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Order activity for Class 8 units drops

April 9, 2024
Preliminary data suggests that March’s order activity for Class 8 vehicles fell 34-50% from February. However, this drop aligns with seasonal expectations.

Orders for Class 8 units have dropped significantly in the last month, according to preliminary reports from FTR Transportation Intelligence and ACT Research.

Both firms’ preliminary findings noted that March’s net Class 8 orders were down compared to February and March 2023.

“Despite weakness in the freight markets that has persisted for more than a year, fleets continue to be willing to order new equipment,” Eric Starks, chairman at FTR, said. “Order levels in March were below the historical average but remained in line with seasonal trends. Demand is not declining rapidly, but neither is the market doing significantly better than replacement level demand.”

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March’s Class 8 unit orders dropped

FTR’s preliminary data counted 18,200 net orders for Class 8 units, down 34% from February and down 4% year over year. Meanwhile, ACT’s preliminary data found 17,300 orders, down roughly 50% from February and down 8.7% year over year.

According to Steve Tam, VP and analyst for ACT, March’s Class 8 order activity was capped by “nascent improvements in the freight market and select OEMs’ efforts to smooth demand, notwithstanding forced conservatism among a portion of the truck-buying populace.”

Tam noted that waning demand for tractors seemed to retrench in March.

Though the decline in orders from February were significant, FTR noted that March’s activity fit seasonal expectations. Orders were still comparable to March 2023’s and had slowed at a typical rate for the season.

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About the Author

Jeremy Wolfe | Editor

Editor Jeremy Wolfe joined the FleetOwner team in February 2024. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with majors in English and Philosophy. He previously served as Editor for Endeavor Business Media's Water Group publications.

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