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Viewpoints: How Does the Surge in Class 8 Orders Affect Your Shop?

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The truck market sees promising sales.

North American Class 8 orders rapidly rose 22 percent last January, according to ACT Research Co. “They were above our expectation,” ACT vice president Steve Tam recently revealed to Transport Topics. The company forecasts production in North America will reach 205,000 units this year, up from 203,000 in 2016.

We asked industry leaders for their feedback about what the demand means for their operations. Here’s what they told us:

 

“We’re not going to see those trucks in our shops until they’re off warranty. But, on the flip side, owners doing towing and roadside repairs are going to see an increase in business.” Marlin Fox, co-owner, Quality Truck & Tire Service in Clare, Michigan

“I don’t think it’s going to affect us. The newer trucks will still be on warranty, and, if more [models] come out, they’re going to have problems. I’m a tow truck driver, so I’ll benefit from the increase on [that] side of it.” Buck Monson, co-owner, Monson Truck & Trailer Repair in Davenport, Iowa, and East Moline, Illinois

“With the surge in orders of new trucks may come a lot cheaper used truck prices. The older trucks we work on may get ‘upgraded’ to the newer trucks that those buyers will trade in. These days newer trucks and new trucks are just as problematic as old trucks. The main reason would be emissions related items.” Todd Scheffer, co-owner, Scheffer Truck Service in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

“We will need more software because of the new technology fitted on the trucks coming out. I don’t see it hurting the industry where I’m located because there’s so much work around us. There will probably be a dip at first, but after that there will be more [vehicles] out there to work on.” Judy Lindenmuth, co-owner, The Truck Shoppe in Sacramento, California

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