July heavy-duty truck orders continued to improve, with a 9.6 percent rise over June, the second consecutive monthly boost
, according to a report by FTR Associates. June's numbers showed a 9.7 percent improvement over May, making it the first month in three months to experience an increase.

July Class 8 net orders for the U.S., Canada, Mexico and exports settled at 9,002 units, which is still down 37.3 percent year-over-year. However, with July's boost, the annualized order rate has increased to 108,024 units, up from last month's prediction of 97,212.

"In early July we expected to see modest improvement in the monthly orders and that has come to pass," said Eric Starks, president of FTR. "However, while the orders are increasing month over month, the annualized rate continues to represent a very weak market for new vehicles. We expect this trend to continue well into 2010."