October orders of heavy-duty trucks were down by 51% from last year, leading truck drivers like Chad Boblett in Lexington, Kentucky, to say the industry is in a "bloodbath." October is usually the best month for new truck orders, and this October's orders hit a three-year low.
Steve Tam, the vice president of ACT Research, says we're seeing the biggest volume change in nearly four years and the largest price drop in three years.
Those market trends are affecting Cummins, a manufacturer of heavy equipment in Columbus, Indiana. It's the largest manufacturer of Class 8 truck engines, claiming a 38.3% market share in 2018 and $23.8 billion in revenue.
Jon Mills, a Cummins representative, confirmed to Business Insider that the company, which employs some 62,610 people globally, will lay off about 2,000 workers by the first quarter of 2020.
"Unfortunately, we must do more to reduce costs because the downturn is happening at a sharper pace than we experienced in the previous two cycles," Mills said.
It's not clear which Cummins locations or departments will be affected by the layoffs.
"As we communicated to our employees last week, demand has deteriorated even faster than expected, and we need to adjust to reduce costs," Mills said in an emailed statement.
"We understand this is incredibly difficult for those directly impacted and for all employees across the company," he added. "Our employees are important to the success of our company and necessary actions like this are incredibly tough and disappointing. However, by taking actions now, we can navigate this downturn and emerge stronger when markets return just as we have done in the past."
Meritor, a manufacturer in Troy, Michigan, said "in response to an anticipated decline in most global truck and trailer market volumes," they will also be cutting payroll in the upcoming months.
Thousands of truck drivers and others in the industry have lost their jobs this year. Trucking has been in a recession since the first half of 2019, according to ACT Research.
In the first half of 2019, about 640 trucking companies went out of business (more than triple 2018 -175), according to industry data from Broughton Capital cited by The Wall Street Journal.
"Part of the industry's challenge, being cyclically driven as it is, is overcapacity," Michael DiCecco, the president of Huntington Bank's asset-finance sector, previously told Business Insider.