It doesn't look as if this company is doing as well as some reports had it in 1998. I know that they just committed to buying Century Class freightliner trucks as replacement for their antiquated COE[cab over engines. This is a major expense that will eat profits for a while. Referance "The Trucker" newspaper.
JBHT is not replacing "antiquated COE's". The purchasing of trucks is nothing new, and it is not an unusual expense that will eat into profits. They have always bought trucks on a continuous basis to replace units in the fleet. The average age of trucks in the fleet is only about three years old.About a year ago they switched from International 9700's (a COE) to Freightliner Argosy's (another COE model). Now they are switching to Freightliner Century Class units to retain and attract more drivers.There is very little demand for cabovers in the used truck market (or new for that matter), so switching to conventionals will also help the trade in value of the fleet, allowing them to continue cycling units in and out in a cost effective manner.
Just an aside on the trade-in's. Part of the agreement between JBHT and Freightliner allows for the COE's to be remanufactured as Freightliner "Legacy" class trucks. This will serve two purposes;(1) allow JBHT a less expensive truck for it's regional and local fleets, and (2)prevent an excess of trucks being "dumped" on the already overcrowded used truck market. JBHT usually replaces the "road" fleet every four years, purchasing an average of 1000-1500 units per year. They have told the "road drivers"the company hopes to have all drivers in the new trucks by the end of 2000. This shift to conventionals will greatly aid hiring and retention of drivers.
>>Part of the agreement between JBHT and Freightliner allows for the COE's to be remanufactured as Freightliner "Legacy" class trucks. This will serve two purposes;(1) allow JBHT a less expensive truck for it's regional and local fleets<<In talking with my Freightliner dealer, he feels that Freightliner corporate is making a mistake with the Legacy class trucks, as they are not priced very competitively. I can get a new unit for just about the same price as a remanufactured on.
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