The market for Crawler Dozers has been more volatile than other construction machinery markets in the post recession period. Although sales have increased, other types of equipment have experienced more robust gains. However, dozer sales have seen significant advances for the past two years, including the best yearly percentage increase in sales in 2018 since 2011. There has also been a jump in production, especially as Caterpillar imports less from Japan and increases more domestic manufacturing.
Several factors are driving the growth in the dozer market, including an improving economy with full employment, increases in business investment, and an improved outlook for many construction sectors. Mining, in particular, has provided an unexpected boost, especially in view of some of the struggles the industry has experienced stemming from weak commodity prices. Some of the OEMs that sell dozers to the mining sector are reporting recent gains, while Komatsu launched its highest powered (890 hp) crawler dozer, largely intended for the mining economy.
Other factors driving the overall dozer market include modest increases in construction spending and an improving oil and gas field sector. Although these market forces that have been fueling crawler dozer sales have been noteworthy, they have had minimal impact on the crawler loader market. These machines, mainstays in the construction industry for many years, have seen demand continue to dry up.
Crawler loaders continue to lose market share to other, less costly types of equipment, especially the compact track loader. In sum, while the outlook for crawler dozers is looking better than it has been the last few years, it is unlikely that crawler loaders will reap the same benefits.
** More insight coming out in our summer 2019 update - Contact us with questions **