At the top line, North American Class 8 net orders totaled 53,069 units in August, marking the sixth time in eight months in which industry orders cracked 40,000 units and another record-setting month, according to ACT Research.
“Robust orders in June and July were largely attributed to dealers booking orders for their non-national account customers, as well as for stock units in the first half of next year,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst. “Early indications are that large national account orders began to flow earlier than usual in August. With the backlog stretched to 10 months, fleets are racing to get into the queue in what is arguably the best-ever period in history for carrier profitability.
“Coupling record orders with the industry’s bumpy production ramp, the Class 8 backlog rose to record heights in August, climbing to 280,710 units, and given the current order frenzy, a 300k-plus backlog seems achievable.”
Regarding medium-duty markets, Vieth said: “The Classes 5-7 market remains ‘trendy,’ not hot or cold, with August’s orders rebounding to 23,685 units. Medium-duty backlogs slipped a bit in August, dropping 1,000 units from July, but lower build conspired to boost the market’s BL/BU ratio to 3.3 months.”