Today’s Pickup: Class 8 truck orders rebound in June

Good day,

Following a disappointing retreat in orders in May, Class 8 truck orders rose in June according to data just released. That reinforces the outlook for the remainder of 2017 as many of the orders are for fourth quarter delivery, indicating fleets’ optimism going forward.

ACT Research reported that Class 8 orders in June climbed 1,200 units from May, totaling 18,100.

“While orders are weak relative to YTD activity, June’s orders were up 39% compared to last year,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research. “Because of a deep seasonal trend that runs through Class 8 orders, seasonal adjustment provides a significant boost to June’s orders. When adjusted, the June volume rises to 20,200 units.”

For all of the second quarter, Class 8 net orders were booked at a 251,000 seasonally adjusted pace, versus 268,000 for quarter one.

FTR also reported a June gain in Class 8 orders, albeit slightly lower than ACT’s. FTR recorded 17,600 units in June, a 7% improvement over May and 38% over June 2016. The firm also said that many of the orders are for fourth quarter delivery. Total orders for the past twelve months have totaled 216,000 units, it said.

“The June orders confirm that the market just took a brief respite in May after several stronger than expected months,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles. “The orders are right where we expect them to be and on track with our forecast. The fact that orders are up 38% over last year, proves the market is much improved this year.”

Did you know?

According to a Bloomberg review of pending transportation regulations, there are 43 proposed rules that are subject to President Donald Trump’s executive order and require the elimination of two existing rules for each new one added. 34 of those rules are designed to improve safety.


“It’s like Sophie’s Choice. You’re asking people to pick between one thing that will kill you and another thing that will kill you.”

Deborah Hersman, former NTSB chairman, on proposed safety rules being delayed as the Dept. of Transportation adheres to an executive order to find two rules to eliminate for each new one.

In other news:

Speed limiter proposal, other regs being held up

A rule that would require speed limiters on trucks has been stuck in limbo since President Donald Trump signed an executive order required two rules be eliminated for each new one. And that has parents of kids killed by speeding trucks concerned for others. (Bloomberg)

Volvo moving away from combustion engines

Volvo announced that starting in 2019, it will no develop cars with combustion-only engines. All new vehicles will be either electric or hybrid, the carmaker said. (The Hill)

Life on the road

Finn Murphy spent his life on the road, and now the veteran truck driver has written a book about his adventures and some of the people he met along the way. (

Otto-less Uber releases update to self-driving truck

Now without the Otto name, Uber has released a video showing off some of the updates, including more powerful sensors, to its self-driving truck project. (The Verge)

Daseke in acquisition mode

Flatbed operate Daseke has closed its third transaction in just months, acquiring Springfield, MO-based Steelman Companies. (Mergers & Acquisitions)

Final Thoughts

With a mix of news continuing to roll in on the economy, truck order data for June is a bright spot and shows the optimism that many carriers hold for the remainder of this year. According to FTR, many of the orders are for fourth quarter delivery, indicating continued optimism in the economy.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.