Class 8 truck orders rose to 37,500 units in December 2017.

Class 8 truck orders rose to 37,500 units in December 2017.

North American Class 8 truck orders rose to a 37-month high in December, signaling a healthy market going into 2018, according to ACT Research.

U.S. orders for sleeper models drove the increase, jumping 260% year over year.

“The U.S .market was the primary driver of December’s Class 8 order strength, with orders climbing 127% y/y, even as cancellations remained negligible,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst.

Tightening capacity from a number of events and industry changes have spurred trucking companies to invest in new equipment to meet the demand. This trend was also seen in the trailer market, which hit an all-time high for orders in December, according to numbers from FTR.

“The inability of carriers to find drivers, the inflection in freight volumes, hurricanes, and the strongest holiday shopping season since 2010 have conspired to create a capacity shortfall that has destabilized the trucking industry’s supply/demand balance,” said Vieth.

While Class 8 orders tend to spike in the busy months at the end of the year, medium-duty truck orders were consistently good for most of last year. December orders for Class 5-7 trucks were up 2.2% year over year.

Related: ELD Mandate Pushes Fleets to Order Record Number of Trailers