Order numbers for Class 8 vehicles continue to show improvement, according to the latest figures compiled by FTR Associates.

FTR reported that preliminary data for February showed net truck orders at 23,011 units, a 4% increase over January and 4% over February 2012. Orders for Class 8 vehicles have been consistently above the 20,000 mark since October 2012 with an annualized rate of 263,600 units over the last three months, FTR said.

Preliminary order numbers are for all major North American OEMs.

“In February we saw a year-over-year improvement in orders which is a positive development,” said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR. “The modestly robust freight environment that we are currently in is being reflected in truck orders as carriers purchase needed replacements. Since we are at the tail end of the typical ordering season we see no indication that the market will get above those replacement levels during 2013.”

Final data for February will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service.