Five truck trend takeaways from July

Five truck trend takeaways from July

1. The summer months spell trouble for truck tires

Rubber on the road, more commonly called “road alligators,” increase dramatically on the nation’s highways during the summer driving season. The majority of the motoring public clearly believes that these road alligators are caused by bad retreads; this is just not accurate. The alligators on the road could be new tires or, maybe, retreads. If either a new tire or retread is running underinflated based on the vehicle load and speed for an extended period of time, that tire can fail with the result a road alligator.

As we reach the dog days of the summer, long days driving in the heat can have serious effects on your truck’s tires. Al Cohn analyzes the main problems tires run into in the summer, and how to avoid them. Click here to read our truck tire tips.

2. Growth is forecasted for the truck orders

“The million dollar question,” says Eric Starks, FTR president, “is how long can this be sustained? We say, it should last for a good period of time.”

Truck orders and backlogs have peaked, but according to FTR’s numbers, growth is still ahead for the trucking industry. Want even more insight? Click here to read the latest report.

3. Advanced safety system adoption is on the rise

The collision mitigation systems on UPS’s new Class 8 tractors, which were developed by Bendix LLC, feature lane departure warnings, electronic stability control and anti-lock air disc brakes. The company has introduced them in a test run to a few of its trucks, and is now ready to make the features standard. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that all passenger and commercial vehicles use this technology.

Driving a tractor is a huge responsibility for drivers and fleets alike, and it’s one they shouldn’t take lightly. Many fleets are embracing new technology, adding advanced safety features to their trucks to help keep everyone safe. Click here to read the technology adoption reasons of one of the country’s biggest fleets.

4. It’s time to raise service expectations

From the dealer perspective, investing in service operations is an opportunity to improve its overall business, while providing decreased service turn-around times to its customers. Both Rick Reynolds, president and dealer principal, Peach State Truck Centers, and Brad Fauvre, president of Velocity Vehicle Group, agree that the Elite Support program was, and continues to be, essential in providing a better service product to its fleet customers.

Safety might be priority one for fleets, but it’s far from the only thing that companies are working to improve. Companies such as Daimler are working to improve the service experience, which Daimler is doing through their Elite Support program, a set of guidelines governing dealer certification. Click here to read about how dealers are stepping up their service game to help you improve your business.

5. Autonomous vehicles could be the future of trucking

Finally, here’s something that’s not just a July trend, but has been growing in prominence for many months and is edging ever closer to being the new norm for trucks: Autonomous vehicles. Autonomous trucks still have some regulation hoops to jump through, but the technology is here today, as Fleet Equipment‘s Editor-at-Large Carol Birkland learned when she visited Peterbilt. Here’s the video of her firsthand experience with Peterbilt’s autonomous truck:

If you’re hungry for even more meaty truck-focused video content, head over to our FE’s On the Road video hub by clicking here where we archive all of our episodes.

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