Steve “Bear” Nadolson recently reacted to used truck valuations in the March/April edition of Premium Insights. While Bear was speaking in general terms, I would like to clarify two concepts as they pertain specifically to the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide®. The first is the lag time between finalization of values and publication in the guide. The second is how companies use our published values.

Regarding lag time, due to the time it takes dealers to submit reports to us as well as the time inherent to the production process, our valuations are forecasts. Our goal is not to publish a history of where the market was at time of data collection, but rather where the market will be at time of publication. Our unprecedented valuation increases throughout 2010 and 2011 - as well as statements made every month in our Guidelines expanded market updates - are evidence that we have been on top of the changing used truck market.

Regarding usage of our guide, I am happy to clarify any valuations when there is a question. With that in mind, I frequently hear of subscribers using our values in ways we would not recommend. For example, some subscribers may use only our “base” value, leaving out accessory/spec and mileage adjustments. While companies are free to follow their own business practices, they should make it clear to their clients that they are using incomplete valuations.

As always, I invite readers to compare their market experience to our valuations and contact me with feedback. Word of mouth travels quickly in the used truck community, and whether that word of mouth is good or bad, it should at least be based on accurate information.