The volume of sleeper tractors sold through the nation’s largest no-reserve auction companies increased dramatically in December, following a subdued November. Over the past five months, volume has followed an every-other-month pattern, with August, October, and December showing extremely high volume, and September and November showing much lower volume. December’s volume was a surprise to us, as we had predicted volume would be limited due to fewer auctions on the calendar in November and December compared to previous months.

Looking at our benchmark group of the three highest-volume sleeper tractors, we estimate that there will have been nearly 120 trucks of model years 2011 and 2012 sold this month through one of the two large nationwide no-reserve auction houses. 2013’s will have seen much less volume, at approximately 35. See graph below for detail.

Pricing for the highest-volume model in this group was hit hard as a result of the increased volume, with trucks of model year 2013 bringing 18% less money than last month. 2012’s brought 12% less, and 2011’s brought 9% less. Since September, 3-5 year-old examples of this model lost an average of 22% of their value. See graph below for detail.

It looks like devaluation at the no-reserve auctions is starting to impact other auctions and the dealer-to-dealer channel to a greater extent. Stay tuned for December estimates of the total wholesale universe early next week.