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Searching for Semitruck Bargains?

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Sticker shock might have seized you last year on your hunt for a day-cab tractor truck. A more robust general economy buoyed the values of trucks at that time, sending used prices skyward over 30% compared with 2013 and 2014. Complicating matters was the last-minute reinstatement of bonus depreciation by Congress, which inspired brisk sales in December 2014.

The good news is that truck values have settled down of late. Bill Nelson with US Auctioneers, a national truck and trailer auction firm based out of Rock Island, Illinois, agrees.

“We were predicting prices to ease up. They certainly have for late-model vehicles,” he says.
But Nelson warns that competition for good, clean low-mileage semis is always stiff. “Trucks with pre-Tier 4 diesels (2005, 2006, and 2007 models, in particular) attract a lot of attention at auction,” he says.

Nelson mentions those particular years because they represent the sweet spot in sales to farmers. “Although we’ve noticed a trend of farmers buying newer vehicles, 8- to 10-year-old trucks are still a favorite of our farmer customers,” he says.

When doing a search for Class 7 day-cab semitruck sales, I uncovered 527 transactions since February 2015. The table at the right offers an expansive analysis of what many 2005, 2006, and 2007 trucks sold for encompassing all mileage, power train, chassis configuration, and accessory variations.

By Dave Mowitz

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