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Crane Hot Line

January Orders for Big Trucks Down 26%

February 6, 2019 - Preliminary North America Class 8 net order data show the industry booked 15,800 units in January, down 26% from December and down 68% from last January, according to ACT Research, Columbus, Indiana.

The numbers are preliminary. ACT Research will publish complete industry data for January, including final order numbers, in mid-February. “With near-record backlogs in both the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle markets, order activity continued to moderate in January,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst.

“During the month, NA Classes 5-8 vehicle orders fell to an 18-month low 39,200 units.”


Vieth continued, “Regarding Class 8, recall that January 2018 marked the point at which orders went vertical. We view this January’s order softness as having more to do with pulled-forward orders and a very large Class 8 backlog than with the current supply-demand balance. Softening freight growth and strong Class 8 capacity additions suggest that the supply-demand balance will become a story in 2019, but January seems a premature start to that tale.”

About medium-duty orders, Vieth commented, “NA Classes 5-7 orders rose sequentially to start the year on trend at 23,400 units. Over the last six months of 2018, MD orders averaged 23,300 units per month.” He added, “While up sequentially, January’s orders had the ignominy of being compared to one of the best order months in history, January 2018: Classes 5-7 net orders fell 24% year-over-year, the first negative comparison in 16 months.”

ACT Research is a leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information about ACT’s Class 5-8 reports is available at




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