Demand for Long-Haul Trucks and Trailers Remains Weak

The used heavy-duty truck and semitrailer markets have undergone a correction in 2023 in response to the extreme supply-demand imbalance that emerged in 2022. According to new market reports from Sandhills Global, inventory levels of used heavy-duty trucks and semitrailers continue to rise and are much higher than they were last year. Demand, however, has been lower due to turbulence in the freight sector, with reduced freight activity expected to continue into 2024.

“The market outlook for heavy-duty trucks and trailers is still weak, and that isn’t likely to change over the next few months,” Scott Lubischer, sales manager for Truck Paper, said. “One viable solution for dealers wanting to maximize returns right now is to take advantage of year-end auctions. December auctions on are generally the largest auctions of the year and demand is typically high.

The key metric used in all of Sandhills’ market reports is the Sandhills Equipment Value Index (EVI). The Sandhills EVI data include equipment available in auction and retail markets as well as model year equipment actively in use.

U.S. Used Heavy-Duty Trucks

  • Despite a 1.53% month-over-month decrease in used heavy-duty truck inventory levels in November, inventory levels remained significantly higher year over year at 41.22%. Combined with ongoing decreases in demand in 2023, these inventory increases have produced a stark surplus of trucks, prompting value decreases for more than a year and a half.
  • Asking values dropped 4.51% month over month in November after several months of decreases and were 24.06% lower year over year.
  • Auction values decreased 1.77% month over month and 28.89% year over year, also after months of decreases.

U.S. Used Semitrailers

  • Inventory levels of used semitrailers have increased steadily for many months and in November reached a record high, up 86.16% year over year. An oversupply of the most popular category, dry van semitrailers, is largely responsible for this. Inventory was up 1.57% month over month. Demand, however, remained low.
  • Asking and auction values in this market have fallen sharply for months. Asking values were down 5.18% month over month and 22.09% year over year in November.
  • Auction values were down 3.48% month over month and 24.99% year over year in November.

U.S. Used Medium-Duty Trucks

  • Used medium-duty truck inventory levels have been increasing for most of 2023 and were up 55.82% year over year in November despite a 7.03% month-over-month decrease. Demand has been low, however, as economic and post-pandemic conditions continue to plague the transportation sector.
  • Asking values declined 2.73% month over month and 15.87% year over year in November after several months of decreases.
  • Auction values have also been declining for months, indicating that sellers are lowering prices to attract buyers. Auction values were down 3.29% month over month and 20.43% year over year in November and are trending down.

U.S. Used Farm Equipment

  • Sandhills has observed fluctuations in the used farm equipment market throughout 2023, with inventory levels rising and values changing in different directions. Inventory levels were up 1.3% month over month and 29.56% year over year in November and are trending up.
  • High levels of product availability have been met with variable demand, producing mixed value trends. Asking values ticked upward 0.17% month over month and rose 4.02% year over year in November, suggesting a higher expectation among sellers.
  • Auction values inched up 0.69% month over month but were 5.82% lower year over year in November, indicating lower resale values, and are trending sideways. High-horsepower tractors (those of 300 horsepower or greater) have been driving value changes in the broader used farm equipment market.

U.S. Used High-Horsepower Tractors (300HP and Greater)

  • The used high-horsepower tractor category has been adjusting to higher supply levels in 2023. Inventory was up 1% month over month and 80.74% year over year in November after months of increases.
  • Value trends in this category are mixed. Asking values decreased 0.45% month over month and increased 7.47% year over year in November and are trending up.
  • Auction values, meanwhile, increased 2.18% month over month, decreased 2.05% year over year, and are trending sideways. The mix of higher year-over-year asking values and lower year-over-year auction values indicates a slowdown in asking values is on the horizon.

U.S. Used Compact and Utility Tractors

  • The market for used compact and utility tractors has surpassed pre-pandemic supply levels, which has impacted demand in 2023. Inventory levels were up 2.28% month over month and 29.99% year over year in November after months of increases.
  • Prices in this category have been dropping for several months, indicating weaker resale value. Asking values were down 0.4% month over month and 3.06% year over year in November.
  • Auction values were down 0.57% month over month and 5.53% year over year in November.

U.S. Used Heavy-Duty Construction Equipment

  • This is another market that has been experiencing a lower demand and a higher supply in 2023. Used heavy-duty construction equipment inventory levels were up 2.11% month over month and 16.36% year over year in November after months of increases.
  • Values in this market have been declining for several months. The excavator category has led the way in both inventory increases and value decrease within the broader market. Asking values were down 2.98% month over month and 6.23% year over year in November and are trending down.
  • Auction values decreased 4.64% month over month and 12.93% year over year in November.

U.S. Used Medium-Duty Construction Equipment

  • Sandhills has observed a supply recovery and softening demand in 2023 for used medium-duty construction equipment. Inventory levels have been rising for months, indicating an accumulation of used equipment. Inventory was also up in November by 5.47% month over month and 71.16% year over year.
  • Buyers have not expressed as much interest in used equipment as they did in 2022, leading to price drops this year. Sandhills anticipates these supply-demand factors will remain unchanged in the coming months. Asking values decreased 1.42% month over month and 5.21% year over year in November.
  • Auction values declined 0.12% month over month and 11.1% year over year in November.

U.S. Used Lifts

  • There has been lower demand in the U.S. for used lifts in 2023, leading to several months of supply increases. Inventory levels dropped 3.19% month over month but rose 14.62% year over year in November and are trending up.
  • Used lift prices have been declining for several months. Asking values were up 1.42% month over month but down 1.73% year over year in November and are trending down.
  • Auction values fell 1.36% month over month and 13.82% year over year in November after months of decreases.

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