COLUMBUS, Ind. — ACT Research said Wednesday that the heavy commercial vehicle markets continue to benefit from a still-broad spectrum of supply and demand-side triggers.
Three of the key considerations ACT has been reviewing include the fact that freight rate markdown is from record levels, the addition of new technologies such as better fuel economy, safety technologies and automated manual transmissions that weren’t available or being spec’d three to four years ago, and increased demand being generated for drop-and-hook operations to keep drivers (and freight) moving.
The information was contained in ACT’s Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest report, which provides monthly analysis on transportation trends, equipment markets, and the economy.
“Preliminary December Class 8 data marked slowing orders, but that slowing must be viewed in the context of near-record backlogs,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “With Class 8 and trailer backlogs out more than 10 months, the fleets who are normally in the market this time of year have already placed their orders in the rush to get into the queue that began mid-year.”
Vieth said that while the supply-demand balance for fleets is softening at the margins, demand for heavy commercial vehicles remains strong, and upside production pressures in the first half of 2019 are considerable, given those big backlogs.
“Additionally, slower freight growth, an easing of driver supply constraints, the resumption of the long-run productivity trend, and strong Class 8 tractor fleet growth are expected to increasingly pressure rates and by extension, trucker profits in 2019,” he said.
ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.
For more information about ACT’s Commercial Vehicle Dealer Digest, go to .
ACT: Class 8 engine production to grow before drop late in 2019
COLUMBUS, Ind. — According to the recently released North American Commercial Vehicle On-Highway Engine OUTLOOK, published by ACT Research and Rhein Associates, Class 8 production is expected to continue growing in 2019 before an anticipated drop late in the year and into 2020.
Diesel is still the dominate power source and vocational truck demand is more stable than tractors demand, the two organizations said.
“Trucks are the primary application of engines under 10L, with the proportion closely following truck production,” said Tom Rhein, president of Rhein Associates. “Although there is an industry trend to smaller displacement engines, movement from premium over 10L engines to lower durability engines under 10L engines is limited.”
With regard to Classes 5-7, Rhein said in marked contrast to heavy duty Class 8 trucks, medium duty demand is forecast to remain at a high level, with minimal annual fluctuations.
For this segment of the commercial vehicle industry, trucks remain the dominant category, approximately 74% of the Classes 5-7 total.
“Diesel power is under attack long-term for use in on-highway commercial vehicles,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research. “Alternative power is being developed, tested, and refined, even as diesel engines are transitioning to become more fuel efficient and clean. Emission regulations are one of the main drivers of alternative fuel adoption, which is why the Engine OUTLOOK includes a section on the commercial vehicle regulatory environment.”
The latest NA On-Highway Engine OUTLOOK published by ACT Research and Rhein Associates highlights power-source activity for CV GVWs 5-8, including five-year forecasts of engines volumes and product trends.
The Engine Outlook ties to the detailed NA CV vehicle forecasts published monthly by ACT in the NA OUTLOOK.
Rhein Associates is a major supplier of powertrain information to worldwide clients enabling accurate and informed business decisions and marketing plans.
ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets.
Dupré Logistics expands shop, services in Pecos, Texas
LAFAYETTE, La. — Because of growing business opportunities and demand in the region, Dupré Logistics has expanded its shop and services in Pecos, Texas.
Dupré Logistics has been operating in the West Texas area since late 2014.
The new facility, which is four times the size of its predecessor, will open at noon, June 3, with a Grand Opening Celebration that is open to the public and will include lunch.
The maintenance facility will service and maintain the Dupré fleet and will open for business to other Class 8 providers in the region. Along with the new and larger maintenance facility, Dupré is also building a housing unit to accommodate non-indigenous workers in light of the severe housing shortage in the area.
“For our company to be successful, it’s critical that we have adequate support for our fleet,” said Dominic Dupré, director of operations, Crude Oil Group. “A major key to the success of our business in this area is the ability to maintain our equipment adequately and quickly. The combination of a dry, dusty environment and subpar road conditions creates an unforgiving environment for a tractor and trailer.”
Dupré operates across Texas and southeast New Mexico hauling raw crude oil from the wellhead to pipeline injection sites and rail facilities. In the West Texas region, Dupré currently employs 40 drivers in the area and is looking to hire more.
“We’ve created similar shops open to the public in a few other spots across the country, but based on the demand in Pecos — and the distance to other maintenance shops, we believe our new facility will be beneficial to the region and save other fleets time and money,” said Scott Allen, director of fleet assets and maintenance.
Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. It specializes in tanker, hazmat, and petrochemical transportation and complex supply chain solutions in industrial and consumer products.
For more information about Dupré Logistics, go to .
Utility Trailers Glade Spring, Virginia, plant receives Liberty Mutual safety award
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. — Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., said that its Glade Spring, Virginia, manufacturing plant has received the Liberty Mutual Silver Safety Award from Liberty Insurance.
The award is based on the days away, restricted and transferred (DART) rate, which is calculated from the number of hours worked relative to the number of accidents at the plant
In 2018, Utility’s Glade Spring plant had a DART rate of only 1.36, with over 1.3 million worked hours. The average DART rate for the trailer manufacturing industry is significantly higher, at 3.9. A Silver Safety Award is presented for DART rates that are at least 40% lower than the industry average rate. The Glade Spring plant’s DART rate was nearly 1/3 of the industry rate.
“Receiving a safety award is an honor and takes a total team effort to accomplish. Keeping safety at the forefront everyday with employee participation is key to earning such an award. Employees identifying hazards, removing them, or managing them in the workplace, keeps us all safe,” said Keith Walsh, Utility’s Glade Spring Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Manager.
“This is the fifth Liberty Safety Award for the Glade Spring plant. This is a huge honor, particularly considering less than 0.5% of Liberty’s customers receive this award. More importantly, our employees are continuously focused on the safety of themselves and each other,” said Bob Griffis, corporate EHS manager for Utility Trailer Manufacturing, Co.
“Walking through the front door of the Glade Spring facility, the commitment this team has toward safety is obvious,” said Sam Cassell, Utility’s Glade Spring plant manager. “It is reflected by the five safety awards hanging on the wall. Each of our over 700 team members were part of achieving each of those awards. An award like this is more than a commitment towards doing the job safely, it is a commitment each team member has toward each other. Many of our employees will stop others, even managers, to point out safety issues. That is a commitment toward safety and to each other. I cannot express how proud I am of each person on the shop floor.”
Richard Williams of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Risk Control Services, presented the Safety Award to a group of Glade Spring employees on behalf of all Utility’s Glade Spring employees.
Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1914 and designs and manufactures dry freight vans, flatbeds, refrigerated vans, Tautliner curtain-sided trailers, and aerodynamic technologies. Utility currently operates six trailer manufacturing facilities across North America.
For more information, visit .
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