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Hot month: Trailer orders soar and used Class 8 trucks fetch record prices in January

According to ACT Research Co., last month saw net orders for new trailers increase a “robust” 28% year over year while the average selling price of total reported used Class 8 trucks set a record at just over $44,000.

“Seven of the ten trailer categories [in ACT’s most recent State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report] had year-over-year growth in January,” said Frank Maly, director-- CV Transportation Analysis & Research at ACT.

He said “particular strength” came from reefer vans, which shot up 80% from year-ago levels; tank trailers, which made triple-digit gains from cancellation-depleted results in early 2013; and heavy lowbeds which posted high double-digit gains—both year over year and month over month.

“The industry is in the midst of its annual ‘order season’ and January’s orders helped backlog open the year with a solid 8% month-over-month gain,” Maly added. He noted as well that “trailer build had been affected by the bitter weather that swept the country in January, falling 10% year over year.

Per the latest release of ACT’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks report, the pricing level for used Class 8 trucks in January rose substantially year over year.  

“Pricing for Class 8 used trucks edged up slightly month over month in January, but was meaningfully stronger than prices of a year ago, up 15%,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president-- Commercial Vehicle Sector.

“Based on the assumption of satisfying some of the pent-up demand,” he added, “prices are expected to cool slightly in 2014, ranging from flat to down 5%.”

ACT noted that its used-trucks report provides data on the average used price for the top-selling Class 8 model for each of the major truck OEMs:  Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).

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