Heavy- and medium-duty truck orders are expected to total 58,800 units in December, hitting a 3-month high to end the year, according to early numbers from ACT Research.

The December order volume for Class 5-8 vehicles improved 11% from November and was 35% better than for the previous December. The numbers are preliminary; ACT will release the final order numbers later in the month.

North American Class 8 truck orders remained high, climbing to 37,500 units in December, representing an increase of 4,800 units over the previous month.  

“The last month of 2017 was the best monthly order intake since December 2014,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst. “December’s order volume represents a sequential improvement of 15%, and a year-over-year gain of 76%.”

Class 5-7 medium duty vehicle orders were mixed, slightly beating November’s numbers but falling short of 2016’s numbers.  

“Preliminary data indicate that Classes 5-7 net orders inched higher from November to 21,300 units. However, on a year-over-year basis, orders dropped 3.7%,” said Vieth. “For all of 2017, North American medium duty Classes 5-7 orders totaled 249,700 units.”

December is usually a strong month for orders, according to ACT, but the holidays constrain production. Based on the spread between preliminary December orders and the build plans, the medium-duty backlog likely grew by around 7,500 units while the Class 8 backlog should see another 18,500 units added.

Originally posted on Trucking Info