Ritchie Bros Auctioneers hosted the Ohio Contractors Association Central Ohio Equipment Maintenance Council meeting in Blue Ash, Ohio on Feb. 27.
The featured presentation was a talk given by Tim Keane of Ritchie Bros Auctioneers on the company’s view on the ever changing global equipment industry. In attendance during the event were management personnel from area construction companies and representatives from many of Ohio’s equipment dealers.
The main focus of Keane’s presentation provided detailed analysis of the economic indicators and industry trends that continue to shape the equipment marketplace. Keane provided an overview of equipment sales from 2005 to 2012 with an emphasis on activity within the past year to two years. Keane indicated that total units for the first half 2012 were up 7 percent and toward the end of the year, activity accelerated to 19 percent year over year.
Additionally, from 2011 to 2012, total domestic construction spending was up almost 8 percent even while public construction declined by 2 percent. Driven by the economy, equipment production slowed in 2009 followed by a steep and steady increase in production through 2012. Although not keeping pace with increasing equipment production, industry unemployment numbers have continued to improve as well.
All categories within the worldwide construction equipment marketplace are expected to show steady improvement. The leading growth category is cranes, excavators and draglines followed by loaders, off-highway trucks and tractors, mixers and pavers, and graders and rollers. According to Keane, by 2018, the demand for cranes, excavators and draglines in the Asia/Pacific is expected to outpace North American demand by nearly 250 percent. Demand for mixers, pavers and related equipment is expected to follow a similar pattern. While growth in the off-highway trucks and trailers is expected, this is the only category forecast to have similar demand levels across all geographic areas.
Ohio’s unemployment numbers were better than the national average for only the third time in the past 35 years. Keane said that improving economic conditions in Ohio were due in part to the development of Ohio’s energy resources. From 2008 to 2011, there were 150 permits issued for horizontal well drilling in Ohio. In 2012, that number shot up to 337 permits issued. Over the course of the same period, there has been a related increase in production.
Ohio’s economic future and the world’s rising energy needs are interrelated. World energy consumption is expected to increase by 47 percent from 2010 through 2035 and, while coal and nuclear generation of electricity over that time is expected to remain relatively flat, natural gas and renewable energy sources are expected to increase substantially.
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