Compact excavators have become an indispensable tool on today's jobsites and that promises to continue. While no drastic changes are expected in terms of performance, the goal of increasing value holds many benefits for equipment owners. “We’re not seeing huge increases in bucket force, for example,” notes Connor at Bobcat. “What we’re seeing now is an effort to continually build on quality and reliability and durability. Owners are striving for the optimal value.”
And that value is based in part on what used to be considered luxuries, but are now becoming must-have features. “As the economic situation has played out, owners are putting more thought in the process of buying a machine. They’re looking at the cost of ownership, and when they go to trade it out or sell it, a loaded-up machine will more than pay for those options,” Connor says.
He notes this logic applies especially to machines in a rental inventory. When customers begin to expect a certain level of quality and comfort from the machines they use, they seek that same type of machine when they need to rent. At that point, the small savings that results from going with a stripped-down model does not translate into long-term gains. As Connor states, “Even though your machine might be cheaper, if it doesn’t rent, it’s more expensive.”