Buyers of Class 8 construction trucks seem to be finding a comfort level with pricing.

Looking at the retail graph below, average selling prices became much more consistent in early 2011. Since then, price levels have increased moderately – from an average of $69,046 in the first half of 2011 to $74,760 in the second half. The first quarter of 2012 is steady at $74,573.

The wholesale graph paints a somewhat less optimistic picture of the market. The second half of 2011 was actually lower than the first half by about $1000, which we consider essentially no change.

We should note that due to the low volume of trucks sold in this segment, it is difficult to make specific judgments about model year and region in either the retail or wholesale channels. However, general trending is valid. It is all but certain that the bottom of this market is behind us.

The sectors of construction that would make a major impact on demand for trucks – residential, commercial, and infrastructure - have not yet recovered to any notable extent. However, mining has been strong since late 2009, and oil and gas drilling and fracking have increased notably. These last two factors are likely the main drivers of any increased demand for used trucks in the past year. Fracking activity will likely moderate in the short term as the industry works its way through an oversupply of natural gas. Resources will likely shift to traditional oil drilling. As such, look for a continued mild upward trend in pricing for the construction segment going forward. Don’t expect any major movement until the larger sectors of construction come back on line.