Multi-Combination Prime Movers Near 50% Of Registrations

Multi-combination prime movers now comprise 45 per cent of heavy vehicle registrations, up from 39 per cent a decade ago, according to a 10-year retrospective produced by the ARTSA Institute.

The research organisation, formerly known as the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association, predicts multi-combination prime movers will constitute half of the nation’s fleet within the next decade.

Looking back over 10 years of data, from December quarter 2023, ARTSA-I says the impact of multi-combinations can also be seen in the increased ratio of trailers to prime movers, which has risen from 2.3 to nearly 2.6.

Over that period quarterly heavy vehicle registrations are close to 80 per cent higher, with more than one million registered heavy (over 12-tonne GVM) and medium duty (over 4.5-tonne to 12-tonne GVM) vehicles paying registration fees across Australia.

ARTSA-I notes growth in new heavy vehicle registrations was flatter up until 2020 and then took off and has continued to grow.

Notably, it adds the trailer registration growth rate since the beginning of 2020 has been about four times higher than previously and is currently close to 14 per cent per annum. The same trend is evident in the prime mover data and in the heavy rigid truck data, ARTSA-I points out.

“When also viewed as a total for all new heavy vehicle registrations above 4.5-tonne GVM, the growth in new registrations since 2020 is running at some 11.6 per cent per annum compared with a growth figure of under two per cent in previous years,” it states.

ARTSA-I says the percentage make-up of the main registration categories has remained relatively constant over the past decade, with rigid trucks making up close to 40 per cent of new registrations and prime movers and trailers just over 50 per cent of total new registrations.

“The main changes have been in the composition with each category such as trailers and prime movers,” it notes. “Trailers have led the growth trend with semi-trailers being just over 60 per cent of total new trailer registrations across the 10 years. Dolly and lead trailers have more than doubled their typical quarterly new registrations since 2020, reinforcing the trend to multi-combination vehicles.”

Despite the considerable growth in new registrations for heavy vehicles, all categories of truck and trailers show an increase of median age, the data shows.

“This increase needs to be seen in the context that while many older vehicles remain registered, younger vehicles are more than likely performing the major share of the freight task,” ARTSA-i adds.

You can download the ARTSA-I Data Analytics quarterly report for free here.

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