The volume of trucks sold wholesale continues to accelerate ahead of 2014, while pricing remains generally stable. The auction channel is primarily responsible for the increase in volume.

Through August, there have been 8.7% more trucks sold through wholesale channels than in the same period of 2014. Trades resulting from increased new truck deliveries are a major factor in wholesale volume. Also, dealers and OEM’s are increasingly moving aged inventory and large groups of similarly-equipped units through this channel. Fundamentally, auctions are a method of nationally realigning inventory to move trucks where demand is greatest.

Looking at pricing, the critical three- to five-year-old segment is holding steady, with the youngest trucks outperforming last year by more than 3%. Slightly older trucks are basically unchanged year-over-year. As for the market overall, the average sleeper tractor wholesaled in August for $38,500. This average truck had 583,944 miles and was 80 months old. Compared to July, this truck brought $2,875 (or 7.5%) more money, had 27,935 (or 4.6%) fewer miles, and was three months newer. Compared to August 2014, this average truck brought $1,559 (or 3.9%) less money, had 16,855 (or 3.0%) more miles, and was seven months older. Through the first eight months of the year, average pricing is nearly identical to last year. See graph below for detail.

Overall, word of mouth is turning somewhat negative, but incoming September data does not point to any major market shift. Depreciation is accelerating mildly going into the winter months, but we still predict depreciation will average out to well under 2% per month by December. We have not identified any factors that would lead to notable shifts in the used truck market. Stay tuned for deeper analysis in the October edition of Guidelines, available next week.