Class 8 Truck Orders Hit Fifth Best Month Ever This Nov.

COLUMBUS, IN – North American truckers ordered 583,200 Class 5 -to-8 vehicles over the past 12 months, making the past 12-month period the strongest since December 2006, according to industry data.

Truckers booked 58,500 Class 5-to-8 trucks in November, 48 percent more trucks than a year ago, according to ACT Research.

Class 8 orders alone hit the fifth-best month of all time, says Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst, on the heels of October’s second-best performance.

“The 41,000 North American Class 8 net orders in November represent the convergence of a number of trends that continue to drive healthy order activity,” Vieth says. “These include rising economic activity, pent-up demand, strong new equipment fuel economy gains, and most importantly, rising freight rates, which bolster carrier profitability.”

Another industry research firm FTR found Class 8 net orders for November were the second month in a row to rise over the 40,000 benchmark.

But November order activity, similar to the previous month, was concentrated at a few truck makers, with the others falling short of October order input, FTR says.

“The rare back-to-back 40,000 unit months in October and November is a result of fleets placing orders into the middle of 2015 to secure build slots due to tight production capacity,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Confidence in the economy and positive factors in the trucking sector are motivating fleets to place orders very early in this cycle. Trucking capacity remains tight and fleets continue to need more trucks. Orders may be weaker at the beginning of 2015, since some fleets have half of their expected 2015 requirements already in the backlog.”

Over the past 12-month period, truckers ordered 363,000 Class 8 trucks, FTR found.

As for medium-duty trucks, ACT’s Vieth says truckers ordered about 17,500 Class 5 to 7 trucks, a let-down from the previous strong three-month period.

“November’s medium-duty orders were down four percent compared to last November and fell 22 percent below October’s strong intake.”

Year-to-date, Class 5-7 net orders have been booked at a 218,400 unit annual rate.

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