Nassau Asset Management has found that truck repossessions in the first quarter of 2005 spiked 45% compared with the same period last year. Nassau’s data, which is particularly impacted by independents, results more from an increase of truck leasing and financing, than any unfavorable economic conditions, said analyst Chris Brady, president of Commercial Motor Vehicle Consulting.
“Owner-operators are absolutely enjoying the current operating environment. There are many advertisements for independents offering sign-on bonuses and more benefits. Some are offering 100% recovery of fuel surcharges. Carriers are doing as much as they can to sustain the owner-operator’s business. That said, the owner-operator still has to mange their business— particularly the cost,” Brady said, noting the surge in fuel prices over the last year.
“There are probably more company drivers starting owner-operator businesses today than two years ago because the business environment is stronger,” Brady continued. “And some of these owner-operators will fail-- just like any other new business.”
Nassau’s senior executive vice president Ed Castagna noted that the market for used trucks has lately been robust.
“The resale prices are still very strong,” said Castagna. “ On the sales side, the market has been better than usual as far as time a truck is taken to market and sold. Resale values have been getting stronger and the values continue to rise-- not drastically, however. And that goes for trucks with good horsepower and transmission, and is spec’d right.”