ACT Research and FTR have released preliminary expected Class 8 orders that are solid for the month of February.

ACT Research reports February North American Classes 5-7 net orders are expected at 19,600 units (±5%) and Class 8 net orders are expected at 29,200 units (±5%), when actual data are released mid-month.

FTR has released preliminary data showing February Class 8 truck net orders at 28,876, the highest February, and combined with December and January the best three-month period, since 2006. February 2014 net orders were a 27% improvement from the same month in 2013 continuing a string of thirteen consecutive months with year-over-year gains. The last six months of Class 8 order activity annualize to 320,500 units, according to FTR.

“February’s Class 8 orders were the fifth best since Q2 2006,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Despite falling 16% from January, February’s net orders were up 30% compared to a year-ago. Since October, Class 8 orders have been booked at a 320k SAAR. Going even further afield, since the beginning of Q3’13, Class 8 net orders have been booked at a 299k SAAR,” Vieth added.

Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “Orders were strong for the third consecutive month and in line with expectations with the market now officially in  a growth cycle. The confidence in the industry is picking up steam and we expect 2014 to be a healthy year for Class 8 trucks. The current order activity should begin to put pressure on OEM build rates for Q2 to be more in line with the FTR forecast.”