COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Q4 Fleet Sentiment survey conducted in October by CK Commercial Vehicle Research (CKCVR) reflects a strong freight environment heading into the new year with the driver shortage expected to be the largest negative factor affecting fleets.
According to the results:
CKCVR “How’s Business” rating of 4.22 (on a scale of 1-5) at highest level since measure was established in 2008.
2018 equipment order plans for heavy trucks and trailers from the fifty fleets who responded to the survey are closely aligned with their 2017 deliveries.The majority, for now, expect to purchase a similar number of units in 2018 as they did in 2017.
The shortage of drivers was mentioned by a majority of respondents as the largest negative factor that will impact their fleet in 2018.
Strong freight demand, overall good economy and individual fleet business outlooks are predicted to be positive influences in 2018.Tightening capacity is expected to result in rising contract freight rates.
Fleets are adjusting business profiles to meet current and expected future challenges.One example of that is shortening average length of haul to increase driver recruitment and retention – more regional freight to get drivers home each night.This change also means more day cabs purchased in place of sleepers for these fleets.
The 50 fleets represented in the CKCVR Q4 2017 survey represent a varied mix of fleet demographics; and in total, operate more than 37,000 medium and heavy-duty trucks (primarily Class 8) and 85,000 trailers.