Strong orders surpassed build in April, boosting industry backlogs to their best level since March 2016, according to ACT Research. The order strength in 2017 has largely been by the tractor daycab market.

“In April, tractor daycab orders were up nearly 200% from year-ago levels, while year-to-date net order performance is up 92%,” noted Steve Tam, ACT Research’s vice president.

“The backlog analysis continues to show a high degree of front-end loading,” Tam said. “Nearly 19,000 of April’s 24,000 orders were booked into Q2 and Q3.”

Current Class 8 build plans call for 2017 production in excess of 240,000 units, assuming flat production rates in November and December.

Speaking on Classes 5, 6, and 7, Tam said, “Medium-duty build rates moderated in April, settling between February and March at 19,600 units."

ACT publishes new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, and worldwide banking and investment companies.