Class 8 Auction Market Stable for Another Month

By Chris Visser


Auction volume and pricing in May 2024 was little changed for the third consecutive month. Retail volume recovered April’s loss, with pricing moderately lower.

Auction volume of Class 8 sleeper tractors in May was very similar to April, which is typical. On a mileage-adjusted basis, pricing for these trucks changed very little. The market was more evenly weighted between low, average and high-mileage trucks than any other month this year.

Looking at late-model sleeper tractors, average pricing for our benchmark truck in May was:
• Model year 2021: $46,797; $3,376 (6.7%) lower than April
• Model year 2020: $35,246; $2,813 (8.7%) higher than April
• Model year 2019: $28,698; $1,949 (7.3%) higher than April
• Model year 2018: $29,083; $9,782 (50.7%) higher than April

The unusual jump in average price of model-year 2018 trucks was due mainly to a more favorable mix of specs in the dataset, which is unusual to see month over month and, therefore, not a parameter for which we adjust. Otherwise, in May, selling prices for four- to six-year-old sleepers were essentially unchanged for a third consecutive month, bringing 1.3% more money on average than April, and 1.8% more than March. Values for this age group are still about 7% lower than the strong pre-pandemic period of 2018 in nominal figures, or about 23% lower if adjusted for inflation.

Current pricing is about 43% higher than the last market nadir in late 2019, or about 18% higher if adjusted for
inflation. Depreciation in 2024 is averaging 4.3% per month. Pricing is now halfway between 2018 (strong) and 2019 (weak) levels in real numbers. Capacity utilization still points to an oversupplied market. Spot and contract freight rates remain below 2019 in real numbers, although spot appears to have stabilized. May results, like April, are somewhat stronger than expected. For now, buyers seem content with pricing in the current supply/demand environment.

download logo2
Share this post