Equipment Manager Confidence Stumbles

April 4, 2022

Confidence among equipment managers fell in the first quarter, according to the Equipment Manager Confidence Index, published by Construction Equipment. The Q1 2022 Index is 99, down significantly from the 114 reported in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Index returned to its lowest point, recorded in June 2020 at the height of the pandemic. The Index recorded its highest level last quarter, which exacerbates the turnaround.

The Index measures equipment manager confidence on a scale of  0 to 200, with 200 indicating full confidence that the next month will be “better.”

“The optimism of the infrastructure bill has been hampered by ongoing supply chain restrictions and the highest inflation in 40 years,” says Rod Sutton, editorial director of Construction Equipment. “Manufacturers’ backlogs are growing, and diesel prices are spiking. Confidence is being tested as the expectation that projects are in the offing bumps up against uncertainty about whether current economic realities will be short- or long-term conditions.

“Fleet managers remain concerned about the future health of the overall economy,” Sutton says. “More managers expect the economy to worsen than improve.”

The Equipment Management Confidence Index is published and available to the entire industry at Other data trends are available only to members of the Index group. For example, members continue to plan for more maintenance spending in coming months.

Additional insights available to members:

  • Overall economy health
  • Current fleet health: now v. last year
  • Future fleet health: now v. next year
  • Equipment acquisition: better or worse to buy new
  • Equipment disposition: better or worse time to sell used
  • External rental: better or worse time to rent
  • Peer to peer rental: better or worse time to generate revenue
  • Planned maintenance: spend more or less than last year
  • Rebuilds: more or less likely than last year

In addition to the Confidence Index, members of the platform also provide opinions on trends within asset management, including acquisition expectations, rental plans, and maintenance. In the first quarter, for example, the index showed that managers are turning to rental as an acquisition option. With the free access, managers can see how the trend is unfolding and compare themselves to others in the platform.

Equipment end users can have access to these insights for free. Others, such as manufacturers or dealers, may gain access to the data as observers by registering here. The next Index computation occurs at the end of September. Equipment managers can join the group anytime this month in order to provide opinions and access quarter-over-quarter trends. Baromitr’s visualization features also allow members to analyze performance and compare how they are doing relative to others in the group.

The data-driven Index is powered by Baromitr, a scalable, peer-benchmarking platform. The Equipment Manager Confidence Index is a custom algorithm that combines multiple inputs to calculate a score from 0 to 200. The higher it is, the more confident equipment managers are.