Preliminary North American Class 8 net orders rose in February for the first time in five months, reaching 22,800 units. February order activity was 13% above January and +10% y/y. Class 8 orders have totaled 303,000 units over the last 12 months.

February’s total represented a solid level of order activity, suggesting that there may be a stabilizing in the low 20,000-unit range. Order activity over the last six months has been strong at an annualized rate of 413,000 units.

Eric Starks, chairman of the board, commented, “Orders likely are below build rates for the month, and FTR would anticipate backlogs to slip slightly. However, backlogs remain at high levels and production slots are mainly filled through Q3 of this year. As such, the February performance is a good sign for the industry as fleets continue to order equipment.

“Over the past year, total net orders reached 303,000 units. In any market, this is a strong number. However, given the uncertainty in the economy, this is an especially welcome sign that demand has not collapsed and that fleets still have access to capital.”

Preliminary orders may be estimated and are subject to revision when FTR releases final data mid-month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service. To contact FTR, email [email protected] or call (888) 988-1699 ext. 1.