Product Roundup: JLG expanding its aerial lift product line

JLG to add rotary telehandlers

JLG announced that it is partnering with Italian manufacturer Dieci to bring a new line of rotary telehandlers models to market. The JLG rotating telehandler line will initially consist of three models, the R1370, R1385 and R11100 with max lift heights from 67.3 to 97.1 feet and max lift capacities of 11,000 to 13,200 pounds.

Long popular in Europe, the rotating design works well on narrow city streets or anywhere space is constrained. This feature also enables you to get more work with less repositioning of the machine. The new line of JLG rotary telehandlers will be available with 13 attachments at launch for added versatility. 

With more than 70% of a machine’s weight composed of steel, Volvo and SSAB intend to reduce the carbon used in its manufacture.Volvo Construction Equipment

Volvo CE‘s first fossil-free steel vehicle

Volvo has been pushing the envelope for a decade or more when it comes to environmental improvements to its equipment and operations. Its latest innovation is the first vehicle made with fossil-free steel in Volvo Construction Equipment’s factory in Braås, Sweden.

The concept vehicle, unveiled October 13 in Gothenburg, Sweden, is a load carrier for mining and quarry work. According to Melker Jernberg, president of Volvo CE, the company intends to have fossil-free steel used in all its products. Volvo says more vehicles with fossil-free steel are coming in 2022, including a series of concept vehicles and components.

The steel for the concept vehicle was provided by SSAB, headquartered in Stockholm, with facilities in Finland and the United States. You may recognize one of SSAB’s more well-known products here: Hardox wear plate and Strenx performance steels for dump trucks and other high-abrasion applications. 

Liebherr MK 73-3.1 crane
Crowded streets and confined jobsites are no problem for Liebherr’s new MK 73-3.1 crane.Liebherr

“You want that drywall where?” Liebherr’s new crane easily lifts over the gnarliest obstacles

The new MK 73-3.1 crane from Liebherr offers compact dimensions, making it a good choice for projects in densely built areas or where you need to perform multiple lifts to different points on a jobsite without having to reposition. According to the company, setup can be accomplished in as little as 10 minutes.

The smallest of Liebherr’s mobile construction cranes, the MK 73-3.1 measures 45 feet (13.8 meters) long, 8.8 feet (2.7 meters) wide and 13 feet (4 meters) in height, but it also includes all the features of its bigger brother the MK 88-4.1. The new crane can be operated electrically on site or powered by its integrated drive unit. The electric mode is quiet and emissions free, which is desirable in urban environments. A single Cummins six-cylinder diesel engine provides both drive and lifting power. Smart assistance systems and an adjustable elevating cabin support the lifting and positioning of heavy loads.

Max lifting capacity for the MK 73-3.1 is 13,225 pounds (6,000 kg),  and 4,400 pounds (2,000 kg) at full radius. The top hook height is 87 feet (26.5 meters) high. Slewing radius is 11 feet (3.5 meters). The crane weighs 36 tons and can take on 2.9 tons of additional ballast for heavier lifts.

Terramac RT7U
The Terramac RT7U can be customized to meet customers’ needs.Terramac

Customize your crawler carrier from Terramac

Shown at The Utility Expo, the Terramac RT7U is purpose-built for utility applications and capable of accommodating a wide array of support equipment.

The carrier’s rubber tracks and low ground pressure enable crews to access remote locations with difficult terrain.

Terex Washing Systems M1700X
Terex Washing Systems

Easily transport Terex’s new mobile washing screen

Terex Washing Systems launched the M1700X mobile washing screen at Ireland’s Construction & Quarry Machinery Show.

The screen can produce up to five products (three aggregates and two sands), the company says. The M1700X is easily transported, has a short 15-minute setup time and has optional hybrid power. 

Junttan PMx2e
Junttan’s introduction of the world’s first electric pile driving rig will support Aarsleff’s mission to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that originate from fossil fuels.Junttan

Junttan launches world’s first electric pile-driving rig>

Junttan Oy and Per Aarsleff A/S have formed an alliance to bring the world’s first battery-powered electric pile-driving rig to market.
The PMx2e is modeled after the diesel-powered PMx22. The electric pile-driving rig will offer the same “robust structure and usability as the PMx22 but consumes less energy per pile, reduces noise and delivers more power and instant torque,” Junttan says.
The rig features two detachable 396 kWh battery packs to allow for 8 to 13 hours of continuous pile driving. The battery packs replace the counterweight on the machine and can be charged with a normal 63A mains outlet.
Aarsleff Ground Engineering AB is a Swedish subsidiary of the Danish construction company Per Aarsleff A/S and is one of Sweden’s leading companies in ground engineering. The goal between the manufacturer and end user is to create more environmentally friendly construction sites through the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions that originate from fossil fuels.
Junttan Also Signs Dealer Agreement with XCMG for Foundation Drilling Rigs
Junttan USA Inc., a subsidiary of Junttan Oy, will represent XCMG foundation drilling rigs in the United States.
The rigs, custom-built by XCMG for Junttan, will be backed by a full line of drilling tools, temporary casings, shoes, drive adapters and teeth. The XCMG line of drilling rigs has a range of operating weights from 45 to 200 tons and torque values between 130 and 800 kNm. >
The partnership will expand Junttan’s product line from primarily pile-driving equipment into foundation drilling equipment.>

2021 Contractor of the Year: Pruss Excavation Refashions Fleet After Meeting Dual Flood Challenges

The construction lineage is deep in the Pruss family. Matt’s grandfather, Jim Sr., started Pruss Excavation in 1968. His father, also named Jim, joined him four years later, and Matt came on board in 2001.

But Matt’s start in construction goes much further back than 2001.

“I got on an excavator when I was 10 years old. When my dad told me to dig, I just kept on digging,” he says with a laugh. “Mom freaked out, but I enjoyed it.” And as he was growing up, both he and brother Scott, who now serves as superintendent with Pruss Excavation, pitched in when his father found himself shorthanded.

Matt went on to get a construction management degree, something he didn’t know was available until Freshman Day at the University of Nebraska. He had planned to go into business, but after the dean of the university’s construction management college learned his dad was a contractor, he convinced Matt to switch majors.

“We had some amazing professors who gave us real-world scenarios,” Matt says.

One example: it’s bid day and the students are estimating a project. The professor would go through the students with a handful of papers with vendor and sub quotes. “He would literally just throw them your way,” Matt recalls. “Some quotes didn’t have bonding and some didn’t include taxes, and you had figure out the good ones to develop the bid.”

Matt thought the exercise was exaggerated until he got back into the family business right after college. “It was not,” he says.

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“A lot of contractors would just chase the flood work,” he adds, “but Matt stuck around, and he kept the job moving. It was a big deal. Matt knows he can’t just be an owner and pick up a paycheck. He’s very involved and he drives the ship on their modeling.”

This flood remediation experience came into play when the company bid on an emergency $1.05 million contract with a 144-hour turnaround.  The job required over 33,500 tons of materials to be imported to close a breach that was 350 feet long and over 25 fee deep with flood water still flowing through it.  “We had a pre-bid meeting at 1 p.m., they wanted bids at 4 p.m. and would sign the contract at 4:05 p.m.,” Matt says. “We were low by $11,800 and got it done early.” The project required a dozen operators and 30 trucks. 

“A week later we were low bid on another fast-track levee repair,” Matt says. “We were low by $55,000 on a $2.8 million contract with a 168- hour completion.  We successfully completed that repair on-time as well.”

Matching fleet to job demand
The company's fleet of pull-behind scrapers -- now at 32 -- has helped them tackle wet conditions.
The company’s fleet of pull-behind scrapers — now at 32 — has helped them tackle wet conditions.

“We have had more machines than people throughout the years, and we’re still that way,” Matt says. This also allows Pruss Excavation to stage an upcoming jobsite while finishing another and thus lessen time spent on mobilization.

Its fleet of pull-behind scrapers now numbers 32. “Pull-types are awesome in the wet and the sand,” Matt says, noting that the company also uses Cat 627 self-propelled scrapers in drier conditions.

Although the bulk of his fleet is in the large machine category – including dozers, excavators, articulated trucks, scrapers and scraper tractors – Matt also uses skid steers as support machines. “We’re also heavy into Topcon GPS,” he says, “and in addition to dozers, scrapers, and motor graders, we also put the excavators on grade control. We’ve found it very user friendly.”

While operators are responsible for daily greasing, Pruss uses NMC to handle PM tasks. “They’ll service my entire fleet, no matter the brand,” he says. Engine, transmission and other major repairs go to dealers.

Today’s machine telematics also help with service, he says. “When we get a warning, dealers can diagnose and know where the machine is and what they need to fix it.” 

But he’s also learned these convenient diagnostics can eat up tech time if an easy fix is not readily apparent. “I always press my dealers for warranties that cover diagnostics,” Matt says. “I don’t want to be billed for the time it takes them to figure out a problem.”

Father Jim Pruss (left) and brother Scott Pruss (right) flank Matt Pruss at the Contractor of the Year event.
Father Jim Pruss (left) and brother Scott Pruss (right) flank Matt Pruss at the Contractor of the Year event.

Being named the 2021 Contractor of the Year has special resonance for Matt: His father, Jim Pruss Jr., was named a Contractor of the Year finalist in 2004. Both his father and brother attended the Contractor of the Year event last month and witnessed his win.

Neither is surprised he came away with the award. Matt’s clients and vendors also notice his attention to detail in how he approaches his jobs.

“He’s a heck of a businessman,” says his dealer representative Kevin Peterson with NMC. “And you can see it in the way he’s grown.”

“They know the type of leadership it takes to run a great small business,” says Ridder. “They just get it done.”

“We let our work to speak for us,” Matt says. “We want to under-promise and over perform instead of the other way around.”

Watch Matt Pruss receive the Contractor of the Year award below:


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Chancellor to detail £7bn spending pledge for local transport

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is planning to detail plans in the Autumn spending review on Wednesday to pump £7bn in local transport improvements in Midlands and Northern cities.

The pledge will amount to around £1.5bn or 20% of actual extra new cash to supplement previous spending commitments on infrastructure in the regions over the next five years.

It will be directed at areas outside of London to level up transport with new train and station upgrades and the expansion of trams, with £1.2bn also allocated to improve bus services.

Its forms part of a £26bn raft of spending commitments trialed over the weekend ahead of the Autumn spending review.

Local transport infrastructure commitments will see West Yorkshire given £830m while South Yorkshire receives £570m.

Around £1.05bn will be freshly committed in the West Midlands, £710m for the Liverpool City Region, £310m in Tees Valley and £540m to the West of England.

Rishi Sunak confirmed previously the Government had announced £4.2bn in allocation for regional transport, adding the Government would now top that up with £1.5bn while giving out the allocation for where the cash will go within the oveall local transport infrastructure cash envelope

“Greate cities need great transport and that is why we’re investing billions to improve connections in our city regions as we level up opportunities across the country.

“This transport revolution will help redress that imbalance as we modernise our local transport networks so they are fit for our great cities and those people who live and work in them,” he said in briefing mover the weekend.




Electric Pickup Trucks to Watch in the Next 3 Years

Competition in the electric pickup truck market is getting fierce. With several new models recently announced and others slated for delivery in early 2022, drivers will soon be able to put them to the test.

There’s no doubt that electric vehicles have the necessary speed and torque. But battery life, towing capacity and charging infrastructure…that’s a different story.

While electric cars have caught on quickly, the average truck buyer is going to require more arm twisting. If you’re thinking of greening up your fleet in the coming years, here are all the electric pickup truck models to keep an eye on.

Atlis Motor Vehicles

Atlis XT

Atlis Motor Vehicles says its XT electric work truck can be recharged in just 15 minutes and offers 500 miles of range. 

The XT pickup has a 10,000-pound tow rating and can be fitted with a 6.5-foot bed, 8-foot bed, flatbed or service body.

The startup company plans to begin production in late 2022 with prices starting at $45,000. 

Bollinger B2

Bollinger B2          

Watch your wallet! The boxy and industrial Bollinger B2 comes with a hefty price tag of $125,000. The Michigan-based startup, which has pushed back production dates multiple times, says delivery will start in 2022.  

With an estimated range of 200 miles, the B2 falls short compared to some of its competitors. Bollinger says the Class 3 truck is built for off-roading and will feature a 7,500-pound towing capacity and a 5,000-pound payload capacity.

Chevrolet Silverado Electric Pickup

Chevrolet Silverado Electric Pickup

GM will debut the all-electric Chevrolet Silverado on January 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Powered by GM’s Ultium Platform, the manufacturer will build the battery pack into the vehicle’s frame.

The truck will feature a segment-leading fixed glass roof for increased visibility and headroom. This is the first application of a fixed glass roof on a GM pickup.

Four-wheel steering will allow for improved turning radius, handling and stability. 

On a full charge, GM estimates the electric Silverado has a range of more than 400 miles. No word yet on the price.

Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford F-150 Lightning

With more than 120,000 customer reservations, interest is high for the all-electric version of America’s best-selling truck. One factor may be the F-150 Lightning’s modest price tag. The truck starts at $39,974.

The F-150 Lightning delivers 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque. It supports a 2,000-pound payload on the standard model and 10,000 pounds of towing capacity on XLT and Lariat models with the extended-range battery and Max Trailer Tow Package.

Ford says the truck’s battery can also serve as a backup power system for your home or charge tools and devices on the jobsite.



GMC’s Hummer is coming back from the dead, but this time as an all-electric pickup truck. (The more familiar SUV model will be available at a later date.)

The pickup will feature a three-motor, four-wheel-drive system with 11,500 pound-feet of torque. Drivers can expect a range of 350 miles when fully charged. It will make use of the same Ultium battery platform as the electric Chevrolet Silverado.

Starting at $112,595, the Hummer EV Edition 1 is pricey. Cheaper models will be available by early 2024.

Lordstown Motors Endurance
Lordstown Motors

Lordstown Motors Endurance

The Endurance is the first commercial vehicle to feature four in-wheel hub motors. Lordstown Motors says this design reduces the number of moving parts and improves vehicle control.

Priced at $52,500, the Endurance will have an estimated range of 250 miles and a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds.

Deliveries are slated for the first quarter of 2022, but recent turnover in company leadership has left some skeptical.

Ram 1500 EV

Ram 1500 EV

Ram fans, sit tight. The company won’t be releasing its all-electric half-ton pickup until 2024.

With a driving range of 500 miles and towing capacity of more than 10,000 pounds, Ram says the truck will outperform its competitors.

The starting price has not been released but will likely be competitive with other major manufacturers in the same size class.

Rivian R1T
RJ Scaringe @RJScaringe Twitter 

Rivian R1T

Rivian staked its claim as the first manufacturer in the U.S. to bring a mass-produced, all-electric pickup to market. The Class 2b truck with a dinky 4.5-foot bed will likely be a better fit for families and outdoor enthusiasts than construction business owners though.

The base battery offers a 300-mile-plus estimated range, but a 400-mile-plus battery can be purchased for an additional $10,000.

The R1T uses a four-motor, all-wheel-drive system and has a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds.

The truck starts at $67,000. The first customer vehicle rolled off the production line in September.

Tesla Cybertruck
Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

Slated for production in late 2022, the Tesla Cybertruck has totally reimagined the look of the pickup truck.

The stainless-steel truck will feature all-wheel drive, 14,000 pounds of towing capacity (in the three-motor model), and an estimated range of 500-plus miles. An air suspension system can raise and lower the truck on the fly offering 16 inches of ground clearance.

The Cybertruck starts at $39,900, and buyers can add on Tesla’s full self-driving option for an additional $7,000.

Toyota also plans on electrifying its pickups, but no word yet on a model or launch date. 

Which major manufacturer or startup will be the leader of the pack? Only time will tell.

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The Future of Paving? Volvo Unveils Its CX01 Concept Compactor

Asphalt compactors aren’t known as the most difficult machine to operate on the job. Although compactors perform a critical function especially when smoothness specs are at stake, many contractors put their less-seasoned operators on them.

But what if these machines didn’t even require an on-board operator?

Enter Volvo Construction Equipment’s CX01 asphalt compaction concept, a planned ConExpo reveal that had to wait until the recent Utility Expo to get in front of contractors.

“We just wanted to examine what the future of compaction would look like,” Justin Zupanc, head of Volvo CE’s asphalt compaction development team, told Equipment World at the show. “We wanted to create a better operator’s environment, reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions and boost productivity.”

“Better operator environment” translates to no cab. Instead, a connected fleet of CX01 single-drum units directed by a downloaded compaction plan would be either be remotely controlled by an operator or controlled autonomously.

Volvo already has an autonomous system on its TA15 haulers, now in customer testing, and the plan is to test a similar system on the CX01, Zupanc says.

The CX01 does not have an articulation joint “so there’s no balance point, there’s nothing that we can steer away from,” Zupanc says. Volvo solved this by using a split-drum which has two halves that can be operated independently   kept upright by using a self-balancing control system. (The split drum comes off of its current 9-ton class machine sold in Europe.) To turn, operators can vary the rate of speed of each half of the drum. “You can make a fairly tight turn,” he says.

And while it wouldn’t be used while the unit is on asphalt, users also would have the ability to pivot steer the machine. 

Rethink the paving process

The Volvo CX01 prototype compactor features guarding and emergency stops on each corner.Equipment World

Volvo says the CX01 which stands for compaction experimental unit No. 1  provides the means to “fundamentally rethink the paving process.” By removing the operator, you’re also removing their exposure to vibration, noise and dust. 

As envisioned, a fleet of CX01s could be deployed on larger jobs and communicate not only with each other but with other machines on site. The machines could survey the job, report on mat conditions such as density, temperature and passes (which intelligent compactors are already doing) and determine when and where to compact. “They can shift over if an area is already compacted,” Zupanc says. “All information is available to the crew and to other machines. You could even send it to the asphalt plant.”

The machine’s compact design and maneuverability could also lead to streamlined compaction cycles, reduced costs and more agile work patterns, Volvo says. The rolling pattern, weight and number of rollers could be adjusted to match the width, thickness and speed of the paving operation. Using Volvo’s existing Co-Pilot system, operators can use a touchscreen to remotely control the compactors.

Flexible power

The CX01 has a flexible power system. It has both a 1.7-liter diesel engine and an energy storage system that can be operated indiesel-only, hybrid or fully electric modes. “The diesel is only there to spin the 20-kilowatt generator,” Zupanc says. The generator in turn powers two 48-volt ultracapacitors placed on each side of the drum, which in turn are powering three 14-kilowatt electric motors, one for each side of the drum, and another to power the vibration system eccentrics. 

“You can run it with the diesel engine on, and it’s always charging the ultracapacitors,” Zupanc says. When the ultracapacitors are charged, the engine can be turned off, and the machine becomes fully electric. The engine will cycle back on when the ultracapacitor charges get low. “They charge very quickly, within a couple of minutes,” he says. The downside: the capacitors don’t have the capacity of a lithium-ion battery; runtime is around 20 minutes, depending on your speed.

“We had never used them before, and we wanted to see how they worked,” Zupanc says, explaining why Volvo was using ultracapacitors on the CX01. “While they don’t have the capacity of lithium-ion batteries, they are good for vibration and they have a long lifecycle. They may not be the right solution because they don’t have that longevity, and who knows, we may couple them with a lithium-ion battery pack down the road.”

Because the ultracapacitors need a constant charge, it’s unlikely that the diesel engine will go away as long as they are used. 

Volvo is also exploring using a low-friction water-reduction polymer-based coating on the drum surface now theoretical — which could also be used on its other compactors. This would combat the common problem of asphalt sticking to the drum, now solved by using water. The CX01, however, has limited water storage.

Volvo produced =the following explainer video of how it envisions the CX01 being used:

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Next phase of £650m Nottingham Island Quarter revised

Developer Conygar has submitted redrawn plans for phase 1B of Nottingham’s biggest regeneration scheme for decades, The Island Quarter scheme.

The proposals – which were initially submitted in January – include a 223-room hotel, 247 flats and an extensive food and beverage area in a 100m long forum.

As well as improving ventilation and access routes to the building, the changes build in extra flexibility during the construction process to face industry challenges, such as material shortages and labour availability.

Phase 1B hotel building for operator IHG’s Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites brands

Tom Huffsmith, of Conygar, said: “Throughout the last year, we have worked closely with our design team to ensure that the plans for The Island Quarter have constantly been updated to meet the changing needs of a post-pandemic world.

“These alterations to 1B reflect those made to the overall masterplan for the site, which has been reimagined to include more green space, better routes for pedestrians and cyclists, and a focus on intergenerational living.

“1B is going to be a truly iconic building for the city, and we’re working closely with Nottingham City Council to ensure the plans will be approved and progress can continue to be made on this important site.”

David Jones, director at planning consultant AXIS, said: “While these changes will bring a positive impact to both the useability and buildability of 1B, the design intent is very much the same. The functions of the building itself remain as they were in the original planning submission – 1B will be a real flagship for The Island Quarter.

“The design changes are indicative of the impact of the pandemic, which is reflected more widely in Leonard Design and Studio Egret West’s emerging masterplan for the site as a whole.”


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London councils set out £98bn plan to retrofit 3.8m homes

All 33 of the London’s local authorities have signed up to a net zero carbon route map to retrofit 3.8m homes across all tenures in the capital to achieve an average EPC B rating by 2030.

The plan, which will be revealed in detail at the end of this month ahead of the Government spending review, could bring about a £98bn investment in the green economy in London, say councils.

The Retrofit London Housing Action Plan has been developed by the London Housing Directors’ Group with support from the London Environment Directors’ Network, the GLA, and Enfield and Waltham Forest as lead boroughs.

London boroughs are urging ministers to increase local government’s resources for this work.

They want the government to use the upcoming Spending Review to release £30m of funding for the next phase of the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission work.

Councils argue this is necessary to unlock over £200bn of private investment for delivering net zero across the UK’s 12 biggest cities.

The group also wants to see fresh financial incentives to encourage private retrofitting, such as green mortgages offering lower rates and a variable Stamp Duty Land Tax for more energy-efficient homes.

Key principles going forward

• Boroughs need to retrofit their own stock of 390,000 council homes and facilitate retrofit on the whole housing stock across London’s 3.8m homes.

• Planning decisions and guidance should support low-carbon retrofit activity, particularly in finding innovative ways to address the retrofit challenge in conservation areas.

• London needs to move away rapidly from gas heating.

• Boroughs will work collectively to develop skills and procurement models that can build capacity within the sector

The cross-party group London Councils warns the country’s retrofit market is highly unstable after serial failures of past green initiatives to tackle housing carbon emissions.

The National Audit Office slammed delivery standards in the government’s £1.5bn Green Homes Grant scheme as “rushed” and noted the scheme’s design failed to “sufficiently understand the challenges”.

Launched in September 2020 and scrapped in March 2021, the scheme was set up to help homeowners retrofit and insulate their homes.

It warns the industry cannot see a rerun of u-turns on the delivery of the £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and £2.5bn Home Upgrade Grant.

London Councils says that boroughs’ ambitions for retrofitting the capital rely on targeted government investment, facilitating new private financing opportunities, and encouraging funding by landlords and individual households.

Joanne Drew, Co-Chair of the London Housing Directors’ Group, said: “Boroughs are fully committed to the home retrofit agenda and are proud to pioneer a new collaborative approach.

“Our plan identifies the steps needed to turn ambition into reality, setting out the costs involved and measures we will take to work with residents and landlords.”


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Reduce Errors in the Field with CM Labs, Trimble Earthworks Excavator Simulator Integration

Pay big money for a project design only to have it be used incorrectly in the field? A new partnership between CM Labs and Trimble aims to provide operators with realistic training on grade control technology.

Launched at The Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, the excavator simulation integration allows training organizations to provide operators of all experience levels access to technology on the modern job site.

The Trimble Earthworks for Excavators software works in parallel with CM Lab’s Vortex Studio software and runs on a tablet, which the user can connect to the simulator. Visual aids are overlaid onto the existing ground along with cut/fill information, slope data and other customizable reference points to provide the user with a better understanding of the work that needs to be done.

“To a user, this will look exactly like the Trimble application, but it’s going to be fed by what they’re doing in the simulation,” said Yannick Lefebvre, technical sales manager, CM Labs. “They can go into Earthworks, program the depth that they want to work at, and know when they are going over a hidden utility line – all of that comes into play.”

A variety of configurable views makes it easier to obtain the right perspective for maximum training value. The integration allows users to get familiar with technology without making costly errors in the field. “We’d like you to make the mistakes here. We’d like you to play with the design here,” said Gary James, training instructor/SimGuide specialist, CM Labs. “When you go to a job site, you’re ready to go. You understand exactly how to build a design, follow a map and customize offsets.”

But training isn’t the only use for the simulators. The system can also serve as a company’s first line of defense against bad hires. “It’s the fake it until you make it world we’re trying to get rid of,” said James. “We want guys and girls to go home at the end of the night. The money is not worth anybody’s life. It’s all about safety.”

Trimble Earthworks is available as an add-on with CM Labs’ Excavator Training Pack and will be expanded to other earthmoving modules. The software is compatible with all of CM Labs’ Vortex Simulators.

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Locating Issues a Persistent Cause of Utility Damages

Underground utilities were damaged in an estimated 468,000 excavation-related incidents in 2020, according to the DIRT Report released last month by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA). Despite those numbers being down 12% from 2019, the industry shouldn’t pat itself on the back quite yet.

CGA says the decline in damages coincides with a 4.2% dip in construction activity during the pandemic. The overall emphasis on safety because of the global pandemic may have led to less crowded and potentially less distracting jobsites.

No locate request and poor locating practices were tied at 32%, respectively, causing 64% of the reported damages that have known root causes. Those include failure to notify 811 and facilities not marked or marked inaccurately due to locator error or the presence of an abandoned facility.

Rounding out the “big three,” poor excavation practices was the next highest cause, at 30%. Digging before verifying marks by a test hole combined with a failure to maintain clearance were the most consistent causes of damages in the field.

The pandemic triggered a steep rise in homeowner locate requests and digging activities associated with home improvement projects, whether by homeowners or professional contractors. Despite the increase in homeowner activity, damages involving occupants did not increase.

While estimated damages in the U.S. decreased in 2020, the report shows a five-year trend in damage rates that has plateaued. The 2020 DIRT Report predicts the next few years will bring an increase in construction activity and the potential of a national infrastructure program that will require the damage-prevention industry to focus on addressing the consistent rate of damages and estimated $30 billion in societal costs incurred as a result of damages to buried infrastructure each year.

The most commonly damaged utility lines were telecommunications at 50%, natural gas at 23% and cable TV at 11%.

The report also found:

June was the month with the most total damages in 2020. Wednesday was the most common day of the week that damages occurred.Backhoes topped the list of known equipment-caused damages at 15%.

“The DIRT Report is a crucial tool for understanding the most pressing challenges in damage prevention – and to truly make progress on addressing the handful of damage root causes that are driving the vast majority of damages,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, president and CEO of CGA.

“With the potential of significant infrastructure legislation becoming law coupled with an expected increase in construction activity in the coming years, we must focus on the challenges outlined in the DIRT Report and work together as an industry to improve each step of the damage-prevention process.”

CGA is a nonprofit association of the underground utility industry that seeks to prevent damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting damage-prevention practices.

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JCB Unveils Its Tallest Telehandler, the Rotating 512-83R

JCB is going bigger and taller with its new eight-story-high rotating telehandler, the 512-83R, which it calls three machines in one.

JCB says it can also serve as a crane or be equipped as an aerial work platform.

The telehandler has a max lift height of 83 feet and a max lift capacity of 12,000 pounds. 

The company designed the machine for the changing jobsite in which larger loads need to be lifted to greater heights. JCB has modular home and building construction in mind for the 512-83R, but also says it can be used for any construction site dealing with suspended loads. It is also designed for the rental market, with simple, intuitive controls, and can be used for infrastructure projects, such as bridge work, or in urban areas with little space.

“It’s perfect for lifting and placing materials, panels and modular components at height in a very safe way and in a very productive manner,” said Tim Burnhope, JCB chief innovation and growth officer.

The JCB 512-83R rotating telehandler can also serve as an aerial work platform.JCBThe telehandler delivers continuous 360-degree rotation and is designed for fast setup, as its outriggsers can be automatically extended in 26 seconds and retracted. “Unlike the mobile crane, the [512-83R] can be set up on the site rapidly with outriggers that can be deployed, stored and leveled at the touch of a button,” Burnhope said during the product’s online unveiling.

The telehandler can also be operated by remote control. 

Available attachments include pallet forks, rotating forks, winches, a lifting hook and a light-duty bucket. The attachments use radio-frequency identification, or RFID, so the correct load chart for the tool automatically pops up on the telehandler’s 7-inch screen.

JCB 512-83R rotating telehandler remote control
The JCB 512-83R rotating telehandler can be operated by remote control.JCBThe four-section boom with one telescopic cylinder has a low profile for better operator visibility. A camera can be mounted to its head, so the operator can see better when placing loads at height. The boom can lift up to 4,400 pounds to max height and up to 660 pounds at full horizontal reach, which is 70 feet.

The telehandler runs on a 145-horsepower JCB EcoMax diesel engine and a two-speed hydrostatic transmission. It can travel up to 25 mph and has three steering modes. Turning radius is under 10 feet. Four-wheel drive is available for off-road work.

JCB 512-83R rotating telehandler material handler
JCB 512-83R rotating telehandlerJCBThe engine and the machine’s service points have been placed at ground level for easy access. Service intervals are at 500 hours. Seating options are available for the cab. Work lights and camera kits are optional. A five-year subscription to JCB LiveLink telematics is standard.

JCB says it is currently taking orders for the 512-83R.

JCB 512-83R rotating telehandler lifting
JCB 512-83R rotating telehandlerJCB

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