Trailer, truck orders continue record runs

Nov. 21, 2014

October orders for both trailers and trucks are at all-time highs, according to recent reports.

FTR said that October U.S. trailer net orders hit an all-time record high of 46,267 units, breaking the old record by 9%. At the same time, ACT Research said that Class 8 truck net orders were 45,978 units in October, up 76% year over year and the second best month in the history of the industry.

Trailer orders have now totaled 327,000 the past 12 months, FTR said. The firm said orders were higher than expected as more large fleets placed sizable orders for 2015. Expected tight production capacity at trailer OEM’s in 2015 encouraged this early order activity.

“While OEMs did go out and solicit orders for delivery through the middle of 2015, impacting October activity, it is still very encouraging to see these large numbers, because it indicates fleets are positive about business conditions next year,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Dry van, refrigerated van, and flatbed orders were tremendously high. Much of the October order total is pull-forward activity, to get orders into the backlog for delivery in 2015.  OEMs can now better plan production, and fleets have their build slots reserved well in advance."

ACT said the only better month for Class 8 orders came in March 2006 when fleets placed 52,146 orders.

Classes 5-7 net orders were at 22,453, their strongest level since early February 2008, ACT added.

All the information on the orders is included in ACT’s latest State of the Industry report.

“Conditions relating to freight volumes and rates and truckers’ profits and plans to purchase new equipment remained positive in the third quarter,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president, Commercial Vehicle Sector. Speaking to the strength in Class 8 order activity, Tam noted, “Through year-to-date October, net orders have been booked at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 365,800 units.”

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