Brent Nussbaum and his employee-owned carrier receive fewer new Class 8 trucks, but a strong maintenance program helps keep older trucks on the road longer.
Nussbaum Transportation does not buy used trucks, so the ability to add capacity is off the table. The company was recently named one of the best fleets to drive by, the Truck Carriers Association and CarriersEdge. He was also inducted into the Best Fleets to Drive For Hall of Fame category.
Brent, who became CEO in 2000 after his father, who founded Nussbaum in 1945 with a single truck, is promising but realistic about repairing an interrupted supply chain.
He shared several observations with FreightWaves.
FREIGHT WAVES: What is Nussbaum’s experience in this environment?
NUSSBAUM: “[We] order everything from one manufacturer, Freightliner, every year. We ordered 130 pieces for delivery in 2022 and reduced them to 110 because they could not produce so many because they are still catching up last year. We usually place an order when the order table opens, and we try to spread the delivery between the first, second, and third quarters, although this year the vast majority will be delivered in the third and fourth quarters because they have problems. to obtain parts for production. ”
FREIGHTWAVES: How long does it take to get new Class 8 trucks from order?
NUSSBAUM: “For this year’s order, it will be one year from the order to delivery. Our current experience is that manufactured trucks are coming off the line incomplete. ”
Finding parts is a challenge
FREIGHTWAVES: Did you come up with any other solution besides keeping the current trucks on the road longer?
NUSSBAUM: “Because we have such a great maintenance program, our strategy is to continue to maintain and operate trucks longer. The only challenge with this strategy is to continue to find the parts. ”
FREIGHT WAVES: To what extent do you think the lasting change in the business cycle persists supply restrictions (especially semiconductors)?
NUSSBAUM: “I do not believe it will be permanent, but there is still a greater and greater need for semiconductors in all kinds of products. I’m not sure where the capacity comes from. We believe it will last at least until 2023, maybe until 2024. ”
Concerns about the recession
FREIGHTWAVES: If the industry is heading for a recession, do you see that orders placed in recent years are in danger of being canceled?
NUSSBAUM: “Most medium-sized and larger fleets will continue to buy each year to maintain their business cycles. However, if the used truck market collapses, some fleets may reduce orders and some may retain [trucks] longer. It makes the problem worse, because you have to catch up in the coming years. Our experience is that trucks are more reliable today. Thanks to learning new technologies, drivers are less likely to want to get into a new truck and are more satisfied with what they already have. ”
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The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes Nussbaum (No. 172).
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