Preliminary North American Class 8 net truck orders, for the month of February, saw gains, following a months-long stretch of declines, according to recent data respectively issued by freight transportation consultancy FTR and ACT Research, a provider of data and analysis for trucks and other commercial vehicles.
FTR reported that February preliminary net orders—at 22,800—saw a 13% increase, from January to February, and a 10% annual gain, heading up for the first time in five months. And it also noted that Class 8 orders have come in at 303,000 units over the last 12 months through February. The firm observed that February’s tally was “a solid level of order activity,” indicating there may be a stabilizing in the low 20,000-unit range, with order activity over the last six months strong, coming in at an annualized rate of 413,000 units.
“Orders likely are below build rates for the month, and FTR would anticipate backlogs to slip slightly,” said Eric Starks, FTR chairman of the board. “However, backlogs remain at high levels and production slots are mainly filled through Q3 of this year. As such, the February performance is a good sign for the industry as fleets continue to order equipment. Over the past year, total net orders reached 303,000 units. In any market, this is a strong number. However, given the uncertainty in the economy, this is an especially welcome sign that demand has not collapsed and that fleets still have access to capital.”
ACT data: ACT reported that preliminary February Class 8 net orders—at 26,300 units—rose 13% annually and were up 27% compared to January.
“We do not forecast orders, but given how robust Class 8 orders were into year end, coupled with cautious readings from the ACT Class 8 Dashboard, we noted at Seminar 68 that we expect SA orders in a range of 15-20k in the near term,” said Eric Crawford, ACT’s Vice President and Senior Analyst. “Thus, February’s SA 22,400 represents a modest upside to our expectation. Combined with January, SA orders have averaged 19,700 units [year-to-date].”