Poll: Contractors Paying Cash for New Equipment Over Borrowing

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3 contractors standing on jobsite talking
The most popular new equipment purchasing option for surveyed contractors was cash.
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Though financing remains a popular option, cash is king for contractors currently looking to purchase new construction equipment.

A recent website visitor poll from Equipment World found cash to be the most popular purchase method, with 43% of 1,075 respondents saying it’s how they typically pay for new equipment. Financing followed at 31%, and “other” at 8%. This survey was conducted from May 22 to June 18.

No other answer for the poll was chosen by more than 5% of respondents, including purchase option lease (5%), rental purchase option (5%) and lease-to-own (3%). Seasonal lease was the least popular payment method, typically used by only 2% of respondents.

  • Buy with cash: (43%)
  • Finance: (31%)
  • Other: (8%)
  • Purchase option lease: (5%)
  • Rental purchase option: (5%)
  • Lease-to-own: (3%)
  • Rent-to-own: (3%)
  • Seasonal lease: (2%)

More contractors are turning toward cash purchases to get around high interest rates, said John Ryneska, director of OEM & strategic initiatives at Trader Interactive, in a March Equipment World report.

“Buyers have already pivoted toward cash transactions, and it's not even just tied to that personal consumer buying a $30,000 skid steer, for instance," he said. "It’s also for some of these government-run programs where cash is paying for quarter-million-dollar loaders, versus financing.”

And if buyers aren’t willingly paying with cash, it's likely because they’ve run out of options.

“They’re getting rejected by banks because they don’t have impeccable credit. So, if that purchaser has the cash flow, they’re making it happen. Otherwise, it's just lengthening the purchase cycle,” said Ryneska.

Dealers Need Backup Financing Plans

These poll results don’t match what Chris Wackman, president of 13-store Kubota and New Holland dealership WCTractor, is seeing in Southeast Texas. Through some strong financing subsidies from Kubota, he’s seeing an 80% take rate from contractors.

“I don’t think this changes over the next 12 months as I don’t expect Kubota to drastically divert from their financing plan,” he says. “If the spread between their financing and the market rate narrows (or if they start offering significant cash discounts) then the customer will start to move more towards cash/alternative methods.”

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He recommends dealers keep some ready-made financing options on hand for customers in the event their OEMs lose their financing advantages. Flexibility, he says, is the key.

“Third-party financing companies are hungry to finance equipment and are often more flexible than OEMs,” he says. “Leasing and/or rent-to-buy might be options for customers. The more options that a dealer can offer to a customer, the more likely they will be able to find a way to move iron. This might be important, as well, if there is a material credit deterioration of the customer.”

Top New Financed Construction Equipment Sold in 2023

So, what’s hot among contractors? Here were the top financed new models sold in 2023 by product category in the United States, as reported by EDA. EDA data is compiled from state UCC-1 filings on financed construction equipment. EDA continually updates this data as information comes in from each state. EDA is owned by Fusable, the parent company of Equipment World.

Excavators – Mini and Full-Size

  • Kubota KX040-4
  • Deere 35G
  • Kubota KX057-5
  • Cat 305CR
  • Bobcat E42

Skid Steers

  • Kubota SSV75
  • Kubota SSV65
  • Deere 324G
  • Cat 262D3
  • Bobcat S76

Compact Track Loaders

  • Cat 259D3
  • Kubota SVL97-2
  • Deere 333G
  • Deere 325G
  • Bobcat T66


  • Cat D3 LGP
  • Deere 700L
  • Cat D4 VP
  • Cat D5 VP
  • Komatsu D51PXi-24

Wheel Loaders

  • Komatsu WA270-8
  • Volvo L90H
  • Deere 544 P-Tier
  • Deere 624 P-Tier
  • Komatsu WA320-8


  • Cat 420
  • Cat 420XE
  • Case 580 Super N
  • Deere 310SL
  • Dere 320 P-Tier

Off-Road Trucks

  • Cat 745
  • Cat 730
  • Volvo A45G
  • Komatsu HM400-5
  • Deere 460 P-Tier

Motor Graders

  • Deere 772G
  • Cat 140
  • Cat 150
  • Deere 672G
  • Cat 150 AWD

For more info on 2023 financed equipment sales trends, click here.

Equipment World’s new poll series examines the latest trends in the industry and provides insights into what contractors are thinking. Got a burning question we should ask? Send it to Jordanne Waldschmidt ([email protected]).