FTR's data shows orders at 18,386 units, the third consecutive month showing month over month increases. Net order activity for the six-month period including October annualizes to 171,662 units. The figure includes U.S., Canada, Mexico and Exports.
"Increased order activity in October was in line with expectations and is consistent with FTR's current forecast of only a modest increase in demand for equipment in 2011," said Eric Starks, president of FTR. "Typically October is a seasonally strong month for orders with November the strongest order month of the year. Therefore, if November orders do not surpass October by several thousand units, that would suggest that many fleets are holding back on buying equipment.
"Based on comments we've heard from fleets about disappointing October freight demand, there is some downside exposure to November orders, with fleets not yet comfortable enough to invest in new power units," Starks said. "Our view is that November orders will hover around 20,000 units before falling off in December. Anything exceeding 25,000 units in November would certainly be a win for the industry."
Final data for October will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook.