China’s two leading construction gear makers have defined this year as “the best year in history,” thanks to booming infrastructure demands in rural China and the trend of superseding humans with machines.

The Hunan based Sany Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. said it raked in a revenue of 58.69 billion yuan (8.35 bln U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters, up 42.88 percent year-on-year.

The maker of excavators, cranes and other construction machinery also saw its net profit attributable to shareholders rise by 87.56 percent year-on-year to a record 9.16 billion yuan, Sany’s President Xiang Wenbo said.

Another industry leader, Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd., reported a similar boom, with 31.76 billion yuan in revenue from January to September, up 50.96 percent year-on-year. Its net profit attributable to shareholders also surged 167 percent, a record high.

“China’s infrastructure sector, especially in rural areas, still has vast, untapped potential. The country’s per capita infrastructure ownership is far lower than in developed countries,” Xiang said, adding

“it will be a powerful engine for economic growth”

He recalled a recent business trip to Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, saying that despite exceptional sceneries and great tourism potential, the place has rather limited development due to few access roads.

The increasing demands for machines in the place of human workers also promise an expanding domestic market for machinery manufacturers, Xiang said, pointing to the robust sales of Sany’s small and micro excavators.

Zoomlion Vice President Sun Changjun also attributed their optimism to a robust domestic market and a promising international market, especially along the Belt & Road.

“Many have asked me about my economic projections for next year, and my answer is optimistic. Our orders are full and have extended into next year,” Sun said.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government emphasised in its annual work report the importance of expanding effective investment, pledging to earmark 800 billion yuan for railway construction, and 1.8 trillion yuan for road construction and waterway projects.