This report concerns the German market for wheeled loaders, both articulated and rigid, and is an update of the subject which was last covered in the European Service in 2016. There is a very wide variety of sizes sold in Germany and there is a particularly strong demand for compact wheeled loaders up to 80 horsepower. In 2021 the available models run from 25 horsepower machines with an operating weight of 2 tonnes to the largest quarry machines rated at 900 horsepower and with an operating weight of 100 tonnes. Most suppliers have adopted the articulated chassis concept, although the German manufacturer Kramer has remained loyal to the rigid chassis with four-wheel steering.
The study includes the special area of swing loading shovels, known in German as Schwenklader. For many years this concept of having the loader arms attached to a circular bearing mounted on the front axle remained the unique field of one producer, Ahlmann (now Mecalac), although three other German suppliers, Paus, Schaeff (now Yanmar) and Atlas Weyhausen subsequently introduced comparative models with varying degrees of success. The swing loader nevertheless remains a niche market product, albeit with a loyal following, and is currently estimated to account for around 250-300 units per year in Germany.
The market for mini wheeled loaders of around 25 horsepower is not analysed in this report, since these products are predominantly sold into the agricultural livestock sector and are therefore outside the scope of this report. The sector is dominated by two German manufacturers, Weidemann and Schäffer, both of whom remain highly guarded in respect to their sales and production data. Off-Highway Research estimates that Weidemann, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wacker Neuson Group, currently produces around 8-9,000 low-powered wheeled loaders per year, although the company is known to be planning a significant increase in production capacity in the medium term. Schäffer is believed to manufacture approximately 4,000 units per year and has recently launched a range of machines in yellow livery designed specifically for use in the construction sector.
The findings presented in this report are based on an extensive interview programme undertaken with all major manufacturers and importers in Germany during September and October 2021, and on Off Highway Research’s International Database.
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European Equipment Analysis: Wheeled Loaders - Germany
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EU Equipment Analysis