Canada is celebrating all that's good in trucking this weekend. It's Toronto's turn to host Canada's national truck show, called Truck World.
Truck World takes place April 19-21 at the International Center, just north of the Toronto airport.
It's my old stomping ground, and a great place to meet everyone who has something to offer the trucking industry.
Truck World is the Canadian equivalent of the Mid-America Trucking Show. Though it pales in size by comparison, it's the
big event on the trucking calendar in Canada. Up here, the show alternates between Toronto and Montreal. When Montreal has the privilege of hosting the show, it's called Expo-Cam, a short form of Exposition de Camion, which is French for Truck Show. Easy, eh? Montreal hosts the show in October, while Toronto gets it in April. That's the only confusing part.
All the major OEs are here, Eaton, Meritor, Cummins, all the truck and trailer people, along with tons of Tier 2 and 3 suppliers as well as legions of small providers of software, managements systems, widgets of all descriptions and anything else one might expect at a truck show -- including amazing beer nuts.
This year, I'm hearing that the order boards are starting to slim down a little. Several OEs are reporting cancelled orders, and have said that their bigger fleet customers just aren't placing any new orders. It seems like many of the big fleets have done their buying for the year, and lots of the smaller fleets aren't yet seeing the firmness in the market they'd prefer before committing to any serious expansion.
While the number of exhibitors is down from previous years, exhibitors say that traffic on the first day of the show was better then they have seen in previous years.
We traditionally don't see many new product announcements at Truck World, as most of the OEs throw everything they have at Mid America. This year, however, Volvo announced
a new XE package for its D16 engine, targeting Canada's high-GVW B-train, quad, tridem, and LCV haulers.
The Canadian market, being roughly the same size as California but with very high gross vehicle weights, doesn't get a lot of debut announcements from the Big OEs, so it's nice to see Volvo come to the table with product designed especially for Canada. I'm predicting sales of the XE16 will be robust among the crowds who haul something larger than tandems around the country.
Truck World might be a bit of a trek from, say, Topeka, but it's just 90 minutes from Buffalo and two hours from Detroit. So if you're in upstate or western New York, southern Michigan, or western Pennsylvania, it's literally just across the bridge.
The show is open Friday and Saturday, and there's a Tim Hortons just down the street, so you can't go wrong.