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March 4, 2015 9:00 AM, EST

February Truck Orders Increase 7%

TT File Photo

February Class 8 truck orders rose 7% from a year ago to 31,200, ACT Research Co. reported.

The total was the highest for February since 2006, when orders totaled almost 45,000, but was down 11% month-to-month from January’s 35,226.

ACT Vice President Steve Tam said the total supports the group’s 2015 Class 8 North American production forecast of 340,000 units.

“Medium-sized fleets have held onto their trucks longer and are replacing pent-up demand,” Tam told Transport Topics.

Another firm, FTR, reported the same 7% year-over-year increase based on its figures, although its February total was 30,900.

Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles, said the orders “were spot on our expectations of 31,000. The market has calmed down but is still operating at a very healthy level.

“The economy and freight demand is more predictable, so orders should follow their cyclical trends for the next few months,” Ake said in a statement. “There are still build slots that need to be filled in the first half of the year in order to keep build rates up.”