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Used truck sales slower in May, ACT reports

June 17, 2022
Truckers and fleets buy fewer used trucks as freight growth slows. ACT predicts declines in freight volume and used truck sales.

Used Class 8 same-dealer retail sales fell 10% in May compared to April and were 40% lower than May 2021, according to the latest release of preliminary used truck data from ACT Research.

“Unfortunately, long-awaited reports of loosening inventories come at exactly the wrong time in the cycle. At the same time, this is part of the phenomenon that defines an inflection point of the cycle,” said Steve Tam, vice president of ACT.

“Freight growth is slowing, soon to begin shrinking. Yet, since profitability tends to lag the cycle, truckers continue to make money and invest in equipment, ultimately over-capacitizing the market. As a direct result, the industry is already seeing significant downward pressure on freight rates, which will result in decreased truck demand and, ultimately, lower truck prices.”

See also: Used Class 8 truck sales increase

Other data released showed that, since April, average retail price and average age of used trucks were both virtually unchanged, at minus 1% and plus 1%, respectively. Average miles of used trucks were 2% lower compared to April. Compared to May 2021, the average retail price was 66% higher last month, with average miles and age greater by 4% and 7%, respectively.

“Nevertheless, overall pricing for Class 8 trucks was remarkably resilient in the face of all of the challenges with which it is currently confronted, and needless to say, further, steeper declines are already impacting segments of the market and expected to broaden,” Tam said. “This is the beginning of the end of the cycle, which promises to be every bit as exciting on the way down as it was on the way up.”

ACT’s Classes 3-8 Used Truck Report provides data on the average selling price, miles, and age based on a sample of industry data. In addition, the report provides the average selling price for top-selling Class 8 models for each of the major truck OEMs, Freightliner (Daimler), Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar), International (Navistar), and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).

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