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August 5, 2015 11:00 AM, EDT

Class 8 Truck Orders Hit 24,100 in July

Mack Trucks Inc.

New Class 8 truck orders were “stronger than expected” in July at 24,100 units, but still declined 20% from a year earlier, ACT Research reported.

Last month’s total rose 19% from the 20,287 orders placed in June, but fell well short of the 30,073 bookings in July 2014, which was the highest total ever for that month.

North American Class 8 order intake has now declined on year-over-year basis for five straight months.

“ACT Research continues to believe the recent order decline is a reflection of meaningfully larger backlogs and tough comps rather than any structural change in demand,” ACT President Kenny Vieth said.

Last month’s total was strong result for July, which is typically the weakest month of the year for order activity, the firm said.

ACT Vice President Steve Tam said a majority of the orders placed in July would have been for production in 2016 since most of this year’s build slots have already been filled.

Research firm FTR gauged Class 8 net orders at 23,920 units in July, up 21% from June but down 19% from a year earlier.

FTR attributed the higher than expected order activity to some large fleets placing 2016 orders a few months earlier than usual.