Fleets in MacKay & Co.’s monthly survey continue to report strong markets and high levels of equipment utilization.

Average revenue miles in November rose only 1% from October, mainly because the Thanksgiving holiday constrained carriers’ ability to move loads. But revenue miles were up 7.4% from November 1998. Participating fleets forecast an average 4.3% increase over the next three months.
November parts sales for dealers in the survey were up an average 2.2% from October and 0.1% from November 1998. “Most dealers have added parts sales people over the past year and are more focused on the parts business today than one year ago,” MacKay researchers said. Some also added locations, which inflated year-to-year comparisons.
Dealer service labor sales for November were an average 1.7% higher than October and 11.9% above November 1998. “While most dealers expect service demand to remain strong, no one is forecasting large increases in service labor sales during the first quarter,” researchers said.
Parts sales for independent distributors were down 0.7% from the previous month but up 14.5% from November 1998. Reasons for the year-over-year increase include higher purchases of winter products, longer seasons for contractors, and a stronger economy in the oil fields of Texas and Western Canada.
Among independent distributors with service operations, labor sales were up 5.6% from November 1998. Fleets are outsourcing more service work and looking for quicker turn-around then they get from truck dealers, MacKay said.
For more information on MacKay & Co.’s monthly surveys, contact Donald Kuntz, director, database services, (630) 916-6110.