Both major organizations that track trends in the trucking industry report strong North American Class 8 orders for December.
ACT Research said preliminary data for net orders reached 37,500; FTR put the number at 37,200.
FTR noted it was the third consecutive month that preliminary orders exceed 30,000
Class 8 net orders climbed 4,800 units from November, ACT reported.
“The last month of 2017 was the best monthly order intake since December 2014,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “December’s order volume represents a sequential improvement of 15 percent, and a year-over-year gain of 76 percent.”
FTR said December order activity was 15 percent better than November totals and plus 77 percent versus a year ago, which were at the highest level since the 40k+ orders that were seen in Q4 of 2014.
Distribution of the orders continues to be inconsistent across the OEMs; however, no OEM is showing any significant weakness in order activity, FTR said..
Distribution of the orders continues to be inconsistent across the OEMs; however, no OEM is showing any significant weakness in order activity, said Jonathan Starks, FTR’s chief operating officers.
“The North American equipment market continues to show strength as we begin 2018. North American Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 290,000 units,” Starks said. “ELD implementation is now in full swing and will continue through the initial enforcement phase of April 1 of this year. This is contributing to the tight capacity environment and is combining with strong freight activity to move freight rates higher. Our forecast continues to call for an increase in production for 2018, but market expectations are varied for 2019.”
ACT said the Class 8 backlog should see another 18,500 units added.