Spec'ing for resale value can reduce truck life cycle costs, says Kenworth

May 1, 2003
Truck buyers should seriously consider spec'ing for resale value on their next purchase decision to help reduce life cycle costs, according to Kenworth

Truck buyers should seriously consider spec'ing for resale value on their next purchase decision to help reduce life cycle costs, according to Kenworth Truck Co.

“Trying to cut as much cost out of a new vehicle purchase may seem like a sensible decision, but may not always be the wisest one,” sayd Steve Gilligan, general marketing manager for Kenworth. “Certain components add far more value than others when trade-in time rolls around. The total cost of these components during the length of ownership can actually be less expensive.”

Truck make, drivetrain, transmission, engine brake, sleeper, air-ride suspension, and interior trim are among spec'ing selections at time of purchase that can add to resale value.

“Truck make is the number one decision a buyer can make to increase a truck's resale value. Premium brands bring premium resale dollars,” says Gilligan, who notes that buyers can check the Truck Blue Book, National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA), and other independent sources to help assess vehicle resale value.

Resale values are also typically driven by popularity and appeal of specific components or component packages. “For example, the engine is the number one component spec for higher resale,” Gilligan says. “The rule of thumb is the higher the horsepower, the higher the resale value. A big-bore engine like a 14-liter Cummins ISX or a 15-liter Cat C-15 can provide $5,000 to $10,000 in extra resale value over a 10- or 12-liter engine.”

Another example of spec'ing for resale is the transmission selection. “At time of purchase, a 13-speed manual transmission with 1,650 ft-lb pounds of torque costs more than a 10-speed manual transmission with the same torque,” Gilligan says. “But the 13-speed can command up to $2,000 to $3,000 more than the 10-speed in the resale market. You also receive some operational advantages with the three extra ratios.”

Gilligan also advises buyers to spec an engine brake. “It adds around $2,500 in resale value, so you'll suffer a penalty if you don't spec it. You're also getting the benefit of less brake wear while you operate the truck,” he says.

“Be sure to spec an air-ride suspension if you want to get a better price for your used truck in the future,” says Gilligan. “Air is virtually standard now. You would only spec a mechanical suspension for very special applications.”

Don't forget about the interior. “The interior is one of the first things noticed by used truck buyers whether they're looking at an over-the-road vehicle or a vocational day cab,” says Gilligan. He says if you're buying a new truck equipped with a sleeper, a premium-sized sleeper such as the Kenworth 86" Studio AeroCab can add $3,000 to $5,000 in resale value over a large sleeper.

Extra chrome, aluminum wheels, dual chrome exhaust, and lots of bright finish in bumpers, steps, and fuel tanks will also enhance resale value and make the truck a lot easier to move at trade-in.

Finally, extended transferable warranties, complete service records and consistently following a preventive maintenance schedule can aid in selling used equipment.

More information can be found at www.kenworth.com by downloading the new Kenworth White Paper on Life Cycle Cost.