We remain an industry leader in miles per truck productivity; however, due to several factors, we had a decline in miles per truck of 3.4% in second quarter 2012 compared to second quarter 2011. We had a decrease in student/trainer driver teams, a 3.4% reduction in our average loaded length of haul and changes in truck counts by fleet within our Dedicated fleet division. We are working hard to increase our student/trainer driver team truck count. Our empty miles percentage increased 3.6%, as it was affected by the shorter average length of haul. Our empty miles per trip remained flat at 66 miles per trip in second quarter 2012 and second quarter 2011.
Capacity in our industry remains constrained by economic, safety and regulatory factors. From 2007 to 2010, the number of new class 8 trucks built was well below historical replacement levels for our industry. This led to the oldest average industry truck age in 40 years. Carriers were compelled to begin upgrading their aging truck fleets, which led to increased replacement purchases of new and later-model used trucks during 2011. Orders for new class 8 trucks slowed in recent months. We believe these orders slowed as current freight rate relief is not keeping pace with the increased costs and capital requirements for new and much more expensive EPA-compliant trucks. The significantly higher costs of new equipment and related diesel exhaust fluid will not be recovered through a single year rate review cycle; however, we remain committed to investing in a best in class fleet for the benefit of our customers, our drivers and the Werner brand.
In July, Congress passed the federal transportation bill which requires the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) to promulgate rules and regulations mandating the use of electronic on-board recorders (“EOBRs”) by July 2013 with full adoption for all trucking companies by no later than July 2015. We are the recognized industry leader for electronic logging of driver hours as we proactively adopted a paperless log system in 1996 that was subsequently approved for our use by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) in 1998. We believe that as EOBRs become the industry standard and industry requirement, EOBR use will help to level the competitive field for transit times, driver recruiting, driver retention and rates.
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