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CONEXPO-CON/AGG Event Coverage: A Massive Show

Staying on top of new equipment and technology can be challenging, but it can be done.

April 20, 2011  By Bill Tice and Scott Jamieson

Almost 120,000 people converged on the bright lights of Las Vegas and
the city’s convention centre in late March to find out what’s new and
what’s hot in the construction business.

Staying on top of new equipment and technology can be challenging, but with comfortable shoes and a few days to spare, it can be done.

Almost 120,000 attendees and more than 2,400 exhibitors took part in ConExpo 2011 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in late March. The show included new products and technology along with entertainment such as a rock show presented by Case Construction.


Almost 120,000 people converged on the bright lights of Las Vegas and the city’s convention centre in late March to find out what’s new and what’s hot in the construction business.


The big draw in town was ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011, which is held every three years and is regarded as the best show in North America for viewing new construction products and technology. IFPE, which is an international exposition and technical conference dedicated to the integration of fluid power with other technologies for power transmission and motion control applications, was held in conjunction with the event.

While attendees at the show were excited to see the latest technology, exhibitors reported a trend of securing leads and sales to new and existing customers.

“The construction industry has been through some very tough times, with record unemployment, since the last ConExpo-Con/Agg and IFPE in March 2008,” said Megan Tanel, vice president of exhibitions and events at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). “With these positive numbers and the industry support of the shows, we’re optimistic about the future and looking forward to seeing these new sales orders fulfilled.”

The show had an international flavour with 24% of attendees coming from somewhere other than the United States. Over 150 countries were represented at the show and the AEM reported that 11% of the total audience was from Canada.

“The increased global participation by attendees and exhibitors underscores the importance of world markets to our industry,” added Tanel.

In addition to the attendees, the show attracted more than 2,400 exhibitors whose displays covered 2.34 million net square feet of space.  There were also numerous educational opportunities as a number of organizations held seminars, while for the North American and international press, more than 50 companies held events, including press conferences and receptions.

With more than 2,400 exhibitors at the event, we can’t cover everything, but we do have a good cross section of products and companies to showcase. We will start with this issue of Aggregates & Roadbuilding and will continue our coverage in the May/June issue.


Heavy hitting Bomag gear
Popular models at Bomag’s ConExpo display included the BW27RH Pneumatic Tired Roller and the BM1300/30 cold planer. That was the word at the company’s booth from Toronto-based Canadian national sales manager Dan Church.

The BW27RH features: excellent jobsite visibility; an efficient hydrostatic drive for sensitive and precise handling; easy servicing with central drain points for engine/hydraulic oil and coolant; a range of ballasting choices for weight adjustment; easy water ballasting; auto tire inflation for quick adjustment on the run; efficient compaction on thin layers on sensitive mixes, which avoids aggregate crushing, shoving or crack formation; and efficient wheel track overlap.

The BM1300/30-2 cold planer offers superb mobility and precision in the 300HP class and is highly maneuverable due to its unique central rotor location and four fully steerable tracks.  The cold planer is also easy to operate due to its intuitive language-independent console that utilizes globally-recognized symbols. Safety features include one man seated operation and superb visibility of the worksite.


New rubber from Bridgestone
The good news from Bridgestone at ConExpo was that all of its employees in Japan are safe following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the Asian country just a few weeks earlier. Bridgestone also said its three Japanese production facilities were undamaged and continue to operate.

The company released several new products at ConExpo, including its V-Steel Rock E-Premium (VREP) off road tire which features trapezoidal blocks with circumferential grooves that maximize wear resistance while minimizing internal friction and uneven wear.  The new VREP tire, specially designed for 100 ton class earthmovers, also minimizes heat generation over a longer lifetime in heavy-duty mining operations. 

“The VREP tire offers reliability and durability that enables earthmovers to continue working with improved productivity,” said Shawn Rasey, president, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Off Road division.  “The VREP tire gives you extended tire life resulting in a lower cost per hour and lower replacement costs.”

The company also announced an expansion of the V-Steel J-Traction (VJT) radial off road tire, which is now available in two new sizes, 17.5R25 and 29.5R25. The VJT line features a computer-optimized center block that minimizes vibration levels.  Reduced friction between the tire’s center blocks and the ground improves wear resistance and helps improve tire life.  Developed to work harder and last longer, and with features to improve traction, the company says its VJT tires offer rock solid performance and dependability.


Cat trucks hit market
A lot of excitement was generated at the show around the new Cat Vocational Truck Line, which Caterpillar says is one of the most significant new products ever launched by the company. The Cat CT660 is the first model in a full line of Class 8 vocational trucks designed to work as transit mixers, refuse haulers, dump trucks and in any application requiring a heavy-duty truck. 

“This is an exciting historic milestone for Caterpillar,” said Steve Gosselin, the company’s vice president of customer services support division. “The CT660 is a natural expansion of the Cat product line and a perfect complement to other Cat equipment on the jobsite. The CT660 is a direct result of Caterpillar’s commitment to continuously develop new products that accelerate the business success of our customers ­– and its design results from hundreds of hours spent with vocational truck owners, fleet managers and drivers to determine their specific needs.”

Doosan-driven power and air
Doosan Infracore’s David Stahlman, vice-president of global marketing was on hand to unveil the portable power supplier’s line-up of generators and compressors, along with new global plans to build the Doosan brand. The latter reflects a move away from the company’s acquired Ingersoll-Rand brand, as it enters what Stahlman calls “brand-building mode under Doosan.” On the product development side, both generators and air compressors are now available T4i compliant. Doosan is launching a new wave of products, with the 6325 gen set unveiled at ConExpo simply the first in a series of new units. Customer-focused improvements include noise reduction, ease of operation (improved operator interface), longer run times, and safer connections. The units are also designed to prevent clients from switching voltage while the machine is running. The new line of compressors includes an improved user interface with large control panels for simple operation, including WiFi connectivity, remote-control output monitoring, and an electric-over-diesel option.


F1000 pavers built from scratch for Canada
Dynapac USA vice-president Shawn Cheney told the assembled trade press at ConExpo that the company started with “a clean slate” in designing the new F1000T (tracked) and F1000W (wheeled) pavers. These 10-ft wide highway class machines were designed specifically with the North American market in mind. “We asked contractors ‘How can we build a paver that will be more profitable than the machines you run now?’ Their answers were clear,” Cheney explains. “They wanted us to keep it simple, to make it easy to troubleshoot, and to build it for the extremes they face.” The resulting design needs no computer to operate, but does include a high-performance outboard auger drive and high-output slat conveyor system that eliminates centre-line segregation, a high-capacity hopper, the lowest-deck on the market, and dual swing-out operator station with a direct view of the hopper, auger and work area. Cheney also discussed Dynapac’s full line of compact cold planers (14 to 40 inches wide), its suite of production and quality control software for compaction, plus the new generation Compactasphalt 2500 hot-on-hot or single-pass paving system, with Canadian trials set for this summer (see article on page 10).


John Deere goes big
There was big news at the John Deere booth along with some big equipment to go with it. That included the 944K wheel loader with a hybrid-electric drivetrain, the 850K crawler dozer with a new Interim Tier 4 (IT4) engine and dual-path hydrostatics, and the company’s largest, most operator friendly truck ever built – the new 460E ADT.

The 944k’s hybrid-electric drivetrain utilizes electric traction, meaning the engine drives a generator to create electricity used by electric motors to drive the wheels, resulting in significantly increased fuel efficiency, reduced tire wear, and increased durability and reliability through fewer moving parts.

The 850K is ideal for earthmoving contractors, road builders and site prep specialists. It features 205HP while providing the productivity, control and smoothness inherent to a dual-path hydrostatic transmission.

When John Deere designed the 460E, they listened to a number of heavy-hauling ADT customers, who insisted on easy to use, productivity enhancing features like an on-board weighing payload scale that delivers real time data. The 460E also features centralized, ground level service ports for easy and quick serviceability.


Dozers and more from Komatsu
Komatsu America introduced a number of new products at ConExpo – Con/Agg, including a new articulated truck and new dozers and excavators.

The HM300-3 articulated truck features a Komatsu SAA6D125E-6 engine and is EPA Tier 4 Interim and EU Stage 3B emission certified. Featuring a gross vehicle weight of  52,230 kg (115,147 lb), the HM300-3 can haul up to a 31-ton (28.1 tonne) payload at its maximum groundspeed of 58.6 kph (36.4 mph).

The company also introduced its new line of D65-17 crawler dozers and its D155AX-7 crawler dozer. The D65-17 line includes standard (EX), low ground pressure (PX) and wide (WX) models. The line is designed primarily for heavy dozing and finishing operations. The D155AX-7 model features a highly efficient automatic transmission, which the company says will deliver exceptional productivity while maintaining the excellent fuel economy of the model it replaces. This new dozer is also equipped with KOMTRAX technology, which sends machine operating information to a secure website utilizing wireless technology.

Excavators introduced at the show include the PC240LC-10, the PC360LC-10 and the PC490LC-10. All three excavators feature EPA Tier 4 Interim and EU Stage 3B Emission Certified engines and the KOMTRAX technology.


Leica shifts machine control into third gear
Technical staff at the Leica Geosystems exhibit had a simple way of describing what the company’s PowerGrade SP Technology brings to contractors’ earth moving and fine grading operations: “With older systems, you’d have to grade in first gear; now you can do it in third gear.” That’s language any roadbuilder can understand, and it’s courtesy of a much faster update rate of 100 updates per second. This next generation SP system brings the flexibility of using either GPS or total station SP technology depending on the site location and GPS availability. It also uses inertial guidance with highly responsive hydraulic control to improve grading performance at speed. This reduces the need for re-work and increases machine uptime during poor satellite coverage, temporary loss of correction signals, or interrupted prism tracking when working with a total station, according to Leica staff. The bottom line is that contractors can take on even more fine grading jobs with their bulldozers, finishing jobs with less gear on site and ahead of schedule.

Leica also used ConExpo to announce its PaveSmart 3D (LMGS-S) v7.0 machine control system for concrete slipform pavers, and to promote its recently announced OEM value-added re-seller agreement with GOMACO Corp., a leading supplier of concrete paving equipment.


Multi-tasking Liebherr
Liebherr’s ConExpo display featured the 6th generation R916 Advanced Litronic crawler excavator. The R916 has a four cylinder diesel engine with an output of 115 kW (158HP). This Liebherr construction machinery engine complies with Stage IIIA/Tier 3 exhaust emission regulations.

The design of the R916 also takes overlapping or synchronized functions into account, and like all Liebherr 6th generation crawler excavators, it is equipped with the “Positive Control” hydraulic system and the corresponding control logic.

By supplying an ample flow volume quickly and making full use of the available energy, the two independent hydraulic circuits energize in the most efficient way, especially when overlapping movements are performed.

Another feature of the R916 is the large cab, which utilizes splinterproof two-layer safety glass for the windscreen, roof and right hand cab windows. The windscreen can be fully retracted and the cab complies with ROPS requirements for safety.


LiuGong expands product line, dealers, financing
If ConExpo visitors hadn’t heard that Chinese heavy equipment supplier LiuGong has plans to break into the elite group of top 10 suppliers in the coming few years, they know now. The rapidly growing company was large and in charge at ConExpo, with one of the largest indoor exhibits stocked with a full line of gear, including some Tier 4i compliant machines. The buzz of the show among the trade press, LiuGong’s booth lineup included everything from its new Tier 4i wheel loaders to excavators, crawler tractors, compactors and more. The big news, however, centered on the company’s growth in global markets, and especially its recent acquisition of Poland’s HSW Dressta. HSW is best known for its broad line of crawler dozers, technology that will fit well with LiuGong’s existing equipment line. Chairman of the board, North America, Jim Donoghue also spoke of the company’s growing line of dealers, including two in Quebec and Ontario (Groupe Gymdex and Fieldworks Construction), with more Canadian dealers close to signing. Making life easier for this growing network is a new North American finance deal made with De Lage Laden, a global asset-based lender that will offer a variety of financing options exclusively to LiuGong clients and dealers. With a good volume of LiuGong gear already out working in Canada, and new financing, expect to see a whole lot more in the near future.


Enhancements to Mack line-up
Mack Trucks came to ConExpo with a series of enhancements to its popular Granite conventional straight trucks and heavy haul Titan trucks.

Building on the success of its heavy duty Class 8 conventional straight truck, Mack debuted a medium heavy duty (MHD) version of its Granite model, which is designed for customers who can use a lighter spec to get the job done. The Granite MHD, which is available in both axle-forward and axle-back configurations, is powered by a Cummins ISL9 EPA 2010-certified engine and is offered with an Eaton manual or Allison automatic transmission.

Further enhancements to the Mack Granite series include a new headliner console, an optional one-piece windshield, and an updated Champion Level trim package. The Champion Level trim package and one-piece windshield are also available in the Titan by Mack model.


Clean and green from Major Wire
Montreal-based Major Wire promoted several products at ConExpo, including Flex-Mat 3 for modular and tensioned screens and its 1-ft. x 2-ft. modular panels with vibrating wire Flex-Mat 3 advanced technology.

The Flex-Mat 3 high performance, self cleaning screen media helps operations increase screen capacity and material throughput while reducing downtime. Available for modular or tensioned screen decks, Major Wire says Flex-Mat 3 panels have more open area, providing up to 30% more screen capacity than woven wire and up to 50% more screen capacity than polyurethane and rubber panels. To date, Flex-Mat 3 is operating in more than 20,000 applications worldwide.

Introduced this spring, the full line of new 1-ft. x 2-ft. flex-Mat 3 self cleaning polyurethane modular screen panels, fits virtually any flat surface screen deck. Screening operations can choose between snap-, step-, pin-, and grooved-types in opening sizes of 30 mesh, or 0.020-in. up to 1.5-in. (30 mesh, or 0.5 mm to 38 mm).

New McCloskey crusher debut
Peterborough, Ont.-based McCloskey International presented the ConExpo crowd with the North American debut of its I-54 high performance crusher. The newest entry to McCloskey’s line incorporates an independent pre-screen and a class leading feed opening size, a 430HP (320kW) Tier III Cat C13 engine, a Universal 47-in. x 53-in (1200mm x 1350mm) impactor, an 8.9 cubic yard (6.8 cubic metre) hopper, and a 4-ft. 6-in x 5-ft. 9-in (1354mm x 1750mm) prescreen.

The I-54 has a transport height of 11-ft. 9-in. (3.60 metres), a transport length of 53-ft 7-in. (16.33 metres), a transport width of 9-ft. 10-in. (3.00 metres), and a weight of 106,260 lb. (48,200 kg).

Options available for the I-54 include a roll in bogie, a hopper extension, an overband magnet, and a water pump and dust suppression system.


Metso’s latest addition
The new Lokotrack ST3.5 tracked mobile screen announced by Metso is the newest addition to the company’s Lokotrack screen product group. The company says the ST3.5 offers an ideal cost-effective solution to a wide range of screening applications. It is designed with compact transport dimensions, high quality components, and is manufactured to meet the latest global health and safety requirements.

The standard ST3.5 is capable of producing two-sized fractions. Depending on the application, an optional two-deck vibrating grid can be installed allowing the ST3.5 to yield three-sized fractions.

An aggressive 3580 x 1500 (11 ft. 7 in. x 5 ft.) screen box provides the ST3.5 with an effective one-deck screening area of 5.3 square metres (57 square ft.), while a new Cat 4.4 75kw (100HP) diesel engine coupled with an efficient hydraulic system enables trouble free operation even in demanding applications and extreme climate conditions.


Up to 20% more from Michelin
The Michelin XDR2 tire for severe mining a quarry applications was released at ConExpo by Michelin Earthmover. Designed for rigid dump trucks, the long-awaited tire offers up to 20% more tread than the original XDR tire it replaces.

In addition to increased tread life, the XDR2 tire delivers up to a 10% thicker undertread between the protective piles and tread base for better cut and impact resistance.

The XDR2 underwent more than 2 million hours of “real-world” testing at Michelin’s Almeria, Spain proving grounds and at a number of other challenging sites around the world.

Navman finds the way
Navman Wireless was on hand at ConExpo to showcase its product line of fleet and mobile asset intelligence products, including its new Qtanium 300 GPS Tracking Device for Off-Road Construction Vehicles.

The Qtanium 300 is compatible with all makes and models of off-road construction equipment and was designed for use with the company’s OnlineAVL2 fleet tracking and management system. Uniquely engineered and built from the ground up to operate in extreme off-road conditions, the unit’s integration with OnlineAVL2 makes Navman Wireless the largest global provider to offer on- and off-road vehicle tracking from a single interface.  

The Qtanium 300 joins the company’s Qube in-vehicle GPS tracking device for on-road vehicles plus other components of the OnlineAVL2 platform that collectively help fleet managers in the construction industry track real-time vehicle usage, minimize fuel and other operating costs, and increase productivity and profits.

Rexnord advances
Rexnord Industries promoted its new product line at ConExpo – the Falk V-Class of gear drives designed for maximum uptime and durable performance.

The Milwaukee, WI-based global manufacturer of process & motion control and water management products says the Falk V-Class incorporates the latest advances in materials technology, engineering design, and manufacturing processes to produce a tough, reliable gearbox that excels in today’s demanding applications. Features built into the drive provide customers with maximum uptime in a smaller drive at a lower total cost of ownership.


Terex product line grows
The new Terex RS950B with reclaimer/stabilizer introduced and on display at the show features a 950HP C27 diesel engine with enhanced cooling system. A centre mount cutter design distributes the full machine weight over the housing to maximize production while the machine’s unique cutter housing features both front and rear doors, allowing bi-directional cutting in either an “up-cut” or “down-cut” position to improve efficiency. The RS950’s standard 8-ft. (248.8 cm) cutter features 218 tungsten carbide teeth and delivers up to a 16-in (406 mm) cutting depth.

Also making its debut in North America was the new Terex TL310 wheel loader with bucket capacities of 4 to 6 cubic yards (3.0 to 4.5 cubic metres). The TL310 features the Terex loading system, a spacious operating cab and a powerful cooling system with reversible fan. Powered by a fuel efficient, 203HP Cummins turbocharged diesel engine, the TL310 meets the latest Tier III emission standards.

The company was also promoting its it Terex Hydra Platforms HPT 11/38 truck-mounted platform at ConExpo. Weighing less than 26,001 lb (11,794 kg), the new truck mounted under bridge access platform does not require a CDL license to operate, making it more convenient for a contractor to transport. It is also ideal for the rental market and is perfect for bridge inspection, restoration, stripping and utility work.


Whole paving process covered by Trimble
With a roadway and virtual paving job winding its way through the entire Trimble booth at ConExpo 2011, there was little doubt about what the long-time GPS supplier can bring the Canadian roadbuilding contractor. Johan Smet, director of marketing, heavy & highway construction division explained that Trimble has technology to handle all the phases of road construction, from earthworks right through to final compaction. “As you can see from this display, we can optimize road construction stage by stage, but we feel the full benefit of this technology comes from applying it start to finish.” Contractors can install the wiring on machinery in all phases of their roadbuilding operations, moving the displays and other hardware from phase to phase as required. Trimble announced at the show that its 3D Compaction Control System is now available for asphalt compactors — extending the range of paving solutions to cover milling, asphalt paving, finished compaction and project sign-off. Trimble says start to finish paving and road re-surfacing solutions allow contractors to work more efficiently, use less material and achieve a smoother finished road surface.

At the other end of the spectrum, Trimble was also introducing its GCSFlex Grade Control System, an all-in-one starter-pack that allows contractors to introduce machine control technology to the excavator phase of their operations in two hours and for under $10,000. With no welding or drilling required, GCSFlex is suited for non-permanent installation on rental machines with the flexibility to handle a wide-range of tasks.

Volvo shows its stuff
On the heels of a $100 million expansion announcement for its U.S. production facilities, Volvo Construction Equipment came to ConExpo with its fundamentally updated product range, including new generation excavators, wheel loaders, articulated haulers, backhoe loaders, and motor graders.

In total, over 16 machines were exhibited at the  2,700 square metre (30,000 square ft.) Volvo booth, which also included a central innovation area that highlighted training simulators, futuristic design, and Volvo’s CareTrack remote monitoring system. The booth had three feature areas devoted to customer applications.  For roadbuilding, customers could see the new G946B motor grader, the SD116D soil compactor and the MT2000 milling machine, while in the Quarry and Aggregate zone, Volvo’s largest wheel loader, the L350, and its largest articulated hauler, the A40F were on display. The third zone was dedicated to the oil and gas industries.


Big display from Wirtgen
The Wirtgen Group came to ConExpo with a number of new products, including the latest equipment from group brands Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm, and Kleeman. In total, the group showcased 30 new or revised products.

The 980HP dual engine W250 cold mill was introduced by Wirtgen. It was on display along with two other cold mills introduced in 2010 – the single engine W200 model and the dual engine W210 model.

Also on display was the MR 100 EVO mobile impact crusher plant from Kleeman. The company says its EVO line constitutes the next generation of impact crushers and represents a genuinely new evolution for the entire plant spectrum in terms of performance, economic efficiency and equipment longevity.

From Hamm, the company brought three new rollers – the HD 110 VO 66-in. tandem roller which was new at ConExpo, and the HD 120 VV HF  and HD 140 VV rollers, which were introduced at World of Asphalt in 2009. Seen for the first time in North America was the Hamm GRW 280, which is an advanced design eight-wheel pneumatic roller.

Vögele America showcased two new compact pavers at the Wirtgen booth, including the Super 1300-2 tracked and the Super 1303-2 wheeled asphalt models.


From roofs to roadways – shingle solutions
Several established grinder suppliers were at ConExpo 2011 promoting their options for turning shingle disposal liabilities into liquid gold. Given the soaring price of oil, this is an option that will undoubtedly become more attractive to Canadian roadbuilders and pavers.

CBI had its Shingle Pro XL406 grinder on site, drawing a crowd every time Aggregates & Roadbuilding stopped by. According to CBI, shingle grinding is one of the toughest applications a machine can be built for, and so the Shingle Pro XL 406’s features also make it ideally suited for high-volume reprocessing of all types of material a contractor may be faced with, including wood and bark reground into high-quality mulch.

Rotochopper had its RG-1 shingle grinder on site, and discussed plans for its own shingle sorting station as well, offering paving contractors a turnkey solution. The RG-1 is purpose-built to handle the high-wear world of shingle processing.

Peterson Pacific, well-known player in the forestry and biomass sector had one of its horizontal grinders on hand at the Astec booth – a 5710C. Application specific technology on its shingle grinder includes cast carbide bits designed for abrasive shingles, 500 Brinell Hardex grates or carbide overlay grates, and water spray bars to cool and lubricate during shingle grinding.

Other shingle grinder suppliers at ConExpo included Morbark, Komptech, Doppstadt, and Bandit.

There’s lots more to come, so watch for your May/June issue of Aggregates & Roadbuilding and visit to see what else was on display at ConExpo-Con/Agg in 2011.

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