By Murray Pollok10 April 2008
There's always a lot to see at Conexpo - it is, after all, the biggest construction exhibition in North America. But this year it will offer particularly rich pickings for rental companies, because the introduction of Tier 3 (US) and Euro Stage IIIA exhaust emissions this January (for engines in the 37-75 kW range) will mean a plethora of small and compact machines on show.
This doesn't always produce new models – access manufacturers, for example, often introduce the new engines in existing models – but many of the big construction manufacturers tend to launch entire ranges to coincide with the new engines. This means, for example, new backhoe loaders, telehandlers and skid steer loaders, as well as many ‘midi' excavators (models from about 6 to 13 t), small wheeled loaders and certain sizes of portable compressors.
Not all the manufacturers have released details of the equipment they will be showing at Conexpo as IRN was going to press, but there is advance information on a wide range of new launches. Bobcat, for example, has a new T320 compact tracked loader, with a rated capacity of 1455 kg (3201 lb) and a lift height of 3.3 m (10.9 ft).
JCB is set to have its largest ever presence at Conexpo, where it will be highlighting its Midi CX backhoe loader, along with five high boom Loadall telehandlers with Tier 3 compliant engines built for the North American market and one of its new HiViz models that offer 10% improved visibility from the cab. Also on show will be Tier 3 compliant Robot skid steers, along with representative models from the company's ranges of excavators and wheel loaders.
Caterpillar will naturally have a major presence at the show, spread across three separate booths. It will be showing more than 40 machines on its two equipment stands – North Hall will be the venue for site development, road building and paving, underground utilities and quarry and aggregates operations. The Gold Lot booth will be where small and compact equipment will be found, as well as equipment offered through the Cat Rental Store. Engines will be the name of the game on Cat's stand in the South Hall.
As an example of the kind of Cat experience Conexpo will offer, on show will be three size classes of wheel loaders that will make their North American debut – the 51 kW (72 hp) 906H, the 134 kW (187 hp) 938H and at the large end of the scale, the 597 kW (833 hp) 992K.
Mustang has upgraded its air conditioning/heater system to create an optional pressurised cab for each of its three current compact track loader models - the MTL16, MTL20 and MTL25. The company says this prevents dust, dirt and debris entering the cab, while also keeping the noise down for the operator.
Ditch Witch, meanwhile, is introducing three new machines in its ‘Zahn' range of mobile tool carriers. These wheeled machines can carry trenchers, ploughs, dumpers, tillers, backhoes and stump grinders. The new Zahn models include the 30 hp (22 kW) class Zahn R300, the 23 hp (17 kW) Zahn R230 and 15 hp (11 kW) Zahn R150.
Compaction specialists Bomag and Hamm will both have new machines on show. Making their world premiere on the Bomag stand will be 1.7 m drum width BW 266 AD-4 and 2 m BW 278 AD-4, heavy tandem. In the soil compaction segment, Bomag will introduce its 40 Series single drum machines. This five-model family offers drum widths from 1.2 m to 2.1 m, and also feature re-designed operator stagnations along with Tier 3 engines.
Hamm will be showing a range of machines from its new compact roller line-up, which cover the 0.75 m to 1.40 m drum width classes. Several models are designated ‘VV', which stands for “Vibration Front, New from Bobcat is its largest tracked loader to-date the 1455 kg capacity T320.
Raxtar hoists from the Netherlands feature modular cages, galvanized steel and reinforced polyester and polycarbonate construction. The company exhibits with dealer Hydro Mobile. Vibration Rear”. This gives the operator the choice of one (either, both or no drums vibrating. Hamm will exhibit the 3412 VIO, a single-drum soil compactor that features exclusive oscillation compaction – as well as conventional vibratory compaction – in a single 2.1 m wide drum.
Ammann is planning a major expansion of its range in 2008. New to its single drum compactor range is the Rammax RW 1815-SPT, a 2.4 t unit targeted towards rental companies. It has a 1.2 m working width and is powered by a 30 kW Lombardini engine.
Other new compaction products from Ammann include the medium and heavy AVP reversible plate compactors. The family comprises three models, the AVP 3920, AVP 4920 and AVP 5920, with operating weights from 264 kg to 442 kg.
Among access equipment suppliers, expect important new machines from Haulotte Group, JLG, Genie, Skyjack and more. For example, Haulotte is bringing its new 26.2 m working height, telescoping boom, the HB86 TJ, to the show. The machine features a 4.9 m telescopic jib.
Prominent on JLG's stand will be the 5 t, 5.5 m maximum lift height G5-18A super compact telehandler, which is 3.71 m long by 1.8 m wide by 1.96 m high. It is also the first compact telehandler to be built by JL:G in the US. The G5-18A has a maximum 2500 kg maximum lift and 840 kg lift performance at a fully extended reach of 3.4 m.
Elsewhere on the stand will be models from JLG's 5.8 to 9.8 m platform height ES scissors series, enhanced with on-board diagnostics, better and re-routed cabling, and a new brake housing, for greater reliability and easier maintenance.
Snorkel will show the UpRight models that it is now manufacturing in the US since the company's acquisition by Tanfield Group in the UK. These include the 5.5 m working height, battery-powered TM12 mast lift, the 9.8 m working height S2633 scissor lift, the 9.8 m working height and 11 m working height SR3084SL, and the 13.4 m working height AB38N and AB38W machines.
MEC Aerial Platforms shows its first ever telescopic boom lift, the 12.2 m working height M40T, as well as its first heavy-duty scissor lift, the rough-terrain, 455 kg capacity 3773RT HD. Visitors can also see the 3072ES and 3772ES electric scissors, which have been in production since October following a design originally developed for the European market to meet “green” market interests, but also to be available.
The International Powered Access Federation, and its US subsidiary, Aerial Work Platform Training Inc (AWPT), have again managed to engineer a big presence at a major international show, taking a stand of 7007 m2 to create the IPAF Safety Zone (Booth SZ1000, West Blue Lot).
IPAF, which has received support from Conexpo organizers in creating the zone, will have a dynamic 15-minute demonstration on the dangers of not wearing a harness in boom type platforms. The show will run at 10:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 4:00.
Look out also for other foreign manufacturers that want to get in front of the large Conexpo crowds. These include hoist manufacturers Boada from China (exhibiting with SBU Hoists), Camac from Spain, and Raxtar from The Netherlands (now represented in North America by Canada's Hydro Mobile).
A show the size of Conexpo also means there are lots of other companies exhibiting. Expect to see dozens of machine telematics suppliers, as well as asset finance companies. United Rentals and RSC – the world's two largest rental companies – are also in attendance.
KHL Group, publisher of International Rental News (IRN), is also exhibiting again (see box story). You can pick up issues of all the KHL magazines and meet editorial, sales and other staff on our stand. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas.