FTR reports Class 8 orders hit 47,200 in January, making that month the strongest since the 2006 pre-buy. Tax breaks, general optimism about the economy, the need to modernize equipment to comply with ELD mandates, and OEM incentives look to be the main drivers of the strong performance. Keep in mind actual deliveries are not directly linked to orders, since buyers typically request their delivery targets over multiple future months. Even so, unless the order cancellation rate unexpectedly jumps, January's performance points to a heathy environment in 2018.

Of course, the downside to increased deliveries is an increased supply of trade-ins entering the used truck market. J.D. Power/NADA already forecasts used truck supply five years out, so any new data adds color to our long-term value trend predictions. See the graph below for a general look at where we see used truck values heading in the next few years. More detailed analysis is of course available. Contact chris.visser@jdpa.com with inquiries.