What role do motor scraper sales play in economic forecasts? Economists look at dozens of variables and equations in forecasting the economy. Besides the obvious: Consumer Price Index (CPI), GDP, Interest Rates, New Housing Starts and Employment Indicators; heavy equipment sales and values are also used in these very complicated compilations.
In a nutshell, they are called Macroeconomic Indicators. Equipment types used in macroeconomic analysis are: Wheeled and Tracked Excavators, Wheel Loaders, Loader Backhoes, Integrated Tool Carriers, Rigid Frame and Articulated Trucks, Dozers, Motor Graders and Motor Scrapers.
Motor scrapers in particular are included in economic models because of what they are designed to do. Scrapers were designed for one purpose: to be a material moving machine. They literally scrape up material from one location, which is churned up and placed into its hopper to be moved and dumped at another location. Because of the ownership as well as operating costs, scrapers are typically used on larger projects and never seen on a single home lot. Instead, you find scrapers being used in housing developments, large commercial projects and highway or infrastructure projects.
Increased scraper sales usually means more large construction projects are underway. Lower scraper sales indicate construction companies do not have a backlog of large projects in the works.
When we looked internally, we found that our own data reinforces the economy has finally started limping out of the Great Recession, slowly yes, but little by little the U.S. economy is steadily increasing.
In 2014, scraper sales were not in eQuip Enterprises Top 20 Selling Categories. In fact, they barely made the Top 50, coming in at number 49. 2015 has definitely seen a positive shift. We’re seeing an increase in scraper inquiries from buyers this year and those increases have translated into an increase in sales volumes for scrapers. Scrapers are in the Top 20 Selling Categories, coming in at number 16 for the first six months of 2015.
Values have not begun increasing, and by no means has the scraper market recovered. However, it is showing signs of improving, which bodes well for our national economy as well as the construction industry as a whole.