in the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum, and marine industries. The Company maintains a web site at www.rbauction.com and sponsors an equipment wiki at www.RitchieWiki.com.

Investors and potential investors should note that this information may not be indicative of the overall financial performance of the Company for this or any period.

Attention Media:

PRESS CONFERENCE:

If you missed the news conference you can visit www.rbauction.com/media for all the information.

For further information: Kim Schulz, Corporate Communications Manager,
Cell:(604) 788-5379, Email: kschulz@rbauction.com,
Or
call 1-800-663-8457 (MINExpo '08 booth 8765)

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