Furthermore, despite cutbacks on most other equipment purchases, counties and municipalities continued to buy snow-removal equipment, Sill said.
“In spite of budget cuts, it’s a public safety issue. [Governments] can cut back on front-end loaders, but they can’t mess with snow removal,” he said.
Andy Dejana, vice president of Dejana Truck and Utility Equipment Co., Kings Park, N.Y., said the company had a strong fourth quarter as fleets and service sector businesses began replacing aging vehicles.
“We’re at the point now where small contractors and fleet managers are seeing that downtime, maintenance and repairs are costing more money than the monthly payment for a new vehicle,” Dejana said. “[Fleets] have been putting Band-Aids on vehicles for two or three years or longer than they would have kept them and people are comfortable enough that business has stabilized.”
“Fleet people are just starting to get back into acquiring vehicles and they’re buying what they absolutely have to have,” said Robert Johnson, director of fleet relations with the National Truck Equipment Association. “Their equipment is so old, it’s no longer serviceable.”