With multiple quarters of a housing recovery under our belts, we would expect the market for construction trucks to strengthen. Surprisingly, this has generally not been the case.

The graph below shows average retail and wholesale selling price by model year for construction models. Prices have been adjusted for mileage. We do not usually combine retail and wholesale data, but in this case we’re looking for directional movement rather than absolute numbers, so combining the two sources is valid.

At first glance, the market appears flat, with no clear up or down movement for any model year. Deeper analysis uncovers two items of interest. 
 
First, note how pricing for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 model years has converged in the low-$70K range in recent months. Mileage is a primary reason for this concentration. Since January, MY2008 and MY2009 trucks have averaged 182,619 and 185,221, respectively – only a 2602 difference. Since mileage is the primary driver of any used truck’s value, it is logical that selling prices would be similar. 
 
Second, demand for 2007’s appears strong. This model year averaged 8.2 trucks sold per month in 2012, jumping to 14.8 in 2013 to date. With mileage averaging well below 300,000, this model year represents a sweet spot for price vs. remaining lifespan. In addition, 2007’s are not equipped with DPF’s, which many 2008 and newer construction trucks are (depending on whether they are considered “on-highway” or not).
 
As we stated back in April, it appears that residential construction alone is not enough to stimulate demand dramatically. We might need to wait for commercial construction and infrastructure projects to expand before we see a notable uptick in pricing.