The Trucking Industry of 2012
2/19/2012 by Tanya Bons
The Trucks We Drive
THE TRUCKS WE DRIVE
Industry Effect: Increase in Hiring, Increase in Fuel Mileage, Increase in CSA Compliance
In December 2011 Peterbilt announced a 93.2% increase from December 2010 sales and Kenworth announced a 105.3% increase. Class 8 truck sales from January 2012 bypassed sales for the January of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Sales for trailers grew 69% in 2011. Carriers are estimating that they will increase their fleets by 16% in 2012.
Equipment manufacturers have added shifts, called back laid-off individuals hired new employees and built onto their plants. Suppliers are rationing their products and some manufactures are even setting up shop to make their own parts because growth is crippling their suppliers.
All that new equipment entering the workforce is going to need drivers. Some of the carriers will be replacing used equipment but as mentioned previously, they are estimating increasing their fleets by 16% this year alone.
THE SIZE OF OUR TRUCKS AND OUR LOADS
Industry Effect: Decrease in Driver Shortage, Decrease in Shipping Costs, Combat New HOS, Increase in Infrastructure Costs
For over thirty years trucking in America has meant no more than 80,000 pounds maximum weight for a standard load. Permits have been available for exceptions, both on weight and height, but those are exceptions.
While Americans have been hauling 80,000, Canadians have been hauling 95,000, most Europeans have been hauling 97,000 and Mexicans have been hauling 106,000 pounds.
The Safe and Efficient Trucking Act, SETA, included language allowing the increase from the standard 80,000 to 97,000 with the addition of a sixth axle. The Association of American Railroads, AAR, successfully began a campaign to overtake the proposal and circumvent the 21-31% increase in truck freight capacity. The trucking industry claims it was "rabbit punched"; they weren't aware the AAR was opposed to the weight increase because the AAR was initially using consumer safety groups for opposition rather than directly addressing the issue. Certainly shippers are interested in the increase of capacity as it would help cut costs and increase competition between truck and rail but the trucking industry's claim of being "rabbit punched" may be hard to swallow as the American Trucking Association, ATA, agreed to join the AAR and table the capacity increase for at least three years in order to keep peace with their transportation partner. In addition, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, OOIDA, was strongly opposed to the increase from the beginning.
Our loads may not be getting heavier but our trailers are getting longer. Around 1980 maximum trailer length went from 48 feet to 53 feet and now many of the trailers on the road are 53 feet. Some carriers believe that shippers were really at an advantage when this happened because carriers neglected to charge for the increased capacity. Today, Sec. 1404. Trucking productivity, would allow a size increase on double trailers. These
"pup" trailers, at a maximum of 28 feet will now see a maximum of 33 feet. This will increase the load capacity by around 18%. We may or may not see an increase of double trailers on the roads but you can be certain the shippers will pay for the extra capacity.
More Related Articles and Information
June 2012, reported that the May Class 8 sales were up 36% from May 2011, best total sales for 2012 so far. July and August are usually the slowest months for sales.
Trucking Industry 2012: Introduction
Trucking Industry 2012: Training Our Truck Drivers
Trucking Industry 2012: Compliance, Safety, Accountability and CSA
Trucking Industry 2012: Electronic OnBoard Recorders (EOR)
Trucking Industry 2012: The Carriers Hiring
Trucking Industry 2012: Roads and Borders
Trucking Industry 2012: Industry Results