Strong orders surpassed build in April, boosting industry backlogs to their best level since March 2016. The order strength in 2017 has largely been by the tractor daycab market. “In April, tractor daycab orders were up nearly 200% from year-ago levels, while year-to-date net order performance is up 92%,” notes Steve Tam, ACT Research’s Vice President.
“The backlog analysis continues to show a high degree of front-end loading,” says Tam. He continues, “Nearly 19,000 of April’s 24,000 orders were booked into Q2 and Q3.” Current Class 8 build plans call for 2017 production in excess of 240,000 units, assuming flat production rates in November and December.
Speaking on Classes 5, 6, and 7, Tam says, “Medium-duty build rates moderated in April, settling between February and March at 19,600 units.”