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Truck market ‘healthy and growing’ as orders swell

North American Class 8 net orders for September hit 22,100 units according to preliminary data released this week by FTR, a month-over-month increase of 7 percent and 62 percent above a year ago.

“With a generous factor bestowed on what is typically the second weakest order month of the year, seasonal adjustment boosts September’s order performance to its highest level in over two years at 26,200 units,” says Kenny Vieth, President and Senior Analyst at ACT Research.

North American Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have totaled 239,000 units, a sign of a recovering heavy truck market that has strengthened over the summer and is expected to climb higher as the year comes to a close.

“Order totals never got that low and followed cyclical trends,” says Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “This is a healthy, growing truck market, which is in excellent position for greater expansion in 2018.”

Ake says strong freight growth generated by a more robust U.S. economy will spur demand for additional trucks next year.

“Factor in the loss of productivity from the ELDs,” he says, “and fleets will have to expand capacity to haul the available freight.”

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Jason Cannon is the Equipment Editor for Commercial Carrier Journal and Overdrive, and is a Class A CDL holder. Reach him at jasoncannon@randallreilly.com.