Construction Business Trends 2023 – Skid Steers taking on Excavator Markets

Once upon a time, more than two decades ago, the construction industry was dependent on a particular heavy machine more than any other, and that machine was the irreplaceable excavator, well that was how it was until a decade ago. The first signs were from the shift that was observed by construction equipment Rental Company owners that offered excavators for hire, the frequency of Melbourne excavator hire was gradually declining.

However, another observation that was made was the fact that skid steers were becoming more common at construction project sites or landscaping project sites, this observation was also made by manufacturers based on the increasing sales figures associated with skid steers in other regions. The fact was that skid steers have always been a popular machine in America, and as excavators crept into the skid steer’s market in America, companies such as Bobcat moved into the rest of the world with their skid steers which were not only versatile, but were also able to dig, lift, excavate, drill, and do everything that excavators were capable of with the right attachments.

Coupled with the range of sizes and mobile configurations the skid steers are currently as popular for projects as excavators are. Based on market trend reports big heavy machine brands such as ASV, CASE, Caterpillar, Kubota, Hyundai among others are also into the skid steer game which have turned the skid steer market into a buyers’ market due to the intense competition among major manufacturers as they are able to purchase skid steers at better prices and allowing them to recoup investments quicker when the offer skid steers for hire to construction companies in major cities such as Melbourne where numerous mega projects are on – going.

Industry statistics indicate that for landscaping projects, an approximate 40 % of clients choose skid steers as the primary equipment for landscaping projects in Melbourne. Although, excavators are still on top, the fact is that this figure has been increasing based on statistical figures from 5 years ago when skid steers were only used by 20% of the total hires for landscaping projects. According to surveys done on machine operators, the reason behind this shift is due to the power that skid steers offer on demand and their greater parameters associated with the agility of the machine.

According to some operators, the skid steers offers a quicker cycle time due to the machines rapidness in directional change and rapidness, however, it was also noted that, the skid steers cannot be used in all types of surfaces due to the traction system that may cause damage to delicate landscaped surfaces. Therefore the skid steer is only suitable for landscaping projects at the initial stages after which the machine has no choice, but to make way to the excavator.

In the event that manufactures change the mobile mechanism of the skid steer, they will not be calling it a skid steer anymore because, when this happens, it becomes an excavator.

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