Heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicle net orders dropped slighting for North American markets from January to February this year, according to data tracked by ACT Research Co. (ACT). However, the firm stressed these are preliminary numbers, subject to revision, and are typically accurate to within plus or minus 5%.

Class 8 net orders totaled 24,300 units in February, though order volume is down 3,000 units from January. However, over the last four months, the net order volume translates into annualized rate of over 272,200 units. That creates a positive trend line over the longer term for heavy-duty truck sales, said Steve Tam, ACT vp-commercial vehicle sector.

“The industry is continuing in 2011 where it left off in 2010,” Tam noted. “The strength in orders continues to restock industry backlogs and fuel increasing build as the industry moves through the year.”