Preliminary data for June continues the recent trend of weakening Class 8 orders, according to data provided by FTR Associates.

The firm noted that orders for June were down 8% from May and 23% from June 2011. In fact, FTR said, the net orders of 16,195 units are the lowest order numbers since September 2010.

“Truckers are operating in a modestly positive environment, but not strong enough to elicit higher demand for expensive new vehicles,” said Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis. “Growth in freight volumes and rates slowed noticeably during late 2011 and into 2012. Despite expectations that both will improve as we finish 2012, equipment markets will have to contend with the effects of last year’s slowdown. Additionally, truck manufacturers continue to build at rates well above incoming orders. This will eventually lead to a significant reduction in new truck output.”

Annualized rates, based on the three-month period ending with June, are just 202,700, below 2011’s final orders, FTR said.

Final June numbers will be available later this month.