Used truck surplus drying up

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KIRKLAND, Wash. — The surplus of used trucks on the market is drying up, according to Kenworth used truck dealers, and now demand is stronger than the supply.

Owner/operators and fleets who are still skeptical about the impact of the post-10/02 emission crackdown engines are buying up used trucks and those who own them are holding onto them longer, dealers say.

“Demand for our product is very high,” says John Bender, corporate used truck manager at Kenworth of Tennessee. “Since late summer, it’s been extremely hard to find enough inventory for our four full-service stores. There isn’t a lot of product out there.”

He adds “We see drivers with two and three year old trucks who would have traded them in this fall, holding on to them for another year or two because of uncertainty over the engine situation.”

Reduced production from truck manufacturers over the past two years has also contributed to the turnaround.

“Anything with low miles has sold well,” says Ron Lipman, corporate used truck director at Truck Enterprises in Harrisonburg, Va.

Used truck dealers are predicting many truck owners will be holding onto their rigs until topping the 800,000km mark, at least over the next while.

“It will be driven by drivers getting positive reports about how the new pollution-reducing engines are performing in the field,” says Bender. As a result of this trend, prices for used trucks are climbing in the U.S.

“As a used truck manager, I am paying more to get these trucks and I can sell them for more,” says Lipman. “As a used truck buyer, you will pay more for them but you will get more when you trade them in.”

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