A recent CK Commercial Vehicle Research (CKCVR) focus group report shows both for-hire and private fleets are not feeling extremely confident in the current state of the commercial trucking industry.
The rating was determined by asking the contributing fleets: Considering all factors that impact your company including the COVID-19 pandemic, on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent) in your opinion, what is the overall outlook for your fleet in the next three months? While the 3.3 rating is “significantly lower” from 2018, “it’s still on the positive side of the scale,” according to CKCVR.
In terms of truck and trailer purchases, 50% of the fleets expect to make fewer purchases than last year. The same percentage expect to place similar orders to 2019, with a few planning to purchase more. On average, fleets expect a 29% decrease in Class 8 purchases and a 37% decrease in trailer purchases.
When asked about capacity utilization, fleets reported an average of 84% total capacity being utilized. Approximately one-third of respondents planned to spend less on parts and service due to the fact that the trucks were running fewer miles, possibly due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
For some fleets, the outbreak has highlighted the importance of the trucking industry.
“The guys behind the wheel are finally being recognized. I hope that recognition does not fade with COVID. Also, where we struggled to hire drivers, we are fully staffed for the first time in five years,” wrote one respondent.