FTR and ACT Research released preliminary data showing October Class 8 net orders were up for October.

FTR reported that Class 8 preliminary orders rose 39% from September to 25,960 units. October 2013 orders improved 14% year over year and are the highest since December 2011. Orders for the three-month period including October annualize to 244,500 units.

Credit: FTR

Credit: FTR

Don Ake, FTR vice president commented: “The increase in orders is broad-based and not isolated to any one OEM. The number is at the high end of our expectations and will likely help to solidify build activity in the short term. The three month annualized rate is right in line with our 2014 forecast.”

ACT Research states that October was a very positive month for new order placement, exceeding order trends of the past few months. When released mid-month, North America Classes 5-7 orders are expected at 18,600 units  and Class 8 orders are expected at 26,300 units.

“The fourth quarter is historically the start of the order season for Class 8 vehicles for the new year,” said Ken W. Vieth, ACT’s senior partner and general manager.

“The order volume exceeded the OEM build plans for October, so if build occurred as planned, Class 8 backlog will grow by about 2,000 units (not SA). These orders will help fill open build slots remaining in 2013 while providing a better planning base to start 2014 production.

"Seasonally the Class 8 order volume translates into about 25,000 units. Assuming October is not a one month shot of adrenalin and recognizing that orders have gradually edged higher quarter by quarter in 2013, our expectations are for further strength in the fourth quarter.

“The Classes 5-7 OEM build plan for October 2013 shows a volume almost identical to the new preliminary net orders received: This suggests Classes 5-7 backlog will remain flat heading into end of year production planning. The strength of the net orders was broad based amongst the Classes 5-8 vehicle manufacturers suggesting some geographic and application balance as well,” Vieth added.