As in the retail channel, the population of class 8 sleepers sold in April was comprised of newer trucks than in recent months - specifically an increased number of 2011’s and 2012’s. The overall volume of trucks sold was down from March’s blowout to more typical level, as expected. So there were simply more later-model trucks available to the market in April.

This unusually young mix of trucks skewed our universal averages into uncharted territory. Average price was the highest we’ve seen since our modern data processing methods were introduced 7 years ago, at $42,135. This figure is $9953 (or 23.6%) higher than last month, and $12,809 (or 30.3%) higher than April 2013. Average mileage was the lowest in 20 months, at 599,325 – 100,265 (or 14.3%) lower than March, and 85,793 (or 12.5%) lower than April 2013. Age was 75 months – 11 fewer than both last month and year-prior.

If the retail channel is a fairly reliable indicator of demand, the wholesale channel is an equally-reliable indicator of supply, at least as it pertains to late-model iron. With demand for low-mileage sleepers at record levels, any of these trucks becoming available to the wholesale market are quickly snapped up. It appears that a package of 2012’s drove that activity this month.

As we mentioned last week, April results were potentially skewed by delayed buying and selling activity after the unusual winter. As such, we are not yet ready to identify a drastic market shift. At the same time, as we’ve been saying for months, we do expect late-model trucks to comprise an increasing share of the wholesale and retail markets going forward. May’s results will provide further insight as to whether this trend has accelerated. Stay tuned.