It’s been a while since we’ve looked at the price and demographic differences between sleepers and daycabs selling in the retail environment. Through the first half of this year, proportional differences are similar to the last time we performed this exercise, with some exceptions.

Specifically, daycabs sold in the first half of 2015 averaged 99.4 months of age, compared to 103.4 months for the same period of 2014. Sleepers were quite a bit newer, averaging 73.9 months in 1H 2015 as opposed to 76.0 months in 1H 2014. This difference is logical, given that daycabs accumulate fewer miles with their original owners, and are therefore kept in service longer. In terms of mileage, daycabs averaged 429,064 miles in 1H 2015, versus 430,529 miles in 1H 2014. Sleepers averaged 492,161 miles in the first half of 2015, compared to 516,400 for the same period of 2014. See the graph below for detail.

The sleeper market has changed more than the daycab market year-over-year, thanks to a higher volume of sleeper trade-ins becoming available. This increased volume has enabled buyers to be more selective, causing pricing and average mileage of sleepers sold to decrease more notably.

The most obvious manifestation of this shift is the equalization in pricing for 3 year-old sleepers and daycabs. Until this year, 3 year-old sleepers enjoyed a healthy premium over daycabs of the same vintage. A 3 year-old sleeper still has plenty of long-haul life left, and is a very attractive substitute for an expensive new truck. Over the past 12 months or so, supply of 3 year-old sleepers has increased to the point where they are depreciating to a greater degree. See the graph below for detail.

You will also note that 2 year-old (MY2014) sleepers and daycabs are bringing similar pricing. This comparison is more typical, since it is less common for an original owner to trade in his truck after only 2 years. As such, supply is much lower for this cohort, and demand for all types of trucks comfortably outweighs supply.

After 3 years of age, the sleeper vs. daycab value comparison returns to the long-term trend. From 4-5 years of age, sleepers bring roughly 6% more money than daycabs. Once trucks reach 6 years of age, the difference narrows by a few percent. 7-8 years of age seems to be the equilibrium, where sleepers and daycabs bring roughly equal money. At 9 years and greater, daycabs overtake sleepers in pricing. This is because most 9 year-old long-haul trucks show substantial wear, and reliability is of concern.

The sleeper vs. daycab comparison is another example of how the increased supply of sleepers has altered traditional market trends. Stay tuned for deeper analysis in next month’s edition of Guidelines.