Net orders for heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles increased 91 percent in April compared with the same month last year, according to ACT Research Co.
In the latest release of the State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Vehicles, ACT wrote that net orders for heavy-duty vehicles continued to strengthen month-to-month. New orders are spread over the next three quarters, suggesting companies are beginning to place orders for new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2010 emissions compliant equipment.
April net orders of medium-duty Classes 5-7 equipment grew by 39 percent from April 2009. However, with continued weakness in the residential housing market and tightening state budgets, the medium-duty sector has not shown the same level of recovery as the heavy-duty sector.
“From top to bottom, April was a healthy month for the Class 8 segment, at least in relative terms,” said Kenny Vieth, partner and senior analyst with ACT. “Orders were above expectations, backlogs rose and retail sales remained elevated. If orders surprise on the high side again in May, it could have upside implications for our forecasts for the remainder of 2010 and 2011,” he said.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.