The Class 8 sleeper segment saw its best sales and production numbers in history in 2015, according to the latest numbers from ACT Research.

The final numbers for December truck orders show that there were 28,150 net new orders of Class 8 trucks for the month, an uptick for the end of the year compared with previous months.  Much of the sales and production boom came at the beginning of the year.

“Carriers anxious to take advantage of more fuel efficient trucks, spurred by strong freight rate growth in the first part of the year, get the nod as the drivers behind the story,” said Steve Tam, ACT vice presiden, commercial vehicle sector.

However, capacity and freight growth has slowed in recent months, causing new truck orders to follow suit.

“Faced with excess freight hauling capacity and slowing freight growth, freight rates have softened to the point where many truckers are now taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to more new equipment,” said Tam.

Class 5-7 medium-duty truck order numbers were also solid in December, posting 22,450 net orders. Due to a surge in in the Class 5 segment, medium-duty had an overall solid year with orders improving 4% over 2014.

“Class 5 build and sales were the highlights of 2015, setting a record for the best year ever,” said Tam. “Classes 6-7, on the other hand, failed to register in the top 10, with 2015 arriving in 13th place.”