September’s drop in sales volume was not combined with any decrease in pricing. The average price of a sleeper tractor retailed in September was essentially unchanged from August’s record result, while average mileage and price were nearly identical. Specifically, September’s average of $53,640 was a mere $450 (or 0.8%) off August’s record, while mileage of 537,424 was only 156 (or 0.03%) lower than August. Age was one month older, at 78 months. See graph below for detail.

A recent multi-month increase in pricing of 2010 model year sleepers is primarily responsible for the increase in pricing, with other model years essentially unchanged. 
Interestingly, the drop in sales volume appears due mainly to fewer 2009 and newer sleepers sold. In a reversal of the recent trend, 2007’s outsold 2009’s and 2010’s in September for this first time in six months. An increasing number of 2009 and newer trucks should be available to the marketplace, so it is unlikely that the drop in volume was a supply-side phenomenon. Instead, it is possible that many buyers are balking at the high prices these trucks command. 2009’s averaged $55,596 in September, with mileage averaging just under 500,000. This figure is still less than half the price of a new truck, but any buyer who has been out of the market for three or more years will experience some involuntary bulging of the eyeballs.
Stay tuned for more analysis of the September market in upcoming blogs and the November edition of Guidelines, available the second week of November.