Newer Tech Drives Strong Demand for 2007 and Later Pre-Owned Trucks

Engine Technology, Transportation Management, Vehicle Sales
January 22, 2016

Want to see the impact that newer technology is having on the pre-owned truck market? Just take the average pre-owned truck today:

  • According to the latest numbers from ACT Research, the average pre-owned Class 8 truck today is 91 months, or just under 8 years-old. That means the average truck comes from the 2007 time frame.

2007 is a key year
What’s so 2007 Class 8 Truckssignificant about 2007? That was the year when Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) became mandatory on all heavy-duty trucks. When the mandate was first introduced, 2007 and 2008 pre-owned trucks were somewhat shunned in the marketplace, as fleets and owner-operators have scrambled to snap up trucks with pre-2007 engines to avoid potential costs involved with DPF.

But time has changed that thinking … dramatically. Today, pre-owned clean-tech inventory from 2007, 2008 and later is increasingly seen as highly desirable late-model equipment.

Earlier this year, Gary Meteer, Director of Commercial Vehicle Solutions for IHS Automotive, told of these clean-tech vehicles, “Clean used commercial vehicles remain in strong demand, even with the continued strengthening of the demand for new commercial vehicles.”

Why the change in demand?
For one, in many cases, pre-owned trucks from 2007 and later tend to have less wear than often found in the pre-owned market. That’s because, during the great recession, many truckers hauled less freight on fewer jobs, adding years to a truck’s life.

But there’s a more powerful reason these trucks are in demand: years of proof have piled up, showing clean-tech can provide significant savings through better fuel efficiency.

Clean tech drives savings
Just how great are the savings from clean-tech-engines? In a major study, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) evaluated the fuel efficiency of post 2007 engines across 14 large fleets. It looked at the impact of 68 different technologies, ranging from Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to Electronically Controlled Transmissions (ECTs) to engine powertrain optimization.

In that study, NACFE found that trucks from model years 2007 and later:

  • Saved 14 major U.S. for-hire carriers nearly a half billion dollars in fuel – an average of $9,000 saved per year on each truck.
  • Cut the estimated payback period for each vehicle by two-and-a-half-years.
  • Reduced carbon emissions by 19 percent.

Those numbers tell the clean tech story loud and clear. It’s no wonder that model years now emerging on the secondary market are being snapped up by shrewd professional buyers who have done their homework.

To underscore the true value of late-model pre-owned vehicles, analysts also continue to point to the comparably high cost of new class 8 trucks.

Speaking with, Chris Visser, Senior Analyst and Product Manager, ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide, said, “Late-model used iron was and will remain a compelling alternative to new trucks, thanks to the steadily-increasing price of new iron. At just under $60,000, the average used sleeper tractor with 450,000-500,000 miles is less than half the price of a new truck.”

Class 8 shoppers should take the hint: It’s a smart time to buy a pre-owned vehicle with a clean-tech engine.


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