In many major global markets, the undisputed king of compact equipment is the mini-excavator. And they are popular in the US, too, where some 60,000 units are sold every year. But even this huge number is dwarfed by sales of compact track loaders, which currently sell an incredible 90,000 units a year.
The compact track loader, or CTL, has leapfrogged the skid steer loader (sales of which are 50% down on a decade ago), which has long been popular in the US. The upward trajectory of CTL sales in recent years has been near vertical. “I think it’s particularly popular in the US because it can cover ground and move material so fast – this is a big country with big sites!” says Buck Storlie, Yanmar Compact Equipment (CE) product manager for North America. “The tracks give the edge over skid steers’ wheels, in that they can work more days a year, even in very damp conditions, thanks to the tracks’ much lower ground pressure. With their much greater traction, they are also more stable and have a higher ability to push into a pile. And they are extremely versatile tool carriers, which give them the flexibility to do a wide range of jobs, with minimal tool change-over times. And, at the end of the day, you can put it on a trailer and tow it home behind an average pick up.”
Given the size of the market to aim at, Yanmar is optimistic at the prospect of better fulfilling North America compact equipment market needs. The new range is a ground-up design, developed after extensive research on customer needs and competitor analysis, and in close cooperation with Yanmar’s in-house skid steer and CTL experts. The result is a high performing, durable range that is keenly priced, the latter helped by being built in the US, saving on intercontinental shipping costs.
With beginnings in Osaka, Japan, in 1912, Yanmar was the first ever to succeed in making a compact diesel engine of a practical size in 1933. A pioneer in diesel engine technology, Yanmar Compact Equipment has four production plants in Japan, France, Germany, and the U.S., to deliver a range of products and services to the global market.