Analysts are projecting another record-breaking month for Class 8 truck orders in August, according to preliminary reports from FTR and ACT Research.
Truck orders are projected to hit an all-time high of 52,400 units by FTR and 53,100 units by ACT Research in what is typically a weak month for truck orders.
“Super-strong orders in June and July are likely pulling large fleet orders ahead in the schedule, as truckers race to reserve build slots in a market where demand is running well above capacity,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst.
Six of the 12 best truck order months ever have occurred in the first eight months of 2018, and total North American Class 8 truck orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 477,000 units, according to FTR. With a strong economy fueling increased freight growth, trucking companies are scrambling to buy more trucks in order to deliver goods.
Earlier concerns about supplier bottlenecks have been smoothed out, but build spots for this year and next are still hard to come by. This shows confidence that the current good freight environment is expected to continue into next year and points to a strong start to 2019, according to FTR.
“The good news is, it appears the supplier shortage issues that significantly slowed production earlier this year, have been largely abated for now,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “However, the supply chain remains tight, and fleets and dealers continue to place large orders to lock down build slots in 2019.”
Medium-duty Class 5-7 truck orders also increased, but activity was slightly below the average of the previous four months.
August preliminary North American Class 5-7 net orders rose 26% year-over-year and 18% compared to July, at 23,700 units, according to ACT's Vieth. “Seasonality provides a modest boost to August’s medium-duty orders, bringing the rise to 24,100 units.”