Fleets eager to replace aging equipment, open to other brands, NTEA reports in annual study

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Updated Feb 23, 2023
NTEA Fleet Purchasing Outlook

Nearly 70% of fleet responders say the average age of their trucks currently exceeds their normal replacement cycle and, as such, 95% of responders intend to make at least some equipment acquisitions in 2023, NTEA reports in its 11th annual Fleet Purchasing Outlook report.

NTEA's annual survey exists to assess commercial vehicle procurement plans and identify work truck industry patterns. Insights provided by fleet professionals offer perspective on how the market is changing over time in terms of size, growth rate and technology, NTEA says.

Among responders to this year's survey, 42% say their fleet size is increasing and another 40% indicate it is remaining the same. Additionally, while the 95% percent of responders who intend to make acquisitions this year is up 6% from NTEA's prior survey, 42% of responders also say they would purchase a different brand due to longer lead times and lack of chassis availability.

“The latest survey responses indicate that fleet purchasing activity will focus on deferred replacement and growth,” says Chris Lyon, NTEA director of fleet relations. “These findings are consistent with expectations, as fleets continue to be challenged by the ability to obtain chassis.”

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The NTEA Fleet Purchasing Outlook report gathers feedback from a wide variety of fleet professionals with authority to make commercial vehicle acquisition and specification decisions. Participants come from a wide range of fleet sizes, vehicle weight classes and vocational truck applications across the U.S. and Canada.

NTEA says primary sectors featured in this analysis include government/municipal, construction, delivery and utility/telecom application markets. With current survey results combined with data from previous studies, NTEA says this report delivers year-over-year comparisons for benchmarking purposes and insight into the fleet perspective to help organizations develop future business strategies. 

Other takeaways from this year's survey included fleets' desire to optimize operations, reduce vehicle life cycle costs, source vehicles to backfill deferred replacements and more. NTEA also states acquisition costs and longer lead times are among the biggest challenges fleet managers are facing when purchasing new commercial vehicles.

NTEA says 79% of responders are using drive and duty cycle data and 81% are using telematics to manage their operations, while 77% also are performing in-house maintenance or a combination of in-house maintenance with support from an outside service provider.

The 2023 Fleet Purchasing Outlook is a free report download available to NTEA members. Nonmembers can purchase for $199. For additional details and report access, visit ntea.com/fpo.

NTEA notes other in-depth takeaways found in the report include:

  • Average vehicle age and replacement cycles
  • Projected change in fleet size
  • Acquisition plans and funding
  • Anticipated vehicle platform shifts
  • Technology implementations
  • Conventional and alternative fuels usage
  • Commercial vehicle systems electrification
  • Safety and automation options
  • Commercial vehicle maintenance approaches
  • Lead time considerations
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