Record sales, build rates established for Class 8 sleeper tractors, Class 5 trucks in 2015

by Truck News

COLUMBUS, Ind. — With December truck order numbers now in the books, 2015 posted the best year ever for production and sales of Class 8 sleeper tractors, according to ACT Research.

Commercial vehicle orders finished 2015 strong with 28,150 and 22,450 net orders for Classes 8 and Classes 5-7 vehicles in December, respectively, ACT reports.

“Most notable was the US Class 8 sleeper tractor segment, which had its best production and sales year in history,” said Steve Tam, vice-president, commercial vehicle sector with ACT Research. “Carriers anxious to take advantage of more fuel-efficient trucks, spurred by strong freight rate growth in the first part of the year, get the nod as the drivers behind the story.”

Tam added, however, that 2016 is expected to be a different situation. He explained, “Faced with excess freight hauling capacity and slowing freight growth, freight rates have softened to the point where many truckers are now taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to more new equipment.”

On the medium-duty side, Tam said “Class 5 build and sales were the highlights of 2015, setting a record for the best year ever. Classes 6-7, on the other hand, failed to register in the top 10, with 2015 arriving in 13th place.” He added, “The class 5-7 market closed 2015 on a high note, with orders up more than 4% compared to 2014.”

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