Engine emission laws drive new machine launches

By Chris Sleight17 February 2011

ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011 will be the major event for the global construction equipment industry this year. Taking place from 22 - 26 March in Las Vegas, US, the show is regarded as one of the major international events in the industry, alongside exhibitions like Bauma in Munich.

This year will see more than 2000 exhibitors take part in the event and the co-located International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPE), and they will occupy some 2.2 million ft2 (200000 m2) of net exhibition space. The last time the exhibition was held in 2008, visitor attendance records were broken with some 144600 people going to the event.

Such a large and successful exhibition is of course always the launch pad for new machines, but this year there will be even more than usual. The start of 2011 saw the first stage of the new Tier 4 Interim engine emission laws come into force in the US, along with their equivalent in Europe, Stage IIIB. This year's laws are applicable to 130 kW to 560 kW engines, which covers a vast range of heavy equipment.

Broadly speaking, this engine power band will impact on virtually all rigid and articulated haulers used in the construction industry, wheeled loaders with 2.5 m3 buckets or larger, excavators from about 25 to 100 tonnes, all dozers of about 20 tonnes (D7 sized) or more, graders above about 15 tonnes, compactors above about 13 tonnes, milling machines above about 0.5 m cutting width, most highway class pavers and so the list goes on.

So naturally this means many of the new machines on display will be those that manufacturers have had to renew to accommodate Tier 4 Interim engines. But this is not to say that the only new equipment at ConExpo will be these heavier types of machines for large-scale earthmoving and infrastructure work. Far from it. Expect to see new equipment across the board, as manufacturers increase the product offerings, fill gaps in their ranges and branch-out into new areas and applications.

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