Other trends point to improvements in the used truck market, says Clough. Arrow’s retail sales are up 60 percent year over year, and credit applications are up 27 percent year over year.
Used truck values are firming as well, but they had nowhere to go but up. Clough points to National Automobile Dealers Association data showing that in absolute dollars – not adjusted for inflation – the price of a mid-range Class 8 sleeper in 2009 was comparable to the price in 1982 and was the lowest in many years.
Used truck inventories are destined to decline sharply, Clough says. Last year, many 2005-2006 pre-buy trucks came into the secondary market and there also was excess equipment due to failures and repossessions. “Supply mushroomed in 2009, while demand was weak.” But low-mileage used trucks are rapidly disappearing, although there remain “a fair amount” of 400,000-mile trucks.
With low new truck sales in 2007-2009, the supply of used trucks is about to drop, Clough says. “There will be a shortage of used trucks.” Even if some analysts are right that lenders will demand trucks back from so-called “zombie truckers” – carriers that are in arrears on note payments – as used truck values strengthen, the result probably will just be a welcome increase to soften the inevitable shortage, Clough says.
— Avery Vise
DAIMLER TRUCKS North America said it is recalling about 540 workers to three North Carolina manufacturing facilities. “Our Class 8 daily build rate in the U.S. will increase by more than 67 percent this July versus July 2009,” said Mark Lampert, a senior DTNA vice president.
FOR-HIRE TRUCKING added jobs for the third consecutive month in June, according to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Payroll employment in trucking is up 8,800 jobs since March, according to preliminary BLS numbers.
ABOUT $6 MILLION was added by the U.S. Department of Transportation to help address the truck parking shortage on five U.S. interstates: I-15 in Utah, I-10 in Mississippi, I-5 in Oregon, I-40 in Tennessee and I-81 in Pennsylvania. The funds will be used to add parking capacity and to develop ways to inform drivers about space availability.
ORDERS FOR CLASS 8 trucks in June for North American truck makers were 15,667 units, a 20.5 percent increase over May and 90.8 percent better than June 2009, according to FTR Associates.
SURFACE TRADE between the United States and Canada and Mexico increased 32 percent in April compared with a year earlier, reaching $66 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The increase is the third consecutive monthly gain of at least 24 percent from the previous year.
Hours rule proposal advanced
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sent its proposed hours-of-service rule to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking expected to be published Nov. 4.