Fleet Uptime: The keys to maximizing truck uptime via aftermarket parts and service
Every industry has its trends, and when we look at the trucking data, we see trends too, like the current and continuous rise of last-mile delivery.
Let’s take a look at what trends like last-mile means for the future of medium-duty trucks.
The rise of medium-duty is buoyed by both the last-mile boom and by a growing tendency among some fleets to favor Class 6 trucks. These trucks don’t typically require a CDL, so the thought is this translates into attracting a wider pool of drivers. And it makes sense at a time when the driver pool continues to challenge our industry.
Requiring a CDL further limits available drivers, so some fleets may opt to change their transportation operations to run these trucks. Of course, there are certain payloads that require a CDL regardless of chassis GVWR.
In 2021, 32% of the medium-duty market was comprised of pickup and delivery, while 37% was lease rental, giving the two 69% of the market combined. That’s a ridiculously huge part of the market, but there are plenty of other applications to keep tabs on too, like those in the vocational space. Here, whether or not a driver needs a CDL isn’t likely to drive significant change, because typically, vocational fleets need trucks with higher GVWRs.
We’re also seeing industry-wide trends toward safety items like collision mitigation and camera use, neither of which are particularly tied to last-mile. Today’s medium-duty trucks feature easily accessed service points to get the truck in and out of the shop quickly, too. We also see features like a semi-wraparound dash becoming popular, like in Mack’s MD series.
Of course, we can’t forget about the rise of electric. As electric vehicles emerge in the Class 6 and 7 market, we will likely see some of the historical vehicle class, configuration, and differentiation lines – like engine displacement and visibility – blur. Some of these lines, though, like overall vehicle weight as it relates to CDL requirements, will remain a constant.