The retail market wasn’t the only channel to return strong pricing in August. The average sleeper tractor sold at auction or dealer-to-dealer this month brought $30,888, had 654,511 miles, and was 81 months old. 

This pricing was a substantial $5293 (or 17.1%) higher than last month, but $9244 (or 23.0%) lower than an unusually strong August, 2012. Mileage was down 33,476 (or 4.9%) vs. last month, and up 85,005 (or 13.0%) vs. last August’s unusually low result. In terms of age, trucks wholesaled in August were five months newer than those sold in July, and one month older than those sold last August. See graph below for detail.
The first eight months of 2013 lag same-period 2012’s average pricing by a substantial $6741 (or 20.3%). Mileage is up a notable 64,689 (or 9.3%). Age is up nearly eight months. There is still a strong negative correlation between price and mileage, so the increase in average mileage largely explains the decrease in average pricing.
As in the retail market, newer model years are becoming more available. The 2007 model year is still the best-represented in our wholesale database, but the 2009 model year has increased notably since the spring of this year. Interestingly, 2008’s lag 2009’s in terms of volume, performing similarly to 2010’s in this metric. The average mileage of 2008’s is right around 600K – a critical delineation point between relatively strong value vs. average to weaker value. 2009’s average only about 20K less, but this may be enough of a gap to make a difference. In addition, 2008’s were the first to feature DPF’s, which may carry some stigma in the marketplace.
In sum, this month’s strong average pricing was due mainly to a slightly newer pool of trucks with moderately lower mileage than last month. Regarding the negative year-over-year comparison, August, 2012 was basically an outlier in terms of low average mileage and high average pricing. Going forward, we expect increased supply of newer model years to provide mild upward support for average pricing.