The outlook remains modest for truck and trailer sales in 2014, with uncertainty about the strength of the U.S. economy mitigating the need to replace aging equipment.
Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research said that while there will be a gradual improvement in the U.S. economy in 2014, improvement will be “lackluster” and the absence of “economic vibrancy” will keep truck buyers cautious as well.
Long-term, FTR Transportation Intelligence projects that order rates for Class 8 trucks will reach just 243,000 units when 2013 numbers are finally tallied up, rising to 262,000 units in 2014 and 275,000 units in 2015. Order projections for trailers will follow a bumpier path, the firm believes, hitting 236,000 units when all is said and done for 2013, rising to 237,000 units in 2014, and then falling back to 215,000 units in 2015.
Relative to heavy- and medium-duty trucks, the trailer market looks like it will show the least amount of growth in 2014 but will still be a healthy market compared to where it has come from over the past few years.
The total trailer builds for 2014 in the U.S. is projected to be at about 242,050 units, with much of the equipment needing to be updated. Trailer demand is projected to remain strong with continued strong economy and predicted freight growth.