Class 8 net orders for January are expected at 34,700 units (±5%) when actual data are released mid-month, which would be a 51% increase from January 2013, according to ACT Research.

January Class 5-7 net orders are expected at 17,000 units (±5%).

“The past four months have seen three of the top five order months this cycle for Classes 5-8,” said Kenny Vieth, President & Sr. Analyst at ACT Research. “In January, Class 8 orders rose 9% from December’s strong showing and 51% from year-ago January.

“While the order trend has accelerated, it should be noted that this is the time of year in which Class 8 orders tend to be strong: Typically, orders accelerate in Q4 and remain elevated into Q2 before falling sharply in Q3. If industry build transpires as expected, Class 8 backlogs are expected to have posted a nice gain in January.”

After a pause in December, medium-duty orders returned to trend in January. Net orders were up 13% from December and 31% compared to last January.