Most Common Commercial Truck Engine Brands on the Road in the U.S

Which engines are powering the commercial trucks we see on America’s highways? Do those top engine manufacturers vary by truck class or fleet type? 

Last month we dug into which truck manufacturers could claim the largest share of commercial trucks on the road in 2019 and 2020. This month we are getting under the hood and seeing which engines were powering those trucks.

To bring you this analysis, FleetSeek’s team of dedicated analysts have leveraged the extensive FleetSeek database which tracks commercial trucks and their specifications, such as engine manufacturer, across the top fleets within North America. Based on VINs within each fleet we extracted engine manufacturer data for only medium-duty (classes 4 to 6) and heavy-duty (classes 7 and 8) trucks and tractors, which for simplicity’s sake we will be referring to as medium-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks. We further limited the data to only those vehicles from for-hire, private, and owner-operator fleets. 

While the following analysis highlights the top engine makes in 2019 and 2020, current brand affinity data is available within the FleetSeek application, including the ability to filter by engine brand name and view details at an individual fleet level.

Detroit engines powered one-third of heavy-duty trucks on the road in 2019 and 2020

In both 2019 and 2020 the top five engine brands accounted for more than 83% of the engines in heavy-duty trucks on the road. In 2019 the top five heavy-duty truck engine manufacturers were Detroit, Cummins, Paccar, Volvo and Caterpillar. In 2020 Paccar took the number two spot, pushing Cummins down to number three, and Mack pushed Caterpillar out of the top five despite both brands seeing their share of engines on the road decline.

Top heavy duty commerical truck engine brands on the road in the US

More than a quarter of medium-duty trucks on the road in 2020 had a Cummins engine

While Cummins was fairly prevalent among heavy-duty trucks, making up about one-sixth of the heavy-duty truck engines on the road, they topped the list for medium-duty trucks accounting for about one-quarter of engines in medium-duty trucks on the road in both 2019 and 2020. Ford, International, Isuzu, and Hino rounded out the top five list for both 2019 and 2020, with Hino bumping Isuzu down to the fifth-place spot in 2020.

Top 5 medium duty truck engine brands in the US

For-hire, Private, and Owner Operator Fleet Breakouts

Below we can see the share of engines in medium and heavy-duty trucks on the road broken out by for-hire, private, and owner-operator fleets. 

Among heavy-duty trucks, we can see that Detroit engines were the most ubiquitous in 2019 and 2020 for all three fleet types. However, while still topping the list among private fleets, we can see that Detroit was neck-and-neck with Cummins with only a 1% gap between them.  

Continuing with heavy-duty trucks operated by private fleets, we can see six engine brands represented in the chart. This was the only fleet type to have a different top five list between 2019 and 2020, with Volvo edging out Caterpillar in 2020.  

On the medium-duty truck side, Cummins engines were the most common among for-hire and owner-operator fleets in 2019 and 2020. Among private fleets, however, Ford accounted for more engines in 2019 before Cummins topped them by 2% in 2020. 

For all of the charts below, the top five engine brands made up more than 80% of the observations, showcasing the prevalence of these engine over the last two years.

For hire: engines in heavy duty trucks
For hire: engines in medium duty trucks
Owner Operator: Engines in heavy duty trucks
Owner operator: engines in medium duty trucks
Private: engines in heavy duty trucks
Private: engines in medium duty trucks

For more information on how FleetSeek’s lead generation, sales, and business intelligence research tool can help your business reach your target market contact your sales rep at 888-665-9887 or [email protected].

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