Increase In New Truck Registrations

The latest Polk’s Quarterly Commercial Vehicle Report revealed good news for trucking companies and those in truck driving jobs. New registrations for Class 3-8 vehicles were up over 23 percent in 2011. More than 461,000 commercial trucks were registered last year, as compared to just under 375,000 in 2010. This represents a nearly 40 percent increase in registrations over 2009. However, as encouraging as these figures are for the trucking industry, they represent a significant decrease over the number of new registrations in 2006, which was just over 800,000.

New Class 3-8 registrations for December showed the lowest month-over-month increase of the year, with an increase of nearly 11 percent over December 2010. August of 2011 had the most new registrations of any month last year.

Although there was a slight decline in Class 7 commercial vehicles in 2011, all other weight classes showed an increase over 2010’s numbers. New registrations for Class 8 vehicles increased by just over 38 percent, and Class 3 registrations were up slightly more than 20 percent. Between them, Class 8 and Class 3 vehicles made up more than two-thirds of new commercial vehicle registrations in 2011, compared to 63.5 percent in 2010.

New registrations in the Class 3 category started out strong in January 2011, reaching their highest number since 2008. The numbers decreased in February, but continued to show steady increases through the rest of the year.

Class 8 registrations held steady at 2010 levels as 2011 began, but began to pick up as the year went on, showing steady growth throughout the remainder of the year. In fact, the final five months of 2011 showed registration levels that were the highest the industry had seen since June 2007.

Together, new and used Class3-8 registrations amounted to 1.25 million, representing an increase of nearly 20 percent over 2010’s numbers and providing reason for optimism for those looking for an increase in truck driving jobs in the near future. New registrations made up nearly 37 percent of the commercial vehicles that were registered in 2011, which is an increase of almost 36 percent over 2010’s totals.

In 2011, sales of used commercial vehicles broke the trucking industry record that was set in 2010. However, used Class 8 sales were down 4.5 percent, with a 22 percent decrease from the previous year’s numbers in the final quarter alone. This is attributed to the dramatic increase in registrations of new Class 8 vehicles and a shortage of suitable used Class 8 vehicles. This is expected to level out during the first quarter of 2012 as a result of the flood of new Class 8 registrations during the final five months of 2011, and trucking companies can expect the shortage to ease.

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