The largest manufacturers of heavy construction equipment are located in the United States, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
Whereas the second largest and less competitive manufacturers of heavy construction equipment are found in Canada, China, Russia, Latin America, South Korea, Italy, Belgium and Sweden. Yet this position can shift easily with today’s ever changing market trends and with developing countries being able to attract heavy construction equipment manufacturers by offering low material and labor costs.
The global demand of heavy construction equipment is widespread and on a large-scale of production with almost thirty percent entering the foreign market every year. This market has been defined by the major flows among the already developed countries and by the large-scale importing by the developing countries with little domestic production.
Next to the United States, Japan has been the dominant net exporter of heavy construction equipment with Germany and the United Kingdom following close behind. The United States is also a major importer of heavy construction equipment, importing in ample amounts and running a moderate sized trade surplus. In a developing world and given the variety of construction equipment prevailing in major geographic regions and even in individual countries, it’s typical for heavy construction equipment to find some use by private contractors and public agencies as well. Purchasing used heavy construction equipment is also an option.
Production designs and manufacturing technology for heavy construction equipment are well established and are making advances on a regular basis. Tractors, loaders, mixers, cranes and other heavy construction equipment containing automatic transmissions, electric controls, engine monitoring systems and many can now be programmed to repeat the same cycles. Other advances to enhance operator comfort are air conditioned cabs, tilting steering wheels and noise reduction devices.
The global heavy construction equipment industry primarily consists of almost one thousand companies, with smaller businesses specializing in small equipment, e.g. parts and attachments. Some of the major manufacturers include: Caterpillar, Komatsu, Case, Volvo, Deere, New Holland and Hitachi. All heavy construction equipment manufacturers must plan strategically and decide whether their company will continue to expand and stay strong or whether their company should draw back, perhaps sell out and abandon the industry. These decisions have many companies choosing to form partnerships with other companies as an effort to flourish and continue on, as Caterpillar had fused with New Holland to form CNH, Inc. The emphasis is on cost-cutting, competitiveness and down sizing.
There is an increased emphasis on research and development, making the manufacturers of heavy construction equipment seek a competitive edge in many ways. With Caterpillar and Komatsu, for example, being two of the leading producers and spending the most on research and development by using computer design along with manufacturer systems. As technology develops, all major manufacturers of heavy construction equipment will find new and improved way to test and improve their products to stay one step ahead in the competition.