Key truck industry findings released by Isuzu Australia

Craig White.

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) has released new independent industry research revealing evolving trends and challenges within Australia’s road transport sector. ​

Developed in conjunction with external research specialists, The Future of Trucking Report: The Way Forward is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind ever conducted in Australia.

The report highlights findings from more than 1,300 survey respondents from transport operators, including prominent general freight and last mile delivery fleets, through to construction, government, health and other niche industry sectors — with the results offering a unique insight into the state of Australia’s essential road transport industry.

IAL Director and Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Harbison, explained that since first publishing the inaugural The Future of Trucking report in 2020, the road transport operating landscape has continued to evolve, both locally and globally.

“An important goal of this year’s report was to identify and monitor emerging and entrenched trends, and to look at how operators are navigating these within the Australian truck industry,” he said.

“The second instalment of the study uses this critical lens to delve into these issues with the intent of better understanding overall industry sentiment, evolving technology systems, as well as procurement and maintenance requirements.

“There’s no doubt that our industry is on the cusp of transformation, especially in relation to technological and regulatory change.

“Pleasingly, our updated findings paint a confident picture of a strong and proactive sector ready to grapple with these challenges head-on.”

The Australian truck industry is expected to evolve rapidly in the coming three years but with that growth would come tighter profit margins and rising fuel prices. While these were identified as the major challenges to commercial vehicle fleets, business sentiment indicated that growth expectations were bullish from previous findings in response to the expansive national freight task.

The average tenure of new truck ownership remains at six years. Concurrently, the purchase preference for pre-built OEM vehicles as an alternative to custom built trucks has increased for Australian businesses.

The evaluation of new truck ‘total cost of ownership’ continues to be the primary driver of purchase over initial upfront pricing, with this approach having increased since previous findings.

In regard to technology and safety, data reveals that the market continues to be motivated by increasing safety standards, and bolstering safety remained the number one reason for adopting new truck technology.

In the next five years, Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) are some of the key safety technologies business are looking to adopt.

Active (autonomous) safety features available in new model trucks are being more widely adopted by larger fleets and Government operators.

Australian fleets have indicated, as another key takeaway from the report, a strong appetite for the adoption of zero tailpipe emission vehicles, though the timescale for introduction remains mixed.

Perceptions continue to improve surrounding the current suitability of electric trucks and supporting charging infrastructure, with participants earmarking electric vehicles as a key solution to Australia’s transport future in the next 10 to 15 years.

Industry awareness and action on Chain of Responsibility (CoR) compliance remains unchanged from previous findings with three out of ten operators unaware of CoR or without policies to comply.

Businesses indicated a preference for completing major truck repairs at OEM dealerships (including parts and componentry), citing workmanship, timeliness, or service and availability of parts as key factors.

John Walker, IAL’s Head of Marketing and Customer Experience and Project Lead for The Future of Trucking report, said these fresh findings point to the innate resilience across the sector. ​

“Be it regulatory, societal or technological, a key theme emerging from the report is that change within our sector is as constant as it is ongoing,” said Walker.

“Overwhelmingly, our latest report shows significant positivity about the overall position of the road transport sector. We trust that this ongoing research project will arm and assist strategic thinking and decision making within our industry.”

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