Intermat 2009: Construction Review

By Chris Sleight20 May 2009

Caterpillar’s new Fusion quick coupler for wheeled loaders promises more flexibility, no loss of buc

Caterpillar’s new Fusion quick coupler for wheeled loaders promises more flexibility, no loss of bucket force and rattle-free operation.

Construction Europe's final look at last month's Intermat exhibition picks out the key launches from the show.

Despite difficult market conditions, last month's Intermat exhibition saw plenty of new construction machines launched onto the market. Many were covered in our extensive show previews prior to the event, and regular visitors to will also have seen the daily newsletters and videos posted from the show itself. These are all available on our special Intermat webpage.

With an event so big - total visitor numbers exceeded 180000 and there were more than 1400 exhibitors - it is difficult to pick out a handful of highlights. But before we close the book on Intermat 2009, KHL's editorial staff would like to highlight some of the most significant launches and announcements form this year's show.

With no new engine regulations coming into force this year, there was not the impetus for manufacturers to replace huge swathes of its product line-up. However, this lull in the cycle meant there was room for other machines.

Hybrids were again a big feature of the show, with new prototypes from the likes of Case and Mecalac being shown for the first time, along with more familiar models like Volvo's hybrid wheeled loader.

Other novel ideas included Manitowoc's rethink of the mobile crane concept, with a new range of Grove cranes that can be towed by a standard truck unit. This makes for a huge reduction in costs, compared to traditional all-in-one mobile cranes with a purpose-built chassis and driver's cab.

Other highlights included Caterpillar's new rattle-free ‘Fusion' quick coupler system for wheeled loaders, Allu's new screening buckets and a new compact telehandler from Ausa.

As well as the ‘iron' manufacturers had on show, we were also interested in what they had to say about the markets. Unfortunately no one had a crystal ball to tell us when the recovery would come, but as Volvo Construction Equipment's new president and CEO, Olof Persson said in an exclusive interview, the priority now is to manage the downturn and invest for the future.

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