Exploring the next wave of innovation in electric & tech-centric machine prototypes

The compact equipment industry is always evolving. In fact, more business owners are making strides toward sustainability and electrification, particularly in the construction market. With new electric prototype and concept machines solutions, some equipment manufacturers are proving that electric equipment can deliver the performance, uptime and versatility that owners like you need, while also providing comfort and ease of use that you demand.

In addition to electric machines, various technologies, such as wireless communication, object avoidance, touch displays, remote-control operation and attachment innovations, are other advancements that are paving the way to make compact equipment more productive and user-friendly.

Electric Prototype & Fully Electric Machines

New electric prototype machines are smaller in size to easily fit through doorways to tackle indoor demolition projects—areas and applications that are highly regulated. But it has expanded beyond indoor applications to outdoor projects, such as airports, utility companies and other sustainable companies that are more conscious of their carbon footprint and looking for electric as a solution and a viable option.

Another major innovation is the development of an all-electric machine. The electrical motors and components, rather than a hydraulic system, will provide the horsepower and performance. Plus, electronic attachments bring new capabilities for positioning, power utilization and comfort.

To continue advancing and to bring these solutions to you and your operators, some equipment manufacturers recognize the opportunity to partner with other leaders in innovation. These strategic partnerships help compact equipment manufacturers retrofit their machines with proprietary battery technology to replace the standard diesel power source.

Electric machines can provide you and your operators the power and performance equivalent to diesel-powered models, along with considerably lower daily operating costs, zero emissions and minimal maintenance. In the not-too-distant future, electrically powered compact equipment may be the machine of choice for the industry.

Smarter Technologies

Compact equipment manufacturers are also enhancing their compact equipment with more sophisticated features to allow you and your operators to complete jobs in new and innovative ways.

Wireless Communication

An essential feature in the compact equipment industry is wireless communication technology, also referred to as telematics, which allows you and your equipment operators to maximize uptime and can provide better peace of mind.

The technology works with electronic sensors in your machine to collect machine-specific information and send it out via a wireless network to a mobile device or computer. The electronic sensors can track essential machine data, such as number of hours of operation and critical service codes. This information lets you know when your machine is in need of maintenance.

Some wireless communication technologies can transmit your information to your dealer, so if your machine registers a critical code—your dealer will be alerted. They can then contact you and dispatch a service technician if needed, allowing you to minimize your downtime.

The sensors can also track fuel usage. With accurate information on fuel usage, you can have line of sight to when your equipment is working and when they are idling, in turn, boosts productivity.

Object Avoidance

One of the latest technologies to hit the compact equipment industry is object avoidance. This advanced technology works by preprogramming avoidance zones. Equipment manufacturers have the ability to preprogram avoidance zones in a variety of ways. However, all object avoidance systems work in a similar manner by either sending out an alert to an upcoming obstacle or automatically moving the machine to avoid that obstacle.

This technology will help your team to create a safer work environment and increase productivity. Some systems work by having the operator take pictures or mark points on a map of jobsite obstacles to create a digital barrier. In addition, with select object avoidance systems, operators can select individual objects they want the machine to avoid.


The technology interfaces with the machine to avoid user-defined obstacles. Other object avoidance systems work similarly to the automobile industry by using vehicle communications to alert the operator when they are getting too close to another machine.

Touch Displays

In compact equipment, touch screen displays enhance a machine’s functionality to provide critical information to operators. They offer device connectivity and can improve security and visibility when accompanied by a rearview camera.

With touch display technology, you can observe fuel levels, coolant temperature, engine revolutions per minute, hydraulic flow and on-board diagnostics, which will allow you to optimize uptime and serviceability. Additionally, with select touch displays you can monitor and position machine attachments and track operator productivity in detail.

To improve security, touch displays allow compact equipment to be integrated with keyless start systems to help minimize the risk of theft. Operators can start the machine by entering a password and then pressing the “start” button. Passwords can be changed easily and multiple ones can be assigned.

Remote-Control Operation

Technologies like remote-control operation are continuously becoming more advanced in the industry. The completely portable technology used to only work by using a transmitter strapped around the neck of an operator. While that’s still a viable option, some equipment manufacturers have created remote-control operations that can be used via an app on a smartphone or tablet. With this advancement, you no longer need to plan out when you will be using the technology on a jobsite.


Instead, you can utilize your smartphone to complete work at a moment’s notice. Remote-control operation is primarily used for compact track loaders and skid steer loaders with joystick controls and offers several advantages—even if you have to use a transmitter. The primary benefit is the ability to have complete visibility of the machine without being in the cab.

By standing outside your machine, you’re able to see every angle and adjust as needed, which leads to more effective operation and more control when operating attachments. You can also benefit from increased productivity by single-handedly taking care of jobs that often require two people.

Attachment Technology

Advanced attachment-mounting systems can match operator preference to the task and act as the ultimate timesaver. Hydraulic activated systems allow you and your equipment operators to secure attachments within seconds by pressing a switch inside the cab that automatically connects the hydraulic lines. This faster and easier method to change out attachments eliminates the need for the operator to get out of the machine and manually secure an attachment.


As a business owner, you depend on the latest compact equipment and technology to get the job done. With these new innovative solutions, owners and operators can get the performance, uptime, versatility and comfort they need. There are many options available so make sure you find the right equipment and technologies that fit your business and your operators.