April trailer orders plunge as OEMs manage backlogs

April trailer orders dove 58% when compared to March volumes, plunging to 16,100 units.

But that was up slightly year over year, reports ACT Research, citing its preliminary data.

“While seasonal patterns call for a sequential decline in net orders in April, preliminary reports indicate that volumes fell more than might have been expected,” said Frank Maly, director – commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research with ACT.

Trailer orders chart

“Just as dry vans provided solid support in March, they were responsible for the dramatically lower April bookings. While some may think recent economic challenges could be a contributing factor to the sequential decline, it’s more likely that a reluctance to push the order board horizon into next year is responsible, as OEMs continue to closely control order acceptance.”

Maly estimates the backlog-to-build ratio is more than eight months.  

“That will stretch through the end of the year at current production levels,” he added. “Our discussions indicate active negotiations between OEMs and fleets continue, as fleets prepare to make commitments for 2023 production, when that opportunity becomes available.”

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