Used truck supply shrinking

PHILADELPHIA – Though many fleets are not aware of it, the used truck market is undergoing radical change, said a panel at the recent American Truck Dealers convention this week. Dealers that specialize in used trucks said there's a been a tight supply of late model, low mileage Class 8 trucks in the last few months, to the point where prices for specific used truck models have been rising substantially.

PHILADELPHIA – Though many fleets are not aware of it, the used truck market is undergoing radical change, said a panel at the recent American Truck Dealers convention this week.

Dealers that specialize in used trucks said there's a been a tight supply of late model, low mileage Class 8 trucks in the last few months, to the point where prices for specific used truck models have been rising substantially.

According to component supplier Eaton Corp., recent data notes that the average retail used price of a Class 8 truck has jumped to $52,000 from $36,000, with the average wholesale price rising to $43,000 from $32,000.

In the last six months alone, prices have jumped $10,000 on average for low-mile, late model Class 8s and prices should continue upwards for those kinds of trucks, said Scott Barnes, director of sales operations for San Antonio, TX-based Alamo Freightliner Group.

"The last two to three years we've seen supply exceed demand," he explained. "But now the market is reversing itself and fleets need to get ready for that. In three years, I'm pretty sure there will be more demand than supply."

One reason dealers think the supply of used trucks is shrinking and should continue to do so is related to the new rules restricting truck engine exhaust emissions.

"A lot of the pre-'02 engine trucks are selling well," said John Deason, general manager of Wichita Falls, TX-based Bruckner Truck Sales. He added that the same sales pattern should repeat itself in the years leading up to the next emission regulation changes in 2007.

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