According to figures released this week by ACT Research Co., there were a total 28,150 net new orders booked for Class 8 tractors in December, while classes 5 through 7 trucks posted 22,450 net orders.
Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president of the commercial vehicle sector, said the Class 8 commercial vehicle market finished the year with a bang.
“Most notable was the U.S. Class 8 sleeper tractor segment, which had its best production and sales year in history,” Tam said, adding, “Carriers anxious to take advantage of more fuel efficient trucks, spurred by strong freight rate growth in the first part of the year, get the nod as the drivers behind the story.”
Tam commented, however, that 2016 is expected to be a different situation. He explained, “Faced with excess freight hauling capacity and slowing freight growth, freight rates have softened to the point where many truckers are now taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to more new equipment.”
Concerning medium-duty trucks, Tam said, “Class 5 build and sales were the highlights of 2015, setting a record for the best year ever. Classes 6-7, on the other hand, failed to register in the top 10, with 2015 arriving in 13th place.” He added, “The Class 5-7 market closed 2015 on a high note, with orders up more than 4 percent compared to 2014.”