The backlog of Class 8 trucks on order rose to 125,200 units in January, the biggest backlog since last July, as the truck build rate dropped, according to ACT Research.
“The Class 8 build rate fell back to the prevailing trend in January at 1,253 units per day,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at the research firm.
That drop in production followed a rush to build and deliver heavy-duty trucks to for-hire carriers and other fleet operators at the end of 2011, said Vieth.
Net orders for Class 8 trucks leaped 71.7 percent in 2011, and December was the second best month for Class 8 orders in six years, according to ACT Research.
The solid increase in net orders for big trucks underscores the growing strength of the truck freight market in the U.S., backed by an increase in U.S. manufacturing.
Truck makers are gearing up for more production. “Almost half of orders booked in January are scheduled to be built in the first half of the year,” Vieth said.