Dozers, Excavators, Compact Machines ... Top 25 Equipment Stories for 2021

Cat D11XE electric drive dozer
Cat's prototype electric-drive D11 XE dozer

Despite a pandemic and supply-chain shortages, 2021 was no slouch for debuts of construction equipment.

Manufacturers rolled out new models or prototypes of dozers, excavators, wheel loaders and compact equipment, as well as a variety of other machines, including the revival of a Caterpillar wheel tractor scraper model that had been discontinued nearly 20 years ago.

So here’s our breakdown of top stories by machine category that appeared in 2021 and got the most views on, with links provided if you want to read more:


1. Cat Electrifies Its Largest Dozer, the D11 XE

Caterpillar unveiled an electric-drive prototype of its largest dozer at the 2021 MINExpo (photo at the top of this story). The D11 XE delivers the lowest cost per bank cubic meter in dozing operations and 25% better fuel efficiency, the company says.

Doosan Dozer2. A Dozer from Doosan?: Here’s the Sneak Peek (Video)

Doosan is entering new territory in construction equipment with its first ever dozers, unveiling a “pre-prototype” of the DD100 dozer recently at the company’s testing grounds near Tucson, Arizona. A 10-ton model is expected to arrive in the third quarter next year. A 13-ton model is slated for mid-2023.

Cat D4 Dozer3. New Cat D4 Boosts Visibility 30% to Front-of-Blade Area

When Cat first announced the switch from the D6K2 to the D4, the name change did not indicate a new machine. That is no longer true. Now it's the D4's moment to shine in Cat's new dozer lineup.

Komatsu Dozer4. Komatsu's Largest Dozer, the D475A-8, Designed for Twice the Life

Komatsu has re-engineered the mainframe on its largest dozer, the D475A-8, to get twice the life of previous models and withstand multiple rebuild and overhaul cycles. Compared to previous models, the D475A-8 offers a 10% boost in productivity, 11.5% more engine power in reverse and a 10% reduction in fuel consumption in the torque converter lockup mode.

Person using Cat command remote control device on a dozer5. Cat Expands Remote-Control Command to D5, D6, D7 Dozers

Cat D5, D6 and D7 dozers have now joined wheel loaders and excavators as Cat Command machines. Command for Dozing removes operators from the cab and gives them the ability to operate the machine using either a line-of-sight, over-the-shoulder remote console or a non-line-of-sight station. 

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Cat 315 GC excavator1. Cat 315 GC excavator ups visibility, cuts maintenance costs by up to 25%

Maintenance schedules have been extended and synchronized on the new Cat 315 GC Next Gen compact radius excavator, changes that have prompted up to a 25% reduction in maintenance costs and a 15% reduction in fuel consumption, the company says.

Kobelco Blade Runner excavator2. Kobelco Upgrades its Blade Runner Excavator-Dozer Combo ED160BR-7 (Video)

Kobelco is rolling out the new generation of its ED160BR-7 Blade Runner, which it calls two machines in one – a crawler excavator with true dozing capability thanks to a large-capacity, six-way dozer blade. 

Komatsu excavator3. Komatsu Launches First Excavator To Pack Its Latest Machine Control Technology

Komatsu has launched an updated version of the PC210LCi-11, its smallest excavator equipped with intelligent Machine Control (iMC), the company's fully-integrated system for semi-automatic grading functions. It marks the first Komatsu excavator to hit the market with iMC 2.0 on board. 

Volvo excavator4. Volvo Launches Its Biggest Excavators: New 50-Ton-Class EC530E and EC550E

Big jobs require big machines, and Volvo has stepped up to the plate with a pair of its biggest excavators to date, the EC530E and EC550E.

Cat 335 excavator5. Cat 335 Pumps Out More Power Than Its 335F Predecessor (In More Ways Than One)

Increased stick and bucket cylinder sizes on Cat's new 335 Next Gen excavator give the compact radius machine 15% greater digging force than its predecessor 335F. Hydraulic power has increased by 20%, while fuel consumption has decreased by up to 10%.  


CASE TV620B Compact Track Loader1. Case Unleashes Industry’s Largest Compact Track Loader, the TV620B

With an operating weight of 16,100 pounds, Case’s newest compact track loader is now the largest in the industry, designed for size and power for residential construction and land clearing. Built on an extra-large frame, Case says, the TV620B isn’t just the big brother of the TV450; the machine was redesigned from the ground up.

Kovaco electric skid steer2. "First Electric Skid Steer in the World" Starts in Low $60s

A Slovakia-based firm showcased what it says is the first globally, commercially available full-size electric skid steer at the Condex equipment show in Las Vegas.

Komatsu micro excavator3. Komatsu, Honda Team Up to Build Micro Electric Excavators

Komatsu and Honda are jointly working on a micro electric excavator. The electric PC01 prototype is powered by a Honda Mobile Power Pack, which now powers Honda's scooters and Business Bike series. One of the base unit's distinctive features is that the operator straddles the machine much like a snowmobile or a personal watercraft.

Kubota Next Generation Excavator4. Kubota's "Year of the Excavator" Kicks Off With KX057-5, U55-5 Launches

The new Kubota KX057-5 conventional tail swing and U55-5 reduced tail swing models feature standard technology and comfort packages, all upgrades from the previous dash-4 models, Kubota says.

Kubota SVL95 Compact Track Loader5. Large and in Charge: This CTL Sets the New Standard For Kubota

Kubota's new SVL97-2 compact track loader has 7,961 pounds of breakout force and a 3.4-foot reach at max height. Rated operating capacity is 3,200 pounds at 35% tipping load.


Doosan DL 4207 wheel loader1. Redesigned from the Ground Up: Doosan's New DL-7 Series Wheel Loaders Have Arrived

Doosan's new DL-7 Series wheel loaders have been revamped inside and out, representing the company's first major redesign of its loaders in over a decade. The exterior also has a new look, which has been winning awards for its streamlined, curvier appearance. 

Cat 982 wheel loader2. "Redefining Fully Loaded": New Cat 980, 982 Loaders Also Come in XE Versions

Compared with the previous 980M and 982M powershift models, Cat says its new 980 and 982 wheel loaders are 10% more productive and lower maintenance costs by 20%. Cat is also adding 980 XE and 982 XE models to the lineup, which feature a continuous variable transmission to increase fuel efficiency up to 35% and lower maintenance costs as much as 25%. 

komatsu we1850 wheel loader3. Consume 45% Less Fuel With Komatsu's Gen 3 Series Wheel Loader

The Komatsu WE1850-3 loader is designed for mainline production and shovel backup as well as cleanup and ramp building in mine and quarry sites, while delivering double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency. 


cat 651 wheel tractor scraper1. It's back!: Caterpillar reintroduces 651 Wheel Tractor Scraper

New self-propelled scraper designs don’t come around very often, so when they do it's big news, especially for any contractor who does high-volume earthmoving. If you’re not familiar with what these beasts of the field can do, the new Cat 651 wheel tractor scraper, with a push from a dozer, can load 104,000 pounds of material in 30 seconds. 

jcb rotating telehander on a jobsite2. JCB Unveils Its Tallest Telehandler, the Rotating 512-83R

JCB is going bigger and taller with its new eight-story-high rotating telehandler, the 512-83R, which it calls three machines in one. JCB says it can also serve as a crane or be equipped as an aerial work platform.

deere 310x electric backhoe3. Contractors Get First Glimpse of Deere Electric 310 X-Tier Backhoe (Video)

Product details are still sketchy â€” after all, it's still a test machine â€” but John Deere used the 2021 Utility Expo to strut out its electric backhoe, the 310 X-tier E-Power, now in real-world testing with utility client National Grid.

cat 963 track loader

4. New Cat 963 Track Loader Is Built for Just About Anything

With its latest track loader, Cat has made everything good about the 963 even better. There’s more power, an updated cab, increased uptime and several improvements inspired by its latest dozers.

jlg davinci ae1932 scissor lift5. Cracking the DaVinci Code: How JLG Created the All-Electric DaVinci Scissor Lift With No Hydraulics

JLG has achieved an industry first with its all-electric DaVinci AE1932 scissor lift, which has no hydraulics. The lift, which rises up to 19 feet, is designed for environmentally sensitive jobsites by eliminating carbon emissions and the possibility of hydraulic leaks. 

Manitou telehandler trailer6. Manitou to Introduce "World's Smallest, Lightest Telehandlers" (Video)

Manitou plans to introduce the world's smallest and lightest telehandlers in early 2022. During an unveiling of its latest aerial equipment in April, the company provided a brief teaser to its new rough-terrain Ultra Light Manitou line.

Xtreme's tallest telehandler

7. Xtreme Unveils World’s Tallest Telehandler at World of Concrete

Xtreme’s new XR1585-C reaches higher than any other fixed-boom telehandler in the world.