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Access Equipment Trends 2017

Expert Panel
Various industry experts share their insights


Access Equipment Trends 2017

Expert Q&A - Jan 17

Hybrid machines are a trend that’s finally reaching a pivotal moment. More and more equipment owners who were previously resistant are becoming increasingly open to new, eco-friendly technologies. Part of it is driven by regulations, as some construction sites have noise limitations or require emissions-compliant equipment, and some of it is driven by economics and the need to reduce fuel costs. Whatever the reason, equipment owners are showing greater awareness of the carbon footprint they leave, and that translates into greater interest in machines that are both more fuel efficient and kinder to the environment.

Equipment owners are also putting a greater focus on the total cost of ownership for every machine in their fleet. For a long time, purchase price was the main factor in equipment acquisition. Today, equipment owners are thinking more about service costs, fuel costs, warranty costs, resale value and so on over the entire life of the product. The purchase price is a less important part of the lifecycle cost analysis. Equipment buyers want the fastest and greatest return on investment possible, and they are mindful of what will help them achieve it. Manufacturers understand this and are delivering products specifically designed with this goal in mind. As a result, we’re seeing more models being introduced with fewer bells and whistles, and instead with simplicity and durability as the keys to achieving a quick and profitable ROI.

— answer provided by  Jenny Lescohier

One of the overarching trends in construction equipment is the move toward Tier 4 engine technology to meet EPA emissions regulations.

Advanced electronics are now incorporated into engine designs to ensure emissions compliance. A positive byproduct of this has been improved systems integration within the machines. The various operating systems are able to “communicate” and adjust performance as needed based on the application and job site conditions. The result has been improved overall operating performance and fuel efficiency.

The advances in electronics have also provided the ability to capture a wider range of data from equipment operating systems. Consequently, many equipment manufacturers (primarily earthmoving) have introduced proprietary telematics systems as standard on many of their high-value product lines. These systems allow the equipment owner, dealer and manufacturer (if authorized by the customer) to track equipment location and monitor machine health and performance, facilitating improved productivity, service and, in the case of manufacturers, machine design.

Telematics solutions also remain available from third-party suppliers and are in use in many contractor and rental fleets. In addition, proprietary systems are starting to be seen in other types of equipment as both manufacturers and their customers recognize the potential benefits.

— answer provided by Becky Schultz