The heavy truck fleet in Canada is more than 750,000 strong (vehicles with a registered weight of at least 4,500 kg/10,000 lbs), according to Statistics Canada's Canadian Vehicle Survey. Most of these...
The heavy truck fleet in Canada is more than 750,000 strong (vehicles with a registered weight of at least 4,500 kg/10,000 lbs), according to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Vehicle Survey. Most of these ply our highways and roadways. The remainder work off highway or in specialty applications such as snowplowing, fire fighting, etc. The dominance of the largest trucks, Class 8s (15,000 kg/33,000 lbs or more), has been growing in recent years and their annual sales are commonly used as a barometer of industry health -2006 was a record year for Class 8 sales while 2009 will end up as the worst sales year of the past decade. Class 8 vehicles account for almost 330,000 of the 755,000 heavy trucks in Canada but that’s not a trend likely to continue. Coming out of a deep recession in which over capacity had a significant impact on motor carrier pricing and looking ahead to a slow recovery, motor carriers are reticent to add to their fleets in the fashion they have in the past. Also the growth of online commerce is making for smaller and more regional shipments, which favors a move to more medium-duty vehicles. The greatest majority of heavy trucks are concentrated in the for-hire sector while the vast majority of medium-duty vehicles are found within the private sector as fleets from Frito Lay to small flower stores choose to own and operate their own vehicles to service their market place. What’s unique about the Canadian market is the share of heavy and medium-duty trucks controlled by owner/operators. •
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