ACT: Truck, trailer backlogs soar

(Courtesy of Utility Trailer)(Courtesy of Utility Trailer)

The North American Class 8 truck order backlog has risen to more than 126,000 units, a 55-month high, reported ACT Research Co.

Truck net orders totaled 38,100 units in April, up 31 percent from March and 157 percent above the previous year.

“Class 8 orders continue to be placed close-in,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst. “Of April’s orders, 70 percent were scheduled for build by the end of third quarter. Needless to say, open build slots remaining in 2011 are filling rapidly. At current fill rates, the 2011 build schedule could be completely filled by sometime in July. The industry’s ability to build trucks, rather than demand for trucks will be the constraining factor on Class 8 production this year.”

Meanwhile, the commercial trailer backlog topped 101,000 units in April, ACT said. The backlog was 141 percent higher than a year earlier. Net trailer orders declined 30 percent from the previous month.

“The 30 percent decline in April net orders follows extremely strong industry performance in March. Additionally, the industry’s normal order pattern actually calls for a strong first quarter followed by a mid-year lull,” said Frank Maly, director of CV Transportation Analysis and Research with ACT Research.