Dealers Retailed More Class 8 Trucks in May

By Chris Visser

Dealers retailed an average of 3.9 trucks per rooftop in May, 0.5 truck higher than April, and identical to last May. This increase is encouraging, and perhaps indicates slightly more demand commensurate with the economic re-opening. Retail pricing remains stronger year-over-year than auction, suggesting dealers are managing inventory by sending the less-desirable trucks to auction and holding somewhat firm on pricing for the cleaner, lower-mileage iron.

The average sleeper tractor retailed in May was 67 months old, had 462,238 miles, and brought $40,206. Compared to April, this average sleeper was 6 months older, had 4,328 (0.9%) more miles, and brought $2,103 (5.0%) less money. Compared to May 2019, this average sleeper was 2 months newer, had 6,111 (1.3%) more miles, and brought $17,367 (30.2%) less money.

Looking at trucks two to five years of age, May’s average pricing was as follows:

  • Model year 2019: $98,536; $8,214 (7.7%) lower than April
  • Model year 2018: $85,027; $1,058 (1.3%) higher than April
  • Model year 2017: $51,675; $6,076 (10.5%) lower than April
  • Model year 2016: $39,099; $5,496 (12.3%) lower than April

Month-over-month, late-model trucks brought 5.6% less money. In the first five months of 2020, pricing averaged 13.7% lower than the same period of 2019. Depreciation in 2020 is averaging 2.5% per month, within the historically-typical range. The larger month-over-month declines in the averages above are due mainly to an increased number of high-mileage trucks sold this month rather than a shift in the market. Our subscription services provide much more detail on this topic.

We still see used truck pricing recovering roughly in step with the gradual re-opening of the economy. We have not changed our residual value forecasts for mid-2021 and later. Stay tuned later this week for the full May editions of our Guidelines monthly market update.

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