The increasing build rate of proprietary engines in new trucks gets frequent press, as exemplified in this excellent recent article in Transport Topics. But gone unexamined is the degree to which these engines are represented in the used market.

With this in mind, we looked at the percentage of sleeper tractors reported sold from each make equipped with their respective proprietary engines. We simply combined our retail and wholesale data for 2014 to date and denoted proprietary vs. non-proprietary. “Non-proprietary” includes all Cummins and Caterpillar offerings, regardless of size. See the chart below for detail.

Looking at the stats, we first note that late-model Freightliners are overwhelmingly equipped with Detroit engines, with all 2013’s and the vast majority of 2012’s-2010’s so-equipped. Interestingly, the DD15 comprised 95% of the Detroit-powered group, with the DD13 representing only 5%. This difference is likely due to the slower production ramp-up of the DD13.

Detroits were also installed in every Western Star truck reported sold. We expected to see a degree of Cummins installation in this make due to its owner-operator focus, so this result is somewhat surprising. All Western Stars reported sold were equipped with the DD15 at 560HP.

Moving over to Volvo, that OEM has enjoyed success with its proprietary engines for 20 years. The Volvo D13 is by far the most popular engine in 2011 and newer Volvos, thanks to production and marketing strategy emphasizing the all-Volvo powertrain.

In the PACCAR camp, installation of the MX engine ramped up slower than other OEMs’ new engines, which is reflected in that engine’s representation in our data. It appears that Peterbilt may have received more of these units than Kenworth, at least in model year 2013. In general, Cummins is the most common powerplant for all 2010-emissions PACCAR trucks except for 2013 Peterbilts.

Looking at International’s MaxxForce, that engine sees limited representation in 2010 and 2011 due to limited marketplace demand as well as production ramp-up. 2012 was almost entirely MaxxForce, although there appear to be a handful of Cummins-equipped 2012’s in the wild, as evidenced by two reported sold so far (verified by VIN). 2013 was a MaxxForce-only build year. Note that MY2013 and earlier MaxxForce trucks did not include SCR.

In general, 2011 was the transitional model year for most makes, with a number of pre-2010-emissions engines installed in trucks of this model year (keep in mind that the 2011 model year began in the first quarter of 2010). As such, MY2011 and 2010 data includes both pre- and post-SCR engines from Caterpillar and Cummins as well as OEM’s. 

It is accurate to say that the 2010 emissions spec signaled the start of the proprietary engine era. Industry-wide, proprietary engines have been more common than supplier engines since the 2012 model year, at least in the sleeper market. 

As for pricing of these engines, we have examined that issue in the past, and will revisit that analysis in the near future.