One of the hottest segments of the construction-equipment market today is that for rubber-track loaders. Based on figures we've seen, the consumption of these machines was around 2,000 units in year 2000—mostly, we assume, in North America.
Based on sales volume in 2003, however, and coupled with volume projected for this year, estimates are that sales may soar to as many as 16,000 units in 2005. Retail dollars could amount to $600 million to $700 million.
By year 2008, some projections have sales volume at 40,000 to 50,000 units, perhaps counting on the popularity of the machine to begin capturing a portion of the world market for small utility machines. Proponents of rubber-track loaders say that the machines deliver skid-steer-like versatility and maneuverability, while providing uncommon flotation and traction.