After the unexpected increase in new-truck sales in February, used-truck sales in March are expected to stay flat or improve slightly over the previous month, according the American Truck Dealers/National Auto Dealers Association's Official Commercial Truck Guide.

"It is not yet clear how much of the February new-truck sales increase was due to the last of the pre-buy and how much was due to actual freight-based need," says Chris Visser, editor of the guide.

There is anecdotal evidence that used trucks are selling at higher prices, Visser says, but that trend appears to be limited to the daycab market so far.

"Trucks with that configuration continue to increase their price gap versus sleeper cabs," Visser says. "While sleeper trucks with unusually low miles perform well in the marketplace, there is an abundance of three-to-five-year-old sleeper trucks with average mileage that are keeping the overall market average at a consistent level."

In response, the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide continues to adjust the price spread between sleeper and non-sleeper highway trucks. The result is minimal depreciation, Visser says.

The construction market continues to "bounce along the bottom," he says. "We have noted little change in this segment of the market." Medium-duty trucks also continue to exhibit flat deltas month over month.

The exception is the heavy-duty segment (Class 7 and 7), which is showing a more noticeable decline.