Singer Richard Shindell croons about selling his old Camaro and fishing boat and buying "the Kenworth of my dreams," even as folks tell...

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Singer Richard Shindell croons about selling his old Camaro and fishing boat and buying “the Kenworth of my dreams,” even as folks tell him “that to spend your life behind the wheel ain’t as great as it might seem.”

The brand’s manufacturer, Bellevue-based Paccar (PCAR), might agree. Its shares and those of rival Daimler AG (DAI) have lost almost twice as much as the S&P 500 so far this year, as sales of big trucks have headed downhill.

Diesel prices have soared along with crude prices and the weak economy is lessening freight demand. What’s more, tight credit conditions are limiting financing for trucks.

Last week Paccar reported that first-quarter earnings fell 20 percent. But it still managed a profit of 79 cents a share, ahead of analyst expectations for 77 cents a share, according to Bloomberg.

Revenue dropped 1 percent to $3.9 billion, with U.S. revenue dropping a dramatic 30 percent.

Demand overseas has continued to grow, as the weak dollar makes U.S.-built trucks cheaper for foreign buyers.

Wachovia analyst Andrew Casey says demand may have troughed. But he doesn’t see a bounce for Paccar shares, as they already have priced in hope for a recovery in 2009. He rates the stock “market perform.”

New U.S. government emissions standards are coming in two years. Stricter emissions rules in 2007 led to an increase in U.S. truck sales but analysts say the “pre-buy” for 2010 may be more muted and likely won’t start until this year’s second half.

Seattle Times deputy business editor Rami Grunbaum contributed to this report.