Last month, we took a brief look at the retail price difference between aerodynamic and traditionally-styled highway sleeper tractors. We have now enhanced that data to include both 4 year-old trucks and an average of 3-6 year-old trucks. Also, we have provided a spec-adjusted figure, which paints a clearer picture of the “true” inherent difference between the two types of trucks.

To prepare the spec-adjusted figure, we subtracted the NADA Retail value for the following options from the figures in each graph:

- 18 Speed Manual Transmission
- Dual Chrome Exhaust
- Dual Stainless Steel Air Cleaners

We did not adjust for higher horsepower engines, because there was a minimal difference in average horsepower between the two types of truck. We have found that newer owner-operator trucks are commonly spec’ed with engines in the 475HP range, which would receive no adjustment in our Guide. Aerodynamic trucks are averaging only 10-15HP lower.

Note that we have also included the unadjusted figure in the graphs for reference.

As you can see, even in an age when fuel economy is critical, traditionally-styled trucks still carry a premium over their aerodynamic counterparts. For 4 year-old trucks, that premium averaged $6375 from January to November of 2011. For the larger pool of 3-6 year-old trucks, the premium averaged out to $6850 in that period.

We’ll break down this data even further into model year and specific model in future blogs and editions of GuideLines.
In the meantime, let us know if there’s something specific you’d like to see by commenting below.