Truck tractor sales hit record high in June 2020

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Price Index Chart

Prices of used truck tractors are improving. The mix-adjusted price index of truck tractors selling in the U.S. at Ritchie Bros. from March 2007 through June 2020. Source: RB Market Trends.

US truck tractor sales in June see a 23% increase year over year

In just one month, Ritchie Bros. sold more than 4,500 truck tractors in the United States—up 23% from the same time period last year. More than 5,500 trucks were sold globally during the same time period, which is also a new company record—up approximately 10% from the previous record set in December 2019.

“On top of spillover from 2019, which was one of the largest repossession years we’ve ever seen,” said Rob Slavin, Senior Valuation Analyst, Ritchie Bros. “We are seeing trucks come to us due to fleet resizing, dealer trade-in packages, and trucks coming in from the energy sector, which has struggled in 2020.”

Ritchie Bros. has particularly sold a lot of trucks in Texas—through our site auctions in Houston and Fort Worth, as well as through our weekly IronPlanet auction and Marketplace-E events. Texas is also one of our largest truck buying markets.

Model Curve Chart

The depreciation curve for Freightliner Cascadia truck tractors sold in the U.S. in June 2020. Source: RB Market Trends

“Truck prices are coming back”

“Looking at our Ritchie Bros. Market Trends price index for trucks, which allows for an apples-to-apples comparison on pricing, we saw some softness in pricing through 2019, but we’re starting to see those declines moderate,” said Ken Calhoon, Vice President, Data Analytics, Ritchie Bros. “We’re still seeing year on year pricing down somewhat, but the prices are coming back.”

The top make and model truck being sold at auction these days is the Freightliner Cascadia, with more than 650 units in the US in June 2020. Check out the depreciation curve above, which is sharpest for 2+ and 9+ year-old-units. Other popular manufacturers include Peterbilt, International, and Kenworth.

“Another interesting trend we have seen in 2020 is an overall increase in end-user participation at our auctions,” said Ken Calhoon. “Across all geographies we are seeing end-user participating increase, often by double-digits.”

Truck tractors for sale at Ritchie Bros.

New production slowing, while auction participation increases

“Supply chain disruption as a result of COVID-19 has affected truck production,” said Don Nash, Territory Manager, Ritchie Bros. “Meanwhile we are seeing record demand in our auctions. Our most recent auction in Fort Worth, TX saw bidder registration increase 108% year over year!”

Check out our big ticket truck blogs from June and July!

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