Traditionally-styled, “long and tall” sleeper tractors have always brought more money than their aerodynamic counterparts, and this gap has widened in recent months. Through May, the average three-to-five year-old owner-operator truck has brought $20,283 (27%) more money than the equivalent aerodynamic truck ($10,608/16% if adjusted for specs).

In general, traditionally-styled trucks bring more money because they typically feature removable sleepers, which makes them convertible into day cabs and/or construction trucks later in their lifespan. Also, their typically higher level of spec (particularly horsepower and transmission speeds) makes them more capable of handling heavier loads.

More recently, aerodynamic pricing has pulled back due to increased supply, but owner-operator trucks were less impacted by this factor. As such, in the past four years, the gap between aerodynamic and traditionally-styled sleepers has grown from 17% in 2014 (9% if adjusted for specs) to 28% in 2016 (19% if adjusted for specs).

We estimate the owner-operator market at roughly 5-7% of the used highway sleeper market overall. We don’t see this proportion changing appreciably going forward. The price gap between these two types of trucks should remain comfortably above 20% (15% if adjusted for specs) for the foreseeable future.