July’s Class 8 orders worst since 2010

by Truck News

COLUMBUS, Ind. — July’s final Class 8 orders were disappointing, down 20% month-over-month and 58% year-over-year, ACT Research reports.

A total of 10,358 units were ordered. Medium-duty orders totaled 15,364 units, up 1% from June and last July.

“Outside of the bright spot that continues to be demand for vehicles in Mexico, July’s batch of Class 8 market indicators provided no sign of near-term relief. The US and Canadian tractor (especially sleeper) markets remain overcapacitized,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst with ACT Research. “Historically, July is the worst order month of the year. To improve interpretation, ACT seasonally adjusts its data. July’s 10,400 Class 8 net orders (124k SAAR) seasonally adjusts to 12,000 units (142k SAAR). Actual or adjusted, we have to go back to Q1’10 to find comparably weak volumes.”

Medium-duty orders, however, have been steady.

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  • There are several reasons for the downturn, among them is truck manufacturers are making better trucks, I remember when a million-mile-engine was something to aim for. But the biggest reason is truckers are no longer “middle class businesspeople” able to earn a good income for their family as either a gypsy or contract owner-operator. The margins have become so thin most prospective drivers listen to the sad tales of woe, shake their heads and walk on by. You might not think this is relevant but when’s the last time you heard a popular song like those John Denver used to sing? We’re in a time of “race to the bottom”

  • Many people who would buy a truck have seen the money that can make as a owner-op or as a owner of a small trucking company and are going in another line of work.