Is it Time to Downsize? Explore the Power of Compact Construction Equipment

19 November 2019

Traditionally, we’ve believed that bigger is better when it comes to construction equipment. Bigger meant more power, more capabilities, and the chance to get more done. But that’s changing as increasing numbers of contractors choose compact construction equipment.

Why compact construction equipment?

Today’s contractors are looking for fuel efficiency, versatility, and ease of operation when expanding their fleet. They’re also often required to work in relatively confined spaces.

Smaller machines now offer technologies you once only got on big Cat® engines, like telematics and grade control. Combine this with the fact that compact construction equipment uses less fuel, and the choice already starts to make sense.

Additionally, compact equipment is highly maneuverable in small spaces. When you add in attachments and the equipment’s ability to perform many different tasks, a simple single-use device is turned into a multi-purpose machine. As connecting and disconnecting each attachment is fast and easy, productivity is improved.

Compact equipment can have other advantages too. For instance, these machines cost less than larger models and, because they’re light, they’re easier to transport to job sites.

Balancing productivity and safety is important.

Ease of operation has been improved in compact construction equipment, thanks to technological advancements. Today’s equipment can be adjusted to meet various operator skill levels, helping you optimize performance while making safety a priority. New attachment technology, such as locater devices and geo-fencing, allow you to track maintenance needs to fully understand usage and downtime.

Compact construction equipment can come with object detection technology to help improve safety. This technology includes 360-degree cameras and back-up cameras, proximity sensors, and alarms. The machines can also limit dig-depth electronically.

These features help you balance safety and productivity, but it’s important to remember that technology can never replace best practices. Even with the most advanced compact construction equipment, you still need to conduct regular equipment inspections and do walk-arounds before and after the job to check for leaks and other maintenance issues.

While operators of today’s compact Cats don’t need the skills they required in the past, training remains essential. Operator education will always be key to job-site safety.

Is compact construction equipment right for you?

Next generation compact construction equipment is rapidly becoming the choice for contractors. It’s easy to use, faster, and fuel efficient, and it’s helping companies boost productivity and ensure safety in the work environment.

So if you’re looking for a track-loader, excavator, backhoe, skid steer, or wheel loader, consider smaller versions. They just might open up a whole world of new opportunity for you.

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Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.