ACT Research: Class 8 Truck Order Season Kicks Off with 36,800 Units in September

ACT Research Co.
3 min readOct 4, 2023

September preliminary NA Class 8 net orders were 36,800 units, up 67% m/m, reflecting the strongest order month in the past year. Classes 5–7 net orders were more trend-like, rising 13% m/m to 23,100 units. Complete industry data for September, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-October.

NA Class 8 Net Orders

“Between reports of falling carrier income and margins, still sloshy load-to-truck ratios, weak spot rates reported by DAT, and a sense over the past six weeks or so that the US economy’s year-to-date outperformance was starting to lose some momentum, we were unsure how the market would respond when the 2024 orderboards officially opened,” shared Kenny Vieth, ACT’s President and Senior Analyst. “One thing we did know was that nearly all the August-ending Class 8 backlog was scheduled for build in 2023, so strong orders are imperative for the industry to maintain current strong production rates very far into 2024.”

He added, “While it is too early to infer much from September orders, data from the OEMs confirm the ‘season’ started on the right foot.”

ACT Research, State of the Industry: N.A. Truck Vehicles Classes 5–8

ACT’s State of the Industry: Classes 5–8 Vehicles report provides a monthly look at the current production, sales, and general state of the on-road heavy and medium duty commercial vehicle markets in North America. It differentiates market indicators by Class 5, Classes 6–7 chassis and Class 8 trucks and tractors, detailing activity-related measures such as backlog, build, inventory, new orders, cancellations, net orders, and retail sales. Additionally, Class 5 and Classes 6–7 are segmented by trucks, buses, RVs, and step van configurations. The Class 8 market is segmented into trucks and tractors, with and without sleeper cabs. The report includes a six-month industry build plan, a backlog timing analysis, historical data from 1996 to the present in spreadsheet format, and a ready-to-use graph package. A first look at preliminary net orders is also published in conjunction with this report.

ACT Research is recognized as the leading publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasts for the North America 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. ACT Research is a contributor to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators and a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel. ACT Research executives have received peer recognition, including election to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics, appointment as Consulting Economist to the National Private Truck Council, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Economic Indicators’ Most Accurate Economic Forecast over a four-year period. ACT Research senior staff members have earned accolades including Chicago Federal Reserve Automotive Outlook Symposium Best Overall Forecast, Wall Street Journal Top Economic Outlook, and USA Today Top 10 Economic Forecasters. More information can be found at www.actresearch.net.

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ACT Research Co.

ACT Research is the leader in commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis, and forecasting services for North America.