FTR Associates expects heavy-duty truck demand to fall in early 2010, after EPA 2007 engine inventory is exhausted
. In its latest issue of The North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Outlook, FTR increased its 2009 Class 8 forecast due to a surge in orders in October.

But the company says the boost in orders was driven by truck owners buying up the last of pre-2010 emissions engines. This will most likely cause a decline in demand early next year.

"2009 will end with modest freight growth, and we expect 2010 growth to be in the 2.8 percent range," said Eric Starks, president of FTR. "However, given the huge decline in freight over the last few years, the increase in freight in 2010 will not be enough to entice fleets in large numbers to buy new, more expensive technology when such equipment is first made available. Many have usable miles on older equipment to get them through the initial up-tick in freight demand without taking the risk of adding unfamiliar engine technology to their fleet."