According to a survey compiled by Trailer/Body Builders magazine, the three largest trailer manufacturers—Great Dane, Wabash National Corp, and Utility Trailer Mfg—stepped up production of truck trailers in 2003 by 30% over the year before.
The combined output of the 30 trailer manufacturers surveyed saw a 21% jump in trailer output in 2003.
"We think 2004 should be a strong year for the trailer industry as fleets add capacity to offset the hours-of-service regulations and fleets invest in new trailer technology to improve productivity," said William Greubel, chief executive officer of Wabash.
The trend toward higher trailer output reprises a familiar tune as truck manufacturers are also rolling out deliveries in high volumes. The Volvo Group, which includes Mack, Renault, and Volvo, recently posted a 45% increase in North American deliveries in February 2004 over the same month in 2003.
Analysts say the brisk activity seen in truck and trailer sales reflects the strong output the manufacturing sector has produced recently.