Off Highway Research released a report that indicated that Mini excavators are one of the quickest growing equipment types within the scope of the construction spectrum. This was based on the fact that the heavy machinery manufacturers keep observing an increase in the sale of the mini excavator with last year seeing a sale of over 300,000 units collectively among the top brands such as Hitachi, Komatsu, Kubota, Caterpillar, Bobcat and others within the same market classification.
Based on market research reports and news reports on Construction Week there has been a change in the major markets for mini excavators. This is based on the fact that mini excavators which were traditionally popular in only developed nations in the West and East such as Japan have become popular over the last decade in numerous emerging economies such as China which is currently the biggest consumer of mini excavators in the world.
The uniqueness of the situation according to the report revolves around the fact mini excavators in essence replace manual labour in the world’s most populous country where there is never a scenario where there is a shortage of workers. Other reasons that advocate the popularity of mini excavator’s popularity is that they are easier to power as most models (compact excavators) are powered by electricity rather than conventional diesel power which is preferred in city centres of developed economies with noise and emissions pollution.
A senior spokesperson for Volvo stated that there has been no shortage of OEMs that manufacturers are working on. The spokesperson further added that their competitors have released electric mini excavators in response to Volvo CE’s announcement of its launch of the company’s range of electric compact excavators the EC15 right up to the EC27 along with their range of wheeled loaders (L20 to L28).
This announcement came immediately after the board made the decision to stop any initiatives associated with diesel engine-based models. Other OEMs that have followed the ‘environmentally friendlier systems’ include JCB that introduced its 19C-1E electric mini excavators in their latest rollout.
The JCB 19C-1E according to a company source runs on four lithium-ion batteries that drums up 20kWh of energy storage which sufficient enough for these machines to work an entire shift on a single charge. The 19C-1E could be considered as being one of the more powerful compact excavators with zero exhaust emissions and considerably quieter than standard mini excavator hire machinery.
Companies such as London-based J Coffey Plant have taken on electric machines due to a number of reasons and according to Tim Rayner, who is Coffey Plant Division Operations Manager “The major benefit of electric excavators is the fact that employees are not subjected to diesel emissions when utilizing the 19C-1E”. This is especially true for compact excavators which usually function in confined areas and as such, electric excavators provide safer environments for staff to work in.
He also added that electric mini excavators are available on hire these days at the same cost as fossil fuel-based machines with the only difference being savings on fuel and cleaner environments for operators.