Truck orders in the first quarter of 2018 hit the second highest mark in history and mark the best period for orders since 2006, according to ACT Research.
Truck orders have averaged 45,400 units per month, a mark that was only beaten in the first quarter of 2006 when the trucking industry experienced an ordering frenzy ahead of the EPA ’07 emissions regulations.
In March alone, truck order were more than double the amount recorded in the same month of 2017, hitting 46,780 orders.
“Like 2006, 2018 has the same economic/freight component, rising carrier profitability component, and also a significant regulatory component that impacted the broader market (if in starkly different ways),” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst. “An evolving differentiator is the driver shortage, which is moving from a conditional to a structural component of the market, and we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the powerful force that was the tax cut.”
Medium-duty truck orders also had another banner month in March, hitting 29,287 units for the month. This is the second-best level since July of 2006.
“We continue to believe that strong demand in the lease/rental market has led to a mini pull forward in demand and expect to see order activity slow meaningfully in the next month or two,” said Vieth.
The equipment purchasing boom has extended to the trailer industry, which continues to perform historically strong. A recent FTR report showed that March trailer orders were at their highest level in several years and the market continues to be driven by increased freight demand and decreased capacity.