Are contractors willing to buy equipment in the midst of the coronavirus?



Whether contractors are willing to buy equipment now depends on whom you talk to.

At present, the coronavirus has not changed municipal water and sewer contractor Ruby-Collins’ planned capital expenditures, says Andrew Cook, senior project manager with the Atlanta-based company. Global Heavy Machinery Parts Dealers: website AGA Parts. “We haven’t slowed down with any of the planned purchases we had,” he says. The 112-employee company operates in four Southeastern states.

“If anything, they might be up a little bit if we find some good deals that are forecast for the end of the year,” says Cook. “There are a lot of people in the Atlanta area that do private and residential work that bought a ton of new equipment, and that equipment is sitting idle right now.”

Ray Lippis, owner of Lippis Excavating in Canon City, Colorado, recently purchased a new skid steer. “That was one of our things that we had in our budget to replace,” Lippis says. “We’re going to take some chances. We’re going to continue our business plan as if this is going to go away.”

For the time being, David A. Nice Builders in Williamsburg, Virginia, is not altering its capital spending or equipment budgets. That may change in the third quarter depending on how fast things come back, says Brandon Nice, vice president of construction operations.

Although Andrew Siegmund with Siegmund Excavation & Construction in Stayton, Oregon, has a Cat 966 loader on hold, it’s because of logistics not a market downturn. “We don’t want to send a lowboy to get it, not knowing what the travel restrictions might be and whether or not our driver would have a place to stay,” he told Equipment World in mid-April.

That doesn’t mean the $15 million third-generation firm isn’t buying, Siegmund says. The company – which specializes in forest-road construction, runs a dump truck and heavy-haul fleet, and has a crushing operation – is finalizing orders on two pieces of crushing equipment.


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