FTR: Truck orders likely to fall

Heavy truck demand for 2010 is likely to slow after 2007 engine inventory is exhausted, according to the latest issue of The North American Commercial Truck and Trailer Outlook published by FTR Associates.

FTR recently increased its 2009 Class 8 forecast due to a surge in orders in October, but those orders are likely to reduce early 2010 freight-induced demand, as the order activity in October was driven by truck operators lining up for the last of pre-2010 emissions engines. For 2010 models, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set tougher guidelines that will require trucks to have more expensive emissions-control technologies.

“2009 will end with modest freight growth, and we expect 2010 growth to be in the 2.8 percent range,” says Eric Starks, FTR president. “However, given the huge decline in freight over the last few years, the increase in freight in 2010 will not be enough to entice fleets in large numbers to buy new, more expensive technology when such equipment is first made available. Many have usable miles on older equipment to get them through the initial uptick in freight demand without taking the risk of adding unfamiliar engine technology to their fleet.”