December was the second biggest Class 8 order month since March 2006, with orders up roughly 50% month-over-month and year-over-year—leading to a 17% increase for 2013—according to the State of the Industry report released by ACT Research Co.

 Meanwhile, year-over-year orders were mixed, with Classes 6-7 rising 20% and Class 5 orders falling 16% against tough comparisons. For the year, Class 5-7 orders rose 10%.

“The U.S. and Canada did the ‘heavy lifting’ for Class 8 orders in December, while Mexico and non-NAFTA orders moved sideways at low levels,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research Co., LLC.

 “Strengthening domestic demand has been supported in the second half of the year by improving economic activity that has translated into improved profits for truckers. The softness in December’s Classes 5-7 orders is viewed as a temporary pause following two very strong order months for medium duty.”