Any concerns that January’s multiple nationwide severe weather events would put a lid on the used truck market can be alleviated. Sales data submitted to NADA shows that the average retail price paid for a sleeper tractor in January was $56,488. This figure represents yet another record – the highest we’ve recorded since our current data analysis processes were introduced in mid-2007. Mileage was a contributing factor to the record pricing, coming in at 520,764 – the lowest since July of 2011. However, this figure was less than 1% lower than selected recent months, suggesting that other factors are in play. See graph below for detail.

One of these factors is the continued increase in number of model-year 2011 sleepers entering the secondary market (see graph below). As we’ve mentioned, this model year is hitting the sweet spot of its trade-in curve, and has really come on-line since the 4th quarter of 2013. This factor, combined with the steadily decreasing presence of 2007’s and 2010’s in the retail sector, has bolstered the universal retail average.

Despite the increased volume of 2011’s, pricing for that model year has not decreased, and has actually increased in the past two months (see graph below). This dynamic is simply evidence of the extremely high demand for trucks with under 600,000 miles.

To balance things out a bit, we will note that overall sales volume for MY2005-2011 sleepers has been mildly off since a high in October of 2013. Still, recent results are in line with monthly fluctuations of the past year, and this measure is not yet of concern. These results are simply more evidence that the retail market does not have a notable appetite for trucks with over 600,000 miles. 

Stay tuned for January results from the wholesale side of the market later this week.