Mike Anderson’s American Iron
Better Roads Staff
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been to one of those large equipment trade shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Be it CONEXPO-CON/AGG every three years, MINExpo every four years or, most recently, World of Concrete early every year, you know full well that moving through the vast indoor halls and outdoor lots can, depending on the day and time of the day, be as different as . . . well . . . night and day. To say the flow isn’t even would be an understatement.
As the first day of World of Concrete 2012 wound down, and the early show attendees were typically losing steam, I found myself sorta off by my lonesome as I walked through the outdoor Silver Lot. Then I looked up . . .
And I certainly didn’t need to check any maps to find out where Arkansas-based concrete paving, placing and finishing equipment manufacturer Allen Engineering had set up its wares. Wow!
It wasn’t just that a crowd was gathered at the Allen booth; there was a buzz. Yes, the equipment was humming, but so too were the people gathered around it. And, as he moved from one side of the booth to the other, looking like he hadn’t been able to take a deep breath under the Vegas sun all day, Allen marketing manager Scott Ward was nonetheless grinning.
Literally completed in the hours leading up to the show, not one, but two major new pieces of Allen equipment were being shown for the first time anywhere – a significant feat even for a company whose roots in the concrete industry go back 48 years and has, since the first World of Concrete in 1977, never missed exhibiting at the big show.
Available in lengths ranging 14 to 52 feet, working widths ranging 12 to 50 feet, the 32-horsepower RS800 is the first in a new series of RollerScreeds designed for white-topping and highway panel replacements. With a boom of 16 feet 6 inches, the 56-horsepower LS175 is the first of the company’s Topcon laser-guided screeds – or LaserStrikers – designed to meet the stringent requirements for concrete floor levelness.
To successfully move into these markets, “a lot of it’s going to be the Allen reputation,” said Ward. “We’ve got lots of friends in the industry who already use our products.” And, with that, he was off to catch up with the many who had gathered around the new pieces. As he moved to the road guys at the RollerScreed, he smiled and noted: “We’ve had a few come by already who are ready for me to take it to them to demo.”
As trade shows go, not a bad first day at all.