Volvo Trucks North America unveiled its new VNL tractor, the first major overhaul of its flagship long-haul model since the VN model was introduced in 1996. The announcement came during a press conference at the company’s new state-of-the-art customer center at its New River Valley manufacturing facility in Dublin, Va.
“The new Volvo VNL builds on our long-standing commitment to deliver the safest, most comfortable and most efficient long-haul truck on the market,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Infused with new innovations and technologies, we’re proud to expand upon that commitment to our current and future customers with this new design.”
The new VNL shares many design cues with its VNR regional-haul sibling that was introduced in April to replace the VNM. It will be available in five configurations, including day cab, 40-inch flat-roof, 70-inch mid-roof and 70- and 77-inch high-roof options.
A cabin control cluster on the rear wall, ambient LED lighting and an optional reclining bunk add to driver comfort during rest periods.
“For 19 years, the VNL 670 was the volume leader in our long-haul segment,” said Jason Spence, Volvo Trucks product marketing manager – long haul. “Moving forward, that 61-inch high-roof sleeper will be replaced by the [70-inch] VNL 760, which will be our new high-volume long-haul model.”
The VNL’s new design gives the truck a distinctive, broad stance with lines that taper inward from the roof fairing, through the hood and grille and bumper. Character lines extending from the bumper and continue over the hood and down the sides of the cab and trailer fairings add to the truck’s curb appeal and aid in aerodynamic performance.
Volvo’s new VNL will be available in three different fuel efficiency packages capable of delivering a 7.5 percent fuel economy improvement over the current Volvo VNL XE fuel efficiency spec. Volvo said powertrain improvements amount for 6.5 percent fuel efficiency, including 5.5 percent from a turbo compound option for the D13 engine, available in 2018, and a 1 percent improvement from a 2.47:1 rear axle ratio. Aerodynamic improvements add 1 percent fuel economy.
Those aerodynamic improvements include repositioned air intakes to reduce turbulence, an aggressively sloped hood and tapered fenders with that help channel airflow from the front to the sides of the truck. New aerodynamic chassis and roof fairings also aid in the 1 percent fuel economy gain.
Volvo also announced it will make the Volvo Active Driver Assist system standard on all new VNL models. The radar- and camera-based system developed by Bendix combines forward collision warnings and active braking on moving and stationary objects. A new heads-up windshield display alert warns the driver before automatically engaging brake functions.
Spence said the company completed thousands of driver surveys and focus groups when making design improvements, resulting in “the most comfortable, driver-friendly environment we’ve ever built.”
The Position Perfect steering wheel Volvo introduced on the VNR also will be available in the VNL. The three-way positioning system allows the steering wheel to tilt up to 20 degrees in relation to the column as well as traditional column tilt and telescope movements.
“[Position Perfect] allows drivers in the 5th and 95th percentiles the ability to make the adjustments for better visibility and to be more comfortable,” said Spence. Also like the VNR, seven seat options will be available for order independent of the three trim level packages selected.
The steering wheel on Volvo’s new VNL has 21 buttons, providing more driver control without hands leaving the wheel.
The steering wheel also has 21 buttons that allow the driver to navigate the new 5-inch color LCD driver information display, answer and end hands-free phone calls, engage cruise control functions and more. Previously, many of these controls were on a stalk mounted behind the steering wheel, requiring drivers to remove a hand from the wheel to operate them.
“We brought those controls to the front because the interface that the driver has today with the vehicle is much more than what it was 20 years ago,” said Spence.
The driver information display home page also is configurable, allowing the driver to select which gauge data and information they want displayed, including battery voltage, fuel economy average, average speed, engine temperatures and more.
Bunk options include a dinette/work station solution and a reclining bunk that was introduced on the Volvo FH in Europe that allows the driver to sit up in bed while relaxing or watching television.
The cabin control panel has been relocated to the rear cab wall, allowing the driver easier access to lighting, audio and cabin temperature controls. Volvo also added a door lock/unlock switch and panic button. A new blue LED ambient lighting option is available for cab illumination, puddle lamps and accent lighting throughout the cabin interior.
All new VNL models with the exception of the VNL 760 will be in production in September; the VNL 760 enters production in November.
Source:: Equipment world
By Matt Cole
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has posted new guidance for the electronic logging device mandate that exempts trucks equipped with model year 2000 engines and older from adhering to the mandate, regardless of the model year of the truck.
However, if a truck’s model year is older than 2000, but the engine model year is newer than 2000, the driver is still required to adhere to the ELD mandate.
FMCSA says in a freshly updated FAQ on its website that drivers are not required to carry documentation in the truck that confirms their engine’s model year, but notes that federal regulations require motor carriers to keep all documentation on motor and engine changes “at the principal place of business.”
During a roadside inspection, FMCSA says law enforcement should refer the case for further investigation if they can’t determine the model year of the engine.
This guidance deviates from FMCSA’s previous guidance, which emphasized the model year as determined by the VIN on a truck’s chassis.
Efforts have been made in Congress recently to delay the Dec. 18, 2017, compliance date for the ELD rule.
Source:: Equipment world
Fascon’s new F600SE.44 wallboard crane has a vertical reach of 10 stories.
Fascan International’s new F600SE.44 has the highest reach of any wallboard crane in the U.S. market, the company says.
The crane can extend 10 stories high, or 115 feet, and has a horizontal reach of 101 feet. It can lift up to 6,600 pounds.
Features include a high-capacity oil cooler and automatic greasing system, all designed to enable the crane to handle long operating times. The company says the FX900, the crane’s “digital brain,” sets the best machine performance to operating conditions and operates the safety devices.
The crane comes equipped with a 7-inch color display to show stabilization conditions and crane work data; a digital remote control and radio control units; and Automatic Dynamic Control, which sets the crane’s speed of movement in relation to the load.
Source:: Equipment world
Conco Companies, which was founded in Missouri in 1947 as a ready-mix concrete company, acquired two quarries when it purchased Garrett Construction Co. in 1958. This created Conco Quarries, which is now a subsidiary of Ash Grove Cement.
“Over the last seven decades Conco has grown from a small operation with just seven employees and four trucks to almost 200 staff members and close to 100 delivery trucks,” says Chris Upp, vice president and general manager of the quarry division at Conco Companies, in a press release. “Despite the large-scale growth of the company, we are still very much a family business, and we pride ourselves on maintaining close relationships with our customers through excellent service.”
As part of an ongoing equipment renewal program, Conco recently purchased a 72-ton TR70 rigid hauler from Terex Trucks’ Midwest dealer GW Van Keppel, which is being used to haul crushed limestone from the face to the crusher. The company decided the dump truck was a perfect fit for its operation due to the machine’s haulage capacity, which exceeded that of its existing machines by 30-tons.
“The reputation of Terex Trucks’ rigid frame trucks precedes itself and it’s great to have a respected company such as Conco putting our machines to the test,” says Dan Meara, regional sales manager at Terex Trucks, in a press release. “When we got the call from GW Van Keppel that Conco was keen to put one of our trucks to work in its Willard facility we knew the TR70 would fit right in, and we worked together to create a competitive offer. Once the deal was done, we did two days of training with operators on site at the quarry and the machine has been delivering since.”
The TR70 features a Detroit Diesel MTU-2000TA 12-cylinder 24-liter engine with 760 horsepower; a high capacity body with exhaust heating to limit carry-back and increase productivity; a 15-degree sloping tail chute for good retention and controlled dumping into the crusher; and effective gearing coupled with optimum weight distribution so it can move more material using less fuel in less time. Its haul cycles are short thanks to smooth acceleration.
“The truck is a welcome addition to the operation we run at our Willard facility,” Upp adds in the press release. “We provide vital services to our community here at Conco. We have many high priority customers, so everything we crush, we sell, meaning downtime simply isn’t an option. Our expectations for the TR70 were big and it’s done well to help increase productivity. Going into this transaction we were a first-time Terex Trucks customer, but based on our early analysis, we believe this truck will give us solid, long-term performance.”
Source:: Equipment world
Shawmut Equipment, which carries Manitowoc Crane Group’s construction cranes and multiple lines of utility equipment, celebrates 60 years in business this year.
Shawmut branch in South Easton, Massachusetts
George O’Connell founded the company in 1957 and members of his family continue to run the business today, with his son David taking over as president in 1978 and David’s sons Brian and Kevin and nephew Joe Vergoni joining the business in the early 2000s. The latter three serve as vice presidents and sales reps for the company.
The company carries Manitowoc Crawler Cranes, Grove Rough Terrain Cranes, Grove GMK All Terrain Cranes, Grove Hydraulic Crawler Cranes, Grove Yard Boss Industrial Cranes, National Boom Trucks, Potain Self-Erecting Cranes, Terex TM Hi-Ranger Tracked Material Handling Buckets, Terex General Digger Derricks, Tracked National Cranes and Morooka Rubber Track Carriers.
“Our business philosophy is to do the right thing for the customer in each and every aspect of the business,” says David O’Connell. “This is the only way to succeed. We have repeat customers who have done business with us for generations, as well as new customers who are doing business with us for the first time. We attempt to treat all customers in a fair and honest manner, whether it concerns an equipment sale, a rental, a parts purchase or service work.”
Company highlights include:
- 1957 – George O’Connell starts the company.
- 1963 – the company becomes one of Grove’s first distributors, serving Connecticut and Western Massachusetts out of its Manchester, Connecticut, office.
- 1995 – Shawmut iss made the exclusive dealer for the Manitowoc Company’s crawler crane line for all of New England.
- Late 1990s – Shawmut opens another full-service facility in Massachusetts, speeding up response time for service and parts in the expanded territory.
- 2008 – the company creates Shawmut Equipment of Canada as a subsidiary to handle the territory covering Atlantic provinces of Canada and opened a facility in Saint John, New Brunswick.
- 2014 – Shawmut starts offering Terex TM Hi-Ranger Tracked Material Handling Buckets, Terex General Digger Derricks, Tracked National Cranes and Morooka Rubber Track Carriers for the utility market.
- 2017 – the company starts constructing a new facility in Elmsdale, Nova Scotia, with the site to serve as the headquarters for the Maritime provinces of Canada.
Source:: Equipment world
Potholes are the universal bane of motorists across the country. They’re also among the top complaints public works and transportation agencies receive from the public.
Their presence is so ubiquitous that officials are using a variety of methods to manage pothole reporting and tracking. They’re also extending their repair efforts beyond the old “two guys and bag of cold patch” approach.
Many cities conduct what’s been collectively called a “pothole blitz,” which is usually held in the spring. These bursts of repair activity typically happen over a short period, just a few days, with the emphasis on patching as many potholes as possible.
Earlier this year, Indianapolis patched 900 potholes over four days, beating the goal public works officials had set for 700 potholes. Buffalo, New York, held two blitzes this year to tackle its potholes.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) holds its own version of a blitz, called the Pothole Patrol.
“It is typically held during the month of March, but it is sometimes shifted depending on the type and severity of our winter,” says MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer Becky Allmeroth. “We ask the public to help us identify pothole locations using a variety of tools and then we make every effort to have the pothole repaired within 24 hours.”
Potholes are one of the agencies top priorities, she adds: “A pothole, if left unattended, can cause significant damage to vehicles, can cause additional damage to the roadway and can create a serious safety concern if a vehicle is damaged or when drivers swerve to avoid the pothole.”
MoDOT’s yearly pothole budget is in the $15 million to $16 million range, and on any given day in March, Allmeroth says, it’s not unusual to have 300 pothole patching crews working on the state’s roads. Though the agency can provide these figures, it gave up on estimating the actual number of potholes repaired. “We quit trying to count our number of potholes several years ago,” Allmeroth adds.
The city of Des Moines, Iowa, repairs roughly 7,000 potholes each year, according to Sara Thies, street maintenance administrator for the Des Moines Department of Public Works.
Although the city does not have a specified budget for pothole repair, it does make fixing them one of its major priorities. “All potholes are patched within two business days after we receive notice,” Thies adds.
Knowing where potholes are located is a top challenge for states and municipalities, so agencies provide multiple ways for the public to report them.
Des Moines will take notifications by phone, email, website and smartphone app, Thies reports. MoDOT also provides this, as well as an integration into work orders.
“We utilize a customer service database where all reported roadway problems are reported and then sent out to the local maintenance building,” Allmeroth explains. “Once repaired, the local crews will close out the report.”
A simple pothole patch is one thing, but more extensive road damage calls for a more complex approach.
“We utilize an ARAN (Automatic Road Analyzer) van to help determine the condition of the roadway,” Allmeroth says. “That paired with an IRI (International Roughness Index) and the number of customer calls help prioritize the timing and type of treatment a roadway will receive.”
Thies says number and proximity help determine the approach.
“If the potholes are close and frequent, we will do a mill and inlay in the area,” she says. “We usually limit mill and inlays to 300 feet in length. More than that and it should be completely resurfaced.”
Allmeroth says MoDOT uses multiple types of pothole patching equipment across the state, with most being trailer mounted.
“The most common machines we have are Falcon Pothole Patchers, Spaulding Pothole Patchers, and Weiler TT250 Pull Tack Tanks,” she says. “If the repairs require any larger equipment, then we typically contract out the repairs.”
Thies says Des Moines uses Bergkamp patch heaters, and kettles with three-person operations.
This equipment use has been pretty standard for both agencies, and MoDOT in particular doesn’t have plans to make changes. However, Allmeroth says the department is reviewing the equipment to expand capabilities.
“We currently have a fleet and equipment team that is analyzing all of our fleet and equipment,” she says. “I expect to see recommendations come from that team for more multifunctional fleet and equipment.”
Since the type of equipment plays such a large role in pothole repair management, here’s a look at some of the products available on the market:
Bergkamp reports its SP5 Spray Injection Pothole Patcher is designed for simple pothole repair using a spray injection patching process that cleans out and repairs potholes quickly, which reduces traffic disruption. The machine uses the Bergkamp InPave Mobile Technology Pothole Patching Management System to allow contractors and government agencies to monitor and manage performance of the repair. The system provides monitoring of production, performance and location of the machine and repair site. This data can then be automatically transmitted or downloaded.
Crafco says its trailer-based Magnum Spray Injection Patcher can repair a wide variety of pavement conditions including potholes, deteriorated shoulders, utility cuts, fissures and alligator cracked areas. The machine features an integrated operation that cleans the area to be repaired, applies a tack coat, coats the aggregate with asphalt emulsion and then applies the mixture in one continuous operation.
The coated aggregate is compacted during application using high velocity air with a screw auger, a process the company says leaves few voids in the final pavement repair. The machine has a 1,275-square-foot work area and can be operated with a two-person crew.
Falcon Asphalt Repair
Falcon offers an asphalt recycler and hot box that dumps asphalt with one-button operation. The company reports each dump box is built on a tandem axle trailer frame that cradles a lowered hopper using body guides to keep it centered, which provides stability. The dump box trailers are built with hydraulic cylinders that raise the hopper and prevent twisting from an uneven load. It’s available in capacities of 2, 3, 4 or 6 tons.
H.D. Industries Pro-Patch Pothole Patcher can work in various weather conditions and is designed to transport hot or cold asphalt pre-mix material and oils in controlled heated temperatures. The machines are available in 3-cubic-yard, 4.25-cubic-yard, 5-cubic-yard or 6-cubic-yard asphalt hoppers in truck chassis or trailer-mounted versions. The truck-mounted units are available in a heat transfer oil system, dry radiant heat system or all-electric system.
Ray-Tech offers a Total Maintenance Vehicle to use in infrared asphalt restoration, providing an entire system on one truck chassis. Located behind the cab, the machine features an asphalt reclaimer for storing and heating new or used asphalt. At the back is an 8-foot-by-6-foot heater that features the company’s infrared heating converter system. It also has an open deck with gas storage in addition to a compactor/single drum roller compartment and a side dump waste bin that dumps to one side by way of an electric winch. This winch also unloads the compactor on the opposite side of the truck. The unit is available in 2-, 3-, 4- or 6-ton reclaimer configurations.
Superior Roads Python 5000 Pothole Patcher is self-propelled and uses standard asphalt mixes. The company reports it can make continuous repairs to long cracks and joints in the road and one person can complete a patching operation without leaving the operator’s cab. An average hole can be patched in two minutes, Superior Roads reports, and it can work in sub-zero temperatures or in rain. The machine also can travel at highway speeds between jobsites. The working arm extends to 4 feet from the cab, with a 6-foot side-to-side motion.
Source:: Equipment world
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) recently began providing training for entry-level positions as flaggers to 31 individuals through its free Construction Academy Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.
The program is offered through the department’s On-The-Job-Training Supportive Services Program, which is part of its Business Engagement and Compliance Office.
ADOT says many of the trainees who start off in the flagger position, which pays $13 to $19 per hour, will continue on in construction apprenticeships and later as journeyman as it continues to provide support and guidance.
“Flagger certification is just one of the training opportunities available to women, minorities and members of economically disadvantaged groups, including those who are out of work, through ADOT programs funded by the Federal Highway Administration,” ADOT reports. “Individuals also can receive training that will help them become concrete finishers, block masons, highway surveyors, heavy equipment operators and commercial drivers.”
The agency says its main goal in sponsoring the training is to remove barriers to beginning construction careers. It also sponsors construction academies offered through Gila Community College, Gateway Community College and, starting this fall, Pima Community College and Pima County Joint Technology Education School District.
ADOT provides the fees and training costs and offers support for participants, such as transportation and childcare assistance, “job-readiness training” and safety.
More details on the Construction Academy program are available at azdot.gov/BECO, by calling 602-712-7761 or by picking up materials at the ADOT Business Engagement and Compliance Office, 1801 W. Jefferson St., Suite 101, in Phoenix.
Source:: Equipment world
Kettering University is now part of the Smart Belt Coalition, a group formed earlier this year by transportation agencies from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan to focus on automated and connected vehicle initiatives.
“We are honored to participate in the Smart Belt Coalition to help create the future of mobility alongside some of the brightest minds and most creative organizations in the industry,” says Kettering University President Robert K. McMahan. “Researchers at Kettering are at the forefront of discovering the technologies, developing the infrastructure, and implementing the programs necessary to play a key role in creating the future of transportation and mobility.”
Kettering joins the following members of the coalition:
- Pennsylvania: PennDOT, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and Carnegie Mellon University
- Michigan: Michigan Department of Transportation and University of Michigan
- Ohio: Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, The Ohio State University and Transportation Research Center
The coalition is developing a strategic plan that aims to focus on the following concepts:
- Connected and automated applications in work zones, including uniform work-zone scenarios offering consistency for testers as well as technologies offering better information to motorists.
- Commercial freight opportunities in testing, including platooning (connecting more than one vehicle) and potential coordination on interstates.
- Incident management applications providing better information to and infrastructure for emergency responders and other agencies.
Kettering University also reports it is one of eight universities worldwide that is participating in the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) AutoDrive Challenge international autonomous vehicle competition.
Source:: Equipment world
Smart Highways: Reinventing the Road Ahead
A pickup driver in Blue Springs, Missouri, was being treated for possible injuries earlier this week after a crane truck nearby tipped over and landed on his truck.
The Missouri Department of Transportation, which responded to the accident near the intersection of SB Highway 7 and Highway 40, posted on Twitter that a crane truck, owned by Elliot Equipment Company, had been helping to build a grocery store on an elevated dirt lot above Highway 7 when it tipped over Monday.
As it fell, the crane’s arm took down power lines before striking and crushing the pickup bed of a Ford F-250 FX4 that had been parked along the shoulder of Highway 7. In one of its Tweets MoDOT said that the pickup driver “was being checked out by a medical team.”
Traffic was shut down on Highway 7 following the incident. MoDOT reported that there were “several hazards in the area” including a gas cylinder inside the pickup which had been punctured by the crane.
A photo posted by MoDOT (shown above) reveals that the crane’s arm nearly landed directly on top of the gas cylinder which is shown standing upright in the truck bed just behind the cab.
— MoDOT Kansas City (@MoDOT_KC) July 24, 2017
Source:: Equipment world