Covid-19 Lowers Outlook, Fleet Plans Steady

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Bar chart shows how Covid-19 affects construction equipment acquisition plans.

Equipment managers say the Covid-19 pandemic has caused their firms to lower expectations for the year’s business outlook, according to Construction Equipment’s exclusive mid-year survey. Slightly more than 70 percent said coronavirus has lowered their outlook, and 25 percent said their firms’ outlook remained the same.

In spite of the lowered expectations among firms that use construction equipment in their business, fleet plans are not seeing the same level of adjustments. About 40 percent of respondents said they anticipate no change in their fleet acquisition plans for the remainder of the year. Another 40 percent have put acquisition plans on hold, and about 10 percent said they will be leasing or renting more than expected.

About 8 percent of respondents, however, said they will be selling equipment sometime during the remainder of the year.

The survey gauges how business and asset-management plans are faring as a follow up to Construction Equipment’s 2020 Annual Report & Forecast. Both surveys are done in partnership with Case Construction Equipment.

This year, the economic shutdown ordered by Federal and State officials occurred just as the questionnaire was being prepared, so two Covid-related questions were added. Nearly 300 fleet managers responded, and the complete mid-year business survey results will be published shortly.