Aftermarket

Used Trucks: Medium Duty Prices Stable, Heavy-Duty Buyers Wait for Natural Gas Options

April 03, 2012

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For the past several months, the used medium-duty truck segment has been very stable, not moving much in either direction, says Ricky Beggs, managing editor at Black Book, which provides vehicle pricing information for the automotive industry.


Last month, Beggs stated that some of the newer models had softened a bit, and that trend also continues. Also, older models are maintaining a slight upward movement.

There are several unknowns for the future, however.

"With the price of gas and diesel still marching up across the country, what will the long term effect be at the auctions and on the retail lots on these trucks?" asks Beggs. "Will buyers spend a larger amount of money to invest in newer model trucks that get better fuel economy or purchase a slightly older used truck that might not be as fuel-efficient but still get the job done? Will this push the older model truck prices even higher at the auctions?"

Heavy Duty

Finding clean-condition, used heavy-duty trucks is a huge challenge right now, Beggs says.

"There are all kinds of theories as to where they are or why there are not many to be found," he says. "A percentage have been kept in service longer and have been held back from entering the used market, while corresponding new truck orders are being delayed by the customers because they want to see how quick some of the LNG and CNG options become readily available and what the net cost will be."

Many of the new truck buyers are in the position to hold on to their pre-emission 2007s. Many want to further evaluate the best option on new trucks for their operations before making the next new truck order and purchase.

"When you have T. Boone Pickens investing millions of his personal money and Jimmy Haslam, CEO and president of Pilot Flying J Travel Centers, telling 700-plus people that his company will have 100 natural gas refueling locations by the end of 2012, now that's a commitment."

Used commercial trailers, almost across the board at most configurations, have become a hot commodity, Beggs says. "It is all based on the simple understanding of supply and demand for used and the high cost of new due to material costs."

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