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ACT Research: NA Class 8 Orders, Backlog Still Rising

March 23, 2018, 07:05 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

The order onslaught continued in February, with NA Class 8 net orders falling from January’s second-best ever to a more pedestrian seventh-best 40,271 units, with backlogs rising in tandem, according to ACT Research (ACT). NA Class 8 net orders have averaged nearly 28,400 units/month, or 1,384 units/day based on the number of production days in 2018.

“The drivers of current order strength are broad-based, with supply-side, demand-side and exogenous factors all contributing to the outsized level of US and Canadian Class 8 order activity,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst.

U.S. and Canadian tractors remain the primary drivers of outsized order volumes, rising 107 percent and 112 pecent year over year, respectively, in February. In a virtual carbon copy of January, NA vocational truck orders were up 40 percent, y/y. Vieth added, “Orders well above the rate of production continue to propel backlog growth. Class 8 backlog rose nearly 17,000 units from January, to 177,451 units, a nearly three-year high.”

Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth said, “The medium duty markets are experiencing their own high-side order breakouts. While unable to rise above January’s ‘best in twelve years’ volume, February orders, at 26,651 units, remained well above the prevailing trend.” Unlike January, in which all of the industry’s strength was truck derived, February’s orders were more balanced, with trucks, buses and RVs all posting mid-teen gains on a year-over-year basis.

“Order strength in this sector is now at a level not seen this decade,” he said.

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