DETROIT, April 5 (Reuters) - Preliminary U.S. heavy-duty truck orders rose 41 percent in March from the year-ago month as truck firms returned to buying as they see freight volumes rising after a tough environment in 2016, industry forecaster FTR said on Wednesday.
Orders for Class 8 trucks - the big rigs that haul the majority of America's freight by road - hit 22,800 units, FTR said. It was the third consecutive month of growth.
"March orders are reflective of a more normal Class 8 market in a moderate, freight-driven upcycle," Don Ake, FTR's vice president for commercial vehicles, said in a release. "This reflects growing fleet confidence as they see freight growth returning after a difficult 2016." (Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Leslie Adler)