North American Class 8 orders ended 2017 with a bang, rising to a 37-month high of 37,500-plus units, according to ACT Research Co. (ACT).
Strong orders since September have boosted Class 8 backlogs, setting the stage for a healthy uptick in Class 8 production in 2018.
“The US market was the primary driver of December’s Class 8 order strength, with orders climbing 127% y/y, even as cancellations remained negligible.” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst.
He explained that tractor sleepers led the charge, jumping 260%.
“The inability of carriers to find drivers, the inflection in freight volumes, hurricanes, and the strongest holiday shopping season since 2010 have conspired to create a capacity shortfall that has destabilized the trucking industry’s supply/demand balance,” he said.
Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth explained that in the time Class 8 has gone from peak to trough to peak, the medium-duty market has remained a model of consistency, with December orders up 2.2% y/y.