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Vehicle Research

Positive Outlook for Medium-Duty Truck Purchases

February 06, 2013

The sixty-four responses received by CK Commercial Vehicle Research (CKCVR) to its Q1 2013 Fleet Sentiment Report inquiry show positive signs for medium and heavy commercial truck and trailer purchases. The FSR Buying Index which captures overall planned buying activity for the next three months has risen above the 100 benchmark for the first time since the inception of the index in Q1 2008.  The full FSR Buying Index table can be accessed at

Highlights from the Q1 2013 Fleet Sentiment Report:

  • FSR Buying Index at 103.8 highest since Q2 2012.  The Buying Index measures percent of fleets planning to buy medium-/heavy-duty trucks and trailers along with expected volume of those orders – for the three months following the inquiry. 
  • New orders are primarily for replacement needs.
  • Q1 2013 showed a 15-percent year-over-year improvement in the number of fleets that planned to order trucks.
  • Great Dane to receive largest portion of trailer orders from group responding to Q1 2013 survey.
  • Majority of fleets responding have sufficient freight demand to meet their fleet capacity; 43 percent are impacted by a shortage of drivers for current equipment.
  • “Driver education and experience” was chosen by the largest percentage of survey participants to have a positive impact on fuel efficiency.  Other items that can or have improved fuel efficiency identified by more than 50 percent were: Speed Governors, Idle Control Products, Aero Cab Designs, Low Rolling Resistant Tires, Engine Characteristics, Aluminum Wheels and Automatic Tire Inflation Systems.

Responses were received between January 15 and January 24.  More information about the Fleet Sentiment Report and how to subscribe can be found at

CKCVR regularly polls a group of small, medium, and large for-hire, private, and government fleet operators about their equipment purchasing plans and overall fleet environment. Each quarter, an estimated sixty participants report on their planned medium- and heavy-duty truck and trailer purchases including brand preferences, and whether they are designated for replacement or added capacity.

Additional information is reported from the group including equipment utilization rates, parked vehicles, freight demand vs. fleet capacity, and the driver shortage impact on their fleet. Complete survey results are reported in the Fleet Sentiment Report, a quarterly report published by CK Commercial Vehicle Research.

For more information about the Fleet Sentiment Report or other fleet studies conducted by CKCVR, visit , send an e-mail to [email protected] or call (614) 459-9369. 

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