The automobile industry isn’t the only manufacturing sector experiencing lengthy production delays. The trucking industry has been equally impacted – perhaps even more so – and manufacturers are struggling to meet client demand.
Lane Powell, general manager of leasing for the Peterbilt Truck Parts & Equipment dealership in Sparks, told NNBW that his allotment of standard big rig trucks has been halved, and that wait times for custom orders has quadrupled.
“On the retail side we order stock trucks that are specced to meet the needs of our general customer base,” Powell said. “We have to pick and choose who we give the trucks to, which is difficult. We do a lot of municipalities in this area, we do mining, construction equipment – we serve a lot of different markets in this community.”
Custom-order specialized trucks, meanwhile, were historically built in about three or four months; today, delivery could take as long as 18 months. In the interim, the dealership will put special-order customers into an off-the-shelf truck to drive while theirs is being built.
The leasing side of Peterbilt’s business has changed as well. Customers often lease trucks for five- to seven-year terms, but since they can’t get replacement vehicles they are keeping those rigs on the road when their leases expire.
“Ideally we would like to get them a new one and sell the old one – that’s the life cycle,” Powell said. “But we haven’t been able to do that because of shortages.”
With customers putting more miles on leased trucks, those rigs are breaking down more, and replacement parts have become equally hard to procure.
“It all trickles down and circles back to the shortages,” Powell said.