February numbers from ACT Research show strong numbers for trailer orders but softness in used truck prices.

In February the performance differences between total vans and all other trailers were striking. Net orders for total van trailers were off 32% month over month while all other trailers posted a gain of 31%, according to State of the Industry: U.S. Trailers published by ACT Research Co.

"Backlogs have risen to the highest level during this recovery cycle and the strongest orderboard since August 2006," says Frank Maly, director, CV transportation with ACT Research. "We expect to see a gradual growth path in production during the next six months."

The trailer industry is entering its third year of the recovery cycle.

Used Class 8 truck pricing slipped in February due to softness in the retail segment of the market.

"Our expectations for longer term pricing remain unchanged," says Steve Tam, vice president, commercial vehicle sector with ACT. "Prices will not necessarily fall in the long term, but their growth rate will slow.

"This projection is based on the assumption the availability of inventory will take the pressure off pricing as more new trucks are purchased and trade-ins ultimately become available as used trucks," he added.

State of the Industry: U.S. Classes 3-8 Used Trucks, published by ACT, provides data on the average used price for the top-selling Class 8 model for each of the major truck makers: Freightliner (Daimler); Kenworth and Peterbilt (Paccar); International (Navistar); and Volvo and Mack (Volvo).