The 2nd quarter has started off stronger than expected, with retail selling prices for Class 8 sleeper tractors up nearly across-the-board. Year-over-year comparisons are mixed, but April’s results can only be characterized as strong. 

3-5 year-old trucks continue to dominate the market, representing 60% of our retail database. 2011’s and 2012’s are the highest-volume model years. These trucks generally feature mileage in the low- to mid-400K range, and sell in the mid-$60,000 to low-$70,000 range. 

Compared to the first 4 months of 2014, the average age of trucks sold has decreased by 3 months. The continued influx of newer trucks to the market continues to push our universal average to new records, with the average used sleeper retailing for $63,325 in April. This truck had 481,164 miles. Compared to April 2014, current pricing is 5.6% higher, and mileage is 5.1% lower. 

You may have noticed that we have de-emphasized these universal average results. Since early 2014, increases in universal average pricing have been due more to the changing mix of available trucks rather than higher pricing for individual trucks. The universal average is still a useful gauge of the relative value of the market overall, but it does not necessarily indicate performance of individual model years, makes, and models. Pricing by model year and mileage range are more accurate benchmarks of actual market performance. 

We still expect depreciation for 3-5 year-old trucks to average 1-1.5% per month by December, but it looks like the early 2nd quarter is bucking that trend. 

Wholesale pricing looked considerably different in April, which suggests these price increases may not have carried over through May. Stay tuned early next week for those results.