Nearly 25 years ago, Construction Equipment started a simple program to recognize innovation in construction equipment, trucks and related products. We defined innovation with four criteria, and the editors themselves decided which machines met one or more of those criteria. We were the first publication in the industry to develop such a listing of products.
That first edition of the Top 100 Products was published in December 1990.
Each year since then, our editorial staff have discussed the merits of various machines as we whittle down the list to 100. Make no mistake, the industry does not vote on what machines are tops, and manufacturers cannot enter to win. The Construction Equipment editorial team chooses the Top 100 Products of the year.
The 2014 list of products reveals certain trends in the equipment market for the year.
- Design engineers provided some excellent upgrades in order to accommodate the hardware and system alterations necessary to meet Tier 4 emissions regulations;
- Inventors created machines and equipment to solve specific construction problems;
- Marketers emphasized that machines reduce operating costs by almost universally promoting fuel-efficiency gains when describing Tier 4 upgrades;
- Products were introduced to support Tier 4 maintenance management;
- Manufacturers expanded into new product categories, and they introduced models to fill in gaps in existing categories;
- In March, Conexpo once more demonstrated why it is the industry’s premier venue for product introduction. We were challenged to determine which machines were concepts rather than production, which were months away from U.S. launch, and which could be considered a Top Product of 2014;
- Half the Light Earthmoving winners are skid steer and compact track loaders, and half the Heavy Earthmoving winners are excavators;
- Alternative energy has grown as a presence in the powerplants used in construction equipment and trucks.
Our expanded coverage of the Top 100 Products of 2014 includes videos and in-depth coverage of some of the more innovative machines. While there, take a look at past years of Top 100 Products, too.