According to FTR and ACT Research (article here), January new Class 8 orders should come in at approximately 34,400. This is the second month in a row over 30,000 – the first time we’ve seen a two-month combined result this high since 2006. 

Historically, the winter months have typically been when fleets complete the bulk of their acquisitions for the year. However, order trends since the recession have not closely followed this pattern. Currently, the economy is largely back on its feet, and external variables such as EPA regulations, the Affordable Care Act, and governmental uncertainty are lesser factors compared to recent years. As such, the new and used truck markets are probably behaving closer to “normal” now than anytime in the past 8 years or so. So it is likely that the order rate is a response to natural demand for freight. What a concept.