As reported by Nathan Medcalf , the editor of Equipment Journal, Canada’s business-to-business newspaper that focuses on the construction, material handling mining and forestry industries.
What are current construction equipment trends?
- Rented equipment is becoming a larger portion of an end-user’s fleet;
- End-users and rental companies are replenishing their fleets after holding onto equipment for a longer duration than usual throughout the Great Recession;
- Prices for high-quality, low-hour equipment are going up in order to meet demand; and
- On the manufacturing side, greater fuel efficiency, versatility and productivity for new products, as well as self-diagnostic and monitoring tools.
What are current equipment trends in specific types of construction?
Pavers are moving from using propane to heat asphalt to using electricity to heat asphalt. Satellite navigation systems such as GPS or GLONASS allow site prep equipment to work without markers such as pegs or strings. Compactors are now using software to determine the number of passes on freshly laid asphalt. Loaders and trucks are being installed with weigh scales. General construction is in the early adoption stages of hybrid technologies. Mining and rail are examining how other fuel sources, such as natural gas, can be adopted.
Do these trends correlate with what the market is experiencing?
Are there any notable industry regulations that have contributed to these trends?
Do these trends differ from a rental perspective to a purchasing perspective?
What products are on the upswing in the rental industry?
The equipment type with the most sales in 2011 is the skid steer loader (30%). It experienced a small upswing compared to 2006 (26%). Telescopic handlers have seen a drop in sales by 60% in that same time period, while sales of all other equipment types have remained steady.
Sales in Europe will remain almost flat and under 2006 levels for the foreseeable future. The percentage of wheel loader sales will double between 2006 and 2016. Backhoe loader and skid steer loader sales will decrease by half in the same time period. Sales for all other machine types will experience little change, with mini excavators making up the largest slice (32%) followed by telescopic handlers (16%) and crawler excavators (15%).
In Asia, the largest construction equipment market, there was a sharp drop in excavator production over the last 3 quarters. In that time period, both Sany and Hitachi stated that they will cut production. As well, wheel loader and dozer production was flat for the same time period.
Statistics provided by the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association.