September Used Class 8 Sales Down 4.7% Year-Over-Year

Average Price Fell 23.9% to $63,913 From $83,939 in September 2022
used trucks
Sales fell 8.9% from 22,500 units in August, and prices declined 0.9% month-over-month from $64,533. (TEC Equipment)

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Sales of used Class 8 trucks in September declined at a modest clip compared with year-ago levels, but the prices paid for those trucks took a far steeper drop, ACT Research reported.

Used Class 8 sales for the month decreased 4.7% year-over-year to 20,500 units from 21,500, but the average retail sale price for a used truck fell 23.9% to $63,913 from $83,939 during the year-ago period, ACT said. The average mileage for used trucks sold in September decreased 7.7% to 410,000 from 444,000 in September 2022.

On a month-to-month basis, sales fell 8.9% from 22,500 units in August, and prices declined 0.9% month-over-month from $64,533.

“A second month of stability fuels the question of whether the trough has started to firm,” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “Seasonally, September is the fourth-best sales month of the year. Contributing to that, auction sales soared 135% [month-to-month] in normal end-of-quarter fashion.”

Tam noted that the industry typically sees a surge in auction activity during the last month of each quarter.

The closure of bankrupt motor carrier Yellow Corp. may also have spurred some of that activity, he noted, as equipment owners who were considering selling their assets may have hurried to do so in September ahead of the anticipated rush of former Yellow trucks and trailers hitting the market.

Trey Golden, vice president of used truck sales at Rush Enterprises, noted there also was some seasonality to the September results.

“You see a bump up in August and then you see a drop again in September, but I think it’s largely a ‘working day’ kind of deal,” he said. “If you remember, the Fourth of July was in the middle of the week, so we had a crummy start to July and then we had a good August.”

Golden added that recent results indicate the used market overall may be stabilizing.

“You’re starting to get some more data points that say the market is normalizing,” he said, “meaning that we’re getting back to more normal times. It’s still rough out there right now, but I think that there’s not anything that’s really catching anybody off guard anymore. We can deal with just about anything; it’s the wild swings or the unexpected events that really catch us. We’ve dealt with poor markets before — as long as we know what we’re in for.”


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Commercial Truck Trader reported a slight decrease in buyer interest for used Class 8 trucks in September. The online marketplace for new and used commercial vehicles tracks buyer interest by monitoring how actively people are viewing the specifics of different listings. It found vehicle detail page views per used Class 8 listing dropped about 8.7%.

“Demand for used Class 8 units remained relatively flat to slightly down from August to September,” said Charles Bowles, the site’s director of strategic initiatives. “All major brands saw a slight decrease in buyer interest, as reflected by the number of Vehicle Detail Page views that were generated.”

Bowles noted that while the drop in vehicle page views signifies a temporary slowdown in demand, new leads on used trucks are hovering at pre-pandemic levels; leads were up nearly 42% across all weight class categories compared with 2019, a sign that the commercial segment is strong despite the overall slowdown.

“We will normally see quite an increase in demand as the fourth quarter gets underway,” Bowles said. “Commercial Truck Trader has seen an overall increase of 24.2% in used units year-over-year for September [for all classes]. What’s fascinating is that we’re seeing a significant increase in leads over 2019, prior to the pandemic.”

Rush’s Golden noted that while truck manufacturers are opening order boards for new units, he doesn’t expect this to affect the used market since OEMs are still working their way through backlogs.

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“It’s budget season for the dealers and the carriers, and it’s driving us to start looking at what could be happening in 2024 from a new truck order perspective and a trade-in perspective,” Golden said. “I think it shows that even though freight is weak, there’s still a lot of customers out there that want new trucks and need new trucks because they got behind in their trade cycle.”

Golden believes some major carriers who have been contending with tight equipment availability are operating trucks that are older than they would prefer.

“There’s a lot of carriers that got locked out entirely of buying the last few years and are definitely not to the point that they wanted,” he said. “You’re going to see next year’s new truck configuration be more vocational, [since] those customers have not been getting trucks.”