Orders for Class 8 trucks moderated from the record-setting levels of this summer, but were still 21% better thana year ago, according to ACT Research, while used-truck sales improved over September. However, cancellations rose.

North American net orders totaled 43,256 Class 8 units in October, ACT says.

“Class 8 net order activity experienced a second consecutive month of ‘moderation’ in October, meaning it was below all-time record highs set in July and August,” said Steve Tam, ACT Research vice president. “Demand remains elevated, well above expectations based on replacement and as justified by the current economic and freight growth environment.

“Of particular interest this month is the spike in order cancellations, which removed about 10,850 orders from the backlog. As a percentage of the backlog, the more salient metric in our view, the cancellation rate was 3.6%.”

Medium-duty demand “remained a picture of consistency in October,” Tam said, with orders falling about 800 units from September but in line with the past 12 months’ 24,500-unit order average.

“In further testament to the stability of the medium duty market, build and sales both rose 3% sequentially, solidifying their year-to-date gains of 8% and 7%, respectively,” Tam said.

Meanwhile, ACT reports that used Class 8 volumes (same dealer sales) rose 10% from the previous month in October, offsetting September’s 10% decline. The report also indicated used Class 8 same dealer sales volumes rose 9% year-over-year. Average mileage dropped 1% and average age declined 2% from a year ago.

“Analysis of the individual market channels revealed that all three segments (auction, retail and wholesale) posted month-over-month gains, up 81%, 5%, and 2%, respectively,” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. He continued, “Longer term, the retail and auction markets rose 21% and 3% on a year-over-year basis, with the wholesale market contracting 21% by comparison.”

Regarding prices, Tam added, “The average used Class 8 selling price recorded a sixth straight month above the trend reading. On a yearly basis, prices continue to enjoy meaningful growth.”

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