Retail truck sales in May jumped 27% compared with May 2002, according to figures compiled by Ward's Communications, a Modern Bulk Transporter sister company.

Dealers sold 874,268 trucks in May 2003, compared with 690,012 sold during May 2002.

The growth, however, was all on the light end. Class 1 trucks were up 34%, and Class 2 trucks increased 17%. Dealers sold 586,505 Class 1 trucks and 252,270 Class 2 trucks during the month.

Class 3 trucks, the only other GVW class to post gains, rose 18% from May 2002. Dealers sold 7,899 Class 3 trucks in May 2003.

Sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks were flat at best. The 3,562 Class 4 trucks sold in May were off 7% from a year earlier. With sales of 2,512, Class 5 trucks were virtually unchanged, and the 3,849 Class 6 vehicles were down less than 3% from May 2002.

Class 7 trucks took the biggest hit, down 32% for the month (5,120 trucks sold). Dealers sold 12,551 Class 8 trucks during May, down 10% from a year earlier.

Through the first five months of 2002, dealers sold 3,663,404 trucks, up 14% from the corresponding period of 2002.