Class 8 Truck Orders Jump 45% in July

Increase Marks Third Straight Month of Year-Over-Year Gains
Volvo New River Valley plant
A Volvo truck in production at the New River Valley plant in Virginia. Order are till "on a low level, which doesn’t match the replacement demand that’s out there,” company executive Magnus Koeck says. (Volvo Group)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

North American Class 8 truck orders rose year-over-year for a third month in a row in July, according to ACT Research.

Preliminary data indicate Class 8 orders totaled 16,000 in July, a jump of 45% year-over-year, ACT said Aug. 3, in what was the largest year-on-year percentage increase so far in 2023.

Four out of seven months have seen increased orders in 2023 compared with the year-ago period. In June, orders rose 4.5% year-over-year to 16,200 units from 15,500 in June 2022.

July is historically the slowest month for orders, but in 2023, the seventh month of the year turned in a figure higher than the April or May numbers.

Vieth Kenny


Meantime, Classes 5-7 net orders totaled 16,600, up 21% year-over-year, preliminary ACT data showed.

“As represented by seasonal factors, this is the time of year when expectations for orders are low. For both the [medium-duty] Classes 5-7 and [heavy-duty] Class 8 markets, July is the traditional low-water mark for monthly order placement,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst.

“In addition to already-filled backlogs constraining order flows, 2024 order boards are not yet or just barely open, making the opportunity for bigger numbers elusive. All that said, July order activity was largely in line with or slightly above [year-to-date] trends,” he said.

Vieth said that on a seasonally adjusted basis, Class 8 orders were up 5.5% month-over-month at 20,700 units, and Classes 5-7 orders were up 1% month-on-month at 19,300 units.

One OEM agrees. “The industry orders in the U.S. in July came in lower vs. June but increased substantially in Canada. The orders are, however, still on a low level, which doesn’t match the replacement demand that’s out there,” said Magnus Koeck, vice president of strategy, marketing and brand management at Volvo Trucks North America.



Meantime, FTR Inc, an economic and freight forecasting firm, estimated Class 8 truck orders in July totaled 13,500 units, a year-over-year increase of 25%.

The total was again a surprise to the upside, FTR Chairman Eric Starks told Transport Topics, adding that a figure of less than 10,000 was anticipated.

All the major OEMs have filled all of their build slots, he said, which is highly abnormal. Usually by July, OEMs will have open build slots, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, normality has flown out the window, he said.

“[However,] in 2023, truck makers are more willing to increase their production levels … as executives are feeling good about the next several quarters,” Starks said.

Eric Starks of FTR


“Truck makers usually open up their books in September, but customers are pressuring them to open up earlier than usual,” he added, noting that as a result, manufacturers may open their books in August.

Volvo Truck North America’s Koeck agrees.

“August will be the first month when we will see more orders being slotted for next year, so we should see a stronger August and then most likely significant stronger September and October,” he said.

Complete industry data for July, including final order numbers, will be published by ACT Research in mid-August.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: