New Road Products
Better Roads Staff
Emissions-certified backhoes load up on features
North America’s venerable backhoe brand, Case, has added another chapter to the storied history of what it has since 1957 called the “loader/backhoe.” Only 15 months after introducing the N Series models, Case announced a series of product improvements at World of Concrete 2012, most boldly the application of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR) as the emissions-control technology to achieve Tier 4 Interim certification. This leverages technology in use in on-highway trucks by parent company Fiat, and reflects a double-barrel approach by Case to not pigeonhole all of its product types with one initial technology. “Make no mistake,” said Jim Hasler, vice president of CNH (Case New Holland), at a World of Concrete press conference attended by Better Roads. “We are the only ones going down the path of both SCR and EGR,” he said, but added, “we believe SCR will prevail.” The 580N, 580 Super N, 580 Super N Wide Track and 590 Super N loader/backhoes are now powered by 3.4-liter, turbocharged engines ranging from 78 to 108 horsepower. Certified Tier 4 Interim, the CEGR engines burn cleaner, and deliver increased output and up to 4-percent better fuel efficiency under load, says Case. Other product enhancements include automatic Ride Control on four-wheel-drive models, a standard panel of teeth on the bottom surface of the dipper, and remote hydraulic test ports for ground-level maintenance access. New optional features include a block heater and a remote jump start.
A big development for compact equipment
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. In addition to the new 272D and 299D models with 5-percent more engine output and 14-percent more torque, the company rolled out at World of Concrete 2012 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. Each comes equipped with a high-flow hydraulic system that, at 40 gallons per minute, can produce 94 hydraulic horsepower to operate the most powerful work tools. Larger lift cylinders on all four new D Series compact loader models provide a 19-percent boost in lifting force over the C Series machines, says Caterpillar. Additionally, the company introduced the ILEV “Intelligent Leveling” system, which enables three industry-exclusive features: Electronic Dual Self Level, Work Tool Return to Dig, and Work Tool Positioner.
Move snow with flare!
Deep-curl flared wings provide the breakthrough capacity for the new VF Series trip-edge V-plows to cast deep snow farther and higher than other pickup truck plow designs, says manufacturer Hiniker. The tops of the moldboards, depending on the plow’s length, flare from a height of 30 inches at the center to 38 inches at the outside tips. For the operator, double-acting hydraulic cylinders provide control of moldboard positioning, whether the pickup is plowing forward or back-dragging snow. Also available in conventional level-top configurations, VF Series plows are available in lengths of 8 feet 6 inches and 9 feet 6 inches. A pinch-free pivot point is located 9 inches above the ground level, providing protection from curbs, parking barriers and other obstacles. By incorporating laser-cut ribs into the plow’s high-tensile steel superstructure, Hiniker leverages the 2-inch steel torque tube for strength in heavy-duty plowing applications. The moldboards, topped by quad halogen headlights boasting twice the power of typical sealed beam lamps, have a low-friction, high-density polyethylene surface that is corrosion-free, dent-resistant and never requires refinishing. And, most importantly, it keeps flow of snow from becoming slow.
Improved stability, 6-percent boost
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 load-out applications.
10-percent increase in fuel economy
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, the operator can limit the time the machine will idle. The desired shutdown time can be set in five-minute increments. The loader has standard limited-slip front and rear axles that provide outstanding traction in all conditions, especially in non-compacted surfaces such as gravel. Optional heavy-duty axles with locking front and conventional rear differentials help reduce tire wear when working on hard surfaces. The standard four-speed transmission with manual kick-down capability provides maximum traction and increased bucket penetration.
Secure coupling with JRB grabber
The JRB Power Latch multi-pin-grabber coupler by Paladin Construction Group employs an Automatic Blocking System that ensures the coupler still is engaged in the event of hydraulic failure. Working with a wide range of excavator and backhoe attachments, the coupler has backup mechanical locks on both the front and rear attachment pins that are independent of the machine’s hydraulic locking and operating system. If the rear bucket pin is not correctly engaged, or missed during the attachment process, the ABS automatically secures the front attachment pin. Attachments can only be removed by the operator when they are in a safe, curled position. Flashing LED warning lights and an audible “stand clear” message alert bystanders when the operator is switching attachments.
Digging smart with attachments
Case Construction Equipment’s Smart Digging Systems components, introduced at World of Concrete 2012, include new pin-on buckets, coupler buckets, the Case Multi-Fit Coupler and the SmartFit bucket teeth system. The pin-on buckets are designed for heavy-duty, high-capacity applications such as digging in dense soil, clay, loose rock and gravel. The Case Multi-Fit Coupler offers complete hydraulic latching, and a patented mechanical blocking system eliminates manual safety pin insertion. The universal design of the coupler enables Case excavators to connect a wide range of Case and other OEM buckets and attachments within the same size class, the manufacturer says. A hydraulic check valve and mechanical blocking bar help prevent the accidental release of an attachment. The coupler buckets work in either the backhoe or face positions for optimum versatility.
Gas or diesel engine options
The Vermeer S450TX mini skid steer is customizable with engine and track options – a narrow 7-inch-wide track for tight work spaces and a standard 9-inch track are available. A 500-pound SAE-rated operating capacity with a 1,430-pound tipping capacity gives the machine a lot of muscle for its size. A four-pump hydraulic system provides performance and efficiency when powering attachments. A single pilot-operated joystick is also now integrated into the S450TX platform, which the manufacturer says makes the machine easy to maneuver and operate in comparison to manual control systems. A Kubota 24.8-horsepower diesel engine powers the mini skid steer. A Kohler EFI 27-horsepower gas engine will be available later this year. A narrow 7-inch track provides a smaller machine footprint for tight work areas, such as landscaping applications and residential construction. The standard 9-inch track offers reduced ground pressure for increased flotation and stability.
Uses high pressure, common-rail fuel system
The three new models in Caterpillar’s F Series backhoe loader range – 416F, 420F and 430F – are center-pivot machines featuring significant design enhancements. These include a new Cat C4.4 engine that meets Tier 4 Interim emissions standards, greater lift capacity, more bucket breakout force and increased backhoe control. The new F Series models use a composite fuel tank that resists rust and reduces condensation, and a new hydraulic tank incorporates a suction strainer and a larger, replaceable, cartridge-type filter. The new hinged cooling pack improves service access, as do new engine side panels that require no tools for removal. The series also retains premium features from the E Series counterparts including a load-sensing, closed-center hydraulic system; the Cat four-speed Power Shuttle transmission for on-the-go directional and range shifting; excavator-style boom for added clearance when digging over obstacles or loading trucks; and an ergonomic, automotive-style operator’s station. Net horsepower is 87 for the 416F, 93 for the 420F, and increases to 109 for the 430.
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