National Machinery Xchange moves the earth for buyers and sellers

Simon Brown leads NMX’s seamless approach to heavy-equipment transactions.

Komatsu 830E Dump Trucks

When asked about National Machinery Xchange’s best attribute, Simon Brown is unequivocal. “It’s the one-stop-shop service,” he says. “The ability to do everything under one roof at National Group is an advantage for equipment buyers and sellers.”

Brown is General Manager of National Machinery Xchange (NMX), part of the National Group of companies. He is known as one of the best in his field, having worked in equipment sales and project management for 30 years.

Operating in locations around Australia, National Machinery Xchange (NMX) specialises in the sale of heavy earthmoving equipment. NMX offers various sales options and supporting services, such as valuations and finance for equipment used in the mining, resource and construction industries.

“NMX truly is a port-to-pit operation,” says Brown. “We can take equipment from a remote mine site and transport it to a buyer on the other side of the world. Often, customers prefer NMX to arrange everything rather than use different suppliers for different tasks, which can create safety considerations at mine sites.”

Brown says NMX’s goal is to get the best outcome for equipment sellers and buyers. “We’ll advise the seller on strategies to maximise the value of equipment being sold. We might, for example, recommend additional refurbishments or repairs to aid the sale price. Then, we source buyers through our domestic and international networks.”

NMX’s work does not end when the sale is made. “We can help the buyer arrange the safe removal of the equipment from the mine site. National Group’s maintenance team can disassemble the equipment and National Heavy Haulage can truck it to its new owner. If the equipment is going overseas, National Heavy Haulage will take it to International Global Logistics, which handles shipping and customs or legal issues.”

Brown says the breadth of National Group is a competitive advantage for NMX. “There are a lot of equipment brokers, auction houses and other service providers in our industry. They have a role to play in their particular speciality, but none have access to the breadth of resources and networks NMX has through National Group.”

Simon Brown in action at an auction

NMX’s scale in action

Brown recently organised the sale of three Caterpillar 777D mining dump trucks in Central Queensland to a buyer in New Zealand.

“The seller was happy because they received a good price,” says Brown. “The buyer was happy because there is currently limited availability of 777Ds with the hours the three trucks had on them. The buyer also liked that NMX was able to organise everything for equipment delivery in a seamless service.”

Brown adds: “When we help the buyer get a good result, we’re also helping the seller. Mining companies want to work together to ensure the safe removal and transportation of equipment from a mine site and can do that by using NMX as a trusted intermediary. They recognise that National Group has one of the industry’s best maintenance teams to demobilise equipment on site, and reassemble it at another site, if required.”

NMX’s work extends beyond the sale of individual machines. Brown once organised the sale of a fleet of 54 pieces of heavy earthmoving equipment. The sale process to local and international buyers took nine months. Extensive project management was needed.

Brown says NMX relies on its vast network of domestic and international clients. “We’re a bit old-school in that we use our contacts and NMX’s database that has been built up over many years. We work hard to find the right buyers for a piece of equipment, and also to help our customers find a piece of equipment they require.”

Challenging market

Brown says competing forces have disrupted the market for new and used heavy earthmoving equipment in the past few years. The largest influence was the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on supply chains and Original Equipment Manufacturers.

“Wait times on some new heavy earthmoving equipment have blown out to two years,” says Brown. “That’s encouraged some mining companies to hold onto their existing equipment for longer and get more mileage out of it than usual.”

Against that, a lower Australian dollar relative to the US dollar and mostly strong commodity prices are driving equipment demand from international companies.  “Equipment demand always moves in cycles,” says Brown. “For now, companies are using older equipment for longer due to supply issues for new machinery. But a lot of mining equipment will need to be replaced in the next few years.”

Brown says mining companies should be strategic with equipment transactions. “It’s important to get good, independent advice as early as possible to maximise the value of equipment being sold. NMX has been selling and buying equipment on behalf of clients – and for National Group – for many years.

“NMX has delivered consistently good outcomes across all aspects of machinery exchange, here and overseas. We’re proud of our record and ability to get the best result for sellers and buyers in an equipment transaction.”