An excavator is considered a “mini” or “compact” machine if it weighs less than six metric tons, in contrast to a “standard” excavator weighing over six tons. However, some companies, dealers, and industry specialists also classify machines weighing over six metric tons and less than 10 metric tons as mini-excavators. In this report, we have stayed with the traditional designation of a mini-excavator, weighing less than six metric tons, and discuss models in the 7-10 metric ton range in a separate report on standard-size excavators. An excavator with various models that come in a variety of weights (under and over six metric tons) are included in this report.
As the name suggests, the mini-excavator’s primary function is excavating or digging. However, the machine is often equipped with a wide range of attachments that make the mini-excavator one of the more versatile pieces of earth moving construction machinery. This versatility, combined with the machine’s other strengths and favorable market conditions, has made the mini-excavator one of the fastest growing types of construction equipment over the last ten years. They can be found working in residential and building construction, road repair and maintenance, utility applications, landscaping, demolition work, and just about any sector of construction that requires machinery that has an advantage in working in tight and confining areas. This report provides an analysis of sales and production for the last five years, estimates of sales broken down by horsepower, regions, and end-users, an analysis of imports/exports, market trends, field population, and a five-year forecast of estimated sales and production. The report concludes with profiles of OEMs participating in the North American mini-excavator market and a list of their models and specifications.
Table 1 provides a snapshot of the report’s major conclusions. Mini-excavator sales in North America have been steadily rebounding since the economic downturn that began in the late 2000s. Sales in 2018—reaching an all-time high of xx units—increased by xx percent since 2016. The majority (xx%) of North American sales....