It was a busy year in the construction equipment industry, with quite a few surprise announcements by major manufacturers.
Caterpillar stunned many with the news it would move its corporate headquarters out of Illinois. The company also joined other equipment OEMs in announcing new all-electric machines. So did Bobcat, which launched the world’s first battery-powered compact track loader.
Following the Hyundai acqusition of Doosan Infracore in 2021, it was announced in 2022 that Doosan would be getting a new name. We also had major announcements from John Deere, Wacker Neuson, Hitachi and an innovative new engine platform from Cummins.
The year proved to be another frustrating one for all sides of the equipment industry, as supply-chain troubles continued to keep manufacturers from meeting demand. 2022 also saw the largest rise in trench-collapse deaths in recent years.
So here’s a list of the top 10 construction equipment industry stories for 2022 in descending order, as determined by the number of views on equipmentworld.com. (We also provided links in case you want to read more.)
10. OSHA Cracks Down After "Alarming" 22 Trench Deaths in First Half of 2022
The first six months of 2022 were particularly deadly for workers in trenches, with 22 fatalities, and more have been reported since. The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration said it was alarmed at the spike, which surpassed all worker trench deaths in 2021.
9. Deere Releases First Excavators with New Naming: 350 P-Tier, 380 P-Tier
John Deere launched the first excavators under its new Performance Tiering strategy – the mid-sized 350 P-Tier and 380 P-Tier. Deere first rolled out the new naming strategy in 2021 on its midsize wheel loaders. Under the new tiering system, Deere dropped the letter at the end of the model’s name that signified the machine's generation. In place of that letter is one of three letters meant to signify its performance and technology tier: a G, P or X.
8. Caterpillar to Unveil 4 Prototype Electric Machines
Caterpillar announced it will unveil four new prototype battery electric machines. Models are the 320 electric medium-sized excavator, the 950 GC electric medium-sized wheel loader, the 301.9 electric compact excavator and the 906 electric compact wheel loader.
7. "It's a Perfect Storm." Will the Equipment Market Ever Settle Down?
Supply-chain constraints, labor shortages and surging demand, the construction equipment industry is “a machine that’s low on oil and almost out of it,” said Benjamin Duyck, director of market intelligence for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, in February. With new machine availability so constrained, not only are contractors finding machines any way they can get them, they are also keeping what they’ve got. 2023 appears to be headed in a similar direction; check out our report on AEM’s most-recent survey by clicking here.
6. Hitachi Ltd. to Sell Stake in Hitachi Construction Machinery
Hitachi Ltd. is selling half of its 51 percent stake in Hitachi Construction Machinery to trading firm Itochu Corp and investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, according to a report by Reuters and other media outlets.
5. After 97 Years, Caterpillar Relocating Headquarters Out of Illinois
Four years after moving its corporate headquarters from Peoria to Deerfield, Illinois, Caterpillar is moving again – this time to Texas. The company announced June 14 that it will relocate its global headquarters to one of its offices in Irving in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Its headquarters will be leaving a state where it has been based since the Caterpillar Tractor Company was formed in 1925 and moved its headquarters from California to Peoria.
4. Doosan Will Be Renamed Following Hyundai Acquisition, VP Says
Doosan Infracore plans to rebrand in 2023 with a new name, it was announced in 2022 following the company’s acquisition by Hyundai Heavy Industries in 2021. The new name will be announced at next year’s ConExpo, says Todd Roecker, vice president growth initiatives for Doosan Infracore North America. A team of Doosan and Hyundai representatives based in South Korea have begun the rebranding process.
3. Behind the Deere-Wacker Neuson Deal: What's Next for the Partners?
After John Deere and Hitachi ended their 30-year excavator partnership in 2021, Deere entered a cooperative agreement with Wacker Neuson in 2022 for the manufacturing and development of compact excavators for the North American market. Under the new agreement, Wacker Neuson will manufacture excavators less than 5 metric tons at its facilities in Wisconsin and Austria. Deere will manufacture 5- to 9-metric-ton excavators. The excavators will be distributed under the John Deere brand via Deere’s global dealer network.
2. A Closer Look at the World’s First All-Electric CTL: Bobcat’s T7X
Bobcat rocked the equipment industry in 2022 when it unveiled the world’s first all-electric compact track loader. The company’s T7X concept CTL outperforms its diesel counterpart and in the process uses no hydraulic or engine oil, no DEF and, of course, no diesel fuel, the company says.
1. One Engine, Many Fuels: Cummins’ New Simple Solution to Cut Carbon
Cummins announced a new engine platform that will help its truck and equipment manufacturer customers and equipment owners transition to alternate and low-carbon fuels without the complexity. Below the headgasket on all the new engines, the components are nearly identical. But above the headgasket, the components vary depending on what type of fuel is designated. The engines will be able to run on diesel, natural gas, gasoline, propane or hydrogen. The company calls the engines “fuel agnostic.”