Despite various sources indicating a slowdown in the trucking industry, the production of Class 8 trucks is still growing. Large diesel engines continue to dominate the commercial trucking industry, according to recent data.
Pressures on Class 8 Trucks
There are a number of pressures moving the production of Class 8 trucks to taper in 2020. First, diesel power is not considered a clean or renewable energy source. Truck manufacturers have been developing and testing alternative energy engines with power comparable to Class 8 diesel trucks. Even now, diesel companies are working with Class 8 truck manufacturers to make diesel engines that are more efficient and cleaner. One of the other big pressures on Class 8 trucks comes from emissions regulations. This is pushing manufacturers to consider electric, hydro, and even ethanol engines for larger trucks.
Economic Forecasts and Class 8 Production
Class 5 thru 7 truck production is expected to remain at its current high level for the next few years, while Class 8 trucks will taper off by 2020. Resource scarcity and environmental concerns aren’t the only reasons why the shift is taking place. The trucking industry and the way we do business is also focusing more on medium-power trucks over large haulers. Smaller trucking companies are showing significant growth. Demands for last mile services fit better with Class 5-7 instead of Class 8 trucks. Maintenance and running costs are lowered when fleets don’t use larger trucks. In short, we may see Class 8 vehicles being relegated to highly niche industries and purposes.
While production of Class 8 vehicles will show growth for the middle of 2019, things will taper off by the end of the year, and that trend is expected to continue into 2020. The reduced production is not doom and gloom like some analysts are predicting, but rather a new approach to trucking. The industry has witnessed a number of big changes in the past few years alone, and this is just another addition to the growing list. As the market shifts and as e-commerce becomes more prevalent, along with the aforementioned production of alternative energy vehicles, we are all going to have to adapt in order to continue building a strong economy.