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Trailer orders continue to slow but backlogs remain


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Trailer orders have continued to slow, in the wake of last year’s torrid pace.

Trailer net orders in May were for 15,200 units, 14% lower than April and 29% below last May’s numbers, according to the latest data from FTR.

However, it’s normal for orders to slow this time of year, the industry analyst pointed out. It also reported there’s still plenty of backlog available to keep trailer builders busy right through the end of the year.

Backlogs have fallen about 15% since their January peak. Production remains steady for all trailer types.

“The market has peaked in terms of orders and backlog and has started to moderate,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice-president of commercial vehicles. “This is to be expected, and conditions appear to be very normal. The market descent has started, and, by all indications, it appears we are headed to the expected soft landing. Order rates should continue to fall for the next few months.  Vocational trailers, except for dumps, have started to weaken faster than vans. This is due to the cutbacks in the energy markets, exports, and some industrial sectors of the economy. Higher inventories indicate fleets are incorporating new trailers into use at a moderate pace.”


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