Heavy-duty truck net orders again post strong gains

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Updated Jun 30, 2010

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Net orders for heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles increased 84 percent in May compared to the same month last year, according to ACT Research Co. In the latest release of the State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles, ACT reported 13,231 net orders of Class 8 vehicles. More than half of the orders are scheduled for delivery in the third quarter, indicating truck fleets are looking to get new units on the road before the peak fall shipping season.

May net orders of medium-duty Class 5-7 equipment grew by 33 percent from May 2009, boosting year-to-date growth to 18 percent. However, with continued weakness in the residential housing market and tightening state budgets, the medium-duty sector has not shown the same level of rebound as the heavy-duty sector.

“For a third consecutive month, the Class 8 data were solid from top to bottom in May,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT partner and senior analyst. “With strong freight growth continuing to absorb excess capacity, trucker profits should soon follow. While there are still hurdles to clear, including used equipment prices and credit availability, the pendulum is swinging in favor of new truck demand.”