COLUMBUS, Ind. – Act Research data has revealed that January’s heavy- and medium-duty truck net orders have risen to a 13-month high at 45,300 units.

With a 27% improvement compared to January 2016, the preliminary numbers account for vehicle classes five to eight, with North American Class 8 orders hitting a 14-month high with 22,200 units ordered, which exceeded expectations.

“This is the time of year when big fleets are in the market scheduling replacement orders for the coming year,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst. “Rising 21% versus a year-ago January, this is only the second positive year-over-year comparison in 23 months.”

Class 5-7 orders were at an 11-month high in January, rising 32% year-over-year at 23,000 units.

“As the year’s opening stanza is typically one of the weakest in terms of order activity, seasonal adjustment provides a strong boost, pushing the adjusted net order volume to 24,450 units,” said Vieth. “To put that number into context, January’s seasonally adjusted MD net order total was the best monthly reading in nine years, or since February 2008.”

Official numbers for the month of January will be released mid-February.