For five years, “Infrastructure Week” has been a long-standing joke in Washington, with policymakers joyously celebrating the occasion while having nothing to show for it. However, in November 2021, things changed when Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) – a breakthrough $1.2 trillion investment for the betterment of the nation’s infrastructure.
So what does the infrastructure bill mean for the heavy machinery industry? Let’s find out.
The Historic Infrastructure Bill of 2021
In November, President Joe Biden secured 228 votes to 206 on the House floor as lawmakers rubber-stamped the infrastructure bill into law— a historic motion and the biggest infrastructure project in over half a century that seeks to upgrade public roads, bridges, and waterways.
The president has promised to deliver results and rebuild the nation’s crumbling essential infrastructure. The bipartisan deal will rebuild the country’s roads, rails, bridges, ports, and airports, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, increase availability and access to clean drinking water by eliminating the use of lead pipes, tackle the climate change issue, and work for social and environmental justice issues that have been put on the back burner. Combined, the Build Back Better Act will add an average of 1.5 million jobs per year for the upcoming decade.
What the Bill Means for Heavy Machinery Industry
In simple terms, a huge potential for growth. Approximately half of the $1.2 trillion needs to be invested over the next five years, which means a lot of new construction projects need to start super-fast. Experts are predicting that the biggest boom for the heavy machinery industry will come in 2023, with steady growth from 2024 through 2026.
The passing of the bill means big opportunities for industries involved in road repair and building, bridge construction, rail and airport work, water line replacement, cable laying for internet access, and more. Heavy equipment will be required for most projects, and earth drills and augers will be in high demand.
The bill will continue to deliver consistent work over the lifetime of the legislation. Heavy equipment companies will be able to set themselves apart from others and are uniquely positioned to take advantage of a decade of heavy investments in infrastructure.
Companies that manufacture excavator attachments for heavy machinery could see years of additional businesses along the road as streets, bridges, ports, and buildings are upgraded and modernized and reap even broader benefits over the years.
Increasing Demand for Heavy Machinery Attachments Expected
With the new bill, infrastructure projects will see an unprecedented rise. However, the limited budget will require a re-evaluation of methods and processes involved to ensure the funding stretches far enough. With the construction industry facing a backlog of jobs, contractors are looking for ways to deliver projects in a shorter amount of time and improve efficiencies.
However, some entities are concerned that adopting and learning new technologies may result in lost precious time. This is where heavy machinery attachments come into play.
Attachments offer an effective and practical solution by ensuring the utilization of equipment that contractors and construction workers are already familiar with. Increasing demand for drilling and boring from the construction, industrial, mining, and agriculture sectors is expected to drive the national auger drilling market during the project period.
Auger drilling will have various benefits in the construction of public roads, sewer lines, lead-free pipelines, and oil and gas pipelines. Auger drilling is extensively used in building construction due to its low cost.
Auger drives are popular for mini excavators and skid steers in the infrastructure construction industry. Although excavators and skid steers are compatible with various attachments, augers are powerful attachments that are ideal for specific projects, particularly those that involve smaller spaces for landscape projects.
As underground environments become even more crowded, auger drills will assist in ensuring precision in working in tight spaces and help operators stay efficient and quick on tight job sites.
The construction industry will see both volume and value as the need for deep foundations requires bucket augers and continuous flight augers drilling in order to make construction projects stable and resistant to earthquakes.
Reducing Maintenance and Costs Through Attachments
By lowering the overall equipment cost, enabling smarter labor, reducing maintenance, changing workflow, and increasing the returns on investment, attachments are changing the way infrastructure construction works.
Traditional self-propelled heavy machinery experiences the most downtime and costs from parts repairs. However, the efficiency of attachments is highlighted when you consider the profits lost to maintenance.
In order to reduce maintenance downtime and costs, auger attachments can be connected to proven vehicles like skid steers. In case the operating machines need to be serviced, the crew can quickly and conveniently remove the attachment and hook it up to another machine. Without an engine, drill motor, or transmission of their own that is liable to break down, auger attachments can reduce maintenance to up to 90% with just a few grease fittings to take care of.
Companies that offer easy hydraulic connections and optional universal mounting plates for the attachments that can connect to any host machines are expected to see a lot of growth in the coming years. A benefit of choosing compact attachment means fewer components to keep track of, lower transportation requirements, and a lesser amount of clutter at the job site. Another benefit for construction companies is that the attachments can be fitted on the same trailer as the host machine and conveniently transported from one job site to another.
Reducing maintenance costs and the risk of downtime means crews will be able to finish the project quickly, get started on another job, and save money.
A Better Way Forward
The poor condition of the infrastructure across the world and the shortage of traditional machinery is making way for equipment attachments and innovation. The new construction approach that attachments offer is proving to be a huge asset not just in times of infrastructure crisis but for building a sustainable system of infrastructure construction management.
The infrastructure bill has opened up new opportunities for heavy machinery distributors. Of course, acquiring and maintaining these government contractual opportunities won’t be fast or easy — however, if the heavy machinery companies overcome these challenges, the rewards will be worth it.
About the Author
Solaris Attachments is a leading equipment attachment manufacturer and distributor in partnership with major heavy machinery companies like Solesbee’s/Augertorque. The company provides high-quality equipment attachments and parts made in the US by Solesbee’s, North American Attachments, Burchland Manufacturing, EZ SPOT UR, and Limb Beaver – to name a few. To learn more, visit https://solarisattachments.com/