High-horsepower engine sales are stuck in the slow lane, but suppliers are adding new services and performance improvements to pave the way for future fleet expansion opportunities
Like an audience holding its collective breath while a performer prolongs a difficult note at the end of a song, mining-industry suppliers probably won’t take a deep breath until they hear a higher note of interest from mine owners in placing bigger orders for new production equipment.
In today’s business climate, hard rock producers are largely focusing on reducing operational costs, paring future project plans to an absolute minimum and preserving/extending the useful life of their current mobile equipment assets. One of the consequences of this focus is that trucks and other equipment are in some cases sitting idle — or on their way to an auction site — at mines around the world, and large fleet orders are few and far between. Although some commodity prices showed signs of recovery over the past year, any surge in large fleet purchases is probably still over the horizon for most mining original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).