Used-truck prices climbed in February | Bennett companies turning 50

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, March 29, 2024:

Used-truck prices increased in February

February used-truck retail summaryUsed-truck sales volumes were up both month over month and year over year in February, as prices rose on a monthly basis and fell annually.ACT Research

Used Class 8 average retail sales prices were up 4.4% month over month to $62,100 in February, ACT Research reported this week.

Prices were 14% lower on a year-over-year basis, said ACT Research Vice President Steve Tam. 

“Until recently, our pricing expectations were for a return to month-over-month growth toward the end of 2024 as the most likely course. Despite February’s encouraging results, recent developments are putting pressure on the forecast,” Tam said. â€śSpecifically, we are pushing expectations for the return to sustained month-over-month growth further out.”

Used sales volumes were down substantially, Tam noted. “Combined, the total market same-dealer sales volume fell 43% month over month in February. Compared to February 2023, the retail market accelerated 29%. The auction segment rose 89% year over year, while wholesale volumes increased 143% year over year. Combined market results saw volumes increase 57% year over year. Expectations for 2024 call for moderate growth relative to 2023.”

[Related: It's a deal: Perfect timing yields $50K saved on a new truck]

Bennett celebrates 50 years with book, truck shows, more

With participation in both the Mid-America Trucking Show and, fast on the heels of that event, the Truckload Carriers Association's Truckload 2024, the Georgia-headquartered Bennett Family of Companies launched its 50th-anniversary celebration, commemorating half a century of "Faith, Family and Freight" in transportation and logistics since getting its start in 1974.

Kicking off the festivities, the company recently hosted its 50th Anniversary Symposium, bringing together leadership, agents and others to mark the significant milestone.

Bennett's 50th-anniversary TrailerThe company showcased a 53-foot trailer featuring its history in a custom wrap.

Bennett 50th Anniversary book held by Marcia G. TaylorAs part of the commemoration, Bennett unveiled this voluminous special-edition 50th-anniversary book, chronicling the company's history and the people who have contributed to the success. That includes CEO Marcia G. Taylor (pictured here), whose story traces back to the company's founding in Georgia. Access an electronic version of the book via this link.In addition to the Symposium, trailer and a 50th-anniversary book launch, the company unveiled plans for a series of celebratory events throughout the year. Highlights include the unveiling of the 50th-anniversary #21 NASCAR Xfinity Series racecar driven by Austin Hill, making its public debut at MATS.

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Marcia G. Taylor, Bennett Chairwoman and CEO, noted the big milestone is "testament to the hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment of our drivers, agents and employees. As we celebrate this significant milestone, we reflect on our journey with gratitude and look forward to continuing our legacy of excellence in the years to come."

A Driver Appreciation Celebration will take place this September at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with a Truck Show & Shine featuring Bennett operators' best equipment and a concert by Tony Justice. More than 500 attendees from across the company will be in the stands for the weekend’s race, too.

In conversation with Bennett Transportation Group executive David Lowry at MATS, Overdrive learned, also, of a late-season truck show the company is assisting in planning to benefit Wreaths Across America November 1-2, also at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The "Stars, Stripes and White Lines" truck, Jeep and motorcycle show borrows its title from the Tony Justice record of the same name, and registration details are available via this link.   

Bennett marketing VP Kris Rzepkowski, speaking to press at Truckload 2024, said the company was excited to put on the November event, what he called "the world’s largest patriotic truck show. ... We're very excited about bringing that truck show to Atlanta Motor Speedway."

Find more about Bennett's 50th celebration events and more via this newly-launched website. 

TA opens three new restaurants in travel centers

TravelCenters of America has announced the opening of three new restaurants. TA is welcoming guests to the new Black Bear Diner in New Braunfels, Texas, and the newly remodeled Fuddruckers and Popeyes in Savannah, Georgia.

The Black Bear Diner, located at 4817 I-35 North in New Braunfels, just outside of San Antonio, is the 9th in TA’s network and the first in New Braunfels. BBD offers a cozy lodge and bear-themed atmosphere where guests can have a hearty breakfast favorites like sweet cream pancakes, eggs, thick-cut smoked bacon, sausage and smoked ham steak served up all day, among other breakfast items.

In addition to breakfast, BBD offers a wide variety of menu items from freshly made salads to chicken fried steak and burgers. This restaurant includes updated BBD design enhancements including a dedicated exterior third-party delivery and pickup window.

The Fuddruckers and Popeyes at TA Savannah, located at 4401 Highway 17, are now back open after being completely remodeled following a fire that occurred 18 months ago at Fuddruckers.

“We know our guests have missed the relaxed sit-down atmosphere and great food at Fuddruckers and the convenience of tasty authentic New Orleans style food at Popeyes,” said Mike Polachek, SVP, Hospitality. “We are delighted to bring both back in brand new beautifully remodeled spaces.”

Fuddruckers is known for its burgers, chicken sandwiches, platters and classic salads. The concept also features a build-your-own salad bar with items such as sun-ripened tomatoes and pico de gallo.