Class 8 backlogs moved in the right direction at the start of 2017, and medium-duty demand posted consistent results.

Heavy-duty net orders jumped to a thirteen-month high in January at 22,188 units, lending further support to the notion that Q2-Q3 2016 marked the bottom of the current cycle. A driver of renewed market strength has been an uptick in demand for vocational equipment.

“Stronger orders, coupled with modest build, allowed backlogs to rise 7,600 units from December to 99,600 units,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst. “Orders for vocational equipment rose to a two-year high of 8,500 units, or 38.5% of the month’s intake.”

Echoing the positive demand of Class 8, medium duty net orders hit a six-month high at 22,744 units. That volume was up 3% month-over-month, and 31% year-over-year.

“The improvement was broad-based, with truck, bus and RV orders all posting y/y and m/m gains,” Vieth said. “Seasonal adjustment lifts M-D orders in January, boosting the total to 24,100 units. On that basis, January was the best month for M-D orders since February 2008.”