Class 8 truck orders reach all-time high

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 175 views 

Net orders of Class 8 trucks in North America rose 180% to a record high of 52,400 units in July, from the same month in 2017, according to preliminary data form transportation analyst ACT Research. The previous order record of Class 8 trucks, the largest truck class, was 52,194, set in March 2006.

July is typically the weakest month for orders. Class 8 net orders increased 24% in July, from June, preliminary data shows.

“Besides capturing the distinction of the best month in the current rally nominally, on a seasonally adjusted basis orders are also the best on record, outpacing the March 2006 order intake by 13,500 units, or 165,000 on a (seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales) basis,” said Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research.

Between January and May, orders of natural gas Class 8 trucks in the United States and Canada have fallen 18%, from the same period in 2017, according to ACT Research. In 2017, orders of natural gas Class 8 trucks increased 13%.

“As we can see from the year-to-date data in 2017, it isn’t unexpected that sales at this point in the year are subpar,” said Ken Vieth, senior partner and general manager at ACT Research. “On a nominal basis, natural gas retail sales are down an almost-neutral seven units for the first five months of 2018 on a year-over-year basis. Based on news released in the popular press, natural gas vehicle purchases continued to be dominated by refuse fleets, as well as transit and school bus operators.”

Meanwhile, electric vehicle technology continues to penetrate the Class 8 truck market. Orders of electric vehicles have come from delivery, transit and school bus operators. “All viable commercial vehicle power alternatives must now be considered to accurately measure potential cost savings for fleets and overall emissions, as we look to the future,” Vieth said.