Better Roads 2012 Top Rollouts
Better Roads Staff
We think you’ll see more and more engineers finding ways to use energy that is otherwise lost in a machine’s operation. If Formula One cars can use it, why not a big truck. Volvo Construction Equipment’s I-See system harnesses the truck’s own kinetic energy to “push” the vehicle up hills, which cuts fuel consumption up to 5 percent, says the company. On downhill gradients the same energy is used for acceleration. I-See is linked to the transmission’s tilt sensor and obtains information about the topography digitally.
You want a workhorse to work. Wheel loaders are perhaps the industry’s most basic workhorse, and this one has that “Built to work. Period.” feel that owners and operators love about their yellow iron. John Deere’s 7-yard class 844K Series II wheel loader introduced at the World of Concrete 2012 features new axles, improved stability and a 6-percent boost to full-turn tip-load capacity. Other improvements include ROPS certification and low-profile tires. The higher-capacity axles have standard temperature monitoring and automatic cooling and filtration. Hy-Gard oil allows change intervals to extend to 2,000 hours. The 844K II comes with four traction-boosting axle-differential configurations, including two with on-the-fly differential lock engagement. Front and rear axle hydraulically actuated differential lock with on-the-fly engagement provides maximum traction control for tough conditions, such as working on virgin aggregate banks. Auto differential lock applies when the wheels spin and the operator doesn’t apply the differential lock. Conventional differential lock is a good match for standard loadout applications.
Maybe we’re just suckers for wheeled excavators, but Doosan’s DX140W fits very nicely into this year’s Top Rollouts. It is now powered by a 135-horsepower, turbocharged, 6-cylinder DL06KB water-cooled diesel. The 359-cubic-inch engine is Tier 4 Interim certified and features a high-pressure common rail design with direct fuel injection, electronic control and four valves per cylinder. The machine features an Electronic Power Optimizing System (EPOS) with four work modes — digging, breaker, shear and the new lifting mode. A new Power Plus mode provides improved performance and faster workgroup speeds for heavy-duty work. Outriggers can be controlled individually for stability on uneven surfaces. The front axle oscillates to aid maneuverability but can be locked for better digger and lifting performance.
It’s always interesting to see (a) engineers taking on a job that’s always going to be awkward — such as handling concrete barriers, and (b) finding a way to use their own technology to do it. Vacuworx has now come up with a vacuum lifter specifically designed for working with these difficult-to-maneuver hunks of concrete. The company claims that safety and productivity are improved using their product and install time and ground personnel can be cut by more than half. The lifter is designed for use with a large variety of host equipment and is can to be used on-road or in confined spaces with mobility restrictions.
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