Mining and construction are two of the toughest sectors on Earth, and with the adverse effects of climate change, they are unfortunately only set to get tougher! Let’s take a look at the OTR trends which will dominate 2023, with the aim to make sites more sustainable and maneuvering vehicles smoother and safer.
But first, let’s take a brief look at the history of off-road vehicles. We all know that off-road vehicles – and their tires – are designed to handle tougher conditions, from daily tasks, to terrain, not to mention the weather. Back in the early 1900s, Adolphe Kégresse developed what is renowned as the first off-road vehicle, during his time working for Czar Nicholas II of Russia. Russia had treacherous, uneven roads blasted with snow and ice, so it’s no surprise that Czar Nicholas II needed a custom job for his car! Adolphe invented the Kégresse track: a flexible non-metal caterpillar track, with large skis attached to the front, enabling vehicles to drive over soft, snowy terrains.
But fast-forward all the way to 2023, and what will be newly trending in the world of OTR? Let’s find out together!
Firstly, let’s take a look at the “home sweet home” of OTR vehicles. Construction sites, in particular, are making waves in the realm of sustainability – which is set to continue in 2023, as we collectively strive to meet Net-Zero.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), construction and engineering produce up to 530 million tons of waste each year. And we all know where the majority of this waste is sent to: landfills, which are certainly not renowned for their sustainability. Truth be told, some materials that are left lying languidly in landfills can take up to a million years to decompose! So, how can we think and act greener in the coming year?
In 2023, more construction sites than ever will be focussing on reusing, renewing and recycling. Now, the importance of recycling may not be news, but it will certainly be taking center stage in the years to come, as our sustainable mission becomes all the more critical. More construction sites will be implementing planning processes to ensure that materials are not used wastefully: the goal should be to only use what is needed! What’s more, materials should be managed on site, with separate areas for waste and recycling. You’d be surprised at how much on the site can be reused or recycled!
Speaking of reuse... 2023 will see the increase in construction companies designing for repurpose. Each construction project has the potential for future repurpose; for example, a family home could become an office building, as opposed to tearing it down and starting again. Additionally, construction companies are taking a leaf out of BKT’s book (pardon the pun); many are counteracting their heavy use of timber by donating to forestry replant organizations around the globe. This is a key example of carbon offsetting – an admirable trend which businesses across all industries will be investing time and money into in 2023, with the aim to put their sustainable ethos into action.
What’s more, diesel-powered trucks and heavy machinery, in particular, are responsible for using an extortionate level of fuel. As we embark on a new, greener year, construction sites and mining quarries alike will be actively measuring their fossil fuel consumption and output, with the goal to significantly reduce their carbon footprint.
One such solution is the rise of hybrid or electric vehicles. The future is electric: the goal is for electric vehicles to become the mainstream, and the OTR industry is no exception. While electric vehicles are more expensive – and charging stations are currently few and far between – their sustainable benefits are unmatched, due to substantially reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. As one of the ultimate culprits of unwanted fossil fuels, the construction and mining industries feel a collective responsibility to find greener solutions for their day-to-day tasks.
In particular, battery-powered long-haul trucks could transform the face of OTR. Long-haul trucks famously transport goods across long distances – therefore being a significant source of environmentally unfriendly output. However, electric long-haul trucks are set to be the future; as technology evolves, more countries in the EU are promoting the use of battery electric long-haul trucks. While some argue that batteries would only be efficient for short-haul, developments seem to suggest that this will soon no longer be a valid argument.
The technological era is upon us! OTR industries are keeping up with the times; with 2023 on the horizon, Industry 4.0 is only set to accelerate. But what high-tech machines should you be looking to incorporate into your day-to-day practices on site?
Well, Artificial Intelligence is all the rage, as we’re sure you know. AI robots are helping to make daily tasks more efficient – across numerous industries. In 2023, we can expect larger fleets of AI robots dominating the day-to-day, and more high-tech developments which will make their abilities even more advanced. AI specializes in carrying out tasks with efficient speed and detailed precision, beyond human capabilities. On the construction site specifically, you will find AI machines assisting in activities such as: bricklaying, demolition, 3-D printing, carrying supplies and laying concrete. Talk about handy!
Artificial Intelligence will also play a significant role in mining operations. In addition to assisting with daily practical tasks, AI is also able to interpret data from smart sensors, which is highly useful in the quarry. What’s more, due to being renowned as the toughest sectors on Earth, construction and mining can be the most hazardous for human workers. Therefore, 2023 will see an increase in AI assistance - not only for efficiency, but to ensure a safe working environment for us all.
Last but certainly not least, let’s check in with the foundation of every OTR vehicle: its tires. The OTR tire market is booming; the global market size, in fact, is predicted to grow exponentially, from USD 8034 million this year, to USD 10620 million by the end of 2027.
We are very much living in a post-pandemic world, and it is no secret that COVID-19 crippled numerous industries and businesses in the last few years. Within the OTR industry, production and demand was greatly affected, and the supply chain disrupted. However, many are proclaiming that 2023 is the ‘come back’ year after COVID, where production lines are set to redress the balance, compensating for financial hits taken during the pandemic.
What’s more, with many corporations planning larger scale projects in the new year, there is naturally a higher demand for tough, efficient, durable OTR tires. Speaking of - have you checked out our wide range of OTR products yet? Click here to find the tire that is fit for purpose for your vehicle - and meanwhile, ensure you keep on top of these trends, ready to steer, scrape and steamroll your way into the new year!