Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023:
Used truck sales increase as prices remain flat
ACT reported that retail sales volumes jumped 12% in August, while average mileage on trucks sold fell by 1%. Average price and age were both flat.
Longer term, average sales volumes jumped 3% year-over-year, while prices are down 26%, and miles and age are both down 4%.
“Seasonally, August is the second-best sales month of the year, exceeded only by October,” said Steve Tam, Vice President at ACT Research. “Auction sales also improved in August but recouped only a portion of the decline they saw in July. Wholesales rounded out the upbeat August market, with dealers trading 46% more trucks compared to July. Combined, the total market volume swelled 15% m/m in August.”
Tam also commented on how the disposal of equipment from Yellow’s bankruptcy is being handled. Like the liquidation of their terminals, the company overseeing the shutdown is actively seeking buyers for the trucks and trailers. Bids for interested buyers are due by Oct. 13.
“While estimates vary, the company owns approximately 12,000 tractors (primarily Class 8 day cabs) and 35,000 trailers,” Tam said. “A sizable chunk of tractors was acquired within the past couple years. These late-model, low-mileage units will probably never see a used truck dealer’s lot or the auction block. This will help to prevent the accelerated depreciation that would have hit had the trucks flooded the secondary market.”
Canadian manufacturer Brandt expands U.S. dealer network
The Brandt Group of Companies announced this week that Pinnacle Trailer Sales has joined its heavy-haul trailer dealer network.
Based in North Carolina with dealerships also in South Carolina and Virginia, Pinnacle has been in business for nearly 25 years. Integrating Brandt’s heavy-haul trailers into their existing product offering will enable Pinnacle to provide options for increased efficiency and productivity to their customers, Brandt said.
“We are proud to partner with companies like Pinnacle that share both our passion for our industries and our commitment to taking great care of our customers,” said Brandt Senior Vice President Sales -- Manufactured Products, Jason Klassen. “We remain committed to the transportation industry, and partnerships like this extend our ability to effectively serve operators and fleet owners.”
Pinnacle will carry Brandt trailers at all four of their locations on the East Coast and will stock Brandt’s H450 and H650 heavy-haul trailers. With a wide-ranging operational area serving multiple industries, including agriculture, construction, and forestry, Brandt’s heavy-haul trailer products hope to provide Pinnacle and their customers with best-in-class equipment and the parts and service to back it up, Brandt added.
“We’re excited to be able to provide Brandt’s well-designed and expertly built line of trailers to our heavy-haul customers,” said Brett Tanner, Pinnacle’s owner. “We see a unique opportunity in the H450, in particular, which should suit the needs of several customers in our area.”
Driver honored for stopping drunk driver from leaving accident scene
Keith Rahn, a truck driver for WEL Companies, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for stopping a drunk and belligerent driver from leaving the scene of the accident, and helping police contain him.
On Aug. 29 around 10:15 p.m., Rahn was in the Everett, Pennsylvania, service plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when an intoxicated motorist entered the facility. The motorist hit a parked Landair truck, and his car engine stopped.
“He slams into the front of another semi -- just slams into him,” Rahn said, so he called 911 and then exited his truck to check on the driver of the car. He and another trucker walked over to the crashed car and discovered the driver was extremely intoxicated.
“We could smell the alcohol,” Rahn said, “so I called 911 back.”
The driver of the car became belligerent and was trying to start his car and kept repeating, “I have to get out of here.”
Rahn reached into the car and removed the keys from the ignition, determined that this driver was not going to leave and hurt himself or others. The driver of the car was agitated, the police were contacted and were en route.
While Rahn was waiting for the police to arrive, the driver of the car attempted to leave (but couldn’t) and get away from Rahn. The Pennsylvania State Police arrived, and the driver of the car was not cooperating. Repeatedly the State Trooper told the driver to get out of the car, but he ignored the order.
The Trooper decided to remove him by force. Rahn and another driver assisted, and while they were pulling him out of his car, they discovered his pants and underwear were falling off, and that he had a cup of wine in his lap.
“We got him down, got him handcuffed, and literally carried him to the back of the police SUV -- he passed out,” Rahn said. Eventually an ambulance arrived, and Rahn and the other trucker assisted EMTs getting him into the ambulance. The driver was to be taken to the ER to check for alcohol poisoning.
Why did Rahn offer so much assistance?
“I had a daughter who was killed by a drunk driver,” Rahn said, adding that he has alcoholism in his family. “I really don’t have any tolerance for drunk drivers, but I also respect the law. I know how dangerous drunks can be -- there was no way in the world I was gonna let that guy get back on the road.”