2022 TRUCK TRENDS

FOUR TRUCK TRENDS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

2021 was transformative in a number of ways. It changed behaviors, spending patterns, administrations, and attitudes. It also showed the need to remain nimble. COVID has made sure of that. New trends are also rapidly changing our lives. Some spurred on by COVID, and some well underway before COVID. But all of it directly affects the trucking industry. As a backbone of the world economy, trucking is at the center of it all. As leading indicator, it’s not surprising that analysts closely monitor what’s happening in the trucking industry as they develop investment plans. Let’s take a closer look at some of the trucking trends the world is keeping an eye on.

ELECTRIFICATION


Electric trucks are coming. We all know that. The question is when? In a classic chicken or the egg scenario, no one is quite sure if the trucks will arrive before the charging infrastructure or if the infrastructure will come first. Commercial vehicle charging is different than passenger car charging.  Commercial vehicles require faster charging rates due to much larger battery capacities and larger parking spaces to accommodate the vehicle.

What is certain, as of today, regional trucking is a far better candidate for electrification. Trucks that leave from a central depot, trucks that can be charged overnight, trucks with frequent stop and go points in a route, and trucks that do not have the range requirements of an on-highway truck, are ideal. Trucks like the International eMV do not need to travel vast distances to make deliveries. Plus, electric trucks may be allowed to travel on streets or in locations where internal combustion engines are currently prohibited from going. In addition, they will likely not require the same amount of service and they certainly won’t have to worry about fluctuating gas prices. 

In the end, businesses that build their own charging infrastructure will be one step ahead of the competition. The chicken-or-egg conundrum is irrelevant to them. They will be in charge of their own destiny and will be able to deploy an electric fleet from day one. To assist with the complex task of creating the infrastructure, consulting groups like NEXT eMobility Solutions from Navistar, work hand-in-hand with customers to develop a robust electrification strategy.

LIVE TRADE SHOWS


Trade shows are back! Kinda. We still don’t know what COVID is going to do, it’s likely that we’ll see a combination of both virtual and in-person conferences in 2022 and in some cases, hybrid events that mix virtual/in-person activities. Conferences that are mostly educational will likely remain virtual as people have become familiar with webinars, but for Trade Shows, there are many benefits to holding in-person shows for networking purposes.

There’s really no better way to launch a new product than at a show. That’s why International plans to be at several trade shows in the coming year. Potential customers may not be aware of the new or revised International products and services, plus, it offers an excellent change to speak directly with International Truck representatives.

In 2022, expect to see many presentations and product launches in the areas of electrification, autonomy and connectivity. These innovations will have a huge impact on the trucking industry and trade shows offer a unique opportunity to speak directly with those currently in the process of developing and perfecting them.

DRIVER SHORTAGES


It’s hard to find good drivers. Sound familiar? It was true well before the pandemic and it’s painfully true now. The job is not easy. And potential candidates are turning to other lines of work. But trucking companies are adapting. Many understand the desire of drivers to stay closer to home, to be able to take more time off and to make a decent wage. Consumers are still buying more overall than before the pandemic, but the driver pool is actual smaller, so the need will have to be addressed.

technology


Productivity technology has been growing within the trucking world for many years, providing valuable tools that can help manage government regulations, improve efficiencies and lower costs.

Products like OnCommand Connection deliver actionable intel on a wide range of data points. This powerful Advanced Remote Diagnostics tool can tell you what’s going on with each truck in your fleet, including fault code descriptions and severity ratings, likely needed parts and service, plus links to dealer parts availability with GPS mapping to nearby service centers.

Also coming on fast is autonomous vehicle technology. This is one trend that may develop within the trucking industry before the automotive industry - especially with on-highway vehicles. Almost every truck manufacturer is working on an autonomous platform and prototypes are already on the road. How this technology will be regulated is still unknown as we’re still in the very early stages of this trend.

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