VMAC’s recent survey on the state of the mobile compressed air industry has revealed many interesting findings, including the average age of fleet vehicles with air compressors. Our survey results contradict previous results compiled by the NTEA, suggesting that vehicles with air compressors tend to be newer and, possibly, replaced more often.
What is the average age of service vehicles in your fleet?
The following chart demonstrates the replies we received when we asked, “What is the average age of service vehicles in your fleet?” to our survey respondents.
VMAC’s survey indicated newer vehicles aged 0 to 9 years made up 74% of fleets. After 9 years, there was a sharp drop off in the number of fleets with average vehicles 10 years and older. Only 5% of respondents reported that the average age of the vehicles in their fleets was over 20 years old.
Vehicles with compressed air are younger than average U.S. commercial truck
These results are an interesting deviation from results reported by NTEA in 2018, which stated the average age of service trucks was 11.5 to 16.5 years, depending on GVW. The NTEA also found that the average age of commercial trucks in the U.S. rose between 2008 and 2018 from 12.8 years to 14.2 years.
“Last year brought historic registration volumes that made commercial headlines soar. While all of these new trucks may, in time, drive down average vehicle age, there is a large population of older, registered trucks still running on our roadways,” wrote Dawn Brusseau of HIS Markit, in a guest editorial on the NTEA website.
The NTEA also noted that large fleets have a direct impact on the age of the overall truck population: “In 2018, new commercial vehicle registrations (Classes 4–8) for large fleets increased by 20%, resulting in availability of clean used equipment. Large fleets typically trade in their vehicles every three years, so with each cycle and the increase of the truck population in this segment, we should continue to see replacement buying, rejuvenating overall fleet age.”
Dawn Brusseau also speculated that a desire for alternative fuel sources and the need for replacement parts may influence vehicle replacement, and concluded that, “Trucks will continue to age until total cost of ownership shifts from far to near term. Technology advancements, regulatory requirements and economic factors have the potential to move the aging trend downward.”
This dichotomy in data suggests that service truck operators who work in industries that require compressed air are more likely to rely on newer vehicle technology. These industries include heavy equipment repair, utility servicing, and commercial tire services. The survey results suggest this type of work is best done with the latest technology, or that ongoing wear and tear to these vehicles requires more frequent replacement.
About VMAC’s State of the Mobile Compressed Air Industry Survey
VMAC surveyed 205 people for the State of the Mobile Compressed Air Survey, between October 2019 and January 2020*. Each participant spent approximately 7 minutes, answering 25 questions in an online survey to share their perspective on the state of the industry.