Used Truck Sales in February Increase 23% Over Last Year

Sales Rise to 21,700 Units From 17,600
used trucks on lot
(TEC Equipment)

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Used Class 8 truck sales in February increased 23.3% compared with the same period the prior year, ACT Research reported.

Sales for the month increased to 21,700 units from 17,600 during the year-ago period but experienced a sequential decline of 4.8% from 22,800 units in January. The January total was revised upward from the last report. The average retail sale price fell 14.1% to $62,128 from $72,328 but increased 4.4% from $59,531 the prior month. Average mileage decreased 8.3% to 419,000 from 457,000 a year ago but rose 1.2% from 414,000 the prior month.

“On a year-over-year basis, used retail prices were 14% lower,” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “Until recently, our pricing expectations were for a return to month-over-month growth toward the end of 2024 as the most likely course. Despite February’s encouraging results, recent developments are putting pressure on the forecast. Specifically, we are pushing expectations for the return to sustained month-over-month growth further out.”

Tam added that combined total market same-dealer sales volume fell 43% month-to-month in February. He noted the retail market accelerated 29% compared to last year, the auction segment rose 89% year-over-year, and wholesale volumes increased 143% year-over-year.

“Combined market results saw volumes increase 57% [year-over-year],” Tam said in a statement. “Expectations for 2024 call for moderate growth relative to 2023.”

J.D. Power noted in a report that the average sleeper tractor retailed during February was 71 months old, had 435,808 miles and cost $62,400. This was close to January, with the average age remaining the same but with 1.6% fewer miles and a 0.2% increase in costs. The report also noted auction volumes were similar to the prior month, but pricing turned downward. The auction sales brought in 30.4% less money year-over-year.

“The bankruptcy liquidation of Yellow Corporation’s (YRC Freight) trucks and trailers is affecting market conditions, particularly for trailers and the single-axle day cabs that comprised the majority of Yellow’s fleet,” J.D. Power noted. “The first major sale of Yellow’s equipment took place March 5, and pricing was what you might expect for so many trucks and trailers released into the market in a short time.”

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The retailed sleeper tractors in the range of 3 to 5 years old brought 10.4% more money than the previous month, but this was artificially inflated by a relatively large number of 3-year-old owner-operator trucks. The report noted that eliminating those trucks from the equation results in a 2.8% increase. That group brought 10.5% less money year-over-year.

“Keeping in mind the model years in our age cohorts advanced by one year in January, late-model sleepers are now 13% higher than the last strong pre-pandemic period of late 2018 in nominal dollars, or about 6% less when adjusted for inflation,” the report noted. “Compared with the last weak pre-pandemic period, late-model sleeper values are now running 45% higher in nominal dollars or 26% higher in real dollars.”

J.D. Power also looked at retailed day cabs and found they continue to bring equal or better money than sleepers after only 3 to 4 years of age. The report noted late-model day cabs brought in 1% more money than the prior month and 16% less money from the prior year.