The oversupply of used Class 8 trucks will most likely continue for the next several years because the majority of the trucks coming into the first resale market continue to be newer, high-valued, long and tall sleeper tractors.
These vehicles -- long wheelbase, tandem-axle, big aerodynamic sleepers -- are not easily adaptable to other vocational applications.
Consequently, used truck inventory levels will keeping growing while the value of used equipment will continue to decrease.
That was the consensus of those who attended the Used Truck & Trailer Blue Book Seminar held last week in Pittsburgh. The three-day event was designed to promote discussion on ways to remedy the situation.
In his state of the industry address to the seminar, Stu MacKay of specialized market research firm MacKay & Co. estimated that the available pool of used Class 8 trucks will increase about 60,000 above what the market can absorb, to around 270,000 units -- 170,000 from first resale, 70,000 from second resale and 30,000 from third resale.
He said typically, on an annual basis, supply and demand of used Class 8s averages around 210,000 units per year.
The oversupply of used equipment has created a number of problems. In particular, he noted that prices of 3-to-6-year-old Class 8 tractors have fallen sharply. Owners of such equipment are finding that resale values are well below what they owe on the trucks.
Meanwhile, dealers are becoming much more selective in what trucks and brands they will accept as trades.
The current growing glut of relatively new used Class 8 equipment will probably not be resolved for at least three years, MacKay maintained, "because the purchase characteristics and demands of many new Class 8 buyers will not change significantly in the short term."
He anticipates 190,000 used Class 8s from first resale in 2001 and 210,000 in 2002.