What are the top construction stories of 2022 so far?

By Lewis Tyler03 August 2022

Although only eight months in, 2022 has already seen a number of significant stories in the construction industry. The continued recovery from Covid, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and construction’s move towards sustainability have all featured heavily. 

Amongst this, manufacturers are continuing to launch new construction equipment, exhibitions are going ahead as planned and acquisitions are taking place. With that in mind, what are the top construction stories of 2022 so far?

5. Impact of Covid on construction projects revealed

Data released by tech company nPlan at the start of 2022 revealed that delays to large-scale projects during the pandemic more than doubled, with some projects delayed by more than 200 days.

The company estimated that prior to the pandemic, delays to projects were around 100 days, with nearly nine in ten large-scale construction projects (85.5%) delivered late.

Nearly one in four projects (22.7%) are delivered more than 250 days late, while more than one in ten (13.4%) are delayed by at least a year.

It also found that structural steel projects are most likely to cause delays, with 45% of activities related to structural steel taking longer than planned.

4. Bobcat launches world’s first fully electric track loader

Doosan Bobcat announced the launch of the Bobcat T7X, the world’s first fully electric compact track loader.

The Bobcat T7X. The Bobcat T7X. (Photo: Doosan Bobcat)

The battery-powered machine, which the company say will be accompanied by a range of fully electric attachments, is said to eliminate hydraulic systems, components, emissions and vibrations and provides cleaner, quieter operation.

Powered by a 62KW lithium-ion battery from Green Machine Equipment, the T7X can last up to four hours of continuous operation time by using intelligent work modes or a full day with intermittent use.

The company say that the machine offers a “window into the future of the compact equipment industry.”

3. Wirtgen Group and New Electric work on electric asphalt paver

Earlier this year, Wirtgen Group and New Electric were both tasked with converting an asphalt spreading machine into the world’s first fully electric asphalt paver.

A Bam Group asphalt machine. The machine comes equipped with an electric drive and fixed battery of 270kWh. (Photo: Royal BAM Group)

The machine comes equipped with an electric drive and fixed battery of 270kWh. A second 270kWh battery is able to be removed and can be placed in other electric equipment.

Commissioned by Royal BAM Group’s Dutch civil engineering company, the machine is said to save 150 litres of diesel per eight-hour working day, reduces 93,000 kilograms of CO₂ and 115,000 grams of nitrogen oxide emissions every year.

According to the companies, the electric asphalt paver can be used for eight to ten hours on fully charged batteries and is expected to be on the road in 2022.

2. Hitachi under new ownership

Back in January, Hitachi Construction Machinery revealed that it no longer had a controlling share of its ownership after it sold a significant amount of shares to Japan-based trading company Itochu and private equity firm Japan International Partners.

The Hitachi ZXE85US electric excavator.. The Hitachi ZXE85US electric excavator. (Image: Hitachi)

The decision to sell the controlling share was made by Hitachi after the joint venture in North America with John Deere ended in 2021 and provided the company with “serious challenges.”

Hitachi now holds a 25.4% stake, while Itochu and Japan International Partners both share 26% of the company.

1. Top 50 construction equipment manufacturers revealed

As part of the Yellow Table report, which takes into account sales from 2021, ICON revealed the top 50 construction equipment manufacturers.

This year’s list highlighted an industry that had shown significant improvement, particularly in the European market that had been impacted by the pandemic.

Sitting at the top of the Yellow Table, Caterpillar generated sales of US$32 billion last year, some US$6.7 billion more than the second placed Komatsu.

MineStar by Caterpillar Caterpillar generated sales of US$32 billion last year, US$6.7 billion more than the second placed Komatsu. (Photo: Caterpillar)

Other companies to make the top 10 include Liebherr, John Deere Company, XCMG and Hitachi Construction Machinery. Elsewhere, the joint sales of the top 10 companies on the list (US$232.7 billion) is a record high, as sales figures enjoyed a sharp rise in 2021.

Despite a 0.8% reduction in revenue shares for the list when compared with the last Yellow Table report, the Chinese market remained the strongest with a 24.2% share of revenue overall. Similarly, the Asian market saw a slight decline in revenue, but still accounts for 50.2% of global revenues.

The full Yellow Table list is available here.

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