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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
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  • DATVF.SEALAX
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  • DATVF.PHLCHI
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  • DATVF.LAXSEA
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  • DATVF.VEU
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  • DATVF.VNU
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  • DATVF.VSU
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    -1.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.652
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  • ITVI.USA
    10,981.020
    -354.010
    -3.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    14.160
    -1.970
    -12.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,974.470
    -351.120
    -3.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    0.020
    0.8%
  • WAIT.USA
    151.000
    -8.000
    -5%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.925
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  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.898
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  • DATVF.DALLAX
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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.410
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  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.058
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    3.3%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.090
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  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.246
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  • DATVF.VEU
    1.637
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  • DATVF.VNU
    1.572
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  • DATVF.VSU
    1.427
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  • DATVF.VWU
    1.652
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  • ITVI.USA
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  • OTRI.USA
    14.160
    -1.970
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  • OTVI.USA
    10,974.470
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  • TLT.USA
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  • WAIT.USA
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News

February Class 8 truck orders tank on coronavirus uncertainty

Already not-so-great truck orders slip below replacement demand

Preliminary orders of new Class 8 tractors dropped 20% in February from January, raising the specter that coronavirus could be worsening already anemic bookings by risk-averse fleets.

“It appears fleets have decided to delay some orders until the health crisis has passed,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR Transportation Intelligence. “There is no pressure for fleets to order more trucks since most carriers have enough capacity to handle current freight volumes.”

FTR and ACT Research reported a preliminary order total of 14,400 units in February, which is traditionally a slow month for orders. This was the lowest order activity for the month of February since 2010 and down 18% year-over-year. Class 8 orders have totaled 177,000 over the past 12 months, FTR said.

“Weak freight market and rate conditions, as well as a still-large backlog, continue to bedevil new Class 8 orders,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “This February’s results, seasonally adjusted, accounted for the weakest monthly order rate since last August.”

Orders had been right at replacement levels for four months, but now it appears fleets will pause in replacing older trucks until current anxiety dissipates, FTR said.

“The market was already in a wait-and-see mode before the virus spread,” Ake said. “Now, fleets are just waiting for things to calm down before returning to normal ordering patterns. The industry was already taking a pause after two years of great sales.”

If the coronavirus is a factor affecting heavy-duty truck orders, it is not impacting Class 5-7 medium-duty bookings, which rose to an 11-month high of 22,200 units, up 12% from January but down 12% from a very strong year-ago comparison, ACT said. February kicks off the peak order season for medium-duty trucks.

According to FreightWaves SONAR (Orders.CL8), year-over-year Class 8 orders were down  26.4%.


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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is a Detroit-based award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press, the Detroit Free Press and most recently as Detroit Bureau Chief for Trucks.com. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.

One Comment

  1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    WILL HISTORY REPEAT ? I think so .

    Quote :

    Here’s Why Big Rate Cuts Won’t Stop the Dow From Plunging Into a Bear Market <<<<< Google it !

    "History shows that emergency interest rate cuts precede a bear market.

    Big Rate Cuts Often Foretell Stock Market Collapse
    Over the last two decades, we’ve seen six instances where the Fed reduced rates by 50 basis points or higher. Every single one of them preceded a bear market."

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