"With housing-related activity surprising on the high side the past several months, medium-duty truck orders rose to their highest level since the start of the cycle, says Kenny Vieth, ACT's president and senior analyst. Net orders rose to 19,285 units, up 35% month over month and year over year.
October also saw Class 8 orders rise meaningfully above trend, ACT says. Net orders rose to 23,431 units.
"Underscoring the increase in activity was the fact that the improvement occurred in the face of electoral and fiscal uncertainty and despite Hurricane Sandy disrupting business up and down the East Coast at month's end," Vieth says.
New trailer orders rose by nearly a third from September to 24,707 units in October.
Dry vans were responsible for much of the month-over-month industry gain, says Frank Maly, ACT director of commercial vehicle research.
"Another welcome move for the industry was the gain in backlogs, the first backlog increase since April," he says. "Quotation activity is reportedly strong, suggesting that peak order season should unfold as expected over the coming months.
"Rising orders and subsequent backlog gains through Q1 will sustain the industry though the period of soft orders that should begin in late Q2."