Our retail data for the most recent month available (November) shows average sleeper pricing in 2016 12.3% lower than 2015 – a fairly positive result given the much more substantial depreciation in the auction market over the same period. Sales volume was lower year-over-year, reflecting a cooling market and initial reluctance on the part of dealers to drastically slash pricing.

Specifically, the average sleeper tractor retailed in November was 74 months old, had 471,589 miles, and brought $47,639. Compared to October, this average tractor was 2 months older, had 8,211 (or 1.8%) more miles, and brought $2,022 (or 4.1%) less money. Compared to November 2015, the average sleeper was 3 months older, had 28,568 (or 5.7%) fewer miles, and brought $8,982 (or 15.9%) less money. See graph below for detail.

Narrowing our focus to the more instructive three- to five-year-old segment, average pricing for this group was $54,990 - $551 (or 1.0%) lower than October. Average mileage was 440,359 – 11,071 (or 2.5%) higher than October. Compared to November 2015, average pricing was $8,672 (or 13.6%) lower, and average mileage was 2,748 (or 0.6%) lower. 

Since January, three to five year-old sleepers have lost about $15,000 (or 23%) of their retail value, which translates to just under 2% per month. In terms of individual model years, three- and four-year-old trucks have lost about 21% of their value since January, and five-year-old trucks have lost about 27%. See graph below for detail.

Through November, monthly depreciation in 2016 was 0.7% higher than in the same period of 2015. In terms of dollar value, the average 3-5 year-old sleeper brought $8,676 (or 12.3%) less retail money in 2016. This difference is notably smaller than the drastic 30% year-over-year change in auction pricing for these same trucks. Dealers were reluctant to lower asking prices to catch up with changing market conditions until the second quarter of this year, which limited sales volume but likely propped up pricing to an extent. As is evident in our data, pricing has dropped to market-appropriate levels, but sales volume is still off moderately compared to the pre-market-shift period of early 2015. Current conditions should remain in place over the long term, thanks to an ongoing substantial returning supply of trucks.

Stay tuned next week for our full Guidelines monthly market report.