With the preliminary numbers rolling in from ACT Research and FTR, it is looking like January was a banner month for both heavy- and medium-duty truck orders.
The early numbers on Class 5-8 truck orders for January hit a 13-month high of 45,300 units total, a 27% improvement from the same month in 2016, according to ACT Research. Class 8 truck orders are projected to reach a 14-month high, with 22,200 units for the month.
FTR expects the strong fourth quarter truck order increase to help boost first quarter build rates.
“It is unusual for January orders to be higher than any of the preceding Q4 months. This indicates fleets are more confident in market conditions than they were four months ago,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “OEMs should begin to fill in their production schedules and now February builds look to be much better than previous months.”
Class 5-7 orders hit an 11-month high in January with 23,000 units, rising 32% year-over-year, according to ACT Research.
“As the year’s opening stanza is typically one of the weakest in terms of order activity, seasonal adjustment provides a strong boost, pushing the adjusted net order volume to 24,450 units,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “To put that number into context, January’s seasonally adjusted MD net order total was the best monthly reading in nine years, or since February 2008.”