Freight growth continues to push truck order levels to record heights

Cannon Mug Headshot
Updated Oct 4, 2018

North American Class 8 orders for September hit 42,300 units for the month of September – the tenth best order month on record and the fifth highest volume this year.

According to FTR, the third quarter of 2018 set an all-time record with 146,800 Class 8 orders.

“The pressure is on fleets to add capacity to keep up with a robust freight market,” says Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “The economy is surging right now, putting stress on shippers to find trucks to deliver goods on time. Fleets don’t want to be stuck in the same situation next year, so they are placing huge orders for trucks well ahead of time.”

ACT Research President and Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth notes preliminary data indicates Class 8 orders slid 19 percent from August, but were up 90 percent compared to a year ago.

With trucks steamrolling down the assembly line and order books already filling up into 2019, Ake says the focus now turns to the supply chain.

“Parts and component suppliers have struggled to keep pace with the growing OEM builds this year,” he says. “Demand, as indicated by the surge in orders, will be even stronger next year. It is uncertain if suppliers can meet this challenge as they compete for workers and materials in a vibrant economy.”

North American Class 8 orders for the past 12 months total 497,000 units.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]