The words, “What will it be worth…?” have been uttered countless times by those responsible for purchasing new over-the-road tractors. Beyond correctly spec'ing for resale, as discussed previously on this page, fleet managers responsible for selling their own used equipment can assist in the establishment of used values by submitting sales data to The Truck Blue Book, a sister publication of Fleet Owner.

The submission of actual transactions, be they auction, wholesale or retail sales, to The Truck Blue Book can be an incredible driver of used values. As it happens, each manufacturer of Class 3 through 8 trucks-both domestic and off-shore, work diligently with us at The Truck Blue Book to ensure the establishment of fair and accurate used values.

All provide some level of continuous sales reporting of used corporate trucks. One OEM in fact has been reporting sales each month for nearly three years. In a variety of ways each OEM is doing their bit to drive up the submission of sales reports by their dealer community. Taking it to the next level, International Truck and Engine Corp. has established a Certified Used Truck Dealer network. And Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks have created the Premium Used Truck Dealer Network.

These actions by OEMs now generate thousands of reported used truck sales from the dealer community each year. The breadth of reporting dealers grows monthly — and perhaps one day we'll capture them all.

I've no way of knowing how many fleets sell their own equipment, but including fleet sales of used equipment in The Truck Blue Book data would benefit both parties. Having a direct input on used values is as simple as submitting your used sales to us.

The process for fleet is very easy. If you sell your own equipment, our sales report can be sent via email, fax, or automatically generated by using software of our inventory partner. All we ask is for the report to be honest.

We are lucky to have a few fleets as customers and now we are seeking to grow these relationships. With Jerry Franklin of U.S. Xpress having accepted an invitation to be a member of the Truck Blue Book Advisory Council, there will be a member of the fleet community consistently working with The Truck Blue Book on used values and in attendance at the annual fall Blue Book Workshop.

The late used truck pioneer, Marvin Gordon, established The Truck Blue Book Advisory Council just over 30 years ago as a means to attain the guidance of the best in the used truck business. I have sought to live up to his ideal and gather the best of the best as on-going counselors and experts.

Throughout the year, the Advisory Council is called on for any number of used truck valuation questions. Each fall we gather for the Blue Book Workshop to review the values on our various market charts, to discuss options and components as well as other issues facing the used truck marketplace.

The values that begin the discussions at the Workshop are derived from the previous month's sales reports, as well as completed exercises given to each member of the Advisory Council. While at times lively, the goal is always to achieve an actual reflection and projection of used truck market values.

You have the ability to help answer “What will it be worth?” today by simply working together with your colleagues and manufactures and dealers by submitting your used truck sales to us at The Truck Blue Book. As I state in my presentations before dealers, “If my values are wrong, prove it. Send me your sales report.”