The July/August Digital Issue of Compact Equipment Is Out, and the Cover Is Rad

Compact Equipment July August 2023

I’ve been writing about construction equipment for nearly 25 years, so you’re hearing this from an old-timer: Things have changed a lot. When I jump onto a compact excavator, I still switch the pattern from excavator (ISO) to backhoe (SAE) because when I learned to dig no one had heard of a mini excavator. Now it’s one of the most popular categories of off-highway machinery in America with 70,000 to 80,000 mini excavators sold a year. As a consummate geezer, it’s just amazing to me that machines today even have pattern switchers, but that’s the least of the coolness. Compact excavators alone can be outfitted with a crazy array of amazing technologies: battery-power systems, instead of diesel engines; telematics for maintenance and security tracking; automation like grade control; and luxury comfort from heated seats in the cab to satellite radio pumping your favorite Viking metal.

That’s the theme of our latest digital issue of Compact Equipment — the top technologies evolving the off-highway equipment industry — from electric and hydrogen to AI and VR. Read the digital print issue right here! Enjoy the sweet cover above.

Small construction equipment has come a long way in the last 20 years, evolving from cheap, scrappy, dig-and-load sidekicks to highly sophisticated jobsite leaders that cost well over $100,000. Just look at those high-end, market-specific compact track loaders (CTLs) being sold in 2023. John Deere’s 333G SmartGrade CTL is engineered specifically for precision dirt work, fully integrated with grade control technology, a six-way dozer blade and tons of cool tech (like DozerMode, Slope Control and JDLink telematics). ASV’s RT-135F Forestry compact track loader is designed specifically for brush cutting, boasting an industry-leading 132-hp Cummins diesel engine that’s combined with a head-turning 50-gpm maximum auxiliary flow, plus tons of cool tech (7-in. touchscreen display, backup camera, reversing fan, dual throttle control and so much more). Don’t even get me started on Case’s Minotaur DL550, which is a dozer first (not a CTL).

This wave of technology has only gotten bigger in 2023, often varying in focus by category and market. For compact earthmoving equipment, it’s all about grade control and electric variants, while manufacturers are beginning to tease hydrogen combustion engines or fuel cells for bigger off-highway equipment. For the mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) industry, it’s about designing and employing excellent safety technology systems like object detection sensors, backup cameras, seatbelt/lanyard attachment verification tech and variable tilt systems.

Being an old fogey, the best part of this technology is that it’s pretty easy to master. That’s the point of it — to make things simpler, which is our job too — so just visit our latest digital issue and let our crew explain all the exciting technology options available for progressive contractors on today’s compact equipment.

Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.

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