As I write this column, we are smack dab in the middle of truck show season. The granddaddy of shows (Mid-America) started us off in late March followed by two tremendous events in Toronto, Truck Worl...
As I write this column, we are smack dab in the middle of truck show season. The granddaddy of shows (Mid-America) started us off in late March followed by two tremendous events in Toronto, Truck World and the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminars.
Both were well attended and the majority of people I met were optimistic and believed all signals pointed to a return to better times. It may be in the form of baby steps but hey, we’re going in the right direction and that’s just fine by me.
If you check out the various truck magazine Web sites, you’ll see what I mean. The truck manufacturers have been busy sending out press releases announcing their larger fleet orders.
The van segment has been doing the same and it looks like used equipment downtime has finally caught up to the many fleets who held off making large capital purchases over the last few years. Yes indeed, life breathes again for the Canadian trucking community.
Take a look at the ‘Driving Careers’ section of this issue. You can tell freight is starting to move again by the increase in the number of fleets advertising jobs.
It won’t be long before you’ll start hearing of the pre-recession driver shortage again.
The fundamentals haven’t changed. We’ve all had more urgent ‘today’ issues to worry about, so the shortage was pushed under the rug. It will be back and with a vengeance.
This recession was the worst since the 30s. Most fleets had no choice but to make changes, they did what they had to do to survive. Now the biggest question facing owners and managers is not if to re-invest, but when to re-invest.
They all know it has to be done but they are a tad gun shy, not wanting to commit to the expense just in case everything goes south again. It won’t (yikes, I can’t believe I said that! Usually when it comes to these columns, I’m non-committal -‘Which way does the wind blow? Wilkins’ comes to mind) and even if it does, I doubt it’s going to be an extended version, just another blip in the cycle.
Unfortunately, I don’t own Truck News or Truck West. We’re part of a large company that publishes dozens of magazines in dozens of markets. I don’t have a crystal ball but come budget time, I’ll be preaching re-investment.
-Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and can be reached at 416-510-5123.
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News