2018 Perspectives

In terms of industry equipment

The New Zealand Equipment Suppliers Association (NZESA) represents 11 full member supplier companies as well as a further eight associate member companies. Andrew Crane, president, NZESA. 

OUR FULL MEMBERS are made up of companies that sell, service and hire well-known brands of construction, forestry and mining equipment. Our associate members include both locally owned and international suppliers of attachments for construction equipment as well as other service providers.

Following on from a record year of equipment sales in 2016, sales of equipment in 2017 once again were very strong with 2804 units being reported by the NZESA from January to September 2017.

This is around 30 percent higher than the total number of units sold in the same period in the previous year, which is predominantly as a result of our members supplying equipment for the large number of building and infrastructure projects as well as demand from the forestry sector.

Internationally demand for construction equipment was also very strong in 2017 as rising commodity prices brought forward customers’ investment plans. Commodity prices have been particularly positive for sales of mining equipment which have increased from their very low levels of the past few years.

In March we held the T.H.E EXPO (Transport & Heavy Equipment) at Mystery Creek, which is held every four years in Hamilton. With it being the only show of its kind in New Zealand, it gives contractors the opportunity to touch and feel the latest construction equipment and technology and interact with equipment and truck suppliers all in one place.

Overall the feedback from NZESA members was that there was still a good number of genuine inquiries from the show, but we could always welcome more visitors given the costs that go into making displays, having staff on site and transporting equipment.

We know there is a lot of competition for time and attention as buying rationales change and the use of online information continues to grow as well as people’s interest in travelling to the many international shows there are on the calendar.

So we are looking at ways to raise the awareness of T.H.E Expo to more industries with the possibility of combining it with a future trip or conference. The next Expo is scheduled for March 2021.

Information and technology on construction equipment has grown steadily as we see more and more machines being specified with GPS machine guidance and control systems.

More projects are requiring these systems to be fitted to machines so the operator can see on a screen in the cab where to cut to grade. Or on some machines the operator simply has to steer or digs the machine in the right area and the software controls the hydraulics of the machine. With the shortage of operators, reduced surveying requirements and overall productivity gains the number of machines being fitted with guidance or control technology will only continue to increase.

In addition to machine guidance technology, most modern machines have some level of on-board and web-integrated Fleet Management System that can bring real gains to a contractor’s business. Many owners and fleet managers who are engaged with these systems are able to view critical and timely information about their machines, move data wirelessly and effortlessly, as well as being able to receive remote support tools from their local dealer to keep their machine running.

This increase in on-board technology is seeing manufacturers and suppliers up-skilling and employing specialists in order to pass on the knowledge to the machine’s owner so that he or she can receive the real productivity gains that new technology can provide. There is also strong collaboration between equipment and technology suppliers to ensure the fit outs are done to the highest possible standard and ongoing support for the end user is provided.

The NZESA continues to see the importance of having our input into the International Standards Organisation (ISO) as more ISO standards become adopted here.

The NZESA has continued to review and adopt the latest International Standards. One such standard that we established a working group on in 2017 is ISO 13031 for Quick Couplers which covers quick couplers, installation and operating systems for all machines.

The prime purpose of ISO 13031 is to improve the safety of machines fitted with quick couplers and reduce the number of incidents where attachments have been dropped, causing serious and fatal injuries.

Currently this country has no formal standard for the manufacture, supply, installation or operation of quick couplers, so we are looking to address that with this new standards implementation.

This article first appeared in Contractor Perspectives 2018.

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