Buying trucks with resale in mind

Buying trucks with resale in mind

“A quality, premium-spec’d truck is going to command higher resale value and helps a truck stand out on a dealership’s lot,” begins Anthony Gansle, marketing manager of on-highway products for Peterbilt. “In addition to greater resale value and desirability, running high-content trucks provide fleets with numerous cost-saving advantages that factor into the total return on investment, not the least of which is improved ability to attract and retain drivers. The market is more competitive than ever when it comes to finding and keeping top drivers, and quality, well-appointed equipment can give fleets a significant advantage.”

He goes on to say that the same specs, options and accessories customers order on their new trucks to brand and distinguish their company hold appeal in the pre-owned market. Distinctive colors, paint striping or bright accents—such as sun-visors, mirrors, bumpers and trim—can enhance a truck’s appearance.

“When it comes to the interior, selecting the premium level pays for itself while you own the vehicle and it adds to the resale value,” Gansle says. “A well-appointed, comfortable cab and sleeper keep drivers happy, minimize fatigue and boost productivity. It’s a great tool for recruiting and retaining drivers. It also makes a big impact on the truck’s appeal to its second or third owner.”

The value of special editions

“Special edition and limited edition trucks also command higher prices in the pre-owned market,” Gansle says. “They are distinctive and somewhat rare. They are also usually equipped with premium content, including features that can’t be found anywhere else. For instance, Peterbilt’s current Model 389 Pride and Class special edition truck has exclusive trim features—such as a Blackwood shifter knob and Blackwood dash, door pad and sleeper cabinet trim – that aren’t available on any other model.”


Peterbilt interior
The interior of a Peterbilt truck.

“Traditionally, higher horsepower engines and more gears in the transmission have increased the residual value of the vehicle. With fleets putting a greater focus on fuel economy, aerodynamic features such as roof fairings, chassis skirts, and cab extenders increase resale value,” says Jodi Presswood, vice president and general manager of Navistar’s heavy-duty product line. “In addition, smaller displacement and lower horsepower engines with automated manual transmissions will trend to be neutral to positive for resale value.

“Other value-add features include sky-rise cabs, bright finish exterior items, aluminum/light weight components, air slide fifth wheels, multi-color paint schemes, and heavier front and rear axle ratings,” Presswood continues. “We are also seeing the Eaton Ultrashift Plus AMT transferable warranty as a benefit for second/third owners.”

Gansle agrees: “Having the right mix of horsepower and torque is also important to make the vehicle as versatile as possible. Too much or too little of either shrinks the pool of potential buyers.”

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