Sales and prices of used heavy duty Class 8 trucks in North America have both fallen by 19 percent this year compared to 2018, according to a report from market analysis outfit ACT Research. Focusing on the month of October, the report quotes the average price of used heavy duty trucks as $37,981, down from $45,313 in 2018. Sales also saw a significant drop: 21,100 in 2019 compared to 25,200 last year.
ACT further reports that the average age of used heavy duty trucks has gone up in 2019, in terms of both mileage and years. In 2018 the average mileage was 449,000; this year it’s 480,000. As to age, last year the average used Class 8 truck was 6 years, 11 months; now it’s 7 years.
As ACT vice president explained, “A year ago, those were mostly retail trucks. We are starting to see an increased concentration of volume in the auction and wholesale markets because we are starting to sell older, lower-priced trucks.”
He added that the lower prices open a window for smaller companies to purchase trucks: “If they can trade up to a newer, better quality truck at a price they can afford, then this is the opportunity for them to strike.”
In response to these trends, manufacturers have come up with new promotions to unload used trucks before they become even less valuable. For example, Transport Topics reports that SelecTrucks, a division of Daimler Trucks North America, recently announced a program that allows customers to buy pre-owned, late-model Freightliner Cascadia trucks for as little as $1,250 per month. The deal is limited to specific models and is supported by a Freightliner warranty that is good for up to three years.
Tam said manufacturers “want to move those units as quickly as they possibly can because the longer they sit on them, potentially, the less valuable they are going to be when they eventually get sold.”