North American Class 8 net orders totaled 38,100 units (not SA) in April 2011. This was up more than 31% from the level set in March and more than 157% above the previous year. This solid order level, the strongest since March 2006, resulted in the Class 8 order backlog surging past the 126,000-unit level. Class 8 order backlog now sits at a 55-month high, according to ACT Research Co.
“Positively, Class 8 orders continue to be placed close-in. Of April's orders, 70% were scheduled for build by the end of Q3. Needless to say, open build slots remaining in 2011 are filling rapidly,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst. “At current fill rates, the 2011 build schedule could be completely filled by sometime in July. As has been the case throughout 2011, the industry's challenge is ramping up production. The industry's ability to build trucks, rather than demand for trucks will be the constraining factor on Class 8 production this year.”