new trucks
January's orders for new trucks were the highest since the "pre-buy" frenzy in 2006. (File photo)

Orders for new trucks at near-record level in January

New truck orders are the highest they've been since 2006.

Orders for new trucks rose in January to levels not seen in more than a decade, according to reports from two research firms.

ACT Research said preliminary North America Classes 5-8 net orders were 80,400 units in January. That is the second highest of all time behind March 2006, when fleets went into “pre-buy” mode ahead of the 2007 engine emissions rule.

“As was the case in the total market, Class 8 orders posted their best volume since March 2006, rising to 48,700 units,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president.

Classes 5-7 orders were 31,700 units, the third best on record. ACT said the medium-duty backlog is estimated at 66,800 units, while the Class 8 backlog is 159,000 units.

Similarly, FTR said preliminary North American Class 8 orders were at 47,200 units, up 116% from a year earlier and 28% above the previous month.

“These levels were well above our already strong expectations and continue to indicate that the equipment markets are still reacting to the tight capacity in the truck marketplace,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR’s chief operating officer. “January is normally a seasonally weaker month, except when the market is on a clear upswing. Near-record levels can't last for long, but orders could stay quite elevated throughout the spring."

TAGS: News Economics
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