Survey: Driver availability issues now hindering fleet equipment purchases

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In answer to multiple questions regarding the current operating environment, many and varied types of trucking fleets report that the inability to find and retain qualified drivers is hindering their ability to grow and add equipment. Lotsa-trucks

That’s the conclusion of the Q2 2014 Fleet Sentiment Report survey, conducted in April by CK Commercial Vehicle Research.

As an example, when asked what factors most impacted their equipment purchases – outside of normal business conditions and freight demand – 55 percent indicated it was driver availability, the highest of any of the choices they were given.

Additionally, CKCVR’s FSR Buying Index for the second quarter came in at a reading of 101.8, down from the first quarter but slightly above the same quarter in 2013.  The index is based truck and trailer planned purchase activity for the next three months and expected unit volume.

Just 2 percent of the planned power units to be ordered were designated for added capacity, reflecting the inability of fleets to put additional power units into service without equivalent drivers, the report suggests.

Other results from the survey reflect a tight capacity situation with high utilization, virtually no trucks parked for lack of work, and an overall positive view of business conditions.

CK Commercial Vehicle Research has been surveying fleets for more than a decade and data reported in the Fleet Sentiment Report tracks activity from 2006.