5 Innovations from the Construction Tradeshow Season Blog Feature

By: GreatAmerica on April 5th, 2023

5 Innovations from the Construction Tradeshow Season

The GreatAmerica Construction and Industrial Team spent the beginning of the year exhibiting at The World of Concrete, The ARA Rental Show and ConExpo, exploring the latest in the construction industry.  

Technological innovation was on display across the three shows. Bill Johnson, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Construction & Industrial Division at GreatAmerica Financial Services, says, “automation and sustainability are the driving forces behind many of the innovations we've seen this year.” These are the top five trends impacting the construction industry.  

Electric Powered Construction Equipment 

It was hard to miss the number of equipment manufacturers that introduced or expanded their electric equipment product lines.  

Despite the higher upfront cost to their ICE counterparts, electric equipment owners benefit from less maintenance and lower operating costs. The ability to operate cleaner and quieter makes it great technology for work in residential areas with noise and emission restrictions. The product segments are restricted to compact equipment but much like the adoption of handheld powered equipment decades ago, electric equipment adoption continues to grow. 

Electric powered construction equipment can be used indoors, like lifts, demolition robots, power wheelbarrows and soil compacters. Battery cost remains the most prohibitive part of electric machines, but as battery capacity and technology improves, we expect increased adoption.   

Geospatial and machine control  

“The need for automation is growing,” says Bill Johnson, “geospatial and reality capture continues to advance, and the amount of robust end point data being captured by digital scanners is better than what we could predict even five years ago.” Drones and handheld scanners make quick work of surveying land and job sites.  

Controlled and mapped job sites open the door for remote work when paired with machine control. Several manufacturers highlighted equipment controllable by mobile app, including one that allowed attendees to remotely operate an excavator in Georgia from the Las Vegas show floor. The autonomy that geospatial and machine control offers will help overcome labor shortages and change the workers skillsets.  

As-A-Service Model 

 Traditional equipment ownership ties up businesses cash in capital, an alternative is the as-as-service model. By renting or leasing the equipment, businesses can easily upgrade the equipment and avoid technology obsolescence. As-a-service opens the door for flexibility and agility, to keep up with the rapidly changing technology.  

As-a-service models allow the customer to gain equipment utilization while avoiding the cost of equipment ownership with payment flexibility, improved cash flow, and easier budgeting.  


Job sites are more connected than ever as monitoring technology becomes standard on most new equipment and provides valuable data that gives insight into productivity. Imagine knowing how many hours your machines run, which needs maintenances and if one is being underused all communicated to you in the office, avoiding a site visit.  

One of the barriers for adoption of telematics is each manufacturer having proprietary tracking systems and mobile apps. Customers tend to have mixed fleets which would require different software platforms to monitor their full fleet. As multi brand platform solutions rise, we can expect to see telematic adoption.  

Rent and Buy online  

Construction has historically followed innovations of the automotive industry. Construction equipment sales and rentals are moving to online platforms which allow for self-guided ordering and customization.  The America Rental Association predicts a 7 percent increase in construction equipment rentals in 2023. 

To complete the online purchase experience, financing and payment options are integrated into the platforms that make getting the equipment into the hands of the customer quicker. Digital capabilities open the door for sales representatives to quote payments on the financing submitted and approved through a secure online portal.  

World of Concrete, ConExpo, and the ARA Show offered us great insights into the bright future of the construction and industries, and we look forward to continued innovations to come.

GreatAmerica provides financial solutions to construction equipment manufactures and dealers, learn more here!


GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and now has offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow.