Used truck supply still tight through 2012-13

Used truck inventory is expected to remain tight in 2012 and beyond, even though sales began to slow in the latter half of 2011.

Fleet Owner magazine reports that by the close of 2011, used-truck volumes were mixed on a “channel by channel basis,” with auction dealers able to obtain and sell more equipment, offsetting some of the softness in the retail and wholesale markets.

Steve Clough, president, Arrow Truck Sales, told the publication that the availability of three- to four-year-old trucks with 300,000 to 400,000 miles dropped 35 percent in 2011 compared to 2010 – and he expects availability to decline another 20 percent this year and another 11 percent in 2013.

Although more trade-ins are forecasted as the economy turns around and fleets consider replacement cycles, there were relatively very few units purchased in 2008 and 2009, thus making for continued tight supply of late-model, low-mileage trucks, says Zach Bourn, director of used equipment for Paccar Financial.

“The industry was hopeful that improved new truck sales would provide some much-needed relief for the growing used-truck inventory shortage, but so far that has not happened,” added Steve Tam, ACT Research’s vp-commercial vehicle sector.