ACT: October Preliminary Class 8 Volumes Down M/M, YTD Sales Up

Preliminary used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) dropped 10% month over month in October but are 10% higher year to date compared with the first 10 months of 2019, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research. Compared with October of 2019, volumes were down 12%.

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for October 2020, which showed that average prices increased 4% while average miles rose 1% and average age gained 2% compared with September. Year-to-date average price, miles and age were all lower, down 11%, 3% and 7%, respectively, compared with the first 10 months of 2019.

“How the year ultimately plays out will depend heavily on the demand for equipment, particularly in the spot freight markets, where rates have yet to show any signs of abating from recent record highs,” Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research, said. “That said, one of the most frequent questions we are being asked today is why truckers are buying trucks when there are still tens of thousands of unemployed truck drivers whose rigs are sitting idle. While seemingly illogical at a macro level, each buyer likely has his or her own reasons for buying and is probably not looking at the big picture of balancing work and capacity. Buyers are probably unaware that they are individually contributing to a faster imbalance of too many trucks and not enough freight, which will hasten the next peak and send the industry down the back slope of the next cycle.”

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