New heavy vehicle registrations in Australia declined by 11% in 2015, according to data published by the Australian Road Transport Suppliers’ Association (ARTSA). The reductions were not uniform with heavy trailers down 20% and prime movers down 12% compared with 2014. There was modest growth for rigid trucks and buses, however.
Retirements continued their established trend and finished the year 37% above the 2014 figure. Again, the standout was trailers with a huge 72% increase in retirements. All other categories had double digit increases in retirements.
The net result is that the growth in total heavy vehicle registrations for Australia (i.e. new vehicles less retirements) has halved from 2.6% for 2014 to just 1.3% in 2015. This is a major contraction. If this trend continues, ARTSA said there could be no net increase in registered heavy vehicles this year.
According to ARTSA Chairman Pete Hart, “the contraction in the mining sector will have slowed road train work and probably resulted in dollies as well as single trailers being parked up. Apart from this, older trailers would also be next for retirement when freight volumes decline.”
“We will be examining these changes in some detail in the upcoming ARTSA Game Changers Conference on the 3rd and 4th May in Melbourne,” he added.