Class 8 truck orders are projected to be essentially flat in October when compared to September, according to preliminary numbers from analysts at ACT Research and FTR.
FTR is projecting net orders of 13,800 units for the month, similar to Sept. but subdued in what is usually a stronger order month. The reported net order number was negatively impacted by a significant cleanup of long-term excess orders by on OEM, according to FTR.
With the backlog factored in, net orders would have been closer to 21,300 units. That would have made for the best monthly order activity since Dec. 2015.
“The adjusted number of 21,300 was fueled by the big fleets placing their requirement orders for the first half of 2017,” said Don Ake, vice president of Commercial Vehicles at FTR. “This indicates the freight markets are stabilizing and the fleets are confident enough to replace older trucks.”
Medium-duty Class 5-7 are projected to be 18,400 units for the month, down 10% from Sept. and 18% compared to Oct. 2015, according to ACT Research.
“That result was somewhat below our expectations, though not drastically out of line with our expectation that Class 5-7 production will be down slightly in 2017,” said Michael J. Baudenistel, vice president of Stifel Transportation and Logistics Research Group.