Used truck sales down considerably as prices remain mostly stable

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022:

Used truck volumes, prices fell in September but remain considerably higher than 2021

Preliminary used Class 8 retail volumes (same dealer sales) decreased 9% month-over-month in September and were 29% lower compared to September 2021, according to the latest preliminary release of the State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks published by ACT Research. 

Other data released in ACT’s preliminary report included month-over-month comparisons for August 2022, which showed that average retail price fell 3%, average miles increased 2%, and average age contracted 4% from August’s readings. Compared to August of 2021, the average retail price was 18% higher, with average miles and age both greater by 3% and 1%, respectively.

“Retail unit sales reflect the challenges of both waning demand, as well as the curtailed flow of units coming from trade-ins,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. “Encoded in the supply-demand dynamics, the impact of pricing is to the downside.”

Tam noted that how the September numbers are viewed depends on whether you’re a buyer or a seller.

“Miles and age appear to be holding less sway over pricing, but are also arguably mixed,” he said. “Looking ahead, prices are likely to continue on their downward trek into the first half of 2023, before starting to head higher, predicated on underlying economic and freight assumptions.”

Tam added that September new truck builds totaled nearly 26,000 units, which “will translate into a meaningful uptick in the market in November or December once those units have worked their way through repair and reconditioning.” That is assuming “there are customers lined up with dollars (or financing) in hand to put those units to work. Given supply has been a bigger issue than demand, that is probably a safe assumption,” Tam concluded.

Drivewyze adds real-time traffic alerts in Georgia

Drivewyze has partnered with the Georgia Department of Transportation to provide INRIX real-time traffic alerts through Drivewyze’s Smart Roadways service.

In addition to Georgia, Smart Roadways Heavy Congestion and Sudden Slowdown alerts are currently available in North Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, covering more than 3,500 miles of the most traveled freight corridors. Smart Roadways extends public transportation safety programs into the cabs of connected trucks throughout their road network, Drivewyze said. 

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The Georgia alerts, available at no cost to commercial truck drivers, cover more than 500 miles of roadways, including along I-75, 1-95 and I-16. 

Fully automated messages such as “Sudden Slowdown Ahead” and “Congestion Ahead” are displayed two to three miles before a slowdown begins on in-cab equipment like ELDs that are always-on and have the Drivewyze platform installed. 

“With nearly 3 million trucks integrated to the Drivewyze platform, state agencies can depend on these in-cab safety messages having a positive impact on highway safety,” said Brian Heath, CEO of Drivewyze. “When you consider that 30% of all crashes are on interstates -- and many are secondary incidents where a truck or car rear-ended a vehicle that was in queue from the initial crash -- it highlights the importance of these alerts.”

In a pilot test in the Atlanta area, results showed between a 10% and 16% reduction in hard braking incidents. Another study in North Carolina on I-95 showed an average 11-mph reduction in speed after drivers were alerted of a sudden slowdown, and an average 8-mph reduction when alerted about a congestion event.

Colorado encouraging drivers to slow down on E-470 around Denver

The E-470 Public Highway Authority and the Colorado State Patrol are joining forces to promote safe driving along a stretch of E-470 where construction crews are currently widening the roadway and expanding the trail adjacent to it.

To enhance safety on the toll road, the speed limit has been reduced from 75 mph to 65 mph in the first phase of the work zone on E-470 from I-70 to north of 64th Avenue (south of Pena Boulevard). The Colorado State Patrol will also have an increased presence on this stretch to ensure people get to their destinations safely.

"Drivers need to have extra care driving through and near these zones because we know there are vulnerable pedestrians around,” said Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "Every worker in a construction zone is a real person, and they deserve to be as safe as possible in their jobs.”

CSP says it’s important for drivers to pay attention to the speed limit signs, as well as E-470 message boards with advanced notification about safety in the work zone. In addition, concrete barriers are also in place to separate high-speed traffic on E-470 from construction crews. 

Crews are working in phases to improve an 11-mile stretch of E-470 from I-70 to 104th Avenue with construction anticipated to be complete in 2025.