- Preliminary net orders of Class 8 truck orders in North America surged to 56,500 units during September, “the most ever for a single month,” FTR reported in its monthly report.
- The surge was double the orders YoY and an even greater increase from August’s 21,400 orders, according to the research firm.
- “September order activity is further testimony that there remains a tremendous level of pent-up demand,” FTR said.
Class 8 truck orders surge in September
Despite an increase in orders, fulfillment will depend on OEMs' ability to produce, and FTR said supply chain issues could persist well into 2023.
“Q4 monthly order levels will likely be dependent on how far into 2023 manufacturers are comfortable accepting orders amidst an unforgiving supply chain environment that is now expected to persist well into 2023,” Commercial Vehicles Analyst Charles Roth said in the report.
As order backlogs prevailed throughout the year — order levels averaged less than 18,000 each month during the first half of 2022 — some trucking executives have turned to M&A for relief.
Earlier this week, Werner Enterprises announced its acquisition of Indiana-based truckload carrier Baylor Trucking. Werner Chief Commercial Officer Craig Callahan told Transport Dive this week that smaller fleets can be disadvantaged in their ability to replace equipment, but can benefit from larger carriers' economies of scale and buying power.
But OEMs have varied on whether they would accept truck orders.
Daimler Truck sold out in 2022 in North America and is not taking any orders in the U.S. for 2023, Chairman Martin Daum said on the company’s Q2 earnings call in August. But PACCAR showed signs of improvement on supply constraints, with CEO Preston Feight saying during its July earnings call that he didn’t foresee having restrictions on orders for 2023.
“It’s really just the start of that season,” Feight said.