FTR reports preliminary North American Class 8 orders for June at 41,800 units, making it the highest June ever recorded, 140% above a year ago. North American Class 8 orders have now exceeded 40,000 units in four of the six months in 2018.
Fleets are ordering such large numbers of trucks that the OEM production cannot keep up with demand due to component shortfalls. The backlogs are being moved out further, which is pushing fleets to get orders in sooner rather than later so they can find a build slot. North American Class 8 orders for the past 12 months have now totaled 411,000 units.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented, “There is an enormous demand for trucks due to burgeoning freight growth and extremely tight industry capacity. However, supply is severely constrained because OEM suppliers cannot provide the needed parts and components required to build more trucks fast enough. This bottleneck is causing fleets to get more orders in the backlog in hopes of getting more trucks as soon as they are available.
“Fleets are desperate for more equipment, but trucks are in short supply due to the supplier constraints. This is creating a surge in orders as fleets react to this unusual situation," he continued. "If OEMs were producing at capacity, the truck build this year could have been as high as 360,000 units. Orders for the last 12 months have now reached 411,000, so there are some excess orders in the backlog.”
Final data for June will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.