ConExpo-Con/Agg 'stop-press'

By Murray Pollok22 April 2008

Not everybody is in the aerials business, but of you are, then Conexpo is going to be a great show. In addition to the several new products launched recently at the ARA’s Rental Show – including new 61/66 ft telescopic booms from Skyjack; a new 40 ft telescopic from MEC Aerial Platforms; and new tracked models from Genie Industries – there will be Haulotte’s latest big boom offering, as well as a selection of other important access products, most notably in the hoists sector.

The buoyant access sector in North America has led several manufacturers to enter (or re-enter) the self-propelled boom market. At Conexpo you will see several examples of this, with scissor specialist MEC Aerial Platforms offering its first ever telescopic boom, the 40 ft M40T.

Skyjack, the Canadian scissor manufacturer, meanwhile continues to roll-out its new range of booms with the introduction at Conexpo of its SJ66T (a 61T without a fly jib will also be available).

France’s Haulotte Group, meanwhile, bypassed the Rental Show and will use Conexpo to introduce its new HB86 TJ, a telescopic boom that is also equipped with a 16 ft telescopic jib. However, something else that will be new for North American visitors will be the first showing in North America of one of Haulotte’s new range of telehandlers, with the HTL 90-55 model on the stand (the HTL 40-17 in Europe).

JLG perhaps doesn’t have any completely new access products to show (it will have the recently updated ES scissors on display), but it will still have some major news for its customers, including the official launch of its ‘connected asset’ technology (telematics) for all of its engine powered machines, with the exception of its largest 150 ft articulated model.

The company will also use Conexpo to show off its new, US-built compact telehandler – the G5-18A – which has a maximum capacity of 5500 lb and a maximum lift height of 18 ft 4 in. Also from JLG on the telehandler front is its new AccuPlace and Ride Control system. AccuPlace automatically holds the forks of the telehandler in a ‘square’ attitude and helps give the load a smooth ride; and Ride Control is a suspension system for the boom allowing faster travel across rough terrain.

The compact telehandler sector has also been getting some attention from Genie, which will show an updated version of its GTH-5519 mini telehandler. Genie says that the machine remains affordable and simple to use but now includes a larger, more comfortable cab, increased load capacity at maximum reach, new engine options and an easy-to-service hydraulic system and engine compartment.

At the other end of the telehandler scale, meanwhile, Manitou North America has revealed a little more information about its heavy telescopic telehandler range, the MHT 10210. The machine has a lift capacity of 46000 lb, a maximum lift height of 31 ft, 8 in. The machine has a 175 hp Tier III Mercedes intercooled turbo diesel, hydrostatic transmission, four wheel drive and 10/10 degree frame leveling among its key features.

There is also a substantial number of access exhibitors which originate from outside North America using the Conexpo show to raise their profile.

As well as showing the Raxtar range of hoists for the first time at Conexpo, Canadian hoist specialist Hydro Mobile is launching the E–Series mast climber which has been designed to suit a wide variety of trades including: glazing, painting, roofing, caulking, restoration, inspection, cleaning and maintenance

Using forward and back extensions and 180-degree swivel bridges, Hydro Mobile says that the E-Series can be configured to adapt to the contours of any facade. The compact drive unit allows the mast climber to fit into very restricted locations. Once installed, the E-Series climbs continuously at a vertical speed of 22 ft/minute to heights of over 250 ft at the push of a button.

In single mast configuration, the E-Series offers a maximum capacity of 5800 lb, and a maximum length of 39 ft. Several units can also be linked together, and no special bridge is required to do so. In a twin mast configuration, the E-Series can reach a length of 98 ft.

Spanish company CAMAC specialises in manufacturing mast climbers, rack and pinion hoists, hoists for passengers and material and other building machines and tools. At Conexpo, it will show two recently developed machines. The first of these is the ECP-1000, a robust and safe transport platform for lifting passengers and material; the second is the CAMAC-3000 mast climbing platform.

Looking at the compact equipment and earthmoving sector, the focus here will be on the 37 kW to 75 kW powerband, since these will be affected by the new Stage IIIA/Tier 3 emissions laws. This is likely to mean there will be lots of new mid-sized machines on show at ConExpo, from backhoe loaders and telehandlers to mid-sized excavators and wheeled loaders, compactors, pavers, compressors, concrete pumps and many other machines.

Caterpillar will have stands in three locations. In the Gold Lot it will show compact machines, while its indoor stand in the North Hall will cover site development, road building and paving, underground utilities construction and quarry and aggregates operations. Its engines meanwhile will be on show in the South Hall.

With more than 40 machines on show there will certainly be plenty to see, and among the new additions to the range are two wheeled loaders, the 938H and its toolcarrier equivalent, the IT 38H. Basic specs for the two are similar – they are powered by 134 kW Tier 3 Cat C6.6 engines and weigh in around 10 t. Standard buckets start at 3 m3.

The 938H has the traditional Z-Bar linkage for digging applications, while the IT38H features integrated toolcarrier - hence the ‘IT’ designation – which can parallel lift for use with pallet forks, as well as accept a range of different work tools.

Hidromek will present its newly developed Hi-Concept Backhoe Loader at the ConExpo. The most striking feature is the stylish new cab, which is spacious with an ergonomic operator’s station. The company will also be exhibiting one of its excavators – the 20 tonne class wheeled HMK200W, which has a new counterweight design and control systems.

Case meanwhile will be launching numerous new machines at Conexpo, as well as exhibiting the 1221 E wheeled loader being built for it by Hyundai. New to its dozer range are the se 750L and 850L. With engines rated at 63 kW and 72 kW respectively, they are Tier 3 replacements of older models.

Among the improvements is a new cab with wide doors with an air-suspension seat as an optional extra. The single-lever control provides infinitely adjustable steering and the operator can also adjust the sensitivity of the steering. The 750L is available in long track (LT), wide track (WT) and low ground pressure (LGP) versions for maximum versatility. The 850L comes in extra long track (XLT), WT and LGP versions.

In the compact sector, Conexpo will see Case launch new mini excavators in the shape of the CX27B, CX31B, CX36B and CX50B, which are now certified through to Tier 4 engine compliance. Ranging from 2.5 to 4.7 tonnes, all four are zero tail swing machines, providing dig depths up to 2.6 m. Also new at ConExpo to the US audience are two larger zero tail swing excavators, the 13 tonne class CX135 and 22 tonne class CX225.

Its new tracked loaders, the 420CT, 440CT, 445CT and 450CT, meanwhile, all come with pilot controls and Tier 3 Among other improvements, the 445CT and 450CT have +20% more in front glass area, while the 420CT and 440CT feature a +80% increase. A suspension seat is standard in the new cab, and a new cushioned lap bar with arm rest and new control handles means more comfortable operation.

Also new to the Case range are three European-built telehandlers, the TX742, TX842 and TX945. Equipped with 4.5 litre engines rated at 70 kW for the TX 742 and 81 kW for the TX 842 and TX 945, the two smaller models offer a 12.8 m lift height, while the larger can reach to 13.7 m. Lifting capacities are 3.0 t, 3.6 t and 4.1 t, respectively.

Also new from Case are the CX75 and CX80 8 tonne class tracked excavators. They offer bucket forces of 56.9 kN and digging depths of 1.14 and 4.18 m respectively.

Case’s new mid-sized wheeled loaders are the 21E, 121E, 221E and 321E, with engines from 40.3 to 61.1 kW, and bucket capacities from 0.8 to 1.1 m3. They all feature Case’s ‘Versa-Boom’ linkage for parallel lifting, and a quick coupler means a variety of tools can be used at the front end.

Although mainstream earthmoving equipment is invariably the main focus of shows like ConExpo, the exhibits also reflect the full range of equipment used in the construction industry.

For example, new from Atlas Copco’s road building equipment subsidiary Dynapac will use Conexpo to introduce the CC224HF asphalt compactor. This 7 to 8 t class machine extends the company’s range of tandem rollers from 7 to 13 t and replaces the CC222. Power comes from a 60 kW Cummins QSB 3.3 diesel, and Dynapac’s automatic engine idling system helps reduce fuel when the machine is sitting in neutral not being used.

Operators will appreciate the clear control panel, while more information can be provided with the optional DCA-A software, which indicates the temperature in front of and behind the roller as well as the number of passes made on each section of the asphalt.

ACS will be showing its new patent-pending EZLink Thumb excavator bucket attachment. The company says this offers more rotation than traditional thumbs, while still allowing full clamping forces, it is also easier to install than conventional thumbs and the company offers the attachment for excavators from 8 to 50 tonnes.

Griswold Machine & Engineering (GME) will be showing its new modular Slide Rail system for trench shoring at the show. The system was originally developed for confined European sites, and allows rails and panels are put in place as the excavation proceeds, allowing for fast installation, reduced soil subsidence and minimal site restoration expense. The Slide Rail system can be used in a pit configuration, or as a linear, clear-span system for conventional pipe-laying in difficult conditions.

The show organisers says that advance registrations are already running ahead of the very busy 2005 show, so be prepared for an extremely crowded Conexpo, despite the economic uncertainty surrounding the US.

IPAF campaign

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), and its North American training subsidiary, AWPT, have organised the IPAF Safety Zone at Conexpo (to be found on booth SZ1000, Green Lot – a late change from the previously announced Blue Lot).

IPAF will have dynamic demonstrations of the dangers of not wearing a harness on boom type aerial platforms. A special 15 minute programme will run throughout the day at 10.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00 and 16.00, giving practical advice on the correct way to use a harness.

The IPAF safety zone covers nearly 745 m2 (about 8000 ft2) and has been made possible with support from Conexpo. “We much appreciate the support of the organisers in making this happen,” says Tim Whiteman, AWPT (Aerial Work Platform Training) president and IPAF managing director.

“It is frustrating when people are unnecessarily killed or injured while using a boom type platform because they don’t wear harnesses. The demonstration will show in a vivid way the dangers of being thrown or catapulted from the platform if it is hit by another piece of equipment or is affected by ground subsidence.”

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