Five Big Construction Equipment Trends to Watch in 2024

compact excavator in sunlight looking at a city looking into the future

Bold prediction: 2024 will be another transformative year for compact equipment. Small tool-carrying construction and landscape machinery — like compact track loaders and mini excavators — can be found on nearly every jobsite and dealer lot in America. That popularity has made them prime candidates for a variety of innovation, ranging from electrification to streamlined variants. Here are five big trends to watch throughout the next 12 months.

Battery Power

Volvo EC55 excavator

Compact machines are ideal for electrification (size and duty cycle). In fact, battery-powered machines have been here awhile — just look at electric scissor lifts or veteran electric brands like Cratos — but acceptance is finally cresting in 2024. Brands like JCB, Volvo, Takeuchi, Toro, Sullair and Bobcat will all be pushing battery-powered lineups this year.


Tons of cool autos are being engineered into compact machinery today. Get a skid steer or wheel loader with return to dig, parallel lift or ride control. Outfit a track loader or mini excavator with 2D or 3D grade control. Check out Cat’s Smart Attachments or dig into Kubota’s three track modes (mild, normal and quick) on its SVL75-3. Automation is everywhere.


JCB wheel loader cab

Enclosed cabs with one-piece, sealed and pressurized designs can be outfitted with air conditioning, heated seats, Bluetooth radio and multiple rearview cameras. LCD and touchscreen displays are the new command consoles, giving access to automation, machine vitals, different languages and security. Custom colors, limited edition units, industry-specific packages, oh my.

Increased Connectivity

Compact equipment is more connected than ever, with IoT devices enabling real-time monitoring of machine health, location and performance. This connectivity facilitates predictive maintenance, minimizing downtime and enhancing efficiency. Brand apps, engine-specific telemetry, remote control operation and way more are arriving.

Economy Models

Luxury and tech are being balanced with price-point options in our expensive economy. John Deere recently introduced its tiering strategy (G-Tier being economy machines). Attachment brands like Ignite are emerging, touting “accessibly priced” attachments with direct-to-consumer storefronts. Rental ready units, entry-level grade control and the idea that everything comes standard are all cool economy options today.

Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.

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