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Comment – Why we all need Plantworx to succeed…

A simple equipment exhibition could give the industry a much-needed shot in the arm.

I have been around the industry for a long time now; too long if some people are to be believed. And if there’s one thing I have learned over the quarter century or more that I have been writing about construction equipment it is that the industry stands or falls on market sentiment.

Politicians like to talk about a “feel-good factor”; one of those strange nebulous intangibles about which you are blissfully unaware until it’s taken away.

Equipment exhibitions have the ability to both engender and destroy that feel-good factor, a fact that owes much to their position in the grand industry food chain of which we are all a part. If construction and demolition companies are feeling upbeat about prospects and future workload, they are likely to invest in new equipment. Buoyed by that investment, equipment manufacturers will have more to spend on research and development and, of course, marketing. And those punters that take themselves off to an exhibition showground will see that evidenced in busy stands filled with exciting new kit. That, in turn, can make us all feel considerably better about the industry from which we earn our living.

But this is a double-edged sword that is equally sharp on both sides. A poorly-attended show will send manufacturers scuttling back to their respective factories, tails tucked between their legs, to pull the plug on costly research and development. Those delegates that do attend will leave the show feeling depressed about market conditions and will react accordingly. And we could all so easily talk ourselves into an even deeper recession.

Like many of those old enough to recall its rough and ready heyday, I still mourn the passing of SED in its Hatfield and Whipsnade days. But those times are passed, and it is time to find a suitable successor.

A successor that will give us an opportunity to see mobile plant as it was supposed to be seen – Mobile! A successor that will give us an excuse to meet old friends and to make some new ones. But, above all, a successor that sends us away with the feeling that maybe – just maybe – the worst is, in fact, over.

I hope that Plantworx IS that successor.

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