COLUMBUS, Ind. — June’s Class 8 tractor backlog decline met expectations as seasonally weak orders ran headlong into strong production, according to ACT Research’s latest State of the Industry: NA Classes 5-8 report.
The Class 8 backlog fell 14,000 units month-over-month to 175,200.
With 164,000 units scheduled for 2H’23 production, only 11,000 units of June’s backlog is sitting in 2024, according to ACT.
According to Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst, “Coupling the annual seasonally weak period of orders (typically April-August) and healthy supply chains enabling elevated production, the Class 8 backlog will be on a downward trajectory until 2024 orderboards open.”
Traditionally, he added, “those out-year orderboards open in October, but in recent cycles, we have seen them open as early as August.”
Regarding June’s Class 8 build rate, Vieth noted, “it was a healthy 1,406 units per day, and represented the ninth month in the past 10 in which the build rate exceeded 1,300 units per day. The industry produced 29,905 units across June’s 22 build days.”
Class 8 orders rose 9% year-over-year in June with the final tally at 16,773.
“Adjust for typical dearth in summer order activity, seasonal adjustment lifts orders to 20,300 units.” Vieth concluded. “Meanwhile, end market demand in recent months has favored trucks over tractors. Tractor orders declined 1% y/y in June, while truck orders rose 28% year-over-year. Truck orders are experiencing strong tailwinds from federal legislation and manufacturing reshoring which are boosting construction spending and spurring demand for vocational equipment.”
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