Innovation is driving the Construction Industry into the future
Mark Royse, the Head of Sales at Mecalac Construction Equipment UK, explores the latest industry growth figures, and explains why the future of compact equipment design and manufacture will be widely driven by efficiency, productivity and sustainability.
“According to recent statistics from the Construction Products Association (CPA), sector output is predicted to fall across the board by 3.9% in 2023. Spending decisions and infrastructure projects are being put on hold as the looming threat of economic recession continues to make its mark, while the lingering effect of the ‘mini budget’ and widespread political uncertainty are proving significant barriers to investment.
“Consequently, commercial output will fall by 5%, while increasing mortgage rates will see the private housing market retract by 9%. October’s State of Trade Survey found that construction product sales are falling fast, with total output from the sector reported to be at its lowest point since January 2021. It may seem obvious, but there are challenging times ahead for the UK construction industry.”
Visions of a brighter future
“The picture is certainly mixed, but it must be said that the situation won’t last forever. The sector is not only renowned for its robustness and resilience, but also its commitment to collaboration and cooperation.
“Doing more with less, streamlining efficiencies and maximising productivity will all continue to prove essential for businesses operating across the supply chain. These themes will define the sector for the foreseeable future, alongside legislative pressure to improve worksite safety and the requirement to decarbonise both machinery and materials.
“At Mecalac, we’re investing heavily to support the industry – responding quickly to the changing needs of construction professionals and working in close partnership to co-create pioneering solutions. Indeed, we continue to innovate, expanding our portfolio of future-proof equipment to help deliver some of the world’s most ground-breaking projects.
“From developing new products designed to streamline the number of machines needed on site at any one time, to establishing first-to-market technologies that maximise productivity efficiencies, we’re renowned for pushing the boundaries of capability and challenging the status quo.
“At the 2022 BAUMA exhibition, we revealed some of our latest and most game-changing product innovations – each of which are set to hit the market in 2023. Designed with productivity, efficiency, safety and sustainability in mind, we believe that they will prove invaluable to construction professionals both in the UK and worldwide.”
Redefining the industry with REVOTRUCK
“A unique engineering feat that seamlessly combines a revolving cabbed dumper with off-road trucking capabilities, REVOTRUCK makes material transport smarter and safer than ever before. Thanks to its unique chassis and central oscillation, operators can safely receive a load before rotating the entire cab at the touch of a button to face the direction of travel with no visual obstructions.
“A solution shared by no other manufacturer, REVOTRUCK aims to revolutionise operator safety and make rotating dumpers commonplace on worksites. With a sleek, stylish design and state-of-the-art in-cab technology, it’s a real game-changer for construction professionals worldwide.
“While some products in the past, such as reversible site dumpers (which only feature rotating driver platforms not the cab), have attempted to achieve the same effect, industry research suggests that the cumbersome process means operators often tend to stay in the same position and ignore the option. After all, turning the heavy consoles can be time consuming and painful in a tight cab environment. What’s more, with just the internal console reversing, mirrors and doors are rarely in the right position, making the machines no better from a health and safety perspective than more traditional forward or swivel-tip dumpers.
“Setting the standards in safety, visibility, accessibility, ergonomics, mobility and stability, REVOTRUCK aims to buck this trend. Its 360° view ensures complete visibility in all directions, reducing downtime for tricky manoeuvres and drastically lowering the chance of accidents. Combining the best of both worlds, REVOTRUCK is a rear dump truck when carrying materials and a highly manoeuvrable site dumper when loading and unloading.
“Thanks to its unique design, operators benefit from unrestricted access to all four corners of the cab. This means you can enter and exit the machine quickly and easily, regardless of the position of the operator station.
But while the design itself is truly revolutionary, so is the technology behind it. Rather than a manual process, the cab can be easily repositioned via a multidirectional joystick. What’s more, thanks to intelligent design, REVOTRUCK automatically adjusts its behaviour depending on cab position. Automatically switching gears and wheel steering, this means that operators don’t need to worry about switching into reverse or mirror steering when travelling backwards.
“Offering an agile solution, perfect for even the tightest sites, operators benefit from three steering modes (2-wheel, 4-wheel and 4-wheel crab), as well as the tightest turning radius on the market. With two load capacity options – a six-tonne and nine-tonne variant – REVOTRUCK is powered by a Stage V-compliant 74hp Perkins turbocharged engine, delivering 380Nm torque @ 1,380rpm and featuring a DOC and DPF as standard to minimise environmental impact.”
An electrifying ambition
“In 2018, we unveiled the revolutionary e12 concept – our first electric excavator and a clear representation of our ambitions to prioritise alternative fuels. While other manufacturers were dipping their toe in the water, we wanted to demonstrate the real-world potential of an electric powertrain.
“Suitable for a wide range of applications, including urban building sites and infrastructure projects, the 11-tonne e12 was the first medium-sized compact excavator to really embrace electrification. But while the e12 gave an insight into our vision and appreciation for alternative fuels, we were keen not to rush full production, with infrastructure at the time unable to keep up with engineering advances.
“Four years later, however, the world has transitioned far further towards electrification. At BAUMA, we presented the sector’s first zero-emissions range of medium-sized compact equipment. Comprising the e12 excavator, a 1,000-litre swing loader (the es1000) and a revolutionary six-tonne cabbed site dumper (the ed6), this new suite of models aims to change operator thinking.
“We’ve even created a solution to tackle the challenge of limited on-site power sources. M-Power – a 300kWh portable battery power supply – eliminates the requirement for traditional diesel generators and offers a low-carbon charging option for our latest electric equipment.
“This is not our finished line-up, it’s simply the beginning. However, it shows our intent for the future and aims to demonstrate the real-world viability of electric compact equipment.”
Looking to the future
“Although the industry continues to experience change, disruption and its own unique set of challenges, the opportunity for the future is significant. Investing in the latest equipment technology can help construction professionals to measurably improve their efficiencies, productivity and capabilities. What’s more, they can decarbonise their fleets and significantly improve on-site safety.
“Our latest product innovations have been developed with these requirements firmly in mind, offering a unique, class-leading solution to tackle challenges head-on.”