For the second straight month, Class 8 orders surprised on the high side in July, with net orders of 30,103, according to ACT Research.

Class 5-7 net orders also posted a gain in July, coming in at 15,834 units.

Concerning Class 8, Jim Meil, ACT’s Principal, Industry Analysis, said, “While one strong month may be statistical noise or an outlier, the July orders fit into a robust pattern that has held up since the start of the year. With year-to-date orders up 33% from the comparable 2013 span, 2014 is almost certain to be the best year of this cycle.”

Meil said that Class 8 backlogs were the highest since January 2012, but “we believe we are not yet at the point where an overheated market triggers duplicate ordering and raises anxieties about backlog integrity.”

Meil added that Class 5-7 year-to-date orders are running about 10.5% higher than the prior year at this time.

 “While the numbers may not be as stellar as what we see in Class 8, the year is shaping up to be the best thus far of the post 2009 expansion for medium duty.”