Class 8 orders in July — typically a weak month for truck orders — were up 71 percent from July 2013, with 29,516 net orders, according to preliminary data published this week by FTR.
The research firm calls July’s orders “tremendous,” adding that this was the second best July ever for orders. Class 8 orders now have had 18 straight months with year-over-year increases, FTR reports, and the last six-months of orders annualize to 325,000.
ACT Research says July’s orders rose above expectations, hitting a six-month high of 29,900.
“In addition to a continuation of the ongoing strong order trend, some of the non-seasonal strength in July might be related to the rapidly dwindling supply of available build slots in 2014, says ACT President Kenny Vieth. July’s orders were up 12 percent from June and 70 percent from last July, Vieth said.
Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles, said July is usually the weakest month annually for truck orders. “But the market is actually gaining strength in the summer,” he said. “Orders for the last 12 months have been 312,000 units, so production should catch up at some point.”
FTR’s analysis also says if Class 8 orders continue at recent levels, trucking’s capacity constraints should be “challenged” by the end of the year.