Orders for new Class 8 trucks strong in May, ACT and FTR data shows

Both FTR and ACT Research reported strong Class 8 vehicle North America net orders for May.

FTR’s data showed that Class 8 preliminary net orders were 18,900 units. That is up 25% from April and 37% from a year earlier. 

The 12-month total is 273,900 units. However, that is running behind the data for the corresponding five-month period of 2023, when the order totals were 298,700 units. Dan Moyer, senior analyst for commercial vehicles at FTR, said in the company’s monthly report that it expects...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/orders-for-new-class-8-trucks-strong-in-may-act-and-ftr-data-shows

EV startup Harbinger snags $400M in commercial vehicle chassis orders

Harbinger, a startup building medium-duty electric commercial vehicle chassis, announced Tuesday 4,000 vehicle pre-orders valued at more than $400 million. 

Among companies ordering electric vehicle chassis from Harbinger is Bimbo Bakeries USA, the U.S. business unit of Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baking company. Harbinger also received an order from Thor Industries, one of the world’s largest recreational vehicle manufacturers, the company said.

“While other new entrants struggle to fill...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/ev-startup-harbinger-snags-400m-in-commercial-vehicle-chassis-orders

FleetPulse spun off from Great Dane, raises $11M for trailer telematics

Trailer telematics provider FleetPulse announced Wednesday it is spinning off as its own company after being incubated under trailer manufacturer Great Dane since 2017. 

“As the first OEM to develop a smart trailer solution, Great Dane is proud of the growth achieved by FleetPulse and excited that these offerings can now be made available as part of an independent company to push the broader industry forward,” Rick Mullininx, president and COO of Great Dane, said in the release.

The telematics...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/fleetpulse-spun-off-from-great-dane-raises-11m-for-trailer-telematics

New Class 8 truck orders in April up from a year ago, down from March

The weak trucking market, so evidenced in disastrous first-quarter earnings for both truckload and LTL carriers, is having a mixed impact on new Class 8 truck orders, according to the two key companies that track that data.

FTR Transportation Intelligence reported that preliminary net orders for April were 14,000 units. That was down 28% from March but up 12.5% from April 2023. 

Meanwhile, ACT Research pegged Class 8 net orders last month at 15,600 units. That was down 1,800, or 10.3%, from March...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/new-class-8-truck-orders-in-april-up-from-a-year-ago-down-from-march

Could autonomous trucks help save the planet?

It’s understood that autonomous trucks boost fuel efficiency compared to human-driven big rigs.

But the potential energy efficiency gains could be far greater.

In a white paper released Tuesday, Aurora Innovation looked at immediate, medium- and longer-term opportunities and found some obvious and not-so-obvious savings.

The headline factoid: Autonomous trucks could achieve 13%-32% net energy efficiency improvement per loaded mile compared to human-driven miles. It is a lot to digest. 

Aurora makes...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/could-autonomous-trucks-help-save-the-planet

Deal averts strike at Daimler North America as UAW celebrates pact

A four-year contract has been reached between the United Auto Workers and Daimler Truck North America, averting a strike at several U.S. facilities that could have started Saturday and shut down production of Freightliner and Western Star trucks.

The pact covers approximately 7,400 workers at Daimler North America (NASDAQ: DTGHF) facilities who build Freightliner and Western Star trucks: the Mount Holly, North Carolina, truck manufacturing plant; the Cleveland, North Carolina, truck...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/deal-averts-strike-at-daimler-north-america-as-uaw-celebrates-pact

FreightTech Friday: Wabash sees success with trailers-as-a-service

Recently, FreightWaves spoke with Wabash Director of Strategic Programs Glen Stewart about the company’s trailers-as-a-service (TaaS) offering, designed to help increase asset uptime. 

According to the company, it has secured a near 100% recovery rate for its customers’ damaged trailers in 2024. “If damaged, trailers are fixed immediately, or a loaner can be provided,” a Wabash representative told FreightWaves.

Related:Wabash’s new trailers-as-a-service platform to support FreightVana’s...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/freighttech-friday-wabash-sees-success-with-trailers-as-a-service

Autonomous trucking may descend the rabbit hole of local politics

Autonomous trucking regulation is already a state-by-state issue. In California, it may soon embody the adage “All politics are local.” Advocates of driverless vehicles see passage of newly introduced legislation as a death knell for the technology.

After vetoing legislation last year that would have required a human driver in autonomous vehicles over 10,000 pounds, California Gov. Gavin Newsom may again have to choose between two of his main constituencies: Big Tech and organized labor.

2 bills...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/autonomous-trucking-may-descend-the-rabbit-hole-of-local-politics

Drop in Class 8 truck orders in March looks big but analysts aren’t worried

Orders for Class 8 trucks were down in March, according to the two key agencies that supply that data, but the decline is not being described as significant.

According to ACT Research, preliminary data shows that North America Class 8 net orders were 17,300 units in March, which was down 10,400 units from February and 8.7% from a year ago.

Meanwhile, FTR Transportation Intelligence reported a net order figure of 18,200 Class 8 vehicles last month. FTR said that is down 34% from its February...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/drop-in-class-8-truck-orders-in-march-looks-big-but-analysts-arent-worried

Hydrogen mania at key energy conference in ’23 more tempered in ’24

HOUSTON — At CERAWeek’s energy conference in 2023, hydrogen was all the rage. The fuel that is seen by many as eventually the only real pathway for the Class 8 trucking sector to join the energy transition away from petroleum was coming off a legislative victory in Washington with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and its generous incentives for producing hydrogen from renewable fuels, so-called green hydrogen.

A year later, at CERAWeek 2024, a parade of presenters at the...

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/hydrogen-mania-at-key-energy-conference-in-23-more-tempered-in-24

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