News & Press

Used Class 8 Market Unaffected by End of New Truck Cycle

By Chris Visser

There were a few more buyers on dealer lots in February compared to January, and they continued to pay strong money for the more desirable trucks. Units with less desirable specs and mileage continue to lose value.

The average sleeper tractor retailed in February was 69 months old, had 470,528 miles, and brought $55,817. Compared to January, the average sleeper was one month newer, had 3,257 (0.7%) more miles, and brought $556 (1.0%) less money. Compared to February 2018, this average sleeper was identical in age, had 12,211 (2.7%) more miles, and brought $7,225 (14.9%) more money.

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

  • Model year 2017: $89,841; $4,042 (4.3%) lower than January
  • Model year 2016: $71,897; $5,681 (7.3%) lower than January
  • Model year 2015: $58,247; $3,293 (5.4%) lower than January

On a year-over-year basis, late-model trucks sold in the first two months of 2019 brought 13.2% more money than in the same period of 2018. We will provide a monthly depreciation average in the next edition when we have three months of 2019 data.

Class 8 sales per dealership edged back up to 4.3 in February, a 0.4 truck increase over an unusually low January. Sales activity remains constrained by a limited supply of late-model, low-mileage trucks.

Looking forward over the long term, Class 8 orders remained subdued in February, in line with a typical post-boom period of a cycle. Deliveries of new trucks will remain strong into the second half of 2019, but demand is on the downward slope as supply of used trucks heads in the other direction. Economic factors that determine freight volumes, such as consumer spending, manufacturing activity, and imports and exports, will determine how much used truck pricing will be impacted by the increased volume of trades.

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