The Commercial Trucking Industry in 2018

The commercial trucking industry and U.S. manufacturing industry work hand in hand, and when one does well, it’s usually a sign that the other is doing well too. With 70% of all U.S. freight moved across the country on commercial trucks, the manufacturing sector will continue to depend on this sector for years into the future.

The current administration continues to push for a renewed demand in United States manufacturing. With this push, many companies continue to promise to bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S. Because of this commitment, many industry experts forecast the trucking industry to grow by 3.4% this year. How will this affect commercial truck financing? To form a better prediction, let’s take a look at 2017’s data.

Commercial Fleet Financing
Commercial Fleet Financing in 2017

EDA, a leading industry reporting firm, released information for the most popular trucks financed in 2017. The list of 10 from the report shows the equipment type, the units sold, along with the number of buyer for the respective units. Their list is as follows:

EQUIPMENT TYPE             UNITS             BUYERS

· Class 8 Truck                     849,681            252,705
· Mechanic                           171,994            161,832
· Class 7 Truck                       92,711              38,064
· Class 6 Truck                       64,438              34,300
· Svc Vehicle Body                   9,763                4,989
· Class 5 Truck                         1,452                   852
· Bus                                            454                   200
· Class 4 Truck                            439                   303
· Class 3 Truck                            167                   152
· Class 2 Truck                            137                   106

This list shows a few notable details. First, Class 8 trucks were by far the most popular trucks amongst trucking companies. These trucks are most known for their flexibility, and by boosting their fleets with Class 8 trucks, companies will have more functionality for hauling heavy loads.

The boom in demand leads experts to believe that there will be even more buyers in 2018 for commercial trucks as companies continue to build up their fleets. In fact, December 2017 was a record-breaking month for the commercial truck financing industry.

Breaking Records

If we are to consider leading research firm ACT’s research, orders for Class 8 trucks broke records in December 2017. According to their report, orders for Class 8 trucks rose to a 37-month high last December, with more and more manufacturers needing vehicles to move their goods. Truck purchases weren’t alone, and the trailers that haul the goods set records themselves.

The Demand for Trailers

Without a trailer, all companies are left with are powerful trucks without much storage capacity. Luckily trailer orders are seeing the same boost in demand as the trucks are. According to research from reporting firm FTR, orders for trailers rose to 47,000 last December. This might not seem like much when looking at the simple number, but the last time trailer orders reached this level was back in October of 2014.

Regulations Incoming?

Big rigs on the road can also pose safety risks for drivers, and with increased demand to get goods from one side of the country to the other, companies want to ensure that their drivers aren’t overworked. The new regulated ELD device aims to reduce the number of hours driver spend on the road to 50 hours per week.

Predictions for the Rest of the Year

Commercial trucking will still be the driving force behind logistics for the coming years. New regulations might cause a small uproar but companies will adapt, and the roads will be safer because of it.

*Article originally posted on our Quora Blog here.