COLUMBUS, Ind — According to the latest State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT Research, used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) were 8% lower month-over-month in February.
Average mileage was unchanged, with average price and age both down, 4%, and 2%, respectively.
Longer term, average price, age and volumes were lower, with miles higher year-over-year, according to ACT.
“Following two months of gains, same dealer Class 8 retail truck sales retreated into negative territory in February, down 8% from January,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. “Sales typically see a moderate decrease (≈4%) in February, so the drop was directionally consistent with seasonality, though a bit steeper than expected. It is no secret that ‘normal’ has been anything but in this cycle, so given the relatively small variance, it is tough to get too excited.”
Tam said that looking ahead to what March will bring, history suggests sales typically increase 15-20% from February. While inventory has ticked up and new truck activity could support that much of an increase in used truck sales, the economy and freight are still on the soft side.
“The challenge is figuring out how much pent-up demand exists in the used truck market,” he noted.
Concerns remain regarding how owner/operators and small fleets will fair in 2023, particularly as freight rates fall and operating costs rise.
“While the economy may avoid a recession, inflation remains a very real concern,” Tam said. “And all of this says nothing about what fleets’ equity position in their equipment looks like. Those that bought at the top of the market are likely underwater or headed there. With that in mind, we expect the market to fall as much as 10%.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.