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Class 8 truck backlog growing as inventories fall for second time this year

November’s Class 8 truck orders, which hit about 32,900 units according to ACT Research, boosted backlogs by 10,100 units to 115,200.

Rising orders in recent months have generated more work for the industry, according to Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s president and senior analyst.

“Coupled with a modestly slower per-day build rate in November, the Class 8 backlog rose an additional 11 days, to 102 days,” he says. “On a monthly basis, the backlog is 4.9 months, up 110bps since September.”

While build dates grew, inventory contracted in November contracted for the first time since January.

“This is the time of year when fewer production days and tax-related year-end buying help alleviate the inventory building that has occurred through the year,” Vieth says. “That process started in November, with Class 8 inventory falling nearly 600 units. Slightly lower inventories and a slightly higher sales rate did little to reduce the inventory/retail sales ratio, which fell by 1 day, to 2.5 months/53 days.”

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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.