Mar 19, 2018

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Volvo unveils new VNX Series trucks designed for heaviest of heavy-haul duties


The new Volvo VNX series heavy haul trucks can pull up to 225,000 pounds with a 605 horsepower/ 2,050 ft.-lb. torque engine.

Low, gray skies. Snow on mountains. Flurries dancing through the icy air—it was a backdrop made to order for the launch of Volvo’s redesigned VNX heavy-haul truck line. But the gloomy Nordic weather Tuesday, wasn’t in Sweden (Volvo’s home base), but Dublin, Virginia where the company has its assembly plant and North American customer center.

The man-against-the-elements tone of the morning only highlighted what these trucks are designed for. With their big engines, rugged transmissions and beefy frames, the new VNX Series are made to haul things like construction machines, quarried granite, B- and C-trains hauling logs and gravel, and heavy tankers.

Hammer down the accelerator pedal on one of these spec’d-to-the-max VNX trucks and you can tap into 605 horsepower and 2,050 lb.-ft. of torque to pull 225,000 pounds. If these trucks can’t haul it, your next choice is a locomotive.

Cabs for every need

The VNX trucks come with three cab options, a daycab, 42-inch sleeper and 70-inch sleeper.

“There are no typical applications in the heavy-haul market,” says Chris Stadler, product marketing manager. Accordingly, Volvo designed three cab configurations that can take you across town or across a continent. The cabs include:

  • The VNX 300, a simple daycab for local heavy haul.
  • The VNX 400, a sleeper with a flat roof and 42 inches of space behind the seats for occasional overnights or when you run out of drive time on your hours of service.
  • The VNX 470, designed for customers pulling heavy-haul, cross country duty and has all storage, amenities and comfort 70-inch sleeper including refrigeration, microwave and TV.

An aggressively sloped hood improves visibility. Also notice the widened fender flares which accommodate bigger tires and cut down on splash back.

With the new Electronic Logging Device mandate, hours of service regulations can force a long-haul driver with construction materials or machinery to stop in mid-job for up to eight hours, says Stadler. In these situations, it’s important to give drivers a safe and comfortable space to sleep or rest. Additionally, there are some heavy haul loads that for security purposes have to remain under supervision by the driver. If you have a load with these security requirements going across country, you need a sleeper cab, like the VNX 470, that can accommodate a driver for up to a week, he says.

Heavy specs

Frames were beefed up with 0.44 inch thick/120,000 pound psi steel to hold up under the weight of things like a pair of 50,000 pound granite blocks.

On the lighter end of things VNX starts out with an approved gross combination weight rating (GCWR) from 125,000 to 160,000 pounds. With application approval and the appropriate components you can upsize that to 225,000 pounds. And you can distribute that weight with a wide range of optional steer axles, lift axles, tridem drive axles and longer fifth-wheel slides.

Front axles can be shod with upsized 445 tires and offer capacities from 16,000 to 20,000 pounds using parabolic springs. Rear axle specs run from 46,000 to 55,000 pounds and you can also get a premium rear heavy-haul suspension up to 52,000 pounds. Axle configuration choices include 6×4 tandem, 8×4 tandem, and 8×6 tridem configurations

Dual steering gears insure that the driver maintains control of these heavy loads and long trailers on the road. And Volvo increased the ride height and ground clearance to 12-inches to accommodate more articulation and front ramp angle. The front bumper is aluminum to prevent rust and corrosion when it gets the inevitable nicks and dings. Built into the bumper is a tow pin with a 60,000-pound capacity, and the center tow frame evenly distributes towing forces through the chassis.

Heavy-haul weight distribution can be managed with a variety of axles including 6×4 tandem, 8×4 tandem, and 8×6 tridem configurations.

Heavy haulers like these wouldn’t last long without a beefy frame rails. Volvo equipped the VNX series with 0.44-inch-thick steel frame rails rated to 120,000 psi.

Special attention was also paid to the maneuverability of the VNX line as well. The angle approach was improved up to 25 degrees and the fenders were extended to give you more clearance. Splash shields inside the fenders were also redesigned to deflect more water, mud and road grit. They’re also made out of a type of plastic that can survive rock impacts and temperatures down to 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is what the heavy haulers working in the Canadian oil fields need.


Volvo offers two engines for the new VNX Series, a D13 Volvo engine and a Cummins X15 Performance Series. The D13 has two ratings: 500 horsepower/1,850 foot-pounds of torque and 455 horsepower/1,750 foot-pounds torque. The Cummins X15, likewise has two ratings: 565 horsepower/1,850 foot-pounds torque and 605 horsepower/2,050 foot-pounds torque.

Updated from its 2014 design, the D13 offers a 2.5 percent boost to fuel efficiency. “By manipulating injection pressure, we save fuel and take stress off the system,” says John Moore, product marketing manager. “Reducing pressure also allowed us to put a single camshaft in and save 27 pounds of weight. We took another 50 pounds of weight out of the engine block, saving 77 pounds total.”

Volvo’s engine also uses what it calls a “wave piston design.” This patented piston shape improves in-cylinder combustion for an additional two percent fuel efficiency and reduces soot formation by up to 90 percent.


Automatic transmissions with ultra-low creeper gears give drivers confidence and security when hauling heavy loads up or down steep hills.

In the old-school past manual transmissions may have been the choice for most heavy haul applications, but automatics and integrated transmissions are here to stay and can offer plenty of benefit in this market says Moore.

Volvo equips its trucks VNX trucks that have I-Shift trannies and the GHG17 engine with heavy haul software. “We’ve been using this in Western Canada with D13s and seeing excellent results,” says Moore. It has better momentum management and keeps the torque high so there is very little break in the driveline because it shifts so fast. It maintains momentum up hill, and drivers like that. And you can turn it off with a button on the shifter and it goes back into the fuel efficiency mode,” he says. At 135,000 GCVW the heavy haul software is standard with the HD package.

The tow pin is rated to 60,000 pounds and the aluminum bumper shroud avoids the rust and corrosion issues common to steel bumpers.

You can also toggle between two modes, straight torque and eco torque, says Moore. Straight torque delivers basic transient response when you’re on the throttle and driving a lot of hills and inclines. If you want better fuel efficiency on the flats and driving at highway speeds, choose eco-torque. With eco-torque, the first eight gears will give you high torque as you accelerate, and the next four gears, 8 through 12, will range between high or low torque depending on the load on the engine. “For lightly loaded situations it will settle down and go to the low torque curve to save additional fuel,” says Moore. “And if you get on a grade, within a half a second, you’re automatically shifting back to the high torque curve.”

The I-Shift for severe duty offers a hardened main box and hardened gears, high viscosity oil to support frequent shifting, a hardened high-range cone, improved split synchronizer and increased clutch durability. Deep reduction creeper gears can get the speed down to 0.6 mph, improving low speed maneuverability, and steep hill startablity as well as preventing the truck from getting stuck in unfavorable ground conditions.

In addition to the Volvo I-Shift transmissions, the D13 engine can also be paired with Eaton Fuller 13- and 18-speed manual transmissions.

Cummins X15

The Cummins engine is also a new design. The company changed the turbos and improved air flow to get the 605 horsepower. And thanks to the improved air flow, air braking has been substantially improved. This is particularly important in heavy haul applications at low speeds.

The aftertreatment system on the Cummins has also been redesigned and is 50 percent smaller than the previous version. This saves weight and space for and reduces installation complexities. If you choose the Cummins X15 option, you can mate it with Eaton Fuller 13- and 18-speed Ultrashift Plus automatic transmissions or Eaton Fuller 13- or 18-speed manual transmissions.

Driver comfort

Cabs were redesigned to put most needed controls within easy reach of the driver or on the steering wheel.

Cabs got a refresh on the new VNX trucks. The dash is arranged for easy-reach and at-a-glance controls with the most frequently used controls easiest to reach. The five-inch color monitor/infotainment display also works with steering wheel controls. On top the dash you’ll find a tray with multiple USB and 12-volt connections for phones and gadgets. The instrument cluster’s light green backlighting reduces eye strain.


On flat roads at highway speed, Volvo’s heavy-haul software changes the engine parameters to a low-torque curve to save fuel. Hit an incline and it automatically changes back to a high torque setting.

VNX series high-strength steel cab exceeds both the Volvo Swedish Cab Safety Test and ECE R-29 rollover requirements. A side airbag for the driver comes standard along with a seat-mounted rollover airbag. Volvo trucks also have an electronic system that detects imminent loss of control, jackknife, or rollover events and automatically reduces engine torque and applies braking to help the driver keep the truck on course.

Orders for the new VNX trucks are being taken now and production is slated to start in April.

Source:: Equipment world

Latest round of Cat layoffs could cut upwards of 900 jobs


336E L Hydraulic Excavator

A new report from Reuters expanding upon news last month out of Waco, Texas, says that Caterpillar’s coming job cuts could impact nearly 900 workers.

At the end of February, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported receiving confirmation from Cat that the heavy equipment manufacturer would be closing its Waco Work Tools plant. The plant manufactures excavator buckets, couplers and hammers and employs 200 people. Cat plans to move those operations to a facility in Wamego, Kansas, the paper reported. A separate distribution facility in Waco will not be affected by the closing of the Work Tools Plant.

However, according to the new Reutuers report, Waco isn’t the only city cat has plans to cut jobs in. Cat also plans to close a demonstration facility in Panama, while its Progress Rail group is considering closing an engine manufacturing plant in LeGrange, Illinois. Reuters reports that the engine manufacturing operations would be moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and outside suppliers.

The planned and possible cuts are the latest of several closings and consolidations the company has performed since announcing a cost reduction plan nearly three years ago. The plan is designed to save the company $1.5 billion annually through the end of this year. So far the company has either closed or consolidated about 30 facilities worldwide.

The initial estimate for global job cuts was 10,000. However due to market conditions in 2016, the company had to be “more aggressive” than it had anticipated with these job eliminations. With these coming layoffs, Cat will have cut more than 15,000 jobs since it began the cost reduction plan in 2015.

In its restructuring, Caterpillar is shifting its overall strategy to boost profitability and better manage business cycles. Due to that strategy, manufacturing workers have not been alone in dealing with the cuts. The company’s corporate leadership has been nearly entirely turned over through the retirement or resignation of several vice presidents, along with the retirement of former chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. Oberhelman spent 41 years with Cat and was replaced by current CEO Jim Umpleby.

Editor’s note: Senior Editor Joy Powell and Online Editor Wayne Grayson contributed to this report.

Source:: Equipment world

Equipment makers launch ad with workers telling Trump to ‘just say no’ to tariffs


The Association of Equipment Managers (AEM) released a new ad on Monday that urges President Donald Trump to not follow through with his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The video includes equipment manufacturing workers voicing how the move will hurt manufacturing jobs and the industry, making it harder to for U.S. companies to compete with foreign equipment makers. The employees, shown in their plants, speak directly to the president in the ad, urging him to “just say no” to steel tariffs.

“It’s not for for President Trump to reverse course on steel tariffs,” says AEM President Dennis Slater. “That is why our board decided to make a substantial investment in launching this campaign to urge the president to steer away from tariffs that will ultimately hurt equipment manufacturers and cost American jobs.”

The spot will run on “Fox & Friends,” “Hannity” and “Morning Joe as well as on digital platforms, AEM says.

The ad will run for weeks and target both Trump, as well as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

It come amid a deluge of intense lobbying against the administration’s tariff plan by foreign corporations, their American counterparts and many interests in the U.S. economy who fear that billions of dollars in trade could be affected, especially should there be trade wars.

Slater and AEM have been vocal opponents to the president tariff plan. Canada and Mexico would be exempted from the 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum. Those countries are renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Steel accounts for a substantial portion of equipment manufacturers’ direct costs, and steel prices had already increased in late 2017 due to speculation about tariffs, according to Slater and the AEM board.

The equipment manufacturing industry “is profoundly disappointed at President Trump’s actions” to advance import tariffs on steel and aluminum, Slater has said in previously urging Trump to back away from the tariffs. Slater says those added costs will need to be passed on and could ultimately hurt sales.

The tariff’s “will be for a long period of time,” the president says in comments released March 1 by the White House. In calling for import tariffs to help the U.S. steel industry, Trump cited “national security” in two proclamations that he signed March 8.

Source:: Equipment world

Rouse: with Ritchie Bros. auction, market showing increased appetite for used equipment


Cat excavators lined up for sale at Ritchie Bros. February Orlando auction. Photo: Wayne Grayson

With the blockbuster Ritchie Bros. Orlando auction now in the rearview mirror, Rouse Services outlined several “notable takeaways” from the sale in the cover letter to its February Equipment Report:

  • On average, the total Ritchie sale across all types of equipment was 5 percent above the Rouse Forced Liquidation Value (FLV) benchmark as of Jan. 31, 2018.
  • For general construction equipment – including aerial lifts, telehandlers, compact and mid-size earthmoving equipment, and support equipment – sales on average were 4.5 percent above the same Rouse FLV benchmark.
  • In the heavy earthmoving equipment category – including excavators, dozers, wheel loaders and articulated trucks– sales on average were 1.4 percent above the benchmark.
  • Other equipment, including forklift trucks and transport trucks, were 10.1 percent above the benchmark. (Note: February auction results had not yet been factored into Rouse’s index values as of the February report date.)

The 2018 Ritchie Bros. sale also surpassed the aggregate of what used to be separate IronPlanet and Cat Auction Services sales (now part of Ritchie) that took place in each February in the Orlando area, according to Raffi Aharonian, managing director of Rouse Services’ appraisals division. “This, combined with the broad pricing stability, speaks to the appetite of the marketplace to consume that level of used equipment,” he says.

In addition, the impact of President Trump’s tariffs on steel imports on used equipment prices will be worth watching, Aharonian says. “Increased costs on new equipment should (all other things remaining equal) have an inflationary impact on used equipment prices,” although he cautions that Rouse Services takes the position of reporting results, rather than forecasting them.

Rouse tracks used equipment values using two primary methods: collecting prices reported publicly by auction companies, and compiling proprietary used equipment transaction prices reported by its established network of clients– this network includes national, regional and independent rental operations and OEM dealers. Aharonian estimates that 70 percent of the RER Top 100 firms are in this reporting network. In reporting these numbers, Rouse uses the terms Forced Liquidation Value (FLV) for auction prices, and Fair Market Value (FMV) for retail prices.


In its January Equipment Report, Rouse also reported on used crane equipment sales, which it does on a quarterly basis.

Since the crane market had a large size exposure to energy end markets, cranes have come to the market in greater numbers in the past 12 months, “and when they do, we’ve seen materially reduced pricing for them,” Aharonion says. Depending on the crane category, these orderly liquidation value dips have ranged between 10 and 20 percent from 2016 peaks. “Asking prices for some of these cranes have been shaved off by 15 to 20 percent,” he says.

Used crane prices, however, have seen some stabilization in recently, with prices broadly remaining steady instead of declining.

Redesigned report

Rouse Services debuted a redesigned report in January. “This is for anyone who owns or rents construction equipment,” Aharonian says. “Our intent is to give readers a good sense of how equipment values are trending in the market. We track an estimated $8 billion to $10 billion of used equipment sales annually to examine trends that are valuable key stakeholders – namely equipment owners and their lending institutions.”

The report examines the current used equipment market environment, dividing its reporting in three general segments: general construction, heavy construction and other equipment. In addition, it goes into the values of the machine types that make up these segments.

General construction equipment includes:

  • Aerial lifts
  • Telehandlers
  • Light and medium earthmoving (including compact equipment)
  • Support equipment (including gen sets, light towers, etc.)

Heavy construction equipment includes:

  • Excavators, 75,000 to 99,999-pounds
  • Dozers, 180-359 horsepower
  • Wheel loaders, 190-309 horsepower
  • Articulated trucks
  • Motor graders (not broken out in the Equipment Report)

In addition to the above, the Rouse report includes coverage of Other Equipment, which adds two equipment subsets: forklift trucks and truck tractors. And every quarter, the report includes a crane market summary which tracks the orderly liquidation value of six crane types: all-terrain, crawler, rough-terrain, truck-mounted, carry-deck and tower cranes.

Source:: Equipment world

Feliz día del Padre


Engineer reported but ‘not concerned’ about cracking in Miami bridge before deadly collapse; no road closure for stress testing also at issue


Embed from Getty Images

Two days before the deadly collapse of pedestrian bridge in Miami Thursday, the lead engineer on the project left a voicemail with state officials saying cracking had been seen on the north end of the span that had been earlier moved into place during accelerated construction.

The engineer, W. Denney Pate with FIGG Bridge Engineers, had said that the crack was not a safety concern, according to a recording and transcript of the call released by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Friday night. Safety issues had also been allayed during a meeting about the crack with the bridge design team and FDOT at the construction site just a few hours before the collapse.

At least six people were killed in the collapse of the main span of the 174-foot-long pedestrian bridge still under construction near the campus of Florida International University. Scheduled for completion in 2019, the 950-ton structure came down on cars stopping for a red light during what city officials say was “stress testing” on March 15.

Here’s a transcript of the engineer’s call released by FDOT:

“Hey Tom, this is Denney Pate with FIGG Bridge Engineers. Calling to, uh, share with you some information about the FIU pedestrian bridge and some cracking that’s been observed on the north end of the span, the pylon end of that span we moved this weekend. Um, so, uh, we’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, ya know, done to repair that. At any rate, I wanted to chat with you about that because I suspect at some point that’s gonna get to your desk. So, uh, at any rate, call me back when you can. Thank you. Bye.”

The message, left on a landline, was not heard until Friday by an FDOT employee who had been out of the office on assignment.

To listen to the audio file released by FDOT, click here.

While the designer is FIGG Bridge Engineers, the contractor who both built and installed the structure is MCM – Munilla Construction Management. Both firms are based in Florida.

Also Friday, the engineering firm on the $16.5 million project released this statement:

“FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc., continues to work diligently with the construction team to help determine the cause of the collapse of the pedestrian bridge that was under construction at Florida International University.
“We are heartbroken by the loss of life and injuries, and are carefully examining the steps that our team has taken in the interest of our overarching concern for public safety. The evaluation was based on the best available information at that time and indicated that there were no safety issues. We will pursue answers to find out what factors led to this tragic situation, but it is important that the agencies responsible for investigating this devastating situation are given the appropriate time in order to accurately identify what factors led to the accident during construction. We are committed to working with all appropriate authorities throughout this process.”

FDOT had no knowledge of “stress testing”

City officials have said that stress testing was underway on the bridge when it collapsed about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, crushing cars below on a busy state road, SW 8th Street. At least six people were killed and at least 10 more injured, including construction workers.

FDOT, in its statement Friday night, said state transportation employees were not made aware by the FIU design build team of any scheduled “stress testing” of the bridge following installation and has no knowledge or confirmation from FIU’s design build team of “stress testing” occurring since installation.

“Per standard safety procedure, FDOT would issue a permit for partial or full road closure if deemed necessary and requested by the FIU design build team or FIU contracted construction inspector for structural testing,” the department says.

At issue is why the road was not closed during any such testing, as well as why the cracking was not seen as a potential safety issue.

According to standard procedures, the department says, FDOT had issued a permit at the request of FIU’s design build team to close SW 8th Street during the installation of the FIU pedestrian bridge on Saturday, March 10.

“While FDOT has issued, following a request from the FIU design build team, a blanket permit allowing for two-lane closures effective from January through April, at no time, from installation until the collapse of the bridge, did FDOT receive a request to close the entire road,” the department says.

The Florida International University (FIU) pedestrian bridge was a local agency project, not a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) project.

No life-safety issues raised by FIGG engineer at meeting shortly before collapse

Only three and a half hours before the catastrophic failure, a meeting about the cracking was held at the construction site. FIU released this statement regarding that:

“On Thursday morning (March 15, 2018), at 9:00 a.m., the Design Build Team of MCM and FIGG convened a meeting at the MCM trailer, located on the construction site, to discuss a crack that appeared on the structure. The FIGG engineer of record delivered a technical presentation regarding the crack and concluded that there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge. This meeting lasted approximately two hours and included FIU and FDOT representatives.

“The investigation is ongoing to determine the collapse of the bridge, and FIU is fully cooperating with all authorities to understand what happened.”

On Wednesday, March 14, Alfredo Reyna, the assistant coordinator of the Local Agency Program (LAP) and an FDOT consultant, had also received a phone call from Rafeal Urdaneta, a Bolton Perez & Associates employee, notifying him of a midday meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 15 with Pate and other members of the FIU design build team responsible for the project.

FDOT is routinely included in meetings during LAP project construction.

Reyna attended the meeting and was not notified of any life-safety issues, need for additional road closures or requests for any other assistance from FDOT, the department says.

“The responsibility to identify and address life-safety issues and properly communicate them is the sole responsibility of the FIU design build team. At no point during any of the communications above did FIGG or any member of the FIU design build team ever communicate a life-safety issue,” FDOT says.

“Again, FIGG and the FIU design build team never alerted FDOT of any life-safety issue regarding the FIU pedestrian bridge prior to collapse. The tragic failure and collapse of the pedestrian bridge at FIU is the subject of an active and ongoing investigation led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as well as local and state law enforcement investigations. As FDOT assists in these investigations, we will continue our internal review and release all pertinent information as quickly as possible while ensuring its accuracy.”

Though required, secondary design review team wasn’t pre-qualified

The designer, contractor and the Construction Engineering and Inspection (CEI) firm are all under contract with FIU. The CEI is Bolton Perez and Associates.

Under the terms of the procurement issued by FIU, and because of the unique characteristics of the design of the bridge, an independent, secondary design check was required, state transportation officials say.

“Under this project, it is the responsibility of FIU’s design build team to select the firm used to conduct the independent, secondary review. The firm selected, Louis Berger, was not FDOT pre-qualified for this service, which is required under FIU’s agreement with the state,” FDOT says. “FIU’s design build team is responsible for selecting a pre-qualified firm and ensuring this process is followed.”

Florida law requires firms be pre-qualified through an annual application process. No response was immediately available from FIU.

Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) was used on the project. The pedestrian walkway was built at an off-site location by MCM – Munilla Construction Management – and moved into place on March 10th. The walkway was set in place on top of two piers which were constructed on-site, state officials say. It crumbled five days later.

“FIU’s design build team is responsible for the proper and safe completion of this project and for compliance with all applicable laws and engineering and construction standards. Additionally, any testing done to the structure following its installation was the responsibility of the FIU design build team,” FDOT says.

FDOT’s involvement was limited to issuing a permit for traffic control during a span installation on Saturday, March 10, the agency says. The department was acting as a pass-through for federal funding and providing $57,000 in state funding for the $16.5 million project.

FDOT was responsible, however, for conducting a routine preliminary review to ensure the project complied with the terms of the agreement with the state.

Source:: Equipment world

Equipment Roundup: Cat’s latest cold planers boast unique design; International unveils MV Series trucks; Ford teases new off-road SUVs, hybrid F-150; The first VR training simulator for heavy equipment; Ditch Witch intros new HX vacuum excavators


Ditch Witch’s 3 new HX vacuum excavators boost productivity, versatility

Ditch Witch focused on boosting productivity and versatility with it new HX-Series of vacuum excavators.

The three models in the series – the HX30, HX50 and HX75 – are equipped with Kubota Tier 4 Final engines that have greater fuel capacity than their predecessors and boost power and dampen noise, Ditch Witch says. Engine horsepower ranges from 24.8 on the HX30, 49 on the HX 50, and 74 on the HX75.

The vacuum excavators are geared toward municipality and underground construction jobs, such as compact urban projects to large-scale excavation, potholing, slot trenching and microtrenching.

To read more, click here.

This VR training simulator is the first for construction equipment

A scissor lift virtual reality training simulator, first glimpsed during The Rental Show, may be the start of using such simulators for all types of construction equipment, according to an Edmonton, Canada-based tech company.

Officially launching last week at the IPAF Summit and International Awards for Powered Access (IAPA) in Miami, the VR scissor lift simulator is the result of a partnership between virtual-reality training provider Serious Labs, the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and aerial lift manufacturer Skyjack.

“VR has finally arrived in the heavy equipment environment,” says Jim Colvin, Serious Labs CEO.

To read more, click here.

Ford teases new off-road and electric SUVs, hybrid pickup in truck-heavy preview of product line revamp

The people at Ford are excited.

Fired up, charged, revved up, eager, however you want to put it. That’s what just about every Ford employee I’ve spoken to and heard from in the last 24 hours has communicated about what the company has in store for the next few years.

In fact, folks inside the Blue Oval were so excited about what’s coming down the line that they invited media members to an impromptu event Thursday at the company’s product development center in Dearborn, Michigan, to reveal details of the automaker’s plans to thoroughly revamp its lineup by 2020. They did this while, perhaps a bit cruelly, teasing what the company is calling “the industry’s freshest lineup by 2020” without actually introducing the highly anticipated goods (including a certain SUV named for a horse) to the public.

While we have no new trucks to show you, the main takeaway out of this event is that a lot more Ford trucks are coming. And there’s quite a bit to look forward to, including a new Bronco, a baby Bronco and a Mustang-inspired electric SUV.

To read more, click here.

International unveils MV Series trucks: eventual DuraStar successor brings Class 8 comforts

International at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis officially launched its new Class 6/7 MV Series truck.

The MV Series, the eventual successor to the DuraStar, completes the company’s Project Horizon product refresh and features improved cab design and other driver-centric enhancements already found across International’s Class 8 trucks.

“Vocational trucks are low-speed trucks and at anything under 35 miles an hour, aerodynamics aren’t as important,” says Mark Stasell, vice president of Navistar’s vocational truck business, who notes that MV borrowed mostly interior design elements from Project Horizon.

To read more, click here.

Unique drive system design key to improvements on Cat’s new PM310, PM312, PM313 cold planers

At the World of Asphalt show in Houston last week, Caterpillar launched three new cold planer models in a compact size designed for use in urban areas and other small- to medium-size jobsites.

The machines are powered by a 325-horsepower Cat C9 engine (hence the 3 in the nomenclature), and are available in rotor and chamber widths of 1 meter (39.4 inches) on the PM310, 1.2m (48.2 in.) on the PM312 and 1.3m (51.2 in.) on the PM313.

Cat product manager A.J. Lee gave a media briefing on these new models, which expand Cat’s cold planer lineup to eight models and into a smaller size class, and provided some insight on the design process behind them. Lee said these PM300-Series models represent the latest products in the company’s customer-fueled re-imagining of its cold planer lineup.

“We started with a big program going back about five to eight years ago, really bringing in a lot of customer feedback, designing from the ground up on how to make a really truly effective cold planer full model lineup,” Lee said.

To read more, click here.

Source:: Equipment world

Business Roundup: Colo. firm wins 7th Kenworth Award; Flannery named president of United Rentals; Cat February N. American retail sales up 30%; Construction employment hits a milestone; Terex AWP taps Davis as Genie VP


Colo. firm wins its 7th Kenworth Dealer of Year Award

MHC Kenworth – Colorado was named the top dealer in the Kenworth network in the United States and Canada for the seventh time.

The dealership received the 2017 Kenworth Dealer of the Year Award in February at the company’s annual dealer meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“This award was earned by our dedicated employees, who are committed to providing ‘Whatever It Takes’ support in every facet of our business,” said Mike Murphy, CEO of MHC Kenworth, which operates 68 Kenworth dealerships in 16 states.

To read more, click here.

Matthew Flannery named president of United Rentals; Kneeland continues as CEO

Matthew J. Flannery has been named president of United Rentals, a position he assumes in addition to his responsibilities as chief operating officer. Michael Kneeland, who became president and CEO of United Rentals in 2008, will continue to lead the company as CEO.

Flannery joined United Rentals in 1998. In addition to COO, he previously served as the company’s executive vice president — operations and sales. He’s also held various field management roles at senior, regional, district and branch levels.

To read more, click here.

Cat February N. American retail sales up 30%

Totaling retail statistics reported by its global dealer network, Cat says its dealers saw worldwide retail sales jump 33 percent in February, with North American dealers seeing a 30-percent increase.

The sales are reported on a three-month rolling period through February, 2018, compared with the same time period in 2017.

Significant gains were realized throughout Caterpillar’s global network, with dealers in the Asia/Pacific region reporting a 41 percent increase, and Latin American dealers reporting increases of 39 percent. Dealers in Caterpillar’s EAME segment (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) saw increases of 30 percent.

The North American region was the only one with increases over January’s figures, increasing from 23 percent to 30 percent.

To read more, click here.

Construction sees largest jobs gain in 11 years in Feb.

The U.S. construction industry added 62,000 jobs in February, the single largest monthly addition of jobs the industry has seen in the last 11 years, according to preliminary data from the Labor Department. The previous high mark for gains was set in November 2015 when 52,000 jobs were added.

February’s jobs gain brings the industry’s total employment to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.173 million Americans and extended construction’s streak of monthly gains to seven. July 2017 was the last time the industry shed jobs.

To read more, click here.

Terex AWP taps company veteran Davis as Genie VP

Terex Aerial Work Platforms (AWP) has named Mike Davis as Genie vice president for product management and Terex Business Systems (TBS). Davis will oversee global product management for the Genie brand, and will also have global responsibility for the company’s TBS activities across operations and administrative functions.

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Source:: Equipment world

Caltrans seeks 2,000 workers due to influx of road funding


Caltrans says it has hundreds of current job openings, with even more openings expected to occur over the next five years.

The California Department of Transportation plans to hire 2,000 employees over the next five years due to the influx of projects that will be funded by the state’s gas tax approved last year, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The state expects to see an infusion of $54 billion during the next decade to repair and build roads and bridges and complete other transportation projects. Gov. Jerry Brown has also called on the agency to spend the money quickly so the public will notice the improvements. Caltrans’ website says it is looking for new hires statewide in heavy equipment, engineering, maintenance, information technology, accounting, legal surveys, planning, human resources and environmental, among other areas.

The site boasts competitive salaries; health, dental, vision and retirement benefits; flexible work schedules; 11 paid holidays; mentoring; and job rotation.

The new 12-cent gas tax, to be implemented incrementally over the next 10 years to fund the projects, has come under fire from a grassroots conservative group that is calling for a referendum in November to repeal the tax. The group has until May to gather more than 580,000 signatures for the initiative to make the ballot.

Efforts are also underway to defend the tax and the road funding. Caltrans is promoting projects on social media it has recently completed with the additional funding, to demonstrate its effectiveness.

The American Roads & Transportation Builders Association has released a study saying the $54 billion in funding will boost the state’s economy by $183 billion over the next 10 years.

Caltrans promotes various projects on social media being funded with the state’s new gas tax, such as the recent repaving of State Route 152, to show the public how the money is being spent. The funding comes from SB1, passed by the state legislature in April 2017, to infuse $54 billion for transportation projects over the next 10 years.

Source:: Equipment world



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