Truck mix change worth watching

Feb. 26, 2018
It’s too soon to call it a trend but we are seeing some signs of a move toward more daycabs.

It’s too soon to call it a trend but we are seeing some signs of a move toward more daycabs. This is likely due in part to the growth of e-commerce and its role in changing distribution patterns.

I was curious about what actually numbers looked like so I reached out to our friends at ACT Research. I asked them for data looking at the mix of daycabs and sleepers in over-the-road Class 8 tractors.  And here is what I found:  The mix has been pretty stable with 63% of trucks being sleepers and 37% being daycabs over the past decade, but in 2016 the mix was 62/38 and for 2017 it was 56/44.

Like I said it is too soon to say it’s a trend, but the numbers are interesting and might be showing us that daycabs are becoming more common.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this for sure. Although much of the work NACFE does focuses on sleeper tractors, we think fuel efficiency will be just as important for daycabs as it is for sleeper tractors. After all, fuel will still be a big cost factor for fleets even if the mix of their trucks changes.

Fleet rationalization — have the right mix of trucks for your operation — is a way to improve your fleet’s overall freight efficiency. We all need to continue to watch changes in consumer buying patterns and delivery expectations and respond accordingly when making truck-buying decisions.

About the Author

Michael Roeth | Executive Director

Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). He serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

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