What does the future hold for construction machinery?

  • Editorial Team
  • Heavy Construction Equipment
  • 18 December 2019

An essential part of a wide range of projects, more and more is being demanded of construction machinery as time goes on. From the ability to dig more, faster and more efficiently through to an expectation of superior driver comfort and safety, customers expect to get significant benefit for their investment. With continual innovation a key feature of plant development, we take a look at some of the key trends we can expect to see in the industry over the next few years.

Increased use of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the way that we work and the construction industry is no exception to this. AI is now an integral part of project design, development and management, as well as being used increasingly to perform routine manual tasks. A key development in the field of heavy-duty plant is the development of remotely controlled machines, which can be used safely in hostile environments. As AI advances, it’s likely that these will become increasingly autonomous, minimising the risk of human error and potentially turning operations that are limited by the working day into scenes of 24/7 productivity.

Continued emphasis on sustainability

As well as a demand for greater performance, there’s also considerable enthusiasm for machines which are energy efficient, low on emissions and designed to be as green to build, run and dispose of as possible. From LED headlights through to engine technology which increases work time and power with no commensurate increase in fuel consumption, manufacturers are regularly coming up with ways to reduce the environmental burden of heavy plant.

Greater durability

The thriving market in secondhand, used loader backhoes for sale and other pieces of plant clearly show that many of the products created by prestigious manufacturers such as Cat, Volvo and Komatsu are built to last. The trend for ever-greater life expectancy has both an economic and environmental imperative: obviously a machine which will keep going represents a better investment, as well as being a greener choice than one which is consigned to the scrap heap after just a few years. Fresh advances in synthetic materials result in today’s machines being tougher, more corrosion-resistant and robust than their predecessors.

Whilst contemporary loaders, cranes and backhoes showcase an exceptional level of advanced technology and innovation, it’s likely that future generations of machines will be even more impressive. We look forward to seeing what the future has to hold for heavy construction machinery.