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Trailer orders surge in November, used truck sales slide

With 28,393 trailers added to the orderboard, the trailer industry in November posted its strongest monthly order volume since March 2006, ACT reported in the latest State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers.

The Trucker News Services

12/28/2011

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Commercial trailer net orders surged in November, while reported volumes of used Classes 3-8 truck sales continued their slide into negative territory, according to ACT Research.

With 28,393 trailers added to the orderboard, the trailer industry in November posted its strongest monthly order volume since March 2006,  ACT reported in the latest State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers.

“November’s numbers confirmed that recent strong quotation activity at the OEMs was real,” said Frank Maly, director CV transportation analysis and research with ACT. “The backlog/build ratio jumped to 5.5 months at the end of November, an advance far
above expectations. The trailer industry is poised to end 2011 on a firm note, which means a strong start to 2012.”

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Used truck volumes were mixed on a channel by channel basis, however, with auction dealers able to obtain and sell more equipment, offsetting some of the softness in the retail and wholesale markets. That’s according to ACT’s State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks.

“The industry was hopeful that improved new truck sales would provide some much needed relief for the growing used truck inventory shortage, but so far that has not happened,” said Steve Tam, vice president-commercial vehicle sector with ACT. “Perhaps an explanation is that the used trucks are being remarketed through channels outside of the ACT database or are being sold directly by the trucker. Another plausible explanation is that because the units are older with more miles, it is taking longer for them to be repaired and reconditioned before they are saleable units.”

ACT publishes new and used commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market.

Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at kevinj@thetrucker.com.

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JB Hunt