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Class 8 Truck Orders Maintain Momentum

September 6, 2017

Class 8 truck orders continued to climb steadily in August, while medium-duty truck orders have stagnated a little, according to preliminary numbers from transportation analysts FTR and ACT Research.

Class 8 orders are expected to hit 20,700 units for the month, according to FTR, an increase of 14% from July and 50% better than in the same month a year ago. It is projected to be the best August for Class 8 orders since 2014.

“August orders continue the positive trend in the Class 8 market,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “Orders were up for the third straight month, and it looks like May’s 16,500 orders will be the low point for the year. Orders are expected to increase in September, leading into robust order activity in Q4.”

Class 5-7 medium-duty truck orders have flattened in the past two months after a strong start to 2017, and are expected to hit 18,800 units in August, according to preliminary numbers from ACT Research.

“Following robust performance through the first half of the year, [North American] Classes 5-7 net orders have moderated the past two months. Preliminary, medium-duty orders rebounded from a soft July,” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “Despite the relative softness, August’s intake was up 10% year-over-year.”

Tightening capacity in the freight markets this year has led to increased demand for heavy-duty vehicles.

“Freight continues to show some impressive growth,” said Ake. “This has created capacity tightness in some regions, which is expected to spread to more areas as economic growth expands. The capacity crunch will be exacerbated by the ELD mandate, spurring demand for trucks and trailers in 2018.”

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