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Class 8 truck, commercial trailer orders show positive signs

NASHVILLE, Ind. -- North American Class 8 truck orders reached their highest point since November, 2008 i...

NASHVILLE, Ind. — North American Class 8 truck orders reached their highest point since November, 2008 in August, according to preliminary figures from industry forecaster FTR Associates.


Class 8 net orders totaled 10,758 units in August, according to the company, including the US, Canada, Mexico and exports. August order activity was 19.9% better than the previous month and reflects an annualized rate of 129,096 units.


“FTR is cautiously optimistic about the increased August preliminary Class 8 net orders; however we believe some of the orders being placed are in response to 2010 EPA emissions requirements,” said Eric Starks, president of FTR. “We still expect any recovery in the transportation industry to be slow and bumpy through next year.” 


Meanwhile there was also some good news for trailer manufacturers and retailers. ACT Research said net orders for commercial trailers increased 4% in July and were up 16% from July 2008. The findings were published in ACT’s State of the Industry: US Trailers report. The year-over-year gain was the first recorded so far this year. Year to date through July, net orders for commercial trailers are still off 39% over the same period in 2008.


“Demand for commercial trailers continues to be soft as there remains excess capacity and weak profits in the freight transportation industry,” said Kenny Vieth, partner and senior analyst with ACT Research. “The current order levels are less than half of the normalized industry replacement rate, but with seven of nine trailer types tracked posting increases in new orders from June to July, it appears demand is beginning to move in the right direction, if incrementally.”


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