The outlook of fleets in the second quarter of 2017 was generally positive, but it was not much better than in the early part of the year, according to fleets surveyed for CK Commercial Vehicle Research's most recent Fleet Sentiment Report.

Productivity gains and losses were examined in the report. Fleets reported that purchasing vehicles with improved performance in fuel efficiency and uptime have increased productivity over the past two years. Regulations were noted as the primary factor in lowering productivity for most fleets. Despite this, the majority of fleets saw a gain in productivity in recent years.

Fleets picked up truck order activity as well in the quarter with increases compared to the first quarter and 2016. However, CKCVR found that they were ordering fewer vehicles per order. Fleets were also interested in purchasing more used trucks if they could find low mileage, high-efficiency models to meet their needs.

The driver shortage still looms over the industry, as there was a slight increase in the number of fleets looking for qualified drivers in the quarter. Some fleets commented that it was getting harder to find good, qualified drivers while another quipped that they “can’t wait for autonomous trucks.”

CKCVR based its findings on 55 survey responses from a representative group of fleets. The questionnaires were received from April 11-26, 2017.

Subscriptions to the quarterly Fleet Sentiment reports are available from CKCVR, for more information, click here.