Class 8 truck orders increased more than expected in July, indicating a growing confidence in the market, according to analysis from FTR and ACT Research.

North American Class 8 truck orders rose 21% month-over-month to 23,920 units, projects FTR. Despite the increase, it was down 19% compared to last July, but that was also a month with a surprising spike in orders.

Class 8 orders over the past 12 months totaled a "robust" 356,000 units, FTR notes.

“This is a strong order number for July,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Even though most of the market was subdued, the fact that some big fleets have the confidence to place huge orders right now is a great sign for the Class 8 market going forward.”

With growing freight markets, fleets are viewing the market more positively, with more early ordering trends possible in the coming months before the typical peak in October.

Medium-duty orders were down slightly for the second month, which was mostly attributed to a seasonal slowdown, reports ACT Research. Class 5-7 orders totaled 15,300 units for July, down 1% from June and 4% year-over year.

“Some of this decline is attributable to seasonality,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “When seasonally adjusted, July’s medium-duty orders rise to 17,600 units, up 4% from June.”