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Prime Mover Magazine

Truck sales record smashed this year

A long-standing truck sales record set in 2007 has been eclipsed the Truck Industry Council (TIC) announced this week.

The old mark of 38,131 was surpassed during another bumper month of sales in November.

Sales of an additional 1,827 units in December will ensure the 40,000 mark is reached.

Average sales in December over the past five years, according to the TIC, have been more than 3,020.

This promises a final tally beyond 41,000 heavy vehicles, a barrier long considered improbable.

At the close of November the 2018 year-to-date sales stand at 38,173 following a 7.5 per cent increase in the Heavy  Duty segment for the month.

While the Medium Duty truck segment fell by -4.6 per cent, Light Duty trucks were up 7.5 per cent.

A total of 1,399 units in the Heavy Duty truck segment were delivered in November an increase of 97 on the previous year.

Heavy Duty truck sales for the year ending in November were 10 per cent better than those at the same time of the record year of 2007.

“It is pleasing to see that the 2007 heavy vehicle sales record has finally fallen,” said Tony McMullan, TIC CEO in a statement.

“However, in the eleven years since that benchmark was set, we have witnessed the age of the Australian truck fleet steadily grow older from 14.4 years in 2007 to 15 years average age in 2017, as the nation’s freight task continues to grow year-on-year,” he said.

“Fleet replacement has not kept pace with this growth. It will in fact take more than a decade of record sales for the truck park to return to 14.4 years average age, a number that is twice that of most European countries.”

“So why do I mention this, when many might expect celebrations are in order for this new record? The answer is simple: the Australian road toll is too high and heavy vehicles are over represented in those crashes and this is partly to do with the fact that the older trucks in our nation’s truck fleet do not feature the advanced safety features found in newer trucks.”

“So while TIC and our members are celebrating this new milestone, we are very conscious that there is more work that must be done to improve heavy vehicle road safety in the years ahead,” McMullan said.

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