As reported in trucking media, Class 8 orders increased somewhat unexpectedly in July, coming in 21.9% higher than June at 23,920. Year-over-year, July was down 19.0%. Year-to-date, 2015 is running 14.1% behind 2014. 2015 is currently the strongest year for orders since 2011.

July is not a typically strong month for orders, except when fleets see the need for replacement and/or expansion. 2014 was the strongest year since the pre-buy year of 2006 – and without a pre-buy in 2014, orders were entirely based on economic confidence and the need to move freight.

Since orders are just numbers in a ledger until those trucks are actually built and delivered, it is important to look at sales (deliveries) to gauge how the nation’s fleet is changing. Through June (July’s number is not yet available), there have been 123,188 deliveries of new Class 8 trucks. This figure is 23.6% ahead of 2014, and the strongest since 2007.

Combining orders and deliveries, 2015 is the strongest new truck market since 2007. The upcoming rounds of emissions requirements are likely not yet impacting orders. As such, this expansion of orders and deliveries shows that fleets are confident in economic conditions going forward.