Class 8 orders slide for fourth straight month

by Today's Trucking

Class 8 truck orders softened in January for the fourth straight month, with orders below production levels which should eat into the backlog.

FTR reported January orders of 21,600 Class 8 units, down 25% from December but up 2% year over year. While orders have declined over the last four months, FTR notes they’re still above year-earlier totals.

Truck orders chart

“Orders remain above replacement demand levels but are below recent production activity. As such, backlogs likely moved slightly lower in January,” said Eric Starks, chairman of the board for FTR.

“Putting the order numbers into perspective is important. In the first half of 2022, orders averaged just shy of 18,000 units per month. This suggests that recent activity is healthy, and January itself is up 2% year over year. This type of activity by fleets indicates that they are not overly concerned about an economic recession and continue to lock in build slots for the second half of 2023.”

ACT Research reported 18,400 orders in January, with Classes 5-7 orders totaling 17,800 units.

“Given how robust Class 8 orders were into year end, the relative pause in January is not surprising,” said Eric Crawford, ACT’s vice-president and senior analyst. “We note that over the final four months of 2022, nearly 159,000 Class 8 net orders were placed, [up] 92% year over year, and only 8% below those placed over the same period in 2020. January’s orders represent the first y/y decline in five months (August).” 

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