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Truck Tractor Price Trends

The premiums being paid for pre-tier 4 trucks appear to have softened with the exception of top-end vehicles.

The gold standard in high values in semitrucks is showing its age. Most makes (Mack being the exception) switched to Tier 4 powerplants after 2007. Used truck value hunters, wanting to avoid maintaining particulate filters and handling diesel exhaust fluid, have been ardently pursuing pre-Tier 4 trucks for their fleets in recent years. 

However, it appears that buying trend is waning as the buyers are accepting life with Tier 4 engines. Proof of this can be seen in the Pocket Price Guide. Compared with sales from the last four years, prices given for trucks built before 2007 have slipped 25% to 30%, although part of that decline can be attributed to the fact that these trucks are older and have accumulated more miles. 

“There is a lot of interest still in pre-Tier 4 trucks,” says Bill Nelson of US Auctioneers, which conducts some of the largest truck and trailer sales in the country. “The demand for these trucks has softened in the past couple of years, however,” he says. 

For comparison, I also crunched dealer asking prices on popular post-Tier 4 Peterbilts, the models 384 and 386. The average prices and mileage on 2009 to 2014 models are below. Comparing the Pocket Price Guide sale prices on Peterbilts to dealer asking prices (which are always higher) reveals the prices on post-Tier 4 Petes are still strong. Part of the explanation for this is that Peterbilts are a premium truck that have always retained their value well. 

Determining the value of a truck depends greatly on its mileage, the engine options, and the care given to the truck by its previous owner. So let these conditions influence the top price you are willing to give.  

snapshot of prices and mileage of post-tier 4 peterbilt 384 and 386 day cab trucks

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