Net orders of Class 8 trucks were in line with expectations, falling only slightly from the previous month’s numbers, according to preliminary numbers from FTR and ACT Research.

FTR’s September order numbers are projected at 13,800 units, down 2% compared to August. ACT Research projects its order numbers at 13,900 units and says that with seasonal adjustment, the month’s intake would be 16,100 units.

Despite the small loss, September’s truck orders will not be one for the record books and FTR says that orders are down 27% from a year ago and are the weakest September orders since 2009.

“At 28% below September 2015’s intake, it remains crystal clear that truckers are still struggling to balance excess freight hauling capacity in the context of anemic freight growth,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president.

October is expected to be a better indicator of what Class 8 truck orders will look like in 2017 as the fall is traditionally when large fleets begin to place orders for the following year.

“The October orders will still be a critical sign for 2017,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “If the economy does improve and the trucking outlook brightens, then medium-sized fleets and others should feel confident enough to order also in coming months.  This would put the market near replacement levels in 2017.”