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Archive for the ‘Excavators’ tag

Hitachi: Demand for excavators diving

The market for big diggers is drying up, says the CEO of Hitachi Heavy Industries, according to Bloomberg:

The worldwide market will shrink 15 percent to 17 percent in the year to March 31, worse than the 6 percent forecast in October, Chief Executive Officer Michijiro Kikawa said today in an interview in Tokyo. Demand may slide 10 percent to 20 percent in the next fiscal year with “no sign of a recovery,” he said.

Waning sales are forcing Hitachi Construction and bigger rival Komatsu Ltd. to reduce workers, freeze expansion in Asia and slash output. The global financial crisis has spread to the construction industry, triggering a sudden decline in sales in China and emerging markets.

“We can’t see the bottom yet,” Kikawa said in his Tokyo headquarters. “It’s unprecedented.”

Hitachi is Asia’s second-biggest machinery maker after Komatsu.

Can’t be too long before we get rumblings like this from Caterpillar. Fourth-Quarter earnings are out Jan 26.

It stands to reason that Caterpillar has a nice order backlog in some areas that should tide the company over through a few rough patches. Orders can be canceled, though.

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Tom Mangan posted at 7:32 am January 9th, 2009 |

Boys never outgrow playing with tractors

A Caterpillar dealer in Roanoke, Virginia, raffled off the rights to operate some heavy machinery for a few hours, with proceeds going to the local symphony (how’s that for cultural contrast?). A reporter for the local paper went along and talked the organizers into letting him run the arm on 324D excavator:

I mounted the steps to the cab, settled into the cushy seat, and recalled Church’s earlier mantra. “Left hand is stick and swing; right is bucket and boom.” At first gingerly and then with near-veteran confidence, I sent that arm out and down, planted the bucket at the base of the dirt mound, and twisted and pulled on controls until the scoop overflowed with red earth. Then I lifted it high, swung the load to my left, and dumped it from 20 feet up. On a roll, I pivoted back to the right, lowered the boom, and heard the diesel torque under load as the bucket clawed into the loose dirt once again. “Up, you devil,” I coaxed my machine in David Wiley fashion, swinging it around to the left while the bucket rose majestically. And then — bulls-eye! I dumped that ton of dirt right on top of my first load. “Tim the Tool Man” would’ve been proud.

I hope the woodwinds are grateful.

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Tom Mangan posted at 11:27 pm December 28th, 2008 |