Featured Article: The 2009 Top Rollouts
Here’s our annual selection of the year’s most significant new product introductions
Throughout the year the editors of Better Roads review products new to the highway and bridge industries. We ask questions about their significance and whether they may change the way work gets done or bring new standards to an industry. Here is our list of the Top 20 Rollouts of the year.
Strong and fast
The hydraulic systems in the Bobcat M-Series models’ skid-steer and compact track loaders have been engineered for higher standard flow and pressure that give attachments more power to work more quickly. The hydraulic horsepower has been increased more than 15 percent and the standard auxiliary hydraulic flow is now 23 gallons per minute at 3,500 pounds per square inch and an optional high flow reaches 30.5 gallons per minute for maximum attachment performance. New engine mounts reduce noise by more than 60 percent — a decrease of 5 decibels — and reduced vibration.
Pave quietly, and save fuel, too
BOMAG’s BF6615 self-propelled asphalt paver weighs in at 20,500 pounds with a 99-horsepower, turbocharged, water-cooled diesel engine for consistent power at all altitudes. The paver’s engine has an ECO-mode feature that saves fuel and reduces noise by automatically lowering RPMs during stops and pauses, and a load-sensing hydraulic system that delivers power only when needed. The machine’s UNIMAT 2 full-width floating screed is electrically heated, eliminating the need to change propane bottles in the middle of a large project. Dual vibrators provide 2,500 vibrations per minute.
Melt ice, inhibit corrosion
Cargill’s ClearLane Enhanced Deicer has a pre-wetting agent that instantly adheres it to the road. Residual effects also keep it working so road crews don’t always have to go back out and re-treat the roads with consecutive storms. The enhanced decier also requires about 20 to 40 percent less usage per lane mile when compared with rock salt. The non-leaching product contains a PNS-approved corrosion inhibitor to prevent corrosion on vehicles. The new formula’s B.O.D. content is less than 300 ppm and contains less than 0.5 ppm phosphorus.
Case Construction Equipment’s 650L crawler dozer retains the features of the Case crawler dozer line, such as hydrostatic drive, a comfortable operator compartment, two undercarriage options and superior maintainability. The crawler dozer delivers 74 net horsepower (55 kW) through a Tier 3-certified, four-cylinder, 4.5-liter turbocharged Case Family IV engine with electronic fuel injection for maximum fuel efficiency and easier starts in cold weather. A high-pressure common-rail injection system delivers excellent combustion. A charge air cooler reduces emissions and provides a cleaner and more efficient fuel burn.
Track-type tractor: It’s selectric!
Caterpillar’s D7E Track-Type Tractor is a progressive machine with an electric drive system. The C9.3 ACERT beltless engine is rated at 235 net horsepower and runs in a narrow speed range (1,500 rpm to 1,800 rpm). The electric drive eliminates the torque converter, powershift transmission and related drive shafts used in all-mechanical designs, which significantly lessens cooling requirements, decreases the number of moving parts and reduces the volume of fluids required. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the innovative track-type tractor in May 2009 with a Clean Air Excellence Award.
Controls at your fingertips
The Deere G-Series motor grader allows operators to choose from a console-mounted, standard control pattern or easy-to-use armrest-mounted industry standard fingertip controls. With the latter, the operator still has a choice between using lever steering or the steering wheel. A cross-slope control allows operators to select a desired slope and maintain it with just one blade lift lever. Slope control technology can assist less experienced operators. All the G-Series units also are grade-control ready and can accept Trimble or Topcon grade control systems.
Pour from the right or the left
GOMACO’s new generation GT-3200 curb-and-gutter slipform paver has right-side and left-side pour capabilities that can be used to slipform safety barrier up to 40 inches tall. With front-steer capability, the paver’s piston-style front leg uses a round inner tube and a keyway for steering control. The new front leg, with steering cylinder, provides more steering torque for tighter turning capabilities and maneuverability around the jobsite, and the paver’s rear legs were made three times stronger.
Lightweight and quick
The Zoneguard traffic barrier from Hill & Smith Inc. is made from lightweight, steel, at 61 pounds per foot. This means 750 feet can fit on one truck — 15 pieces at 50-feet each — versus 80 to 120 feet of a traditional concrete barrier. The picking and setting is also accomplished quickly, 50 feet at a time, with the company’s patented speed-joint system used as the connection method. The barrier meets the important NCHRP 350 Test Level 4 and Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) 8, Test Level 3 standards.