Graphic: FTR

Graphic: FTR

The freight transportation forecasting firm FTR has released preliminary data showing June 2014 North American Class 8 truck net orders at 26,255 units, an impressive 41% year-over-year increase and the best June since 2005.  

Class 8 orders have now had seventeen consecutive months with year-over-year gains, with orders for the latest six-month period through June annualized to 333,000 units.

OEMs continue to increase build rates in response to solid demand for Class 8 trucks with June order activity putting additional pressure on supply, according to FTR.

“June’s numbers are significant, especially considering that order activity typically slows when summer starts,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “It wouldn’t have been surprising to see Class 8 orders under 20,000 units for June, so a 26,000 level is outstanding.”

Meantime, rival ACT Research reported North American Class 8 net orders came in slightly higher at 26,600.

“That volume marked an improvement of 2% from May and 41% compared to year-ago June,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Seasonal adjustment boosts June’s Class 8 order total to 29,200 units, 351,000 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. On that basis, June was the strongest order month since January. Since October, Class 8 orders have been booked at a 318,100-unit SAAR.

Demand for commercial vehicles remained at healthy levels in June as 41,300 total North American Classes 5-8 orders were booked, or a 44,800 seasonally adjusted rate, according to ACT. Since the start of the period of stronger orders last October, it said North American Classes 5 through 8 net orders have been booked at a 541,900 unit annual rate, or a 529,000 SAAR.

ACT notes, however, after “best since early 2006” orders in April, Classes 5 through Class 7 have cooled over the past two months. In June, net orders fell 9% from May and 1% from year-ago levels to 14,700 units.

“Given that June is typically a soft order month, seasonal adjustment boosts the month’s medium-duty order intake to 15,600 units, 187,000 SAAR, representing the weakest order intake (on a seasonally adjusted basis) since December,” said Vieth. “Over the past six months, Classes 5 through Class 7 net orders were booked at a 214,600 units SAAR. Over the past 12 months, actual orders have totaled 209,600 units.”