September a “sensational” record month for Class 8 orders

by Today's Trucking

Truck orders surged to record levels in September, according to preliminary data from industry forecasters.

FTR reported a record 56,500 Class 8 orders while ACT Research reported 53,700.

FTR says the figure is up 169% from August and 102% year over year, reflecting pent-up demand from fleets and OEMs opening up more order slots for 2023. Build rates continue to lag orders due to ongoing supply chain issues and labor shortages.

orders chart

“Demand continues to put pressure on manufacturers as many dealerships have now indicated that OEMs are now allocating production capacity for 2023 build slots,” explained Don Ake, FTR’s vice-president, commercial vehicles.

“This is in large part an effort to improve on time delivery performance while also reducing the impact a potential component shortage may have on production plans. Many dealers have indicated that as a result of component availability they have had orders pushed out into the future or delayed as a result of red tag units having to be finished off-line.
“Fleet confidence remains solid entering 2023, as many large national fleets are getting their truck orders in as early as possible for next year’s deliveries. Due to the limited availability of new equipment fleets have not been able to phase out aged equipment over the past two years. As a result, we anticipate replacement demand to stay elevated throughout 2023.”

ACT reported Classes 5-7 orders of 26,600 units, up 39% from August and 7% year over year.

Eric Crawford, ACT’s vice-president and senior analyst, said OEMs have now fully opened up their 2023 orderboards earlier than normal.
“September Class 8 orders were sensational no matter how you slice the data,” he said. “Over the past 12 months, 249,800 Class 8 orders have been booked.”

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