But thanks to a recovering housing sector, a core market for ready-mix concrete, the outlook for concrete suppliers — and, by extension, mixer body and truck manufacturers — has been improving. Production of ready-mix concrete in 2012 was up 7% to 9% compared with 2011, and the NRMCA expects it to go up in 2013, as well, Garbini said.
This is translating to increased sales of ready-mix bodies and trucks, manufacturers said.
“The level of interest, as well as the quoting on mixer chassis, is the best that it has been in several years and is very encouraging — albeit off of very low levels,” said Curtis Dorwart, vocational marketing product manager for Mack Trucks. “The residential side seems to be improving, [but it is] lagging the commercial side of the business where improvements started many months ago.”
Also, the age of the mixer fleets is at an all-time high, he noted, “so as business improves, the need to replace old and worn equipment increases.”