Feb 5, 2018

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DOJ may end Ram emissions cheating suit with hefty fine, recall


According to a report from Bloomberg, the U.S. Department of Justice is offering Fiat Chrysler Automobiles a settlement in the department’s lawsuit filed against the company last year.

In May 2017, the DOJ filed a civil lawsuit against FCA over alleged violations of federal diesel emissions regulations. Since January 2017, FCA has faced allegations from both the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board of cheating on emissions testing by installing undisclosed engine management software in 2014-2016 Ram 1500 pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs equipped with a 3-liter EcoDiesel engine.

Bloomberg reports that the DOJ is offering to settle the suit with FCA once the automaker pays “a substantial but unspecified” fine, and recalls 104,000 Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs. However, Bloomberg notes that “The proposed settlement doesn’t include an end to a criminal investigation of the automaker by the Justice Department related to diesel emissions.” So, FCA and other automakers might not be out of the woods just yet.

The alleged “undisclosed engine management software,” usually called a “cheating device” is typically able to detect when a vehicle is being subjected to emissions testing and applies additional emissions controls during the test. However, these additional controls shut off when real world highway conditions are detected, allowing the vehicles in question to emit significantly higher levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than they did while being tested.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s exactly the same thing the EPA and CARB accused Volkswagen of in 2015. That scandal ended up in an upheaval of Volkswagen’s leadership and the German automaker being required to buy back some 500,000 vehicles from customers.

When the suit was filed, FCA maintained its innocence, and said it was “disappointed” in the decision by the DOJ’s Environmental Natural Resources Division to file suit.

“The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests,” an FCA statement read.

However, the allegations did stop production of Ram’s 1500 EcoDiesel models at least temporarily. Around the time the DOJ suit was filed, FCA said it had a software fix that it would be installing on new trucks that would address the feds’ concerns. By August, the EPA and CARB had given approval to 2017 Ram EcoDiesel trucks and 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs equipped with the patched software and FCA resumed production of both vehicles.

FCA said that approval from both agencies was the result of several months of collaboration between FCA and the EPA and CARB.

“The approvals announced today represent a significant step toward resolving the issues raised by EPA and ARB,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said in August. “We appreciate the efforts of the agencies in working with us to achieve this milestone. We are anxious to build on this progress to make appropriate updates to the emissions control software in our earlier model-year vehicles.”

Source:: Equipment world

New Kinshofer DXS-50 shears add power, reduce weight for demo jobs


Kinshofer has designed its new DXS-50 hydraulic mobile excavator shears to work faster and more efficiently at a lighter weight.

The DXS-50 is the debut attachment for the company’s new DXS Series. Its DemaPower cylinder technology consists of four chambers instead of two, giving the smaller attachment the ability to exert 25 percent more power and achieve best-in-class power-to-weight ratio, the company says.

The DXS-50 weighs 9,920 pounds and has a closing force of 1,203 tons. Though weighing just 880 pounds more than its predecessor, the DRS-45, the new shears provide nearly 300 tons more closing force. The jaw on the DXS-50 opens 29.2 inches wide and 30.7 inches deep — larger than any other shear in its weight class, the company says. The jaw also has faster closing and opening speeds, with a 5.5-second cycle time that is 50 percent faster than models in its weight class, according to Kinshofer.

The DXS-50 also consumes 20 percent less fuel than competitive models, the company says, as it can function as well as in economy mode as others can at full throttle.

The attachment is ideal for demolition, scrap processing and tire recycling, the company says. It is made for excavators of 25 to 35 tons when boom mounted and 32- to 50-ton machines when stick mounted.

It also features convenient service openings to shear hoses and hydraulics, a piercing tip that can be welded again and replaced, and no protruding components that can be damaged.

Models with continuous 360-degree rotation are available. They come with heavy-duty motors for higher torque rotation and an oversized slewing ring to bear high forces, shock loads and bending.

Source:: Equipment world

Wacker Neuson ups new, used skid steer, CTL warranties to 3-years, 3,000-hours


The compact equipment warranty wars have heated up, with Wacker Neuson coming to the table with what it calls the “most comprehensive warranty in the industry.”

Wacker Neuson is the third compact equipment manufacturer in the past three months to debut an extended standard warranty, announcing a 3 year, or 3,000 hours full-machine warranty. The 3-year terms are available on all new and used skid steers and compact track loaders manufactured in the firm’s Wisconsin plant and sold in the United States and Canada after October 1, 2016.

The 3-year full-machine warranty is part of what Wacker Neuson is calling its 3-4-5 warranty package that includes:

  • A 4-year or 4,000-hour powertrain warranty, which includes but is not limited to engine, hydrostatics and axles, and
  • A 5-year or 5,000-hour electrical system warranty, which includes but is not limited to switches, electronic joysticks, instrument, display, indicators and wiring harness.

“Regardless of whether the customer buys the machine new or used, they can have comfort knowing that is is backed by the best warranty in the industry,” says Brent Coffey, Wacker Neuson product manager for loaders. According to Coffey, the transferrable warranty is designed to extend over multiple owners, leading to increased residual value over the life of the machine.

The action follows recent 2-year, 2,000-hour full-machine warranty announcements on select new compact equipment by Caterpillar and Case Construction Equipment. Case said in November it would extended its standard full-machine warranty on skid steers and CTLs up from its previous 1-year, 1,000-hour warranty. In January, Caterpillar laid out a 2-year/2,000-hour warranty for its new skid steer loaders, CTLs, multi-terrain loaders and compact excavators purchased after January 1st. Cat’s previous warranty for these machines was 1-year, unlimited hours.

Source:: Equipment world

Trail King adds 12 new dealers in U.S. and Canada


Trail King’s TK110HDG hydraulic detachable gooseneck lowboy.

North American trailer manufacturer Trail King Industries continues to expand its global dealer network. Based in Mitchell, South Dakota, Trail King recently announced a dozen new dealers to its network:

  • Young Truck Trailer, Nebraska
  • Lucky’s Trailer Sales, North Carolina
  • Arrow Trailer and Equipment Company, Illinois
  • Pee Dee Trailer Sales, South Carolina
  • Preferred Lowboys, Dallas, Texas
  • TNT, Missouri
  • 5 Star, New England
  • Penn Jersey, Pennsylvania
  • Blanchard, South Carolina and Georgia
  • Competition Trailer Sales, Calgary and Alberta, Canada
  • Transit Quebec, Quebec, Canada
  • Querel Trailers, Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada

“We view our nationwide network of dealers as one of our most valuable assets,” says Sales Director Barry Freifeld.

“We are honored to have these new dealers as a part of the Trail King family. They are our face to the customer and are already well-established resources in their markets. Because they have gained the trust of their local customer base, they provide added value to our products when they are representing and marketing them in their regions.”

For more information visit trailking.com.

Source:: Equipment world

2018 Intermat Innovation Award winners announced


The winners of the 2018 Intermat Innovation Awards were recently announced, highlighting market trends, such as digitalization of tools (development of applications, BIM and robotics), the proliferation of environmental solutions, and the growing consideration for safety and risk prevention in processes.

The following eight winners were rewarded for their innovation in four categories:

Earthmoving & Demolition

  • Equipment and Machinery Award: Volvo CE – EX2 (Protoype of all-electric, zero carbon emission excavator offering 10 times higher efficiency and 10 times lower noise levels than a conventional version).
  • Components and Accessories Award: DMIC – UbiwaySmart (Connected management solution for construction machinery and equipment).

Roads, Minerals & Foundation

  • Equipment and Machinery Award: Fayat – TRX 100% (A unique-in-the-world highly mobile hot-mix asphalt plant capable of reincorporating 100 to 0 percent of RAP in hot and warm mixes).
  • Components and Accessories Award: RB3D – EXO Push (An exoskeleton which assists the raker in manual asphalt leveling operations — the first “wearbot” to emerge in the public works field).

Lifting, Handling & Transportation

  • Equipment and Machinery Award: Hinowa S.p.A. – Lightlift 33.17 Performance IIIS tracked aerial platform — (54.1-foot operating outreach, 105-foot working height, load capacity of 507 pounds, multiple simultaneous movements, and a new wider and more comfortable basket).
  • Components and Accessories Award: Manitou Group – MRT 2470 and MRT 3050 machine stabilization recognition system (it uses a strain gauge inside the pin of the stabilizer cylinders to obtain information on the force exerted on the ground).

Buildings & Concrete Sector

  • Equipment and Machinery Award: Alphi – MaxUpDown (tool to assist with the handling of MaxiDalle formwork panels. The system, formed by a compressed air-powered telescopic mast, helps to effortlessly raise and lower MaxiDalle panels at great height from the ground).
  • Components and Accessories Award: 360SmartConnect – Connected concrete (by transforming concrete into an interface with data and services associated with the structure, enabling stakeholders to create new values for themselves or for their successors).

The following five Special Awards reflecting the most up-to-date issues at stake in the construction sector were also presented:

  • Digital Transition: EFA France — EVAS (first embedded voice control system with integrated database communicating in CAN BUS interface: multi-speakers, multi-languages, and works off-line).
  • Energy Transition: Mecalac — Mecalac e12 (the world’s first compact wheeled excavator running only on electricity, without compromising on battery life, performance and compactness).
  • Start-Up by Eurovia: Matos — Matos Connect (paperless solution for operated equipment rental companies in the public works field).
  • World of Concrete Europe: Sika France — 3D concrete printing process (combining robotic innovation applied to the concrete industry, which produces a concrete item in an original shape or design in a short space of time. The fundamental advantage of 3D concrete printing is its outstanding flexibility).
  • Safety: SIMA — HandSafe wood cutting saw (Features a unique and exclusive safety system to instantaneously stop the blade the second that it touches human skin).

Source:: Equipment world

Conn. governor: Lacking federal help, state must move ahead with critical transportation investments


Route 8 and I-84 meet at what is called “The Mixmaster” interchange in Waterbury, Conn. This interchange needs critical improvements that the governor says are now suspended, among other projects, due to a lack of funding. Photo credit: Google Earth data

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has released the outline of his administration’s revenue package to stabilize the Special Transportation Fund (STF) and allow for critical investments in the state’s transportation system.

He says his plan for the STF would restore canceled state and municipal projects across Connecticut and “prevent drastic increases” in rail and bus fares and major service reductions on Metro-North, Shore Line East, and CTtransit bus services

“Without the reinstatement of canceled projects, Connecticut’s infrastructure will fall further into a state of disrepair, making our roads and bridges less safe for residents and harming the state’s economy,” the governor’s office says in a press release.

“Despite big promises of a massive infrastructure package, it has become clear that the Trump administration has no plans to make real investments in our transportation system,” Gov. Malloy notes.

“Other states have realized that they must take matters into their own hands, and we must do the same to ensure the viability of the Special Transportation Fund.”

His newly released proposal calls for these actions:

  • A 7-cent increase in the gas tax, gradually implemented over a four-year period.
  • Implementation of statewide electronic tolling beginning in fiscal year 2023.
  • Acceleration of the transfer of car sales tax by two years.
  • Establishment of a $3-per-tire fee on tire purchases.

The STF finances the state’s entire transportation system, including the operating costs of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and the services it provides.

In December, Gov. Malloy reiterated and increased his warnings on the solvency of the fund following the release of a report showing that without prompt action, it will be in deficit by fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, 2018.

In January, Malloy and the CTDOT indefinitely suspended $4.3 billion in projects affecting every town across the state, including critical improvements to the I-91/Route 15 interchange on the Charter Oak Bridge, the replacement of the Waterbury Mixmaster, and the widening of I-95 from Bridgeport to Stamford.

“Investment in transportation is investment in Connecticut’s economic future,” Malloy says.

“But for decades, our state has chronically underfunded our roads, bridges, tunnels, and rails, and as a result our infrastructure consistently ranks among the worst in the nation. Without new revenues this year, we face a transportation cliff.

“We will be forced to make draconian cutbacks, affecting even routine maintenance. If we want to revitalize our urban centers and attract the jobs of tomorrow, we absolutely must ensure the solvency of the Special Transportation Fund, and we must do it early in this legislative session. We can no longer afford to wait – it’s time for action.”

“The combination of immediate and long term additional revenue provided by the governor’s recommendations represents a solution to maintaining our commitment to operate a safe highway, bus and rail transportation network and to avoid serious deterioration of our state and municipal transportation infrastructure,” says CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker.

In 1997, Connecticut’s gas tax was reduced from 39 cents per gallon to 25 cents per gallon and it has not been increased since, the governor’s office says.

Over the same period, rail fares have increased by 54 percent and bus fares have increased by 75 percent.

“And while Connecticut has refused to increase transportation revenue, 26 states – including eight in the past year – have increased their gas taxes,” says the governor’s news release.

Source:: Equipment world

Pilot threads needle in emergency landing on Ca.’s 55 Freeway


The pilot told authorities he lost power and had to make an emergency landing on the freeway. Photo credit: Costa Mesa Fire Department

A pilot lost power to his single-engine plane and glided to a stop on a California freeway after flying under an overpass, according to the Orange County Register newspaper.

The incident occurred at 7:35 p.m. January 28 when the 24-year-old pilot was flying from San Diego to Van Nuys. He lost power over Costa Mesa and couldn’t make it to the nearest airport to land.

According to the newspaper, the pilot flew the Beech 633 through an opening below the overpass that was 17 feet tall and 108 feet wide to make his landing on Freeway 55.

No one in the plane or on the ground was injured.

Source:: Equipment world

I-81 coalition forms in Va. to improve safety, reduce congestion


Interstate 81 at Harrisonburg, Virginia. Photo by Ben Schumin, SchuminWeb, at Wikimedia Commons

A group of regional chambers of commerce in Virginia are banding together to try to get improvements to Interstate 81.

The coalition wants traffic relief and a safer highway, as accidents and truck and passenger-vehicle volumes increase, according to the Augusta Free Press newspaper.

The coalition says the need is urgent and congressional and legislative leaders must secure funding.

The Improve I-81 Chamber Coalition consists of the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber, the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce and the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber.

Source:: Equipment world

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