Enjoy The Ride

Getting more out of the heavy-duty and fleet marketplace.

Both actions benefited the heavy-duty market ... for a while. Vehicle manufacturers realized gains from a spike in sales, while suppliers and repairers benefited from more dollars being allocated for maintenance.

Either route is good for the tool dealer. More services being performed translates to the availability of more tool-purchasing dollars, and new technologies mean new products are needed to keep pace.

But that was nothing compared to the reaction to similar regulations taking hold in 2007, which represent a 90 percent reduction in emissions from the 2004 standard. In response to these more stringent guidelines, annual sales of class 8 vehicles have increased nearly 75 percent since 2003, and could double by the end of this year.

The downside, for people like Mack and Freightliner, is that following these sales and production spikes are periods of significant drop-off. The EPA, however, should keep this roller coaster going, as another set of emissions standards are set for 2010.

Although the ups and downs of new vehicle sales will continue to impact this marketplace, the heavy-duty and fleet customer base is a good one to tap. Not only will your business benefit from the constant need to service these vehicles, but also from the relative stability and size of the shops that need your tools and equipment.

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