November net orders of heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles for North American markets increased 38 percent over October to 26,268 units, according to ACT Research Co.
Medium-duty Classes 5-7 net orders also posted a strong 28 percent month-over-month increase.
In the latest release of the State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles, ACT noted Class 8 net orders rose to the highest monthly total in more than four years. And despite a healthy increase in the build rate by North American equipment manufacturers, the backlog of units to be built rose by almost 10,000 units.
“The ramp up in orders over the past three months suggests that the barriers to increasing heavy duty demand are being surmounted, setting the stage for a healthy demand rebound in 2011,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst. “While the hurdles have been significant, the facts are that tight capacity and improving shipment volumes are allowing carrier profits to rise. And the fleet is as old as ever, so a portion of those profits are going to replace those aging trucks.”