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Survey: 44% of respondents ready to replace equipment

Jason Cannon March 20, 2013

Overall business conditions in February appeared slightly better than those in January even though many trucking executives believe the economy still isn’t improving fast enough, according to the latest Randall-Reilly MarketPulse survey of for-hire trucking executives.

The survey indicates nearly 31 percent of executives said conditions were better, and less than 14 percent said business was worse. In addition, the Carrier Sentiment Index, which measures executives’ perception of the current month against the all-time best month, edged slightly higher to 6.07 from 5.85 in January.

Optimism was abundant from survey respondents with 54 percent of carriers expecting business conditions to be better in six months, adjusting for seasonality.

Only about 5 percent expected conditions to be worse.

That optimism is fueling plans for capital expenditures. About 44 percent said they plan to replace aging equipment without changing fleet size over the next six months while 36 percent planned to grow their fleets. Larger carriers — those with more than 100 power units — were slightly more inclined to both add and replace than smaller carriers.

The Randall-Reilly MarketPulse survey canvasses a standing panel of senior for-hire trucking executives each month, allowing for a reliable directional assessment of industry conditions despite a relatively small sample of a little more than 100 respondents. A copy of the full February MarketPulse report, which included 111 senior executives of for-hire trucking companies, is available at no additional cost to subscribers of Randall-Reilly’s TruckGauge by clicking here or for $95 at www.rrmarketpulse.com.

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