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The Pros and Cons of the Top 5 Construction Equipment Brands for Contractors

Mar 23, 2023 | Blog, Construction Equipment

For construction contractors, choosing the right equipment can make all the difference in the successful completion of a project. With numerous brands on the market, it can be tough to determine which ones offer the best performance, durability, and value. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the top 5 construction equipment brands by sales, along with their pros and cons.



  • Industry leader: Caterpillar is the largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world, known for its extensive range of high-quality products.
  • Innovative technology: Caterpillar invests heavily in research and development, resulting in cutting-edge equipment that delivers greater efficiency and productivity.
  • Excellent resale value: Caterpillar equipment is renowned for its durability and longevity, which translates to strong resale values for contractors.


  • High initial cost: Caterpillar equipment can be expensive upfront, which may be prohibitive for some contractors.
  • Parts and maintenance: Although Caterpillar equipment is built to last, the cost of replacement parts and maintenance can be higher than other brands.



  • Global presence: As the second-largest construction equipment manufacturer, Komatsu is a popular choice for contractors worldwide.
  • Fuel efficiency: Komatsu is known for its fuel-efficient machinery, which can result in significant long-term cost savings.
  • Advanced technology: The company invests heavily in technological advancements, such as their KOMTRAX remote monitoring system, which provides valuable insights into equipment performance.


  • Limited product range: While Komatsu offers a wide variety of equipment, its product range is not as extensive as Caterpillar’s.
  • Dealer network: Komatsu’s dealer network is not as expansive as Caterpillar’s, which can make it harder to find parts or service support in some regions.

Volvo Construction Equipment


  • Safety and environmental focus: Volvo Construction Equipment is known for its commitment to safety and sustainability, which is evident in its machinery design and fuel-efficient engines.
  • Comfortable operator experience: Volvo’s machines are designed with the operator in mind, with comfortable cabs and user-friendly controls.
  • Strong dealer network: Volvo has a large network of dealers and service centers to support its customers.


  • Initial cost: Similar to Caterpillar, Volvo equipment can be more expensive upfront than other brands.
  • Parts availability: While Volvo has a strong dealer network, parts availability can sometimes be limited, particularly for older models.

John Deere


  • Trusted brand: John Deere has a long history and is well-regarded for its reliable, durable equipment.
  • Diverse product offering: With a wide range of construction equipment, including compact and heavy equipment, John Deere caters to various project needs.
  • Strong customer support: John Deere is known for its excellent customer service and support, with an extensive dealer network and parts availability.


  • Not a specialist: John Deere is best known for its agricultural equipment, and some contractors may prefer a brand that specializes in construction machinery.
  • Technology integration: While John Deere offers innovative technology in its equipment, the integration of these features may not be as seamless as in some competitors’ machines.

Hitachi Construction Machinery


  • Reliable and efficient: Hitachi is known for producing reliable and efficient construction equipment, particularly in the areas of excavation and earthmoving.
  • Technological innovation: Hitachi invests in developing advanced technologies, such as the company’s proprietary AC-3 hydraulic system, which improves machine performance.
  • Collaborative approach: Hitachi partners with other industry leaders, like John Deere, to offer a diverse range of equipment and technologies.


  • Narrow product focus: Hitachi’s primary focus is on excavators and earthmoving equipment, which may limit options for contractors who require a more diverse range of machinery.
  • Parts and service: While Hitachi’s partnership with John Deere can provide better support in some regions, finding parts and service for Hitachi equipment may be more difficult in areas without a strong dealer presence.

Each of these top construction equipment brands has its strengths and weaknesses. Caterpillar is the industry leader with an extensive product range and impressive resale value, but its equipment can be expensive upfront. Komatsu is known for its fuel-efficient machinery and advanced technology, but its dealer network may not be as comprehensive as Caterpillar’s. Volvo Construction Equipment stands out for its commitment to safety and sustainability, while John Deere is a trusted brand with diverse product offerings and strong customer support. Finally, Hitachi Construction Machinery is reliable and efficient, with a focus on excavation and earthmoving equipment, but may not have the product range or support network that some contractors require.

Ultimately, the best brand for your construction business will depend on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Carefully consider the pros and cons of each brand, and don’t hesitate to consult with dealers and fellow contractors for advice and recommendations.