The Competitive Sphere of the 15T Excavator Category

By Fahmeer Gull 4 Min Read

Manufacturers put their best foot forward to secure strong positions in the 15T excavator class markets

Within the sphere of the excavator market, the 13T to 15T excavator category ranks the highest in terms of sales volume and rental frequency. This particular class of excavators has been dubbed as the workhorses of the construction industry mainly in urban areas and large cities such as Melbourne where ‘working space’ for excavators is limited.

Apart from limited space according to contractors, project managers, and excavator operators, other challenges include the requirement for machines that feature low noise, low emission, and low vibration which has resulted in leading manufacturers to develop new generation excavators to gain a competitive advantage over each other and remain relevant to the markets they serve, especially the ‘excavator for hire’ market.

Construction equipment rental companies that offer heavy machines such as tractors, skid steers, and excavators for hire market make up a significant portion of these manufacturers’ sales revenue.

Among the biggest contenders for the 15T excavator market class vying for the excavator rental market in particular are Caterpillar, Kubota, SANY, Komatsu, John Deere, Hyundai, Zoomlion, Takeuchi, CASE, Sunward, Hitachi, XCMG, Volvo CE and Kobelco. According to Precision Reports, an independent research group that primarily focuses on the construction industry, the top three players within the ‘entire’ excavator market in terms of market share are Caterpillar, SANY, and Kubota who control approximately 36 % of the excavator market share.

However, within the 13T to 15T excavator market category – it is entirely a different ballgame. According to the same report, Kubota holds a bigger market share in this excavator class in comparison to Caterpillar and SANY in Asia Pacific mainly due to the manufacturer’s reputation for robust machines and strong brand presence especially in Australia and South East Asia.

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The demand for excavators in both excavator sales and rental categories has increased exponentially based on sales and excavator rental revenues and the market is projected to expand by close to 4 % within the next four years or 2028. 2022 estimates show that the market was valued at 9 billion AUD and this figure is to increase by another 2 billion AUD by 2028.

Much of the growth in demand is attributed to the increase in infrastructure/ public utilities projects, Real Estate, Mining and Home improvement projects. Manufacturers are competing with each other by improving maintenance elements, fuel efficiency, safety, operator comfort, environmentally friendly features (which is a critical feature in Europe and Australia), size, and power ratios.

The competitiveness of the market has become more intense than ever before based on the growth in demand that has been further fuelled by the growth in number of construction equipment rental companies due to the lucrativeness and practicality of this business sphere.

Contractors and construction companies prefer to take 15 tonne excavators for hire instead of purchasing these heavy-duty machines in order to avoid the high capital expense and ownership costs that are significant and have the potential to squeeze cash flow and working capital in the longer run.  

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