Net orders for all trailer types were up in October compared to the previous month and essentially met expectations, according to a report from FTR.
Trailer orders totaled 20,200 units for the month, up 72% from September but down 38% from October 2015. Dry van orders hit the highest point of 2016 but again, they were significantly down from the robust numbers seen in 2015. Refrigerated van orders are steady while flatbeds are still in decline.
“The trailer market is coming back in sync with the Class 8 markets,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Large fleets are ordering trailers for replacements in 2017, but not at the level of previous years. They also are not placing many orders for more than six months out.”
Backlogs on orders dipped 3% and FTR believes they will stabilize. Based on order rate and declining backlogs, production is expected to fall by a moderate amount in November.
“November production will be somewhat weaker, and December will be impacted by extended shutdown days around the holiday,” said Ake. “January builds should increase, but are dependent on orders staying stable in November and December.”