North American Class 8 net orders were 36% higher in July over last year, with the preliminary count coming in at 17,600 units, according to ACT Research.

While ACT does not forecast net orders, order intake assumptions are incorporated into its forecasts. July’s NA Class 8 net orders fall into the “meets or exceeds” category in that respect. Seasonally adjusted, July’s orders totaled 21,600 units.

The preliminary sum of 14,900 Classes 5-7 net orders represents a 3% increase compared to July 2012. July’s seasonally adjusted total was 16,600 units.

“July’s medium-duty orders played follow-the-leader, mimicking the pattern of their larger Class 8 counterpart,” said Steve Tam, ACT’s Vice President – Commercial Vehicle Sector. “The Class 8 backlog is likely to fall modestly in July as build plans called for production above the level of incoming orders. In the Classes 5-7 market, normally scheduled summer shutdowns should slow build, allowing for some replenishment of the backlog.

“Freight hauling capacity continues to tighten, while trucker profitability is also strengthening. Both factors bode well for increased truck demand in the near and mid-term.”