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All in One

CW lists the companies you need to know for your complete fleet

Caterpillar.
Caterpillar.
LiuGong.
LiuGong.

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Fed up with the mix and match of different brands of machines on your site? Here are a few manufacturers that can supply the whole lot in one hit.

JCB
The Staffordshire-based firm is best known for the famous backhoe-loader – a concept it claims to have invented. However the firm now offers a complete line of equipment, with excavators ranging from tiny half-tonne micro diggers right up to a 55-ton backhoe, with about two dozen other models, both wheeled and tracked in between.

Nowadays, the group also sells a line of site vehicles, including various dump and haul trucks as well as a line of telehandlers and the one-armed ‘Robot’ skid-steer range. Following the purchase of the ‘Vibromax’ group, JCB also produces a wide number of compaction and compression equipment, including vibratory plates and rollers.

Caterpillar
Still the largest equipment producer in the world, Cat offers something for just about every job site. Famous for developing (though not inventing) the ‘Caterpillar’ tracks, the firm became known for its line of crawler tractors and bulldozers.

Making everything else came relatively late for the firm, but following a series of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures after WW2, the group started producing heavy mining trucks forklifts, excavators of all capacities and just about everything else in between.

Today the group has a product in every equipment category – even forestry equipment is well catered for.

Volvo CE
Volvo Construction Equipment shares little except brand values with its car-making namesake these days. However, following the acquisition of a number of firms over the years (notably most of Ingersoll-Rand in 2007), it now offers just about everything for the construction industry, with a particular emphasis on after sales service.

The core products include articulated dump trucks motor graders, backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders, as well as mini and compact excavators. Additionally the group makes skid steers, and wheel loaders, pipelayers, demolition equipment, waste handlers and scraper haulers.

The firm has production facilities in Sweden, Germany, China, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, India, and Poland. With the purchase of Ingersoll Rand, Volvo acquired a Road Construction facility in Pennsylvania, their only presence in the United States.

The company offers worldwide service and spare-part distribution as well as a wide range of attachments.

LiuGong
Hot on the heels of the established players, some of the Chinese firms also want a piece of the action. Perhaps the most high-profile of these is LiuGong – a company which has been operating for more than 50 years, but has only come into international recognition recently.

The brand is known for its wheel loaders, which were brought up to modern standards through a now-defunct JV with Cat in the 1990s.

However, the company has its own R&D team to promote new designs, and a JV with ZF to produce axles and diffs is still very much current. Besides the wheel loaders, the company now also makes backhoe loaders, skid-steers and a wide line up of excavators.

Future plans include factories outside of China – the firm has already broken ground on a plant in India. Watch out for this brand in the future.

Doosan Infracore
This giant Korean conglomerate is just one part of an even larger group which covers everything from shipbuilding to furniture.

Infracore used to be known as the Heavy Industry and Machinery Division, and builds a line of construction equipment including excavators, wheel loaders and forklifts.

Following the acquisition of a number of other firms, including Skoda’s power generation business, Norwegian-built Moxy haul trucks and Bobcat compact equipment, the brand is able to compete in every sector of the industry.

Terex Construction
Terex is a hard brand to pin down. Originally it was formed in the late 1960s as an offshoot of GM, when the Justice Department ruled that the automaker could make and sell cars and trucks for the road, but not also off-highway machines.

The firm has gone through periods of expansion, acquisitions and then consolidation several times over the years, meaning that the group has around fifty sub-brands under its belt.

This means a huge range of kit is available from one dealer, with Terex Construction alone stocking scrapers, telehandlers, backhoe loaders, lighting rigs and much more.

A particularly interesting offering from the firm is the range of ‘tracked utility vehicles’ – previously marketed under the brand name ASV. These machines do the job of a tip-bed pick-up, but with the go-anywhere ability and low ground pressure associated with rubber tracked vehicles.

The 548-ton Terex 33-19 “Titan” remains the largest truck ever made. Only one was produced, but it served 13 years before it was taken out of service and put on permanent display in Canada.

Recently, the group sold off its mining shovel business to Bucyrus. The most famous product in this line is the RH-series monster, most recently seen brought to life in the Transformers movie series.

CNH Case-New Holland
In the Middle East, Case CE is perhaps best known for its backhoe loaders and is often thought of as being a European manufacturer – possibly due to its association with New Holland as the CNH group.

In fact, the firm these days is a multinational, but was originally set up in America, when Jerome Case developed the first steam engine for agricultural use.

These days the CNH group (which came into existence when Case and New Holland merged in 1999) offers everything related to construction equipment, including excavators, skid steers of various sizes, dump trucks, dozers and more.

Interestingly, Case, like JCB can also lay claim to have developed the backhoe loader as the first machine of this type entered production 50 years ago.

Hitachi
Admittedly, this firm doesn’t make absolutely everything, but a wide range of excavators, crawler cranes and aerial work platforms mean that Hitachi (its name literally means ‘rising sun’) can offer many plant hire firms everything it will need from one manufacturer.

It’s particularly relevant now that the group also manufactures rigid dump haulers, following the purchase of Euclid trucks. Interestingly, the firm manufactures crawler cranes with the option of rubber tracks.

Komatsu
It’s the second largest machine maker in the world, though without the brand recognition among the general public enjoyed by some of the other well-known names.

Interestingly, the firm has been around for many years, as it started up as an iron foundry in Japan (the company is named after the city it was founded in, not the other way around as sometimes happens in Asia.)

During the 1960s, the then MD of the firm decided to export its kit to try and counter the image of Japanese products being cheap and poorly made.
 

Using the mantra ‘maru-C’ (literally ‘encircle Caterpillar’ the group aimed to offer everything that the Arizona-based firm did, at an equivalent or better standard.

The strategy worked. Today Komatsu offers equipment and service in all sectors and the firm is working on various fuel saving technologies ahead of tough new emission laws that are set to come in to force.

Terex Cranes
Another mention for Terex is well deserved, as the crane division is the only manufacturer to offer a full line of lifting machines, ranging from the knuckleboom to the largest crawler ever built.

Like all of Terex group, the range is collated from the output of no less than 15 ‘legacy brands’ including Ferro, Koehring, Bantam and American. Perhaps the finest example currently working on industrial projects around the region is the Terex-Demag CC8800-1 twin.

This elegant giant has a capacity of 3,200 tons – more than three times the power of most heavy crawlers.

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