By Greg Whitaker
So, another month has passed since we last spoke and what's new in the machine industry? Well, there is our event in Saudi Arabia for a start, followed closely by Bauma.
So, another month has passed since we last spoke and what's new in the machine industry? Well, there is our event in Saudi Arabia for a start, followed closely by Bauma.It is at the latter that we are likely to see some exciting new machine launches - and not before time.
Throughout 2008 there were a number of fantastic new machines put on the market - the Cat 14M grader being one - but there were many others as well - with just about every major firm hinting about diesel-electric machines about to come on to the market... and then, nothing. It seems all R and D departments were put on hold as the companies tried to stand firm through the financial hurricane.
Perhaps it is understandable that the machine companies chose to hang on to their hats through 2009, but a lack of launches gives u8s less to write about - and you less to read about of course. Fortunately, we have plenty of intelligence suggesting that this year's Bauma will be the best yet for launches, with our Saudi show acting as an interesting and vital precursor to it.
One final observation, of all the new machines that are rumoured to be launched this year, a higher than average number appear to be access platforms, telehandlers and other types of cherry-pickers. This is most interesting, as this sector is said to be a ‘bellwether', in other words, it tends to be powered access that feels the effects of a recession first, but will also come out of it first. Here's hoping.
Greg Whitaker is the editor of Plant Machinery Vehicles Middle East.