February truck order volume hit a five-month low but still maintained a high level according to the latest report from ACT Research. The Class 8 segment posted the ninth consecutive month of more than 28,000 units ordered, while medium-duty backlogs are the highest in years.
Class 8 net orders were 31,00 units, up 7% compared with last February. Class 5-7 medium-duty trucks posted 19,700 orders, a 2% increase year over year. While Class 8 order numbers remained at a robust level, analysts at ACT research are predicting a cooldown before mid-year as the 2015 build schedule fills up.
“It is unlikely that this string of robust order activity can extend much beyond April or May,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst.
Medium-duty is still recovering from a slow period in mid-2014, but strong order numbers compared to trucks being built have boosted the backlog of orders to high levels.
“Medium-duty orders have been above year-ago results in five of the past six months, even against a tough year-ago February comparison,” said Vieth. “Strong orders and below expectations build helped to boost the medium-duty backlog-to-build ration to 3.2 months – the highest reading in nearly five years.”