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Heavy-duty

Three truck market takeaways from Fleet Advantage

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Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 15 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

Fleet business analytics provider Fleet Advantage shared three areas of focus for the heavy-duty truck market following its fiscal year ending June 30. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. economy is expected to grow 6.9% this year, a staunch increase from the 3.5% contraction in 2020. This has resulted in many organizations looking to upgrade their heavy-duty truck fleets to handle the demand from shipping partners and customers.

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Increased lease originations, shorter life cycles

Fleet Advantage’s Lease Origination volume totaled $660 million, with a portfolio of over $1.5 billion in assets under management. Fleet Advantage says its focus on helping transportation fleets shorten their trucks’ life cycle has helped build the youngest average Class 8 fleet in the industry, at 2.5 years and 267,000 miles (compared to the industry average 6.3 years and 610,000 miles) with average driving MPG over 7.0. The focus on fleet modernization has enabled its clients to significantly increase overall productivity, reduce truck operating downtime, save millions of gallons of diesel fuel, decrease emissions, and lower their cost-per-mile in maintenance and repair (M&R) expenses, according to the company. It also increases advancements in safety technology and driver recruitment and retention.

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Newer trucks equal safer trucks

Fleet Advantage’s Safety First Program focuses on safety proactively by shortening equipment life cycles to onboard new safety technology more rapidly. Safety technologies include collision avoidance, lane departure and blind spot assist to keep drivers and other motorists safer, while also reducing exposure to expensive litigation. According to a June 2020 report by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the average size of verdicts increased 967% from $2,305,736 in 2010 to $22,288,000 in 2018.

The Fleet Advantage Class 8 Fleet Customer Safety Advancements for FY 2021 include:
• 95% collision avoidance;
• 98% lane departure; and
• 81% blindspot assist.

Driving sustainability goals

Shortened life cycles are also having a direct and distinct impact on corporate sustainability measures. Fleet Advantage’s efforts have been focused on driving sustainability throughout its organization and that of its client partners by working with customers to lessen their overall environmental impact and execute on their sustainability goals. As a result, the company says it has significantly reduced fleet CO2 through the implementation of constantly improving cleaner new diesel truck technologies. These measures are critical since, according to Pieter Tans, senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), businesses are adding roughly 40 billion metric tons of CO2 pollution per year.

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Fleet Advantage shares that it recently helped two Top 100 fleets eliminate over 55,000 metric tons of CO2 and conserve over 5 million of gallons of fuel. At $3.00 per gallon of diesel, that equates to improved MPG and over $16 million in reduced fuel expenditures, the company noted.

“There is a significant bounce-back of activity in many businesses, which is increasing demand for both new and used trucks to handle the shipment of goods across the country,” said John Flynn, chief executive officer of Fleet Advantage. “Our new purchases combined with off-lease used sales exceeded 6,000 Class 8 tractors. Our model of clean-diesel and safety-enhanced trucks with shorter life cycles and flexible finance options compliments what many of our customers are seeking in the market including economic and social governance [ESG].

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