Preliminary analysis of Class 8 tractor orders for July seems to show an upswing, beating expectations, according to both ACT Research and FTR Transportation Intelligence.
ACT Class 8 Analysis
ACT Research, with the caveat that final order numbers will be published later, has reported North America Class 8 net orders reached 16,000 in July. That marked a 45% increase year-over-year. ACT Research President Kenny Vieth said Class 8 orders, 20,700 units, showed a 5.5% month-over-month increase when seasonally adjusted.
Vieth also noted, in an ACT Research press release, that July is usually the “low-water mark” for both heavy-duty and medium-duty truck orders.
FTR Class 8 Analysis
Likewise, FTR reported Class 8 orders in July exceeded expectations. Initial reports by FTR indicate 13,500 units were ordered, which is an increase of 25% over July of a year ago. However, FTR noted that the July 2024 orders fell 6% below June orders.
“We had expected net orders to fall below 10,000 units monthly several months ago as fleets wait for OEMs to open 2024 build slots, but that did not occur,” said Eric Starks, chairman of FTR’s board.
“Build slots are anticipated to open soon, so orders likely will not fall much further — if at all — in the near term. Build slots for 2023 are already filled, so it is unclear when these orders will be slotted,” he added.
According to FTR, even though July Class 8 orders exceeded expectations, they still fell short of replacement demand. The analysis reports Class 8 orders over the past 12 months at 301,000 units.
ACT’s Vieth also noted that July is typically a low point for medium-duty truck orders, however, Class 5 to 7 orders reached 16,600 and showed a 21% year-over-year increase in July.
“On a seasonally adjusted basis, Class 8 orders were up 5.5% month-over-month at 20,700 units, and Classes 5-7 orders were up 1% month-over-month at 19,300 units,” Vieth explained.
He also noted the 2024 orderboards are not yet open, or just now opening.