For the third month in a row, the overall value of the retail sleeper tractor market set a 5+ year high. May’s result just eked out April’s, coming in at $51,646 – a $255 (or 0.5%) increase month-over-month, and a $3525 (or 6.8%) increase year-over-year. That tractor had 533,293 miles – a 4110 (or 0.8%) increase month-over-month, and a 19,750 (or 3.7%) decrease year-over-year. In terms of age, May’s average was 75 months – 3 months newer than April, and identical to May, 2012.

As has been the case since late last year, the number of 2009-2011 model year tractors available to the secondary market continues to grow. These newer model years are now coming off lease, and generally feature mileage in the 500’s or lower. This mileage range makes the trucks very attractive to the used truck buyer.  

Interestingly, the 2007 model year, which was built in the highest numbers since the late 1990’s, was finally overtaken in the secondary market by the 2009 model year. 2007’s are averaging in the low 600,000 mile range, while 2009’s are just under 500,000. This market shift alone is a major factor in the higher overall average pricing. This trend should continue as older trucks accumulate higher mileage and cycle out of the retail channel.
The increased volume of newer trucks has not yet resulted in accelerated depreciation. We maintain that the low build rate of the 2009-2011 model years should ensure a tight supply. Depreciation should remain generally linear as the trucks accumulate more miles.
Stay tuned for results from the wholesale side of the market.