Net trailer orders and used Class 8 truck sales registered big declines for the month of May, according to data tracked ACT Research Co. (ACT) –indications that the trucking industry continues to become “more cautious” regarding market conditions.
Net trailer orders fell nearly 14% month-over-month in May while contracting 10% year-over-year, noted Frank Maly, ACT’s director of CV transportation analysis and research in a statement, adding that small and medium fleets are “tending to remain on the sidelines” in terms of ordering new trails.
“That said, large players are not immune to market pressures, as anecdotal information indicates that negotiations for the upcoming order season are starting to bog down,” Maly emphasized, as “caution over current and anticipated market conditions” are beginning to be expressed even by large fleets.
In terms of the used Class 8 truck market, Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president-commercial vehicle sector, noted in a statement that same dealer sales volumes took a steep downward turn in May, falling by 18% month-over-month and 10% year-over-year, though year-to-date sales are down only 5% compared to the same period in 2015.
“A portion of the decline can be attributed to the usual seasonal softness as well as some to a possible shift in the seasonal buying pattern,” he explained.
“Yet all [used Class 8] market segments saw declines, with auction and wholesale hit the hardest,” Tam added. “Dealers are reporting that used truck inventories continue to be high and are causing used truck prices to continue falling.”
He pointed out that the average price of used Class 8 trucks remained flat month-over-month, while average age climbed in May and mileage improved, dropping month-over-month, year-over-year, and year-to-date, according to ACT’s data.