FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders at 37,200 units, the third consecutive month that Class 8 orders have surpassed 30,000. December order activity, 15% better than November totals and plus 77% versus a year ago, were at the highest level since the 40k+ orders that were seen in Q4 of 2014. Distribution of the orders continues to be inconsistent across the OEMs; however, no OEM is showing any significant weakness in order activity.
The North American equipment market continues to show strength as we begin 2018. North American Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 290,000 units.
Jonathan Starks, Chief Operating Officer, comments, “ELD implementation is now in full swing and will continue through the initial enforcement phase of April 1 of this year. This is contributing to the tight capacity environment and is combining with strong freight activity to move freight rates higher. Our forecast continues to call for an increase in production for 2018, but market expectations are varied for 2019."
Final data for December will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.