According to the 4th Quarter 2012 Business Expectations Survey, carriers will continue to be very conservative in replacing their fleet equipment over the next year.
There is an increase in carriers planning to acquire 11% to 25% of their tractor fleets, 60% of the smaller carriers and 45% of larger carriers indicated they were going to replace under 10% of their tractor fleets.
This means that the smaller carriers will be relying on existing fleet assets, but will need to contend with higher maintenance costs have an increased risk of poor CSA road inspections. Overwhelming new orders have
been for replacements, particularly with increased maintenance costs and breakdowns experienced with post-2007 EPA engines by carriers.
With rates remaining stable, costs going up, and an inclination to not add capacity, it’s not surprising that over half of the carriers surveyed report they are not getting an adequate rate of return to invest in newer, more expensive equipment.
With the added uncertainty of fuel prices, based on historical volatility, it is even more understandable why these carriers are unwilling to make additional investments in new equipment. One way that they might reduce some of the risk and uncertainty is to implement a GPS Tracking system that would provide fleet management with alerts for upcoming maintenance requirements to be more proactive about the care of their fleet. Additionally, a GPS tracking system would provide them with fuel saving reports and allow them to better manage drivers’ behavior that could also add to fuel savings.
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