Fleet Advantage, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., released results of its latest annual benchmarking survey, which takes the pulse of fleet executives on a variety of industry issues. The online survey covered topics such as the outlook for electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, fuel economy trends and how they view maintenance and repair (M&R), safety and driver retention.

According to survey results, 40% of respondents listed M&R as their top motivating factor for acquiring new trucks (topped in the last benchmarking survey as well).

However, the survey shows that costs are not the only concern fleets have regarding maintenance; 26.7% also believe a safe, well-maintained truck is most beneficial in driver recruitment and retention. Compensation ranked higher as most beneficial in driver retention at 50%.

Fuel economy ranked second (36.7%) as a top motivator for truck replacement. This is especially important since 86% said they’ve experienced a consistent increase in fuel economy in model years 2013-2018.

The survey also asked a handful of questions on the topic of electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks. Only 4% of respondents said they are currently procuring these types of trucks, and 53% said they either do not see the value nor will they consider the technology for at least another 10 years. Nearly a quarter of respondents (21%) also said they believe electric or hydrogen fuel-cell trucks will never be widely used for over-the-road operations. As for their reasons, 39.4% said they will not consider the technology because of limited fueling or charging station infrastructure; and 33.3% have concerns over the vehicle’s range or fuel economy.

“There continues to be several important issues shaping today’s transportation industry, many of which prompt fleets to make decisions that can greatly impact everything from their ability to attract drivers to their financial bottom line,” says Brian Holland, president and CFO. “Gaining a better understanding of how industry professionals view topics such as fuel economy, truck replacement and electrification helps us better understand where their asset strategies are headed, and thus we can provide the proper consultation to help them make profitable decisions.”