North American Class 8 net orders totaled 38,100 units (not SA) in April—up more than 31% from the level set in March and over 157% above previous year. This solid order level, the strongest since March 2006, resulted in the Class 8 order backlog surging past the 126,000-unit level. Class 8 order backlog now sits at a 55 month high, according to ACT Research Co. (ACT).
“Positively, Class 8 orders continue to be placed close-in,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst. “Of April’s orders, 70% were scheduled for build by the end of Q3. Needless to say, open build slots remaining in 2011 are filling rapidly.
“At current fill rates, the 2011 build schedule could be completely filled by sometime in July. As has been the case throughout 2011, the industry’s challenge is ramping up production. The industry’s ability to build trucks, rather than demand for trucks will be the constraining factor on Class 8 production this year.”