We will soon reach No. 1 position in sub 5T category in mini excavators.

Hyunsoo (HS) Kim, 
Director Commercial, 
Doosan Bobcat India.

Bobcat mini excavators have been very well accepted in the market by the customers because of the reliability and durability.

Doosan Bobcat India offers three models – E27, E37 and E64. All these models come under the conventional tail swing category. We were able to grow to No.2 position in less than 5 T category, very quickly. We are hopeful with the same kind of support we will soon reach No.1 position,” states Hyunsoo (HS) Kim, Director Commercial, Doosan Bobcat India. Excerpts from the interview…

 

What is the current market size for compact excavators in terms of value and units sales?

In 2018, the market size of mini excavators (Less than 5T capacity) was close to 1300 units. For the last 5 years, this segment has been growing at an impressive rate of 19% CAGR. By 2023 this is expected to touch around 2500 units.

What makes Bobcat mini excavators more useful or preferable?

The following are the top reasons.

Multi-purpose: The Bobcat mini excavators (MEX) can be used with a range of attachments. The attachments can be changed within minutes, thus improving the productivity of the machine. Some of the attachments which are popular amongst customers are thumb for holding objects, breaker for demolition works, auger used for drilling holes.

Compact yet Powerful: The Bobcat MEX design with balance and weight distribution delivers more usable horsepower, powerful breakout forces,  digging forces and faster cycle times. It can go to confined spaces because of its compact size unlike larger machines. It also offers great fuel efficiency without sacrificing on performance.

Supplement Manual Labour: Mini excavators are seen to replace easily 15-20 persons used in labour intensive jobs proving to be economical while maintaining higher levels of productivity.

Low Weight & Easy Transpor­tability: These machines are also lower in weight which makes it very easy in terms of transportability using a small truck which is commonly found. It can even be put on small barges and used for cleaning of water channels.

 

Tell us about the unique features of your range of compact excavators.

The new range of E27 & E37 R- Series compact excavators offers a best-in-class mix of high digging forces, desirable stability and smooth controllability of working functions complemented by low weights for easy transportation. Excellent machine fit and finish plus new ground-breaking design features make the new Bobcat R-Series mini excavators unique on the market.

Steel Track & Long Arm – The standard machine comes with steel track and optional rubber track is also available depending on the operating ground conditions. Long arm is standard in E27 and E37 offering best in class digging depth.

Two Speed – Two speed travel is a key feature of Bobcat mini excavators and both E27 and E37 has this feature. E27 has a max speed of 5.1 km/hour, the highest in 2 – 3 T category. Manual two speed function improves job site manoeuvrability with precise control.

Auto-Shift – Auto-shift feature senses hydraulic pressure and thereby changes travel speeds automatically as per load condition. This improves the efficiency of operation.

Auto Idle and Electronic Throttle Control  – The E27 & E37 which comes with standard ‘auto idle’ and electronic throttle control which is one of the key features of Bobcat mini excavators. This helps in lowering engine rpm to idle when not in use resulting in better fuel efficiency and cost savings.

Operator Cabin & Working Environment – ROPS & FOPS operator cabin with suspension seat makes improves operator comfort together with safety and productivity. Improved boom light with additional lights on canopy increases visibility during night shifts and enclosed work areas.

Auxiliary Modes & Quick Coupler Hose – The machine is fitted with 3-auxiliary modes with different hydraulic flow setting and the operator can choose as per the attachment to be used. The quick coupler hose for auxiliary lines also helps in attaching and detaching attachments an easy affair.

 

What are the technology trends especially with regard to telematics and other new age technologies in the compact excavator market?

Bobcat has brought in telematics system in certain developed markets called as ‘Connected Machine’ that offers remote access to information of the equipment including location, machine health, performance, fuel levels, operator performance. Computerised machine diagnostics for trouble shooting and checking machine parameters have made its way into the compact excavator segment as well.

Though electric vehicles like electric dump trucks and shovels are being used in the mining segment we do not see an immediate demand for those technologies in the compact excavator market. However, globally many companies have started developing fully electric excavators in the ‘less than’ 2T operating weight category. It is being selectively launched in developed countries in Europe and in the US.

Bobcat also showcased its E10e in Bauma Munich (2019) which is the fully electric version of its most popular model E10 after which it has been launched for Europe Market. We expect a gradual transition from conventional energy to renewable energy in the future and India will move faster catching up with developed countries.

 

What have been the trends in using various attachments with compact excavators?

The mini excavator customers have been generally using the machine for bucket application. But slowly and gradually they are adding attachments like breaker and auger. Bobcat mini excavator models come with auxiliary hydraulic lines as standard. We also offer wide variety of  attachments that is suitable for mini-excavators. This definitely help to increase the utilisation and handle new applications.

 

Could you throw some light on the rental scenario of compact excavators?

Mini excavators are gaining popularity amongst rental customers. Because of its compactness and low weight, it is easy to transport. It has better reach and is able to work in confined spaces. The investment is less while the rental income generated is more which is appealing to rental segment customers.

The rental rates are very stable and better for mini excavators. As a result the rental segment for mini excavators is also growing steadily. Some of the challenges we face is that some areas still have lower labour rates and hence we do not see the substitution happening at the pace we expect. Also there is a tendency to use conventionally popular machines even though they are larger and may not be the best choice for the application.

 

What is the financing market looks like, especially for compact excavators?

Bobcat mini excavators have been very well accepted in the market by the customers because of the
reliability and durability. This has resulted in very good resale value, the highest in this category. So the
financing market has been very favourable to our product because of which we were able to grow to No.2 position in less than 5 T category, very quickly. We are hopeful with the same kind of support we will soon reach No.1 position.

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