Late model/low hours don’t exist
Machinery market stratospheric after downturn puts a three-year black hole in supply.
Wednesday 24 January 2018
The inability to move earth could end up being the biggest brake on Australia’s mining industry in the short to medium term, with a heavy machinery supply crisis facing the industry.
Earthmoving businesses in Central Queensland report that buying good second-hand machines is just about impossible, and Andrew Cotton, Senior Operations Manager with industrial auctioneer Greys Online, says there is a good reason for it.
“From the beginning of last year we have seen the value of used equipment increase significantly,” he told Shift Miner.
“There are huge civil projects underway in NSW and Victoria where they are spending a fortune on infrastructure, and at the same time, we have seen the mining sector picking up.
“Meanwhile the big machine builders like Cat, Hitachi and Komatsu scaled their production right back during the downturn, and while they are slowing building up, it's going to take time.
“So there were years where no new machines were coming onto the market, and now that means that if you want a late model low hour machine they just don’t exist.”
The current situation represents a significant turnaround from 2014 when at least two local earthmoving businesses shut their doors.
Emerald based Jonker Hire, who had been in business since the Mid 1970’s, entered into administration, while Coalfields Constructions shut their doors after more than 20 years working across Central Queensland.
“The decision to close the doors was a bittersweet one,” Joel Clarke told Shift Miner at the time.
“But there is just no business around, and for the work, you can find there is absolutely no margin.
“At the end of the day, if mining companies can afford to do what they are doing, without relying on contractors like us, then that’s just business.
“We can’t complain, we made a good profit during the boom.”