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06.23.17 | Used Truck Market Shows Signs of Improvement

Disparate factors indicate the used truck market could be starting to stabilize, according to several reports issued over the past week. The increase of the used truck market comes partly as freight demand rises in the industrial sector, according to the most recent trucking conditions report from FTR Transportation Intelligence. 


FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for April Bounces Back to Mid-Positive Range

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) for April bounced back to a reading of 7.03, up more than four points from March. As detailed in the June issue of the Trucking Update, FTR expects industry conditions to improve despite current y/y weakness in contract pricing.  Freight demand is moving higher as the industrial sector continues to improve with capacity tightening.  The first quarter of 2017 registered the second strongest freight growth of the current recovery. The balance of 2017 is expected to grow more modestly. FTR forecasts the Trucking Conditions Index may fall off somewhat from the April reading in the next few months, but it is expected to remain in mid-range positive territory through 2018. 


FTR Reports Final Net Trailer Orders for May at 16,600 Units Continuing the Trend of Y/Y Positive Comparisons

FTR reports final May net trailer orders at 16,600 units, down 17% m/m but continuing to show strong y/y comparisons, up 26% versus a year ago.  May trailer orders started the typical seasonal decline after two months of stronger than expected activity.  Most segments experienced m/m reductions, except for liquid tanks and lowbeds, each of which had small increases.  Trailer orders have now totaled 253,000 units for the past twelve months.  Backlogs fell 7% and remain 15% below a year ago; production was up 3% from April on a per day basis.


JOC | US Carload Volume Rise Key to Intermodal Service

Such is the case with current statistics concerning an ongoing recovery in rail carload volumes. What is going on with rail carloads has big intermodal implications because if carloads are not growing it puts more pressure on the intermodal sector to deliver the goods, in terms of volume and revenue, so that railroads can make necessary infrastructure investments.


Fleet Owner | ELDs, NAFTA, Uber: Disruptions Ahead for Trucking

Electronic logging devices (ELDs), key trade deals, companies like Uber stepping into the game, and the timeline for autonomous trucks are the major issues industry analysts are keeping their eyes on right now. And according to two experts at FTR, these disruptions are happening amid a turbulent political climate, which adds uncertainty to their projections.


FTR Reports Class 8 Orders Retreat in May to 16,300 Units

FTR releases preliminary Class 8 net orders for May at 16,300 units, retreating after a long, steady streak that had begun in October 2016. May order activity was below expectations, falling 31% under April.  In spite of this slowdown, Class 8 orders for May 2017 were up 29% y/y.  Every OEM, save one, suffered declines in orders to varying degrees for the month.  The drop was not totally surprising, as fleets had been placing strong orders for the last several months for second half delivery.  The FTR 2017 forecast looks solid, if orders maintain this pace through the summer.  Total orders for the past twelve months have totaled 211,000 units.


ELD mandate: A Business Burden or Technology Upgrade?

Ready or not, by Dec. 18, 2017, most commercial truck drivers will be required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record their hours of service. For carriers, that means driver retention and productivity challenges lie ahead. “The regulations are going to create a bigger driver shortage than we would normally see at this point in time in the economic cycle,” Starks explained during a recent Fleet Owner webinar entitled Maximizing the business benefits of ELDs.


Special Report: Economics of 33' Double Combination Trailers

There is a proposal to allow bigger trucks on the highway.

Ever since early mechanics bolted small cargo beds on to the backs of their Model T’s, the history of the truck industry has been occasioned by debate over the proper maximum size of trucks. In part, the issue is highway cost. How much do bigger trucks damage our fragile roadways? In a second part, the issue is geometry. At what point does a truck get too long or too heavy to navigate restricted highways or fit under bridges? Also, fundamental to the issue is safety. Auto drivers are understandably cautious about sharing their highways with much larger vehicles.

Download the full, complimentary report by clicking here >