ACT Research: Tractor Dashboard Dropped Significantly at the Beginning of 2022

According to ACT Research’s recently released Transportation Digest, the top line on ACT’s Tractor Dashboard in January took a steep drop from December levels.

The report, which combines proprietary ACT data and analysis from a wide variety of sources, paints a comprehensive picture of trends impacting transportation and commercial vehicle markets. This monthly report is designed as a quick look at transportation insights for use by fleet and trucking executives, reviewing top-level considerations such as for-hire indices, freight, heavy and medium duty segments, the US trailer market, used truck sales information, and an overview of the US macro economy.

"The most notable and concerning recent development has been the signaling from the five ‘macro & financial’ row items in the Dashboard."  - Kenny Vieth“The 8-point plunge in the top line tally is the biggest month-to-month decrement across the 12 years of history available to us in this monitoring tool. It is important to note that the buildup in Russian forces on the Ukraine border had just started in January, so the threat of a conflict had little or no influence on the result,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. He continued, “The most notable and concerning recent development has been the signaling from the five ‘macro & financial’ row items in the Dashboard. Three are now in negative territory – consumer goods spending, residential construction expenditures and trucking stocks. Positively, the freight metrics are holding, and that remains encouraging for our forecast.” Vieth further noted, “As production and supply-chain obstacles have mounted the last 12 months, industry metrics like net orders, inventory levels and cancelations have become less trustworthy in telling their tales.”

TD PR Graph 3-22-22When asked about the take-away, Vieth explained, “There is reason to believe (independent of Ukraine developments of the last few weeks) that the lead indicators were signaling some market vulnerability ahead in the summer months. It will be hard to tease this out from the volatility associated with wartime developments, but it reinforces the notion of increased downside risk.” He concluded, “That said, we believe that the dashboard offers a three to six-month forward-looking metric for conditions in the tractor market, but we always warn that it’s never wise to forecast on the basis of just one indicator, or even an aggregation of indicators.”

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at

ACT Research recently completed POWER UP, a look at 7 global regions and more than 20 countries in a review of local regulations, infrastructure, and the impact on the adoption of battery and fuel cell electric commercial vehicles through 2040. This forecast is the first of its kind, a review of the decarbonization of commercial vehicles around the world. POWER UP is available now at

Additionally, ACT Research published an update to CHARGING FORWARD, a North American-centric battery and fuel cell electric vehicle adoption rate forecast, covering 23 vehicle applications, in Classes 4-8 commercial vehicles, through 2040. CHARGING FORWARD is considered by many industry leaders to be the apex of analysis and economic-based total cost of ownership modeling in the industry. And, it is now available for purchase at

Currently, the team at ACT Research is engaged in a commercial autonomous vehicle multi-client study. Through this work, we will identify adoption rates and forecast autonomous Classes 4-8 vehicles through 2040. If you’re working to understand the economic value proposition or the unit economics of different autonomous models, participation in this study is a must. Learn more at

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