This report concerns the market for mini excavators capable of being turned through 360 degrees. They may be mounted on wheels or tracks, but the overwhelming majority are on rubber or steel tracks and based on Off-Highway Research’s classifications range in size from 800 to 6,000 kilograms. The definition of a mini excavator is being increasingly clouded by manufacturers as they launch new models. Some are defining all models below 1,000 kilograms as micro excavators, but even some of these models creep over the 1,000-kilogram threshold when attachments are added. Some manufacturers now define models over 5,000 kilograms but below 11,000 kilograms as midi excavators, while some manufacturers put the lower threshold at 6,000 kilograms, and some even as high as 7,000 kilograms. Some manufacturers classify all excavators below 10 tonnes as ‘compact excavators. This confusion in definition means that the total number sold can vary by as much as 2,000 machines a year. Therefore, it is important to bear in mind that when reading this report, Off-Highway Research classifies mini excavators as being in the range of 0.8-6.0 tonnes.
The UK claims to have originated the mini excavator, the first of which was developed by Smalley Excavators and first shown at the Royal Agricultural Show in Lincoln in 1960. Today’s standard mini excavator is a derivative of Japanese machines, which began to be sold in small numbers into Europe in the late 1970s, since when the industry has expanded enormously.
The findings presented are based on Off-Highway Research’s existing database and on information collected during an extensive interview programme undertaken during the middle of 2020 with the single domestic manufacturer and leading importers. The report is an update of the study that was last published by Off-Highway Research in 2016.
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European Equipment Analysis: Mini Excavators - UK
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EU Equipment Analysis