Compact tracked loaders were first developed in the 1980s and 1990s, but they did not start to appear on the equipment market in significant numbers until the early 2000s, when manufacturers in the skid steer loader space started offering a tracked equivalent.
The collapse in North American residential construction in the mid-2000s was a setback, but the popularity of these machines has been on the rise since the early 2010s. By the middle of that decade they were outselling (wheeled) skid steer loaders, the traditional compact machine in North America and had established themselves by the end of the decade as the highest volume product on the market.
Ultra-low interest rates and various forms of stimulus spending during the pandemic created a boom in residential construction form mid-2020 onwards, and with that came a huge surge in compact tracked loader sales. Provisional figures form Off-Highway Research suggest the market in Canada and the US totalled almost 100,000 units in 2022.
Although the compact tracked loader has somewhat replaced the skid steer loader, these still sell in reasonable numbers in the region, with some 30,000 retails in 2022.
The current inflationary environment and rising interest rates will slow down the house building market, and sales of compact tracked loaders will moderate as a result. However, Off-Highway Research sees good long-term prospects for these machines due to the shortfall of housing in North America and the scarcity of labour which is accelerating mechanisation of construction, agriculture and landscaping, among other applications for compact tracked laoders.
Off-Highway Research’s Equipment Analysis on the compact tracked loader and skid steer loader industry in North America is now available to subscribers to the North American Service. It is also available to buy as a stand-alone report here.
For more information about Off-Highway Research’s North American Service, please contact [email protected]