The average sleeper tractor sold at auction in February 2018, J.D. Power found, was 74 months old with 458,697 miles. Photo: Jordon Truck Sales

The average sleeper tractor sold at auction in February 2018, J.D. Power found, was 74 months old with 458,697 miles. Photo: Jordon Truck Sales

Used truck prices are holding steady, with supply still dictating pricing. That’s the word from J.D. Power’s Commercial Truck Guidelines for March, which notes that February is the first month in any new year with a high enough volume of used truck auctions to allow analysts to identify market trends.

Overall, according to the report, the volume of model year 2011 to 2013 trucks sold has returned to normal figures, with 2014-model-year trucks sold outnumbering previous0year models. According to J.D. Power analysts, this is a strong indicator that 5-year old trucks are entering the disposal phase of their first lives and are now entering the used market in increasing numbers.

According to the report:

  • 2013 model year trucks sold for an average of $30,250 – a figure that is $1,450, or 4.6%, lower than January.
  • 2012 model year trucks sold for an average of $25,000 at auction, which is $1,500, or 5.7%, lower than January figures.
  • 2011 model year trucks sold for an average price of $17,000 on average, a figure that is $250, or 1.5%, higher than January's numbers.

Taken as a whole, J.D. Power found that trucks 4 to 6 years old sold in the first two months of this year brought in an average of 21.7% more in price compared to the same period in 2017. But while the report called these gains “encouraging,” J.D. Power analysts caution that the influx of late-model trucks into the used market as the hot new-truck market of 2018 progresses will likely keep depreciation levels near the anticipated 2% per month estimate.

Used sleeper tractor sales remain strong

January’s sales figures for used Class 8 sleeper tractors were healthy, building on a pricing trend that began last December, according to the report. The average sleeper tractor sold at auction last month, J.D. Power found, was 74 months old with 458,697 miles on its odometer. Compared to last month’s auction results, the average sleeper tractor sold in February was 4 months older, with 26,772 more miles on it, yet brought an average of $3,924 more. Average pricing for these used models at auction last month was:

  • 2016 model year trucks sold for an average of $90,645 – $4,036, or 4.7%, higher than in December.
  • 2015 model year sleeper cabs sold for an average of $66.604 – an average of $3,678, or 5.2%, lower than in December.
  • 2014 model year sleeper tractors sold for an average of $55,565 – an average of $1,574, or 2.9%, higher than in December.

Used medium-duty trucks log surprisingly strong sales figures

J.D. Power analysts also report that used medium-duty truck sales in January were “notably” higher than the same month a year ago. According to the report, average pricing for used medium-duty trucks sold in January was $18,907, which was $5,585, or 41.9%, higher than in January 2017. Classes 4 and 6 both appeared strong in January, J.D. Power reports, returning higher prices than in January 2017, although volumes were moderately lower compared to last year.

Specifically, according to the report, used Class 4 trucks sold in January averaged $23,524, a figure that is $3,281, or 16.2%, higher than last year.

Used Class 6 trucks sold in January averaged $24,349, or $2,402 and 11% higher than the same period last year.

Overall, J.D. Power analysts characterized February’s used-truck auction activity “as expected, suggesting the market is operating normally in a supply-weighted environment.”

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