For more than 40 years, ‘Backhoe Loader’ has been around as a common construction equipment in urban engineering and small construction projects. Over the years this construction equipment market in India has gone through evolution. Presently the sales of backhoe loaders in India are expected to increase from the 21,192 units sold in 2015 to 28,000 machines by 2020, a +32% increase, according to Off-Highway Research.
India is clearly one of the largest backhoe loader markets in the world, with this type of machine accounting for the majority of all construction equipment sales in unit terms. Furthermore, the Investment in infrastructure by the Indian government seems to be driving backhoe loader sales a notch higher. There are also several other initiations underway to reform procedures and policies around infrastructure investment which should stimulate the sector further. Additionally new funding initiative is taking place across the country. These factors are expected to underpin growth across the Indian construction equipment sector in years to come, but there are other reasons for the backhoe loader market in particular to enjoy continued buoyancy. The system development and the current market scenario suggests that.
The System Development:
With times there has been development in Productivity and performance. The backhoe loaders can now enable more Load, Dig and Doze productivity. Security, Servo Controls, and serviceability have now become an important criterion. Operators now want to be assured of the safety, security and operation update with the advanced system. The buyers are looking to manage their machines on Service, Operations and Security of their machines through real-time alerts.
In this regard, JCB India has introduced a new ecoXcellence range, specially designed to deliver excellence in all aspects. The new machine is 10% more fuel efficient with 30% less maintenance cost. The ecoXcellence range is fitted with the new generation JCB ecoMAX engine, and provides high productivity and enhanced performance in any application.
Following the line of innovations manufacturers, CASE India has introduced latest technologies with engine capacity and higher torque along with a banana boom which dictates the machine’s maximum digging height, maximum dump height, and fuel efficiency. The company offers S8000 engine, deliver powerful performance and fast response time coupled with a 5% which translate into huge customer savings. LeeBoy offers standard features like a 4WD side-shift, extended dipper, multipurpose bucket and an air-conditioned cabin.
However, Escorts has features of a durable and chassis, boom, dipper, and loader arm structure specially designed for Indian application with ‘high tensile strength’ steel. Further, it has ergonomically designed spacious operator cabin and ‘equipment management system’ which works as effective diagnostic and tracking tool.
Caterpillar is also innovating its backhoe products with the introduction of features like high rotation backhoe bucket linkage design, spacious cabin with an ergonomic interior for maximum operator comfort, carved boom for easy reach over obstacles, variable flow hydraulic system adjusting to demand along with excellent fuel economy. Terex is also breaking new ground with its range of versatile, innovative and efficient backhoe loaders. Its unique UC Hydraulic Mechanism is designed to set new standards in Fuel Economy while delivering uninterrupted digging and loading.
Backhoe Loader of ACE is installed with new technologies like KIRLOSKAR engine 4R1040T (BS III) 4 cylinder, turbocharged, water cooled diesel engine and developing high torque with low fuel consumption. Their machine is installed with hydrostatic steering for reliability and better control. The Roll-over protective structures (ROPS) is fully enclosed wide view cabin with easy entry and exit from the cabin for the operator.
Tata Hitachi is also introducing new features in its products like its peer manufacturers as it offers one of the most fuel efficient machines in its class. They provide power-shift transmission in their backhoe loaders which improve productivity and ease of operation.
An overview of the market:
The special features along with it relatively small size and versatility, this equipment has seen ever growing popularity since the last decade. JCB since 1953 has remained the one of the largest player till date accounting to almost 20% revenue share of the backhoe loader market. Caterpillar has sold more than 100,000 backhoes since 1985.
The growing popularity of the backhoe loaders in the global market has also necessitated new inventions in the production of the same by its manufactures. It is for this reason that the established players in the field are increasingly working towards reducing customer’s pain points by enhancing the backhoe productive performance, uptime, and the ease of operation and maintenance so that customers can singularly focus on business outcomes. The government is taking initiative such as Sagarmala Program and many other such initiatives that are creating a demand on its own for this product market.
On being asked on market potential Rajinder Raina Escorts exclaimed, ‘If you see backhoe machines statistics you will find out that for coming 2 years or so it is going to be an upward rise of 25000 machine market all put together. Plus it might be exceeding that. In this respect, we are targeting for 10 to 15 percent. We’re trying to get exclusivity. Out of these 25000, 23000 would be on soft strata in which only 10 people are competing in which there is a distinctive advantage which is lacking in general category. We are trying to establish in this market’.
Backhoe loaders account for close to 50% of all construction equipment sales in unit terms. At the current estimate, there are nearly 200,000 backhoe loaders deployed across the country in various projects. Most of them in operation are manufactured in the country by the OEMs. Apart from domestic sales manufacturers have also been eyeing exports with to 2,171 units contributed last year.
According to persistence market research, India is expected to continue to be the world’s most lucrative and largest market for backhoe loaders, growing at 6.9%- higher than the 5.9% global CAGR- through 2026. On the back of strong demand from the US construction sector, North America will maintain its position as the world’s second largest market, followed by Latin America.
Backhoe loaders find their application in a wide range of end-use industries, including construction and mining remain the largest end-use sector, accounting for nearly 53% revenue share of the market in 2016. Moreover, construction activity in Tier II cities and declaration ‘Smart City’ program are anticipated to provide an impetus to overall construction equipment sales in India, which in turn, is expected to have a crucial impact on prospects of the global market. According to expert survey reports, the demand for backhoe loaders from the agriculture and forestry segment is expected to remain steady, growing at 5.8% CAGR through 2026.
Keeping all these innovations and growing demand for backhoe loader in the global market in mind, one can safely conclude that the backhoe loaders is here for an upsurging rise.
“All JCB machines have been designed to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. JCB Backhoe Loaders are the most fuel efficient machines in their category as they come fitted with the indigenous, world-class, most fuel efficient JCB “ecoMAX” engine. However, fuel efficiency is achieved by a combination of many factors such as the inherent design of the engine, the application in which the machine is being used in and the operator skill. The broad range of fuel consumption in the JCB Backhoe Loader is between 3.5 to 6 litres per hour, depending on the model and application mix”
‘Mahindra and Mahindra’s strong R&D department of over 2000 engineers and with its decades of experience in engineering products that last long and provide great value, has made us attain a feat of developing a truly Made in India backhoe loader without any overseas collaboration. Mahindra & Mahindra’s engineers have studied all the applications of construction machinery in India and designed Mahindra EarthMaster to meet the toughest duty needs of Indian contractors. This has been duly backed by not only the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and processes, but also the rigorous testing schedule’
“We are interested in the work at the ports where refilling is to be done underfoot conditions. And of course mining sector, such as coal mines not for the mining work but for the ‘overbody’ work. We want to reposition there with backhoe loader in spite of hindrances. We are trying to create a market but we want small mining owners to take it there. We have started road shows in Rajasthan as a step towards this. We want to focus on three thing, riverbank work, mining and most importantly stone mines. We are trying to take this initiative to other places such as Bihar. Our next initiation would be in Jharkhand pertaining to government initiation on that side. Mining is an area that would open up even more in two years time.”