Nassau Asset Management cited several reasons for the 110 percent increase in truck repossessions and liquidations. Leading the way is the decline in homebuilding, which affects a number of peripheral business sectors, most of which utilize trucks.
"From the forest to the saw mill to the construction site, along with the movement of people in and out of those homes and the delivery of appliances and furniture to the home, there are trucks involved in every step of the process," Castagna said. "The rings continue to expand out of the housing epicenter."
In addition, government regulations (including hours of service), rising fuel costs and competition placed greater financial strain on businesses that utilize trucks. Low interest rates in the past few years and significant sales of the remaining trucks with '06 engines as compared to the less proven '07 versions with tougher emission standards, led to an increase in late model trucks on the market, driving down prices in the used truck market.
On its web site, Nassau also links to an article from the Associated Press from March 2, "Independent Truckers See End of the Road," which details what a tough time many owner-operators are having with the combination of a slowing economy and skyrocketing fuel prices.
AP's Ellen Simon writes: " Trucking's owner-operators, the self-employed drivers who haul everything from Hummers to hay, are suffering. Many say they're running on the edge of bankruptcy, about to disappear unless they get help. … The housing downturn and decreased consumer spending have cut into loads; the extra trucking capacity is pushing down freight rates. Diesel prices, which are always higher in the winter, have hit such highs that Truckinginfo.com runs ads for thief-stopping fuel-tank locks."