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Roadside Assistance Service - More Than Just a Truck Stop
Frost & Sullivan, September 2009, Pages: 63
Changing Commercial Driving Trends Help Roadside Assistance Service Providers to Keep on Trucking
There has been a sea change in the North American roadside assistance service market with shifting driving behavior and the use of advanced technologies. The nature and scale of services in truck stops and travel centers have evolved dramatically over the years and market participants need to keep re-assessing the main reasons drivers stop at a roadside assistance center. The introduction of disruptive technologies have resulted in drivers spending more time inside their trucks rather than alighting at truck stops or travel centers. Service providers will get a much-needed shot in the arm with the passing of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) 2010 regulations, which mandate commercial vehicles to replenish diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and use low-ash engine oil. The market is already working on creating a national distribution network for DEF and in preparation for the EPA 2010, travel centers are acquiring retail dispensers. Similarly, stringent regulations related to truck idling allow participants to attract and retain the trucking customer base by providing value-added products and services including low-cost anti-idling alternatives.
Another federal regulation that has boosted the market is the ruling that truck drivers are allowed a 14-hour workday and are required to rest 10 hours for every 11 hours of driving. This allows them to halt at truck stops and travel centers for extended rest periods. This regulation, while reducing fatalities involving large trucks by 12 percent in 2008, has also gone a long way in encouraging truck stops and travel centers to shift toward full service models that enable exhausted truckers to access a whole gamut of services without having to stop at different locations for different needs. Roadside assistance service centers will also gain from fleet owners’ decision to defer the purchase of new trucks as they wait out the economic depression. The average age of a Class-8 line-haul truck has been stretched to 7.4 years in 2009, and this reliance on old trucks is raising the demand for roadside assistance services. "The rising average-age per truck and lack of adequate parking facilities in public rest areas are driving truck traffic to truck stops and travel centers with parking amenities, wireless fidelity (WiFi) access, and anti-idling electrification systems," says the analyst of this research.
On the flip side, the slowdown in the North American auto industry has also decelerated cross-border trade traffic between the United States and Canada, lowering sales at truck stops and travel centers. Further, the margins from fuel are narrowing, affecting the profitability of truck stops and travel centers. The volume and value of business have also taken a dip with the numbers of drivers who stay out on road trips for 20 to 25 days a month diminishing and the average freight haul distance dropping by 300 miles. The availability of novel technologies is expected to turn market participants’ focus on providing products and services that feature lower price and higher replacement rates.
They can also counter the competition from innovative products by carefully assessing the shortcomings of their challengers. "For instance, while on-board climate-control systems such as diesel-fired heaters, auxiliary power systems, and battery-powered heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are gaining acceptance, their cost and weight are restraining their uptake," notes the analyst. "An alternative to this is truckstop electrification." They can also create recurring revenue streams by using customer relationships to gain better insights into service and maintenance needs and patterns.
Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:
- Truck stops
- Travel centers
This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Roadside Assistance Service – More Than Just a Truck Stop provides a strategic analysis of the North American roadside truck assistance as well as service and maintenance infrastructure, comprising truck stops and travel centers for commercial vehicles. The study includes analyses of various business models, key market metrics, market drivers and restraints, challenges and opportunities, competitive structure, vital decision factors, and key suppliers. It includes market share as well as industry-wide estimates by value, volume, number of service bays and their distribution, and number of technicians and their skill level. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following markets: truck stops and travel centers for commercial vehicles.
1. Introduction and Definitions
2. Business Models
3. Market Metrics
4. Industry Challenges and Opportunities
5. Market Drivers and Restraints
6. Competitive Structure
7. Key Decision Factors
8. Supplier Analysis
10. Key to Abbreviations
11. Decision Support Database
12. About Frost & Sullivan
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