According to a recent Reuters story, North American semi truck orders more than doubled in January 2018 alone. FTR, a leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America, reported that January Class 8 orders surpassed the strong fourth quarter activity of 2014 and that the industry hasn't seen such significant increases since 2006. In a February 5, 2018, FTR news release, Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Starks commented, "These levels were well above our already strong expectations and continue to indicate that the equipment markets are still reacting to the tight capacity in the truck marketplace." Starks noted that January is normally sluggish, however January 2018 was the fourth consecutive month truck orders have passed the 30,000 mark.
Industry leaders expect more of the same through much of 2018. "In 2018, ACT is forecasting that new Class 8 truck orders will be around 322,000, a 26 percent increase from 2017," writes Clarissa Hawes in "Class 8 Truck Orders Post Significant Gains from a Year Ago," in Trucks.com.
New regulations are anticipated to cut into freight productivity, perhaps accounting for the need for more trucks on the road. Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR, believes that the now-mandatory electronic logging devices influenced the sales jump. In the Trucks.com article, Ake says that companies which were using ELDs before they became mandatory last December were already experiencing a 10- to 12-percent drop in 2017. An effort to limit drowsy driving and accidents, ELDs record how much time a driver spends behind the wheel as they record movement. Federal law limits driving to no more than 11 hours a day within a 14-hour workday, followed by 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Productivity issues are initially affected by the learning curve as data comes back from first-time users of the ELDs. Other issues caught in the ripple effect include tightened capacity as the demand for more drivers affects growing fleets, which need more driving hours and lagging wages that don't entice new drivers.
As mid-Ohio's largest pre-owned truck dealer, Robertson Truck Sales offers a federally compliant inventory and makes more wheels on the road affordable for your business fleet. We believe in offering quality used, not overly-abused vehicles. We also offer many vehicles in cab and chassis form, which we can custom build for your specific job requirements. Visit us at www.robertsontrucksales.com to find out more.