Trailer builders continue to struggle with supply chain, labor challenges: ACT

by Today's Trucking

Component and material shortages continue to plague trailer builders, and the issue is widespread and extending to the aftermarket, according to ACT Research.

“In addition to supply-chain constraints, workforce availability and reliability are both mentioned as challenges for trailer OEMs,” said Frank Maly, director – commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research at ACT Research.

Utility van trailer
(Photo: Utility Trailer Manufacturing)

“And, while parts availability and staffing considerations are impacting OEM production, they are also challenging to aftermarket channels. Reports of sidelined equipment, both power units and trailers, due to a shortage of replacement parts, are being heard. Sometimes that’s due to widespread availability issues, but sometimes it’s because parts have been re-directed to the production side of the business and away from aftermarket support.”

Meanwhile, trailer manufacturers continue to be cautious about booking 2022 orders.

“We’ve learned about additional industry production capacity under development, but in the meantime, OEMs remain reticent to fully open their 2022 orderboards,” said Maly.  

“We expect them to carefully manage their order acceptance over the next few quarters, as they continue to face unusually long backlog-to-build ratios. Price increases for components and materials have meaningfully impacted the market in 2021 and will likely continue to do so in 2022. Many OEMs have had to re-negotiate pricing on previously accepted orders with fleets, implementing either price changes or material surcharges during the year. Sometimes, given their extended backlogs, OEMs returned to their customers more than once for these adjustments, additional reasons for manufacturers’ current caution.”

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  • At this time many manufacturers are paying more money than most truck drivers make per hour. A friend is making _$29 cd plus 10 hours overtime if he wants it
    He stopped driving truck last year. Working average 52 hours/ week gross $1690/ wk take home $1300 cd same as being on road 12 days in 2 weeks.. until truck drivers wages come up we will not need all this equipment unless cheaper foreign truck drivers come to Ont.