Better Roads 2012 Top Rollouts
Better Roads Staff
Better Roads editors choose the year’s top products.
This year we’ve spent some great times clambering over and operating equipment. Tires were usually too big to kick but we fiddled with any dials and levers we could fiddle with. We went through endless online videos and spec sheets, iPad launches and press conferences, interviews with engineers and marketing gurus and we even made it to Paris’ huge Intermat show in spring.
What you see in our 2012 Top Rollouts is a collection of outstanding products now in our market. We looked for ingenuity, for engineering boldness and excellence, the wow factor, evidence of critical thinking and evidence that people had gone out of their way to address problems or advance techniques, and perhaps most of all we realized our limitations. This is a short list. Leave your company brand or favorite brand out of the equation and try it. It will lead to some very productive debates.
There is evidence throughout of how OEMs have learned to seek and respond to user input, to be more “interactive” with their customers when it comes to new or upgraded products.
So this is our list; it probably won’t match yours top to bottom. But it is a way for us to acknowledge some of the industry leaders, some of the companies, some of the engineers and designers who did something special to bring us outstanding products – to us and our ways of thinking the best of them – in 2012.
We want small but we want power, and there is endless pressure on engineers to deliver more of both in the same package. The Cat people have delivered. While boosting its 272 skid steer and 299 compact track loader models to D Series versions, Caterpillar took the opportunity to push the boundaries of compact construction equipment. The company rolled out D-series version of its 272 skid steer and 299 compact track loaders at World of Concrete 2012 but it also rolled out a high-performance XHP version of each loader. The 106-horsepower 272D XHP and 299D XHP are the largest, most powerful skid steer and compact track loader Caterpillar has ever built. The 9,304-pound 272D XHP skid steer has an operating capacity of 3,600 pounds, rated at 35 percent of tipping load. The 11,647-pound 299D XHP compact track loader has an operating capacity of 4,550 pounds, rated at 50 percent of tipping load.
Nothing like seeing a huge piece of construction equipment rolling down our highways. And this big trailer adds some power to the overall impression. XL 110 HDG customized trailer from XL Specialized Trailers, is effective for hauling oversized loads. The main deck is equipped with steel pullouts on 18-inch centers capable of handling up to 60,000 pounds. The low-profile, scraper-style upper deck and a 36-inch flip-neck design, the 54-foot XL 110 HDG customized trailer accommodates multiple truck sizes and handle loads up to 110,000 pounds distributed. XL 110 HDG customized trailer can be equipped with a pivot-style or a flip-style booster.
Terex exhibited its Bid-Well concrete paving equipment – the 4800 bridge paver and 2418 work bridge – at World of Concrete 2012 in Las Vegas. With standard paving widths exceeding 170 feet, the 4800 paver can will be set to 36 feet wide. A new fogging system features all poly tubing to increase up-time and individually controlled spray nozzles. A new skewable power crown adjuster lets operators automatically make changes to the crown when paving bridge decks at the skew angle.
More fuel efficiency and more productivity. A marriage made in equipment heaven. Case Construction Equipment introduced its 621F wheel loader model at the World of Concrete, 2012 show. The new machine provides up to a 10-percent increase in fuel economy over the previous model, while delivering faster acceleration, quicker cycle times and higher travel speeds.
A new dual-mode shutdown feature maximizes fuel economy and monitors vital engine components. Using the fuel-saver mode, operators can limit idle time. Shutdown time can be set in five-minute increments.
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