Orders for Class 8 trucks in October jumped 87% over the previous month to 45,795 units, the second highest amount of orders ever recorded in a single month, according to the latest FTR report. Orders were 76% higher year over year.
ACT research also published a report on October truck orders expanding its focus to include Class 5-7. It found that the past 12 months have been the strongest such period since January 2007.
Class 8 orders for the last six months stand at 354,000 units, a major increase from the previous six.
“The huge amount of orders was driven by several very large fleets placing orders to be built throughout 2015,” explained Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “This is the result of the industry operating near full capacity and fleets having confidence that freight growth will remain strong for the entire year in 2015.”
Fleets are locking in their orders today, in order to guarantee future deliveries, added Ake. The ACT report focused on what trends have led to the exceptional numbers.
"Class 8 net worders in October represent the convergence of a number of trends that continue to drive healthy order activity," said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT. "Those trends include pent-up demand amongst small and medium fleets, superior new truck fuel economy, improved economic activity in key freight sectors and most importantly, rising freight rates and fleet profitability."
Combined, class 5-8 orders are up 50% from a year ago though Medium-duty has seen more sublte rise, with 21,700 units ordered in October. This represents a 14% better number when compared to October 2013.
"On a seasonally adjusted basis, October's orders are slightly lower than actual at 19,400 units, but like actual, are the best month since April," said Vieth.