Survey: Majority of fleets plan truck orders in next 90 days

Jason Cannon

August 6, 2013

Pent up truck demand may be about to bust loose, according to Q3 2013 Fleet Sentiment survey conducted by CK Commercial Vehicle Research.

A whopping 65 percent of the 48 fleet executives that responded to the survey in late July indicated they planned to place orders for Class 8 trucks in the next three months –  an increase from the 53 percent that responded affirmatively during the Q2 survey in April.

The estimated size of those orders was down quarter/quarter but significantly higher year over year, 6.1 percent of participants’ inventory in Q3 13 vs. 1.4 percent in Q3 12.

A Special Supplement to the Fleet Sentiment Report indicated few fleets expect equipment purchases to change because of new Hours of Service rules, but most are skeptical of OEM claims of a better truck due to more vertical integration of components

The report also noted some movement away from International branded due to past engine issues. However, others said Navistar’s appealing sticker price has lured some to the brand.

Expected trailer order activity was down in Q3 quarter/quarter and year/year.  Overall the CKCVR Buying Index, which combines both planned tractor and trailer orders, calculated to 95.2 for Q3 2013, a 2 percent decline from Q2 results but a 9% improvement over the Q3 2012 reading.

Survey respondents operate in excess of 31,000 Class 8 trucks and 86,000 trailers. Responses were received between July 17 and July 26. The average age for Class 8 vehicles for group responding is 5.2 years and trailers at 8.9 years.

The overall environment at the fleets surveyed was dubbed “good.”

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