Downtime Index: North America sees improvement

By Murray Pollok10 June 2020

The week from June 1 to 5 saw a 7.5% drop in machine utilisation, with Trackunit’s Downtime Index falling from 90 to 84. The fall likely reflects the Whitsun holidays in some European countries which more than offset a modest increase in utilisation in North America.


The Downtime Index year-on-year.

The Index – which is calculated by Trackunit using data from 150,000 off-highway machines in North America and Europe – indicates that equipment downtime was 16% worse than the base week at the end of January, and is still 12% worse than the same week last year.

The data also measures the absolute number of machines operating over the week, as defined by machines operating for more than one hour. The activity rate fell from 60% in week 22 to 59% last week, again perhaps a reflection of European holidays.


Machine activity up to week 23, 2020.

However, viewed over the past 10 weeks the year-on-year gap in machine activity has closed significantlyl. In week 15, starting 6 April, the year-on-year comparison was 65% (2019) against 42% (2020), compared to last week’s 64% (2019) agaisnt 59% (2020).

Week 23 saw falls in machine utilisation across all European regions, most notably in Western Europe (including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria), where the Index decreased from 93 to 80. Trackunit believes this reflects the Whitsun holiday.

Overall, there is a geographical convergence in the Index, with North America and all European regions now within a 10-point range, the lowest divergence since the start of the global pandemic.

Southern Europe, although seeing a decline in utilisation last week, has solidified its position alongside the other regions, having suffered by far the worst falls at the peak of lockdown.

Trackunit expresses changes in harmonised engine utilisation - defined as voltage activity on a machine’s alternator - as an index to allow for quick international comparisons. The data is being publishing as a planning aid for the industry as it navigates the pandemic.


The Downtime Index by region.

The data comes from off-highway machines including both end user and rental owned machines, with approximately 40% being aerial platforms, a staple product in the rental industry. KHL Group is the exclusive media partner and is currently publishing weekly updates on the Index.

More information on the Index can be found at

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