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September 2020: New Truck Sales Nearly Hit Two-Year High

According to Freight Transportation Research Associates (FTR), around 20,500 new trucks were sold in the month of August. Now the September numbers are in, and if you have been following the truck sales for the past few months, it should not surprise you.

The Data

New trucks sold for September according to FTR totaled 32,000. This is a 55% increase from August, and a 160% increase from September 2019.

FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles Don Ake said the recovering trucking industry compounds its recovery as more money transfers hands.

“Rates have improved, so carriers have the cash, and now they also have the confidence,” he said. “When you combine those two factors, orders tend to surge.”

The sales for new Class 8 trucks is the highest it has been since October 2018.

Net orders for the last 12 months now total 197,000 units. This shows signs of improvement in the trucking industry, but the industry will need more heavy-hitting months like these to match previous years; in 2018, new truck sales were pushing half a million, around 40,000 per month, or well over a thousand per day.

Conclusion

The only thing more astounding than the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on the trucking industry is how quickly the industry is healing. Aside from August, where truck sales stagnated from the month prior, the numbers continue to rise. If the monthly sales rise another 30% or so, which is entirely doable since it rose 55% this last month, the trucking industry will be on its way to having monthly sales in October to the 2018 average.

As always, only time will tell what the numbers will be for October: the fall tends to open up sales for the next year model lines, so those numbers may be an even more accurate indicator of the health of the trucking industry moving forward.

The way things are now, the trucking industry appears to have almost gotten better from the coronavirus. It had some symptoms, sure, but it is making a recovery.

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