As 2018 comes to a close, we asked leading suppliers and equipment manufactures what they thought were their most innovative products to hit the utility construction market. Here is what they came up with:
Akkerman re-introduces its enhanced SLS50/100 Sliplining System for the rehabilitation of 30- to 102-in. OD live sewers, which eliminates the need for bypass pumping. Akkerman’s modular sliplining frame accommodates 10- or 20-ft pipe joints for installation in either direction and features a retention winch and pipe clamp to assist with positioning and counterbalance flow force during installation. Using a wireless remote controller with LCD screen, the operator controls main drive, bidirectional travel, brakes, speed control, frame elevators, pipe clamp, winch, E-Stop and lighting. Two-speed dual or quad motors and chain-driven planetary gearboxes generate thrust force to advance pipe into position assisted by speed sensors for synchronized travel. Sliplining operations are powered by a 200-hp electric power pack with three variable displacement pumps. The systems include a modular jacking frame and power pack and are sold as a complete system in dual (SLS 50, 65-ton) or quad motors (SLS 100, 130 ton) packages.
ASV Holdings Inc. offers the RT-40 Posi-Track loader, providing a safer and more productive alternative to walk-behind and stand-on mini skid-steer loaders. The RT-40 includes a turbocharged 37.5-hp Kubota Tier 4 Final diesel engine that produces 84.5 ft-lbs of torque. The unit also provides high tractive effort for excellent pushing and digging power. The 4,175-lb machine is 48.3 in. wide, has an 8.4-ft lift height and features a 931-lb ROC. It includes a 10.8-in. ground clearance, a 44-degree departure angle and speed as fast as 7.1 mph. The hydraulic system operates at a high auxiliary circuit flow rate with a 13.3-gpm pump capacity and 3,000 psi system pressure. The RT-40’s cooling system allows operators to use the machine at full load 100 percent of the time in ambient temperatures up to 118 degrees. The unit’s large rear-tilting hood provides easy access to all maintenance points.
Excellent for construction and roadwork, the HiLight V2+ and HiLight V3+ are each housed on a four-wheel trailer for ease of transportation. Both compact models come with a heavy-duty steel frame, stainless steel mast, and protection from polyethylene bumpers designed to the same standards as the Atlas Copco HardHat canopy. The HiLight P2+ light tower can be powered directly from an auxiliary power source, a portable generator or the grid. The HiLight V2+ offers a 320-watt LED light source, covering 21,528 square feet. The HiLight V3+ is equipped with four 160-watt LED bulbs with specially designed directional glass optics capable of illuminating an area of up to 32,292 sq ft. Both the V2+ and V3+ have manually operated vertical masts that extend up to 18 ft. The towers are designed to withstand wind speeds up to 51 mph. The LED lamps on both models have a life expectancy of more than 30,000 hours.
As an addition to the company’s unified ONE Platform for estimating, operations and business intelligence, B2W Schedule enables contractors to manage resources more effectively by centralizing the scheduling and dispatching process and connecting it with field management and maintenance workflows. B2W Schedule is a software application for coordinated analysis, planning, scheduling and dispatching of heavy civil construction resources across job locations and over time. Individuals manage scheduling based on their area of responsibility. Users can view, enter and manage assignments and needs in real time. This puts employee, equipment and material resources in the right place at the right time, reducing inefficiencies and downtime. B2W Schedule offers: Role-specific visibility and functionality across the enterprise; Real-time execution of resource requests and fulfillment; Mobile tablet and desktop access and functionality; Unified with B2W equipment maintenance and field tracking applications; and Reports and dashboards for data-driven analytics.
The R-Series E85 excavators from Bobcat Company feature a bold, distinct design geared toward increasing operator productivity and comfort, as well as machine uptime protection. Operators will benefit from the performance of the non-Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), turbocharged engine with increased horsepower, and an optimized integrated rear counterweight design that enhances the machine’s stability. Also, an optional automatic heating and air conditioning system provides complete control over the cab climate. Strengthened hinges and latches, and more ridged, aligned R-Series excavator panels reduce vibration in the cab, making for a more enjoyable work day. Along with having the largest cab openings in the industry, Bobcat has redesigned its R-Series excavator cab for an unbeatable operator experience. There is increased floor space and additional glass surface area, which includes an improved top window and narrower side pillars for visibility that’s never been better.
The latest Cat D8T dozer is designed to move more material in less time, at a lower cost per ton, for a faster return on equipment investment. The bulldozer features an all-new fully automatic transmission, delivering up to 18 percent more productivity without consuming more fuel, as well as unprecedented ease of operation. Added blade capacity, increased power and steering performance, and a full range of technology options help customers realize more productivity and a faster payback. Much of the productivity gain comes from a new Caterpillar designed fully-automatic 4-speed transmission. The powertrain continuously optimizes the dozer for maximum power and greatest efficiency based on the load. There is no need for the operator to upshift/downshift, so operators of varying experience levels can get the most from the dozer without having to manage gear shifts. The added gear and seamless lock-up clutch engagement ensure smooth shifting.
Cemen Tech, the world’s largest manufacturer of volumetric concrete mixers, announces the launch of a technology product suite called ACCU-POUR that will leverage automation and digital communication enhancing the ability of a single unit that can pour short-load concrete and flowable fill for utility jobs. One of the first products released, Automated Aggregate Gates, allows operators to completely change mixes without leaving the control panel. The AP Touch control panel was also updated with advanced calibration and speed adjustment functionality. When finishers demand changes in the rate or slump of concrete, operators can alter output on the fly while ingredients of the mix automatically adjust keeping the mix design consistent. ACCU-POUR Mobile and ACCU-POUR Office, the first intelligent platform to allow bi-directional communication between the office and mixer, will be revealed in January 2019.
The new I-Series Test-Ball, I-Series Muni-Ball, Air-Loc & Remo Plugs from Cherne are industry leading in quality, consistency and durability. They have improved performance and safety through optimized design. Mechanical bonding of premium natural rubber and end plates eliminates failures from chemical bonding, and has superior back pressure at 15 psi (1 bar). These plugs are premium in performance and aesthetics and are lightweight, short and flexible. The future in pipe plugs is now!
The Ditch Witch JT20XP horizontal directional drill (HDD) package is designed to provide industry-leading power for mid-sized and larger utility-installation jobs without compromising jobsite footprint. The package combines a JT20XP drill with an XP44 mixing system for an industry-first, full 118-hp solution that channels all on-board horsepower for thrust and rotation. The drill is powered by a 74.5-hp Tier-4 Deutz diesel engine for superior power and productivity. It offers 56 percent more mud flow than competitive units and provides improved spindle torque and spindle speed over its predecessor. The XP44 mixing system is powered by a 44-hp Tier 4 Yanmar diesel engine, offering mixing capabilities as powerful as a stand-alone unit. The full JT20XP drill package is compact and allows contractors to move in and around jobsites with ease. And, like all Ditch Witch drills, the unit includes comfortable seats, ergonomic controls, an LCD display and electronic strike indicators (ESID).
Doosan Infracore North America LLC extended its wheel loader lineup in 2018 with the new DL280-5 wheel loader. The new DL280-5 is part of the popular category of 3- to 4-cubic yard wheel loaders. The Doosan DL280-5 is designed to provide operators with enhanced performance and comfort as well as increased uptime protection when working in general construction applications. The 172-hp DL280-5 is manufactured with a standard Z-bar lift-arm linkage and is ideal for scooping, loading, carrying and general construction tasks. Operators requiring additional dumping capabilities into trucks and hoppers will benefit from the high-lift Z-bar configuration available on the DL280-5. The high-lift iteration provides an additional 18 in. of dump height, making it especially beneficial in construction.
Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas incorporates a variety of technological innovations in its full line of HX series crawler excavators, including the 25-ton class HX220L model popular among utility contractors. The Hyundai HX220L excavator is powered by a Tier 4 Final-certified Cummins QSB6.7 engine, delivering 173 net hp (129 kW) at 1,950 rpm. With an operating weight of 51,500 lb (23,360 kg), the HX220L has a standard bucket size of 1.2 yd3 (0.92 m3) and ISO bucket breakout force of 37,100 lbf (16,830 kgf). Hyundai HX series excavators are designed for easier operator accessibility and control, and better overall ergonomics. The operator can view the status of all major components and functions through the Hyundai interactive, adjustable, 8-in. full color touchscreen monitor, the industry’s largest such monitor. The monitor’s multi-media capability accommodates the storage and display of user manuals, training information and other documentation. It also features a USB port for data input and downloading.
The parallel-lift linkage and impressive breakout force on Komatsu America’s WA200-8 wheel loader make it a versatile jobsite tool. Useful in virtually any application—from pallet handling to hard digging—fuel consumption drops by up to 4 percent in V-cycle as well as load-and-carry applications. The WA200-8’s change-on-the-fly coupler lets you move from pushing into a pile with ease, to a set of forks, to running the power broom. The fourth-generation hydrostatic drivetrain with variable traction control and S-mode provides excellent traction control to reduce wheel spin. The WA200-8 is equipped with Komatsu’s pioneering KOMTRAX telematics system to monitor key machine metrics, including KDPF status and DEF-level data, fuel consumption, and more.
RAMVAC by Sewer Equipment brings you the AX-4000 air excavator series. This truck series offers a simple, single engine design with 12-volt electrical controls and manual hand valves for ease of use, while also providing operators the ability to excavate with both air and water effectively using only one truck. This series offers payload capacities from 5,000 to 12,000 pounds, while the hydraulic rear door allows operators to dump spoils quickly and easily. The AX-4000 allows you to customize your blower to achieve the results you need in any applications, with capacities of 18” or 27” hg, 1400 or 3000 CFM and hose diameter of 6” or 4”. All water systems are contained within a single heated enclosure for cold weather applications, while also offering the most cubic feet of standard tool storage on the market. RAMVAC designs its trucks from the ground up to be simple, powerful and the most maneuverable in the industry.
The TL6R’s compact dimensions allow it to get into areas with limited space such as garages and chicken houses. The CTL is agile, easy to transport and features outstanding stability and performance. The undercarriage components are model specific with larger bearings resulting in slower shaft speeds for longer component life. All rollers are permanently sealed, with metal face seals to keep dirt and other contaminates out for greater durability. For starters, the TL6R features a newly designed cabin with an overhead 5.7-in. multi-information display and backlit rocker switches that control a variety of machine functions. A large front door and rear window provides great visibility to the attachment edge. A color monitor and rear-view camera offers even further visibility around the machine. The TL6R comes standard with a quiet track design with flotation pads. This reduces vibration, noise levels and improves ride quality.
Savvy utility contractors have discovered the newest innovation for the temporary covering of trenches. The HS20-44 rated Oxford LowPro 23/05 Composite Modular Road Plates eliminates the need to apply anti-skid, the need for ramping with cold patch, the need for heavy lifting equipment, and noise complaints are a thing of the past! Utility contractors are increasing safety and bringing more to their bottom line by incorporating the LowPro 23/05 plate system within their fleet. Handling of the Oxford LowPro 23/05 RoadPlate inner sections are now more ergonomic with the new EasiLift handles. Storage and transportation of the modular sections are now easier with the new Stillage. It provides safety to the workers, better fleet management, allows for easy inspection, has both hoist and fork lift access, and is stackable.
Utility contractors can save time and streamline operations with the innovative Toro DD2226 directional drill. The DD2226 delivers 2,600 ft-lbs of rotational torque and 22,000 lbs of thrust and pullback for outstanding versatility, allowing the machine to pull back and turn larger reamers in tough ground conditions. Dual rear stabilizers provide additional stability in uneven terrain. For maximum convenience, the DD2226 is equipped with next-generation TDOS-1 Operating System software, featuring the groundbreaking new SmartTouch control mode. The SmartTouch feature streamlines pipe handling by allowing the operator to advance through the pipe handling process with a touch of a rocker switch on the joystick. It’s designed to be easier for both new and experienced operators to learn. Using SmartTouch allows operators to reduce the pipe loading cycle times, thereby increasing overall productivity. In addition, the TDOS-1 Operating System provides a variety of new control options, with all drill information on one easy-to-read display screen.
Trimble Earthworks GO! Grade Control Platform is a 2D grade control solution for compact machine grading attachments. Trimble Earthworks GO! enables high-accuracy grading in an easy-to-use, portable platform. It is the only Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) compact machine control solution available today that runs on Android or iOS smartphones. Trimble Earthworks GO! can be used by contractors involved in general construction, site preparation and utility work for grading flat and simple slopes. The system leverages laser technology to provide dynamic, real-time position information that allows the operator to grade or cut profiles quickly and accurately. The platform requires little training time and can increase an operator’s productivity up to 20 percent. At the core of the system is the Earthworks GO! software that guides the user through installation, setup and operating modes. The software was specifically designed for local small site contractors and owner-operators, featuring unparalleled ease-of-use.
The Vactor HXX QX vacuum excavator—the successor to the Vactor HXX vacuum excavator from Vactor Manufacturing—features improvements in payload capacity, weight distribution, operation and performance. The truck maximizes legal payload for customers and improves operational efficiency. The placement of the debris body and water tank on the chassis ensures equal distribution of the payload on the axles, regardless of how much water is in the tanks. Each component of the truck is placed to ensure the entire chassis gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is used. A new PrecisionFlow water pump system features a single-piston design which is capable of higher flow and pressures than a triplex water pump system for superior production and reliability. The truck is also equipped with a QuietPak sound-damping system featuring a Robuschi positive displacement blower rated for 6,176 CFM and 28-in. Hg. The system delivers higher airflow and quieter operation.
The Vermeer MUD Hub works with a Surface to Surface (STS) FL-243 solidification mixer and Vermeer ST2000 slat tank for efficient liquid disposal, a process that was previously time-consuming. By driving over the 2,000-gal (7,570.8 L) ST2000 tank, the MUD Hub moves slurry material up an 84-in. (213.4 cm) variable-speed conveyor to a 750-gal (2,839.1 L) hopper where it’s combined with a polymer and discharged into a dumpster, yielding a semisolid material in as little as 15 minutes. The FL-243 is a product designed and produced by Surface to Surface Inc., and is exclusively available from Vermeer dealers. The ST2000 is a product designed and produced by Vermeer Corporation, and is exclusively available from Vermeer dealers.
The new Volvo ECR355E short swing radius excavator brings an entirely new size class to the Volvo excavator lineup — offering power and production in a short swing design capable of working in confined spaces. This is a great machine for heavy infrastructure, road building, demolition and utility work. Powered by a 241-hp Volvo D8 Tier 4 Final engine, the ECR355E offers 18% more horsepower and 28% higher torque than its predecessor. It is also 10% more fuel efficient thanks to fuel-saving features including enhanced hydraulics, ECO mode, Auto Idle and Auto Engine shutdown, as well as integrated work modes that allow the operator to dial in the exact amount of power and controllability for the current job. The ECR355E is backed by a Fuel Efficiency Guarantee and is eligible for one free year of ActiveCare Direct – the 24/7/365 monitoring and reporting service offered directly from Volvo.
Wacker Neuson, the pioneer of the vibratory rammer, has introduced the industry’s first emissions-free, cordless, battery powered vibratory rammer. Using lithium-ion battery technology, the AS50e is an excellent compaction solution for use in poorly ventilated areas including trenches or in sound-sensitive areas. As the technological leader in the rammer industry, Wacker Neuson has been able to take the best of the performance characteristics of the rammer, percussion system and ramming shoe and adapt it to the battery-operated rammer, allowing users to experience similar compaction results to those of engine powered units but with zero emissions. The AS50e is convenient to operate with a quick, push button start. The guide handle is specifically designed for the rammer and results in low hand-arm vibration (HAV) for the operator. Because machine requires no power cable during operation, the operator has inhibited movement while compacting. The AS50e weighs 154.5 lbs. and hits at a percussion rate of 680 blows per min.