When new is already broken

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Updated Jan 10, 2016

conspiracy-theory-aheadHey guess what? We looked at a new truck. Yep, we sure did. It was brand-spanking new, super shiny, with all the geegaws and electronic things. We looked at it and both shook our heads and said, “Some poor sap is going to pay through the nose for a bunch of crap that costs a gabillion dollars to fix when it breaks.”

Even if we were in a position to buy a new truck, and the financial market didn’t forecast that we’re all going to starve this year, we wouldn’t buy a brand-new one. And we’re not the only ones.

Let’s face it, owner-operator interest in new trucks has been flagging for a while now. Though they’re still buying new, lately it seems even many fleets have pulled back. It was hard enough to sell many on the emissions equipment, but the FMCSA just put the nail in the coffin with an ELD exemption on trucks that are year model 1999 or older, furthering the desire of many in the truck-buying public to distance themselves from anything that has come off the assembly lines recently.

When I asked our Facebook followers which they would choose if they won a free truck, one hundred percent of the respondents chose having a classic, pre-emissions or Fitzgerald kit over a brand-new truck of any make. If we can’t even hypothetically give the new trucks away, how in the world is anyone surprised the manufacturing plants are hurting?

I feel for the manufacturers — the skull banging they’re getting from the situation seems unfair, and they have a lot working against them, from the “driver shortage” panic, consistent and never-ending problems and complaints about emissions systems, and mandates from the feds making old trucks even more desirable.

If I were a conspiracy-type individual, I’d have to swear the federal gubmint is doing everything it can to systematically destroy every single aspect of the trucking industry as we know it today. It’s too big to fail, but if they shred it into pieces small enough, they can swoop in and save us all with even more regulation and control. He who controls the trucks controls the commerce, and commerce is life.