Are you looking to head out on the road for days or weeks in a semi truck? You’ll need somewhere to sleep, and a sleeper cab can provide just that. But just how much will one set you back?
A sleeper semi-truck can cost anywhere from under $10,000 for a heavily used, older, and basic model to as high as $300,000 dollars or more for a new, high-end custom cab. The cost of a sleeper truck varies widely based on the make, model, used or new status, and the features included.
Because the cost of a sleeper cab can vary so widely, you may wonder just what is reasonable to expect for the amount you can pay. This article will help to explain the wide range of prices and features available when it comes to sleeper semis!
Different Types of Sleeper Trucks
There are three types of sleeper trucks that represent the vast majority of sleeper trucks available for purchase. There may be some fringe hybrids, but these are all that most people will encounter. There are important distinctions between all three, as each typically comes with different capabilities and has different benefits and drawbacks based on its typical design.
Flat-Roof Sleeper Semis
Flat roof sleeper semi trucks are for long-distance hauls with heavy loads. Sleeper trucks are, in general, a lot more expensive than their day cab counterparts. Flat-roof sleeper semis are very large tractors and have a compartment for drivers behind the front seats. This varies in size depending on the model, but in most cases, flat-roof sleepers have the least headroom out of any of the different sleeper semi types. Their design can be beneficial in cases when you would want to have a low truck height, however, such as in cases in which your routes regularly include bridges with relatively low clearance.
Mid-roof Sleeper Semis
Mid-roof sleeper semis have a more spacious sleeping compartment than their flat-roof sleeper semi compatriots, usually by several inches to a foot. They typically include a lot more amenities, such as storage space, a tv, and a larger bed.
Raise-Roof Sleeper Semis
Raised-roof sleeper semis are the largest of the three types and typically include the highest number of amenities. Many come with a decent amount of storage, a decently sized bed, and some larger models can even include a sink or a small bathroom. These trucks typically add a foot or more worth of height compared to the mid-roof models and can considerably increase the comfort of living on the road as a trucker.
Popular Sleeper Semi Truck Brands
Freightliner is by far the most popular truck brand in the United States. They famously make up 40% of the trucks driving down the highway in America today. One of the biggest reasons Freightliners are so popular is their relatively low cost compared to many other brands. They are also relatively fuel-efficient, which is a huge boon considering that driving long distances uses a lot of fuel. One of their most popular truck brands, the Cascadia, has an Evolution model that hits 10 mpg, which is good for a semi-truck.
On penskeusedtrucks.com, the lowest priced Freightliner brand sleeper truck was $8,500. The most expensive one for sale was $207,250.
Kenworths are manufactured by the same company that makes Peterbilts, namely PACCAR. They are some of the most beloved trucks on the road. Many drivers swear by them. They are regarded as among the best in terms of quality and comfort.
Only one Kenworth sleeper truck was for sale on Penske, and it was going for $116,500.
Peterbilts are like Kentworths in that they are very well esteemed by American drivers. They are very reliable (for the most part) and are among the most easily recognizable on the road.
The low end for Peterbilts truck was $45,000, with the high end topping out at $165,950.
Volvos are not as popular in the U.S. as Kenworth and Peterbilt, but many drivers still swear by them. They are relatively controversial when it comes to driver options, though. They also tend to be very comfortable. They also are relatively efficient and have good truck mileage at around 8.5 miles per gallon at highway speed (55-84 mph).
The low end for Volvos on the site was $28,000, with the high end topping out at $131,500.
Mack trucks are generally known as reliable, well-built trucks and are relatively popular in America.
The low end for Mack trucks is $25,000, with the high end topping out at $219,000.
International trucks have had a relatively poor reputation, but the newer models are supposedly better. Better, but still not great, according to one trucker. However, they generally tend to be among the cheapest of all the most popular brands available. This is counteracted by what some might call less-than-stellar maintenance needs.
The lowest-priced International brand sleeper tractor on penskeusedtrucks.com was $38,500. The highest price was $68,250.
Custom Sleeper Trucks
Custom sleeper trucks are an option for those who really love trucking and fully intend to live life out on the road. Considering that you get paid the farther, you go when you are a trucker, it can be considered an excellent investment when considering that you may want to keep driving your truck for decades. Why not at least do so in comfort?
There are so many different features that can be added when customizing a sleeper truck. You can add extra storage, sinks, and even bathrooms with a shower. You can also add spots for a gaming PC or for a gaming console, as well as larger televisions, beds, and even a small dining room. Even a motorbike garage! The big drawback to doing this is that the price tends to increase with each feature added, and sometimes by a lot.
One company that will build custom sleepers for you at the moment is ARI. The cheaper end of the ARI builds starts at around $55,000, which will get you a sleeper truck with an interior similar to a moderately nice hotel. The more expensive builds can run even higher than $150,000, a price tag that will get you a sleeper truck more similar to a luxury new york apartment. Many of the super nice ones can cost as much as $300,000, although that will include the cost of the new truck as well. The sleepers that ARI builds can be installed on any existing truck, although they sell some that they have already built, with the truck and the sleeper already attached.
Indeed, it is a lot more expensive to have a sleeper added to an existing truck because you need to pay two separate companies for two different products and then join them together. ARI can add a sleeper to virtually every popular truck brand in America, including Peterbilt, Volvo, Freightliner, Kenworth, and Western Star. The cheapest way to order a custom sleeper from ARI or any other company that makes them is to order them from the dealer, as certain models with standard designs with a lot of options are generally ready to order straight from the dealership. Some dealerships even keep custom sleepers on hand because they are so popular.
One of the biggest drawbacks of custom sleeper trucks, especially the larger models that can sometimes double the size of the tractor, is that they can be really heavy, which reduces the capacity of what your truck can pull. In the long run, this can tend to cause someone to lose a lot of money compared to if they had a lighter rig that could pull more cargo. There are ways to reduce the weight, including by changing the material some things are made of in the cabin and forgoing some extra heavy add-ons.
New Sleeper Truck Prices
While used sleeper trucks are, of course, usually cheaper, there can be some benefits to ordering a new or new-ish sleeper truck, as you can make sure they have the specs that you want right from the get-go, and there is no engine wear. The market is always changing when it comes to the price of both old and new trucks, and sometimes the used market can drive up the price of new sleeper trucks prices, and sometimes new truck prices can drive up the value of those on the used market.
In the current market, a retail sleeper will generally cost from 90 to 100 thousand dollars, according to one Melton Truck and Trailer Sales salesman in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In rare cases, one can find something that costs less or more, but then again, the prices are always changing based on supply and demand. In recent years, the supply of trucks has been severely dwindling, which has put a lot of upward pressure on the prices. In a few years or so, the price could go up drastically or go down by a lot, although based on current trends, many would likely tell you that prices will likely stay high for at least a little while unless something unexpected occurs that mitigates the problem.
What Influences the Price of Tractor Trucks?
There are a lot of different factors that go into the current prices for both new and used trucks. As previously mentioned, there is currently a shortage of trucks. But why?
The answer currently is that there is a huge semiconductor shortage worldwide, which has slowed many different industries to a halt. The production of new trucks is one such industry. There are so few trucks and such a demand for truckers recently that many companies have offered big paydays to try and get new people into the industry. The tricky thing with the trucks being more expensive as a result of supply is that the fewer trucks out on the road, the more weakened the supply chain is, making the problem grow even more intense.
Things to Consider When Buying a Sleeper Truck
There are so many different things to factor in when calculating the price of a new sleeper tractor truck. Some of the main things to consider when you look to buy them are as follows:
The Brand of the Truck
This can be very subjective, but it is important to find a brand that you can feel proud to drive or proud to have your drivers represent your company name. Some brands tend to be a safer bet than others. In addition, depending on which routes and areas of the country you want to operate on, it may be worth considering the distribution of truck dealerships for your chosen brand.
Many trucks have more complicated engines these days due to various emissions regulations and other rules, and as such, it is more difficult to either repair them oneself or get just anyone to repair them. This makes dealer networks much more important. If your truck breaks down, you are losing money until you can get it fixed and back on the road.
The Specs of the Truck
This also is a factor when choosing the brand of truck you want, but it can be considered a separate issue thanks to the fact that many truck manufacturers allow you to choose which engine you want to include with the truck. Different engines can be more or less temperamental, allow you to pull more weight than you would with a weaker one, or be vastly more expensive.
There is certainly something to be said about balance when it comes to the specs of the truck you buy. If you buy too expensive of a truck, you may be paying more money on a monthly basis to the dealership than you make. If you buy too cheap and unreliable of a truck, then you may spend too much time having to get it repaired at a dealership to make as much money as you’d like.
Comfort and Features
This is one of the most important considerations when buying a sleeper truck, although it is probably also the most subjective. Many people can survive with completely different levels of comfort. This is probably one of if not the biggest factors when it comes to price, as extreme comfort can add several hundred thousand dollars to a truck’s price tag.