ACT: February Class 8 Sales Fall; Average Prices, Miles and Age Rise

According to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks report published by ACT Research, preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) fell 6% month over month and 8% year over year in February. However, preliminary volumes were 5% higher on a year-to-date basis compared with this time last year.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for February 2021, which showed that average prices rose 1%, while average miles were up 5% and average age was 3% higher compared with January. Compared with February of 2020, average price was 17% higher, while average miles and age rose 2% each.

“Somewhat belying history, February used truck sales volumes took a step down from January, which is typically the weakest sales month of the year. What is different this time is that the inventory of used trucks is in short supply,” Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research, said. “Owing partially to strong used truck sales in the second half of 2020 and to supply chain-constrained, lower-than-expected new truck build and sales, dealers are having a hard time sating used truck buyers’ appetites.

“Demand continues to be stoked by a robust freight market that is yielding some of the highest spot freight rates on record. While we believe used truck prices will continue to increase, the gains do come with an expiration date, as the supply-demand balance between trucks and freight will equalize and used truck price comparisons will get increasingly tougher.”

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