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ACT Research: Trailer production robust, component supply challenges easing

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Act research: trailer production robust, component supply challenges easing
Frank Maly, director–CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research said the recent opening of OEM trailer order boards has been met with a dramatically lackluster response by fleets, catching most OEMs by surprise. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. —  Trailer industry net orders continued the year-over-year slide that begin at the end of 2018 and that is now negative for seven consecutive months with preliminary July data showing that trend continuing.

So says this quarter’s issue of ACT Research’s Trailer Components Report, which, however, also notes that manufacturers continue to produce trailers at near-record levels.

“Through June, trailer net orders are down more than 43% year-over-year, and the order board horizon has remained in the November/December timeframe this entire year,” said Frank Maly, director–CV transportation analysis and research at ACT. “Additionally, fleets were clamoring to order additional trailers earlier this year for 2019 delivery, frustrated by a lack of available production slots and OEMs’ unwillingness to accept orders for 2020. After the early-year enthusiasm, the recent opening of OEM order boards has been met with a dramatically lackluster response by fleets, catching most OEMs by surprise. And, high cancellations have also churned industry backlogs for the latter part of the year, indicating that 2019 may well close weakly and provide little support for the beginning of 2020.”

Maly also noted that despite the dramatic order weakness, OEMs continue to produce at near-record levels, and lacking any turnaround in order volume as the year closes, OEMs could reduce those rates further, attempting to stretch existing backlogs until the fleet order pace rebounds.

Regarding trailer components specifically, the report said that while some component issues have caused higher red-tag/incomplete issues in late 2018 and early 2019, there has been less mention of component challenges as this year has progressed.

“The potential impact of tariffs is the only possible headwind to relatively benign component constraints occurring mid-year,” Maly said.

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Transflo adds Surfsight video technology to its platform of freight solutions

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Transflo adds surfsight vehicle video technology to its platform of freight solutions
Surfsight provides real-time video visibility and insight into fleet performance and challenging situations on the road, helping fleets reduce risk and insurance claims while improving safety and productivity. (Courtesy: Transflo)

TAMPA, Florida — Transflo, a mobile, telematics and business process automation provider to the transportation industry, has announced the AI-12 Dual Facing Dashcam solution as part of its Mobile+ ecosystem of digital and telematics solutions for truck fleets and drivers.

Surfsight provides real-time video visibility and insight into fleet performance and challenging situations on the road, helping fleets reduce risk and insurance claims while improving safety and productivity.

Integrated with Transflo’s telematics platform, the cloud-connected Surfsight dashcam uses front-facing and cabin-facing cameras. The camera uses built-in artificial intelligence to detect hazards on the road, and infrared to recognize driver distractions in the vehicle. The driver is automatically alerted.

Surfsight streams from vehicles to secure cloud-based servers, providing fleet managers with continuous access to video. Managers can review video of groups or individual vehicles via a customized, secure, online dashboard using a web browser running on any type of device. Surfsight also provides access to on-demand video retrieval and review on the company’s cloud platform.

Surfsight dashcams cost just $200 and monthly subscriptions start at $25 per month as part of Transflo Bundle+, which extends the capabilities of the Transflo Mobile+ platform.

“Increasingly, video is an important tool for improving safety and operational visibility,” said Doug Schrier, vice president of product and innovation for Transflo. “The Transflo Bundle+ platform is the ideal way to incorporate vehicle video and telematics into your digital workflow.”

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U.S. trailer net orders closed 2019 down 51% from full-year 2018

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U.s. trailer net orders closed 2019 down 51% from full-year 2018
ACT Research reports that even though most of the major trailer categories showed month-over-month gains, the drop in dry can orders was enough to put the total industry results in the red.

COLUMBUS, Ind. – New U.S. trailer orders of 18,400 were down 13% month-over-month in December, and after accounting for cancellations, net orders of 17,700 dropped 11%. Longer-term comparisons show net orders down 35% year-over-year and 51% lower compared to full-year 2018, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers report provides a monthly review of the current US trailer market statistics, as well as trailer OEM build plans and market indicators divided by all major trailer types, including backlogs, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders and factory shipments. It is accompanied by a database that gives historical information from 1996 to the present.

“While seven of the ten major trailer categories posted month-over-month gains, the sequential 32% drop in dry van orders was significant enough to pull the total industry results into the red,” said Frank Maly, director of CV transportation analysis and research at ACT Research. “Continued softness in both freight volumes and rates are generating financial headwinds for fleets, and as a result, their investment plans continue to be extremely cautious.”

Maly continued, “Fleets are aware that, as a result of weaker OEM orderboards, lead times are dramatically shorter than this time last year, so any orders placed now are likely to be delivered in a much more acceptable timeframe. It is also likely that pricing will be more advantageous.”

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Peterbilt delivers model 579EV to Werner for electric-powered truck pilot program

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Peterbilt has partnered with Werner Enterprises for their electric operations. The 579EV utilizes a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem. (Courtesy: Peterbilt)

DENTON, Texas ­— Werner Enterprises has selected the Peterbilt Model 579EV for their battery electric-powered truck pilot program.

“Werner Enterprises has long been regarded as an industry pioneer, and Peterbilt is honored to partner with them and have our 579EV lead their electric operations,” said PACCAR Vice President and Peterbilt General Manager, Jason Skoog. “Peterbilt is leading the charge in electric vehicle development, with three applications for zero-emissions performance.”

The 579EV delivered to Werner utilizes a TransPower Energy Storage Subsystem with a total storage capacity of 352 kWh.  It is driven by a Meritor Blue-Horizon Mid-Ship Motor Drive Subsystem with up to 430 HP, features an estimated range of about 150 miles and a charging time as little as 1-hour when a fast-charging system is utilized.

Funding for the tractor was provided through the California Air Resource Board California Climate Investments (CCI) program, along with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“Werner is committed to finding alternative ways to keep our trucks environmentally-friendly while staying at the front edge of technology,” said Werner Enterprises President and Chief Executive Officer Derek Leathers. “Now, we’re excited about putting on some real-world miles with a dedicated customer in southern California over the next year.”

Pricing and option availability for 579EVs will be available on the Peterbilt’s SmartSpec sales tool in the second half of 2020.

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