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March 9, 2007 8:00 AM, EST

Class 8 Fleet Size Grows 5.2% in 2006 as Carriers Stock Up

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The number of heavy-duty trucks in use in the United States increased 5.2% to 3.51 million Class 8 commercial vehicles last year, as fleet owners stocked up on new trucks and kept more old vehicles in service, market research firm R.L. Polk & Co. said.The upward climb in fleet size continued in the fourth quarter of 2006 after leveling off in the third quarter, helping to raise the number of heavy trucks in use by 175,000 units at the end of December, compared with 3.34 million at the end of 2005.At the same time, registrations for new Class 8 trucks hit an all-time record of 266,011 units in 2006, despite a steep drop in the fourth quarter, said Gary Meteer Sr., director of Polk’s Commercial Vehicle Group. There were 252,242 new heavy-duty trucks registered in 2005.For the full story, see the March 5 print edition of Transport Topics. Subscribe today.