equipmentworld.com | July 2014
How machine miniatures created a passionate community of collectors
*Class is 6-7 Conventional Cabs. **See dealer for details. Requires the CNG/LPG Gaseous Engine Prep Package at time of order.
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Text INFO to 205-289-3715 or visit www.eqwinfo.com
Text INFO to 205-289-3715 or visit www.eqwinfo.com
Vol. 26 Number 7 |
table of contents | July 2014
Construction scale models are objects of fascination for avid collectors both in and out of construction
New products include Genie’s Z-62/40 articulating boom lift, Caterpillar’s 990K wheel loader, Trelleborg Wheel Systems’ Brawler Solidflex skid steer tires and more.
Dozers: Mid-size dozers undergo productivity-enhancing upgrades including electronics and emissions.
50 Product Report Hyundai R220LC: In field-testing now, the Hyundai R220LC Hi-POSS excavator will offer 20-percent fuel savings, according to the company.
57 Product Report Volvo L150H: Volvo’s new 4- to 15.7-cubic-yard loader features a filter system design that filters 90 percent of the cab air. EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014
table of contents | continued
Departments 9 On Record 1:50 scale passion 11 Reporter Contractors’ telematics frustrations; dealing with Tier 4 challenges; Equipment World’s Contractor’s Dream Package winner
39 Safety Watch
Following proper procedure when trenching minimizes cave-in risk
43 Maintenance Grease guns: Handling grease guns correctly can make all the difference in equipment lubrication.
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61 ProPickup Road Test: Toyota’s 2014 Tundra 4x4 74 Final Word What World Cup host Brazil can teach us about ignoring infrastructure needs
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July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
Editorial Excellence Special Section Gold Award, 2006 Midwest-South Region, American Society of Business Publication Editors Editorial Excellence News Analysis Gold Award, 2006 Midwest-South Region, American Society of Business Publication Editors Editorial Excellence News Section Silver Award, 2005 Midwest-South Region, American Society of Business Publication Editors Robert F. Boger Award for Feature Articles, 2005 Construction Writers Association Robert F. Boger Award, 2002 Sept. 11th Feature Articles
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on record | by Marcia Gruver Doyle
1:50 scale passion
here’s talk these days about how contractors aren’t as emotionally tied to their equipment, that iron has just become an asset to acquire and then dispose. While I see the logic of this, there’s at least one area remaining where emotion and equipment are deeply intertwined: construction scale models. Most who move dirt for a living have at least one or two of these models tucked away in a corner, a gift from a dealer or manufacturer. But be aware there are people, including contractor Leon Thompson on our cover, who have thousands of models, and are on the lookout for more. It’s a deep-rooted passion, prompting us to call our report “Model Mania.” To properly tell this story, we knew we needed to go outside the confines of what you’ll see in this issue
and create a web page, equipmentworld.com/ modelmania. Through the generous help of the DHS Diecast forum (forum.dhsdiecast.com) we were able to tap into the collector community, and get some great stories and photo galleries for this site. Take collector John Gibson, for example: “I’ve been a model equipment and real equipment lover since before I could walk. I was even named after John Deere!” John’s favorite model is his Ertl 1:50 Deere 470G LC excavator. “I like it because of its price, detail, functionality and build quality,” he said. Shay Stutsman, project manager for Stutsman Gerbaz Excavating in Snowmass, Colorado, is a third generation contractor. “I got into collecting because as a young boy all I wanted to do was to play with the real equipment, so my dad gave me the next best thing: a model of my favorite machine, a Cat 953 track loader.” When the company bought a D Series Cat 953 in 2008, Stutsman had a model built to match, including company and dealer decals. I know we’ve just touched the surface on all the collector stories out there. Won’t you tell us yours? Haven’t quite caught the bug yet? You can start your own collection by going to equipmentworld. com/modelmania and signing up for one of 13 scale models we’re giving away this summer. (A tip of the hat to Ertl, Bobcat, Volvo, Case, Classic Construction Models, Deere, Norscot and DHSDiecast for providing our giveaways.)
EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 9
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reporter | by Equipment World staff
Stumped by telematics? Big fleet managers struggle with it too.
n June I attended the Association of Equipment Management Professionals annual retreat and strategy session. If you’re not familiar with the AEMP, they are the equipment fleet managers for a wide range of construction companies in North America. Members manage in total almost $36 billion in equipment assets and purchase some $3.7 billion in equipment and trucks every year. Serious iron.
Deep frustration And what I heard from these guys this year was a deep sense of frustration with telematics. AEMP has been working to bring an industrywide standard to telematics data feeds for several years. The standard, when it becomes implemented, will include 19 machine data points and dozens of additional machine fault codes. The standard will eliminate the need to go to a different website to collect telematics data from each different OEM. They have also partnered with Association of Equipment Manufacturers on the telematics standard and there’s even a German association interested as well. So that part of the problem is steaming toward an eventual solution. Two big problems But for end users two big problems still exist. First: getting the information you need from a telematics data stream is like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose. There is so much information that it’s hard to extract and manage only the data you need. Second: the complexity of merging all this information with a company’s business or maintenance/
management software is a daunting task. You lose a good deal of the productivity and efficiency you should be getting from telematics if you have to write down your key information points on paper and manually reenter them into your back office programs. The integration of telematics and back office software can be done, but it takes somebody well versed in computer and software technology to make it work. And that somebody, more often than not, is going to be a lot younger than the average fleet manager. Likely to be in their 20s, that person might not know much about construction or equipment. That may be a disconnect, but the smart manager is going to figure out how to reconnect. You may already have a young person working for you who would step up to the challenge. And consultants in this field can do a lot for you as well. If you’re a seasoned veteran in this industry, your job is not to figure out how this technology works, but to learn what it can do for you. Leave the “how” part to the 20-somethings.
Education available The good news here is that AEMP will be dedicating the entire educational portion of its two-day fall conference to telematics. Whether you’re starting from square one or you are already using telematics there will be sessions to address needs at all levels. The conference will run November 2-4, in Nashville, Tennessee. The individual session contents and speakers should be published in the next few weeks. Check www.aemp.org and equipmentworld.com for updates and details. – Tom Jackson
“Pain in the butt:” Three contractors tell how they’re he lack of enthusiasm about the federally-mandealing with Tier 4
dated Tier 4 Final fluid handling and maintenance requirements was front and center during a contractor panel held last month at Flagler Construction Equipment, a Volvo Construction Equipment dealer in Tampa, Florida. “It’s a new game in the industry for both manufacturers and contractors,” says Rich Fuist, director of fleet operations for civil and utility contractor Ripa and Associates, Tampa, Florida. “And it’s a challenge for all the manufacEquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 11
reporter | continued turers to figure out how to get these systems to run efficiently and not be problematic.” Don Woodruff, president, Woodruff & Sons, an underground utility and highway contractor, is more succinct: “It’s a pain in the butt. We’d rather we didn’t have to deal with the DEF and the additional filter maintenance.” The Bradenton, Florida company has more than 150 pieces in its fleet. “It’s a big learning curve,” adds Fuist. “Your people have to be trained on how the equipment regenerates and sometimes they
are not pressing the right buttons and the next thing you know you have to contact the dealer to go out and do a forced regen. There’s a lot of unknowns right now.” “You have to get your operators trained on which button to hit,” agrees Mike Jarrell, president of Dolime Minerals, Bartow, Florida , which does business as American Construction & Engineering. With a 50-piece fleet, his company concentrates on phosphate mine work, as well as site development and heavy civil jobs. “The same is true with your service truck operator, they
have to know which fluid goes in where.” Any confusion about where to put DEF and where to put diesel can be costly. “We just had it happen on a Ford F-550, which cost us about $9,000 for a 2-minute mistake,” Fuist says. With around 200 pieces of heavy equipment in its fleet, Ripa and Associates also faces a problem common to most contractors: making sure crews on multiple jobsites know the different procedures for both Tier 4 Final and non-Tier 4 Final equipment. – Marcia Gruver Doyle
Ohio concrete specialist wins the Equipment World Contractor’s Dream Package including brand new Ford F-550 Super Duty
tion mats from AlturnaMATS. To see more about the prizes ndrew Van Pelt of Ohio If you’d like a shot at winning included in this year’s ContracValley Concrete, Leetonia, the 2014 Contractor’s Dream tor’s Dream Package, visit our Ohio, has been named Package enter from now until website at www.equipmentthe winner of Equipment World’s world.com/contractors-dream2013 Contractor’s Dream Package. September 30th online at ContractorsDreamPackage.com. package. Van Pelt accepted the prize – Tom Jackson package at an event hosted by Allstate Ford of Youngstown, Ohio on May 21. Ohio Valley Concrete specializes in concrete forming and construction for agriculture, and frequently travels two to three hours away for larger projects. The products that were included in the Equipment World Contractor’s Dream Package include a Ford F-series Super Duty Cab customized with hidden-hinge tool cabinets that can lock from his key fob remote. Van Pelt also took home a Ditch Witch walk-behind trencher, Honda generator, Lincoln Electric welder, Landoll hydraulic tilt-trailer, rubber tracks from Winner Andrew Van Pelt (left) takes delivery of his Ford Super Duty Rubbertrax and ground protec- truck from Roy Vaughn, sales manager, Allstate Ford.
12 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
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marketplace | by Amy Materson | AMaterson@randallreilly.com
EDIT PICOR’S K
Using Tier 4 Final upgrades as an opportunity to redesign their Z-60 boom lift, Genie has launched the Z-62/40 articulating boom lift with an increase in height and outreach as well as improved transportability and added new features. The Z-62/40, which will be available in the third quarter of this year, has a 67-foot 11-inch working height and 40-foot 11-inch horizontal outreach, up-and-over clearance of 25 feet 7 inches and a 500-pound maximum lift capacity. The boom lift features zero rear tail swing and minimal front turntable tail swing in the stowed position. The lift weighs just 21,900 pounds and stows to 24 feet 10.5 inches with the jib tucked, and has a 5-foot jib with 135-degree range of motion. Genie’s Fast Mast boom system enables operators to descend for tools or materials and then quickly return to working height, while parallelogram lift linkage ensures precise positioning on the platform to improve accuracy. Features include 4-wheel-drive and full time active oscillating axles, as well as a proportional control system to enable smooth operation. Serviceability is made simple via enhanced access to electrical and hydraulic service points and a swing out engine tray. Options include sand tires and four-wheel steering.
PAYLOAD HAULING PRODUCTIVITY
Handle greater payloads efficiently with the Tier 4 Final 990K wheel loader from Caterpillar, which replaces the 990H. Featuring a 17.5-ton rated payload – up from 16.5 tons on the H Series model – the 990K is a four-pass match for the Cat 775 truck, delivering efficient high-production loading. The loader has a Cat C27 ACERT engine that provides 699 horsepower, which offers an 11-percent increase in power compared to the previous model with no change in fuel consumption. To aid in economical fuel use, the 990K has a lower engine speed, ECO Mode (on-demand throttle), engine-idle shutdown system and engine-idle kickdown/auto-resume system. A redesigned cab allows for easy access and egress, while providing noise suppression with a 69.9 decibel sound level. The Cat
Comfort II set has integrated seat-mounted controls. Cat’s Vital Information Management System has customizable operator profiles, a cycle timer and integral Payload Control System, as well as an easy-to-use graphical information display. The machine is also equipped with the Cat Vision rearview camera system.
EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 15
We’ve Got You Covered
marketplace | continued
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16 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com Alturnamats_Equip0612_PG104.indd 1
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Counteract the corrosive effects of magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium chloride, rock chipping, acid rain and extreme temperatures with Talbert Manufacturing’s trailer with Corsol WB Corrosion Protection. Made by PRP Industries, the process is a metal treatment system that delivers a satin black finish that prevents corrosion from degrading metal components. Corsol WB is available on the 3553TA, which features a 6-degree loading angle and 38-inch loaded deck height. The trailer, which is rated for 70,000 pounds evenly distributed or 50,000 pounds in 10 feet, is also equipped with a 20,000-pound planetary winch operated with a six-function wireless remote. The Corsol WB system is particularly useful for areas with heavy usage of snow melting agents, or coastal regions with salty conditions.
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model mania | by Marcia Gruver Doyle
Construction scale models have fervent collectors both in and out of construction o into a contractor’s office and you’re more than likely to see at least one. Sometimes it’s tucked into a corner of the bookshelf or a desk. Other times, a collection of them will take up a wall or even an entire office. Yet as much as manufacturers like to give them away and contractors prize them, there are those who claim the world of construction models is an unseen one. “Models are a niche market almost hidden from the main equipment market,” says Chuck Sword, with DHS Diecast Collectables, a construction model dealer in Berea, Ohio. Adds Roy Ferguson, a model dealer in Manchester, Iowa: “A lot of people don’t know we exist.” However unnoticed by some, it’s a busy world, populated by avid collectors, OEMs, model makers and model dealers.
Is there a typical construction scale model collector? Not really, beyond the fact that most agree they are definitely skewed male. “A big percentage of collectors are either employed directly in or are in some way connected to the heavy equipment industry,” says Daris Stratton, president of Stratton Systems, which goes to market as b2b Repli-
cas and 3000Toys.com. “Almost all machine operators want a model of the machines they spend their days operating. There’s also a fair amount of cross over from model railroaders, and those who collect trucking and agriculture models. And although some will begin collecting in their teens, the most serious collectors are in their 30s or older with more discretionary income.” Collectors will usually focus on collecting a certain scale or type of equipment, such as cranes and trucks or earthmoving. “Every collection is different, depending on what the collector is interested in,” says Brandon Lewis with Buffalo Road Imports. “There are still a few out there who try to get everything.” Adds Stratton: “Serious collectors thrive on information. They like to know about upcoming model releases and offer their opinions on what models should be produced. There are also a number of websites and YouTube channels produced by collectors and enthusiasts to discuss and review new models. Some of the collectors will post videos of a model being ‘unboxed’ for the first time. Social media allows collectors an opportunity to offer praise and criticism on various models, which can yield valuable feedback.” There are even construction model reviewers. Ian Webb, who operates the review site
EDITOR’S NOTE To view much more on this subject, go to equipmentworld.com/modelmania. There you’ll see additional stories, a rundown of construction scale model events plus photo galleries of several collectors.
18 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
Leon Thompson’s collection, which includes 1:50 scale models but primarily features custom-made 1:3 scale models, is housed in a 3,000-square-foot building on his Florida homestead. His wife Kathie got him started on collecting, telling him to “check out what was on eBay.” He purchased 40 models after the first day of looking. EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 19
model mania | continued cranesetc.com, was prompted to start reviewing models because it was “difficult to find out about a model without buying first,” he writes. Webb now rates models on their packaging, details, features, quality and price. And he says his website traffic shows interest in models is “not as male dominated as once suspected. In some countries, the interest is equally split between men and women.”(For more on Webb, go to equipmentworld. com/modelmania).
The story behind the collection If there’s a collector, there’s a story, says Lewis. Dave Geis in Seward, Nebraska, is one such collector. By day, he runs Geis Steel Tech, which services pharmaceutical and industrial equipment, but construction equipment has been a fascination since childhood. His interest in construction memorabilia is so strong he’s devoted 2,000 square feet of his business to housing his collection, available for viewing by appointment. By his estimate, he has
20 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
about 1,500 construction models and toys. “If you can’t afford to have the real thing,” he says, “you can have the model.” Geis says his collection includes every Doepke model made in the 40s and 50s, and the entire collection of Buddy L models, both companies no longer in business. “I probably have models from 200 different manufacturers,” he says. When asked to pick a favorite, he replies “no way. I’d go down the aisle, and say this is my favorite, and then see another one 2 feet further.” Geis has gathered his collection from a variety of places, including online sites, dealers and other collectors, but one of his main sources has been estate auctions. “There are auctioneers, such as Cornwell Auctioneers in Nebraska, that specialize in construction and farm toys,” he says. Larry Kotkowski’s story also has a childhood beginning. Raised in his father’s quarry business, he remembers one toy in particular he didn’t get “that I wanted… bad,” he
What scale are construction models? Most construction models in North America are 1:50 scale. That means that laid end to end, it would take 50 models to run the length of a full-size machine. But different scales abound in the model world, including the common 1:16 and 1:32 scales for agricultural models and the 1:64 scale for over-theroad trucks. Go over to Europe, a hotbed of collecting, and the 1:25, 1:35 and 1:87 scales are also popular. Although no one can pinpoint exactly why construction models developed here using the 1:50 scale, it does align with the railroad modeler’s 0 gauge (1:48 scale), and those enthusiasts like to use construction machines in their dioramas.
Passionate collector: Larry Kotkowski’s collection includes around 800 models, housed in his family room and basement.
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model mania | continued Collector Dave Geis has devoted 2,000 square feet of his company’s building to his construction model and memorabilia collection.
dozers than booze.” building with that model, but I just relates now. As an adult, the presiLeon Thompson’s model habit keep tightening things up,” he says dent of Lakeside Sand and Gravel, started during a Christmas shutwith a laugh. He asks each custom Mantua, Ohio, spotted that Tonka down of his sitework business. “I model maker for details on making dragline at a flea market. Buying it, was bored,” he relates, “so my wife the model, comments that are put according to Kotkowski, “opened told me to check out what was on on cards that go with each model the flood gates.” eBay.” He bought 40 models that on display. To his own estimation, Kotkowski day, and now has a 3,000-squarehas around 800 models, “but I foot building housing more than haven’t really counted them.” His Riding the waves 60 one-of-a-kind large scale modcollection includes Doepke and of the big iron market els. When we talked in early April, Reuhl units, a Cedarapids Pitmaster The model industry pivots on the he’d just taken delivery of a 1:3 crushing plant and a Lorain shovel. large machine market, riding its Freightliner with a truck crane. “I was raised running a shovel, cycles. When it the big market dips, “I’m pushing the capacity of my so I have a thing for shovels and so does the number of new introdraglines,” he says. He ductions, as does the doesn’t have to go far amount of disposable Dave Geis’s advice for the beginning collector when he wants to look income for a comover his collection: his pletely discretionary Dave Geis, who has an estimated 1,500 pieces in his collection, family room and basemodel buy. “The ecoadvises the following: ment are chockfull of nomic downturn sig• Start at the Historical Construction Equipment Association annual convention, held this year August 7-9 in Canandaigua, New York. models. “We have a big nificantly affected us,” “In addition to the big equipment, they’ll have 2,000 to 3,000 family and when my says Chuck Sword models on display,” Gies says. wife and I have guests with dealer DHS • Read Toy Trucker & Contractor magazine. “They’ll have listings of all over, a lot of them apDiecast Collectables. the big shows.” preciate the old toys. “The whole business • Delve into the Internet and ﬁnd out what’s most interesting to you. The bar in our family is based on licensing room has more bulland product devel22 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
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model mania | continued opment and if no one is making anything, there’s nothing to sell.” Prior to the Great Recession, the number of models issued in a year rose with the peak buying patterns of big machinery. “There are a lot more models coming into the market than there were in the 1980s,” Lewis says. Because people can’t buy everything, they’re becoming more specialized in their collections, focusing in on a certain scale,
OEM brand or equipment type. “The models have become more complex and expensive,” Lewis explains, “which also limits purchasing. Sometimes a collector wants to have it anyway.” Collectors are a passionate bunch, as evidenced by the 12-year-old forum on DHS Diecast’s website, forum.dhsdiecast.com, which Sword estimates has 15,000 to 20,000 worldwide users. “If you have a
model question, someone will answer it,” he says. And they’ll link their answers to their own websites and Facebook pages. That passion was recently on display at ConExpo, Sword says. “There were several guys there just to seek out new models and report them on the forum. It’s a huge business for us to find out who’s got what. Some manufacturers have no idea what’s going on.”
Toy Trucker & Contractor: A publication for collectors Claire and Cathy Scheibe of LaMoure, North Dakota, started collecting farm models and then branched out into construction scale models. “We always found construction models right beside the farm models because Ertl made both for John Deere,” recalls Cathy Scheibe. To share their interest with others, 37 years ago the couple started Toy Farmer, a farm model newsletter that also covered construction models. After buying a trucking model magazine, they created Toy Trucker & Contractor, now a 10,000-subscriber magazine sold by subscription and distributed through Tractor Supply stores. Although there are a variety of European-based model
publications (where collecting seems to have a more fervent tone than here in the United States), this is the one magazine U.S. collectors cite. Along with the magazine, the firm also produces the National Toy Truck ‘N Construction Show, held in August in Indianapolis, drawing about 1,500 attendees, according to Scheibe.
Part 2: How big-iron equipment manufacturers use scale models to promote their brands o a manufacturer, the primary purpose of a model is to promote the brand. “Models are great exposure to fans of Caterpillar,” says Sara Hays with Cat’s merchandising group. The company uses them for awards, customer gifts, machine promotions, and saying thank you to the design team involved in producing the big iron. Hays works with Caterpillar product groups and its model licensees – Norscot, Tonkin and Classic Construction Models – to come up with the list of which machines will get models. 24 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
“There’s nothing better to promote the business than a model,” adds Scott Stern, president of Norscot, which has been making Caterpillar models for 44 years. Jim Ryberg, Bobcat aftermarket product manager, calls models a reminder of all of the machines the company carries. “Dealers like them, customers ask for them, and people buy them even if they don’t have equipment. The thinking is if a kid owns a little one, he may want to own a big one when he grows up.” That’s a sentiment echoed by David Althaus, manager of events and promotions for John Deere, and the
father of four: “I see models serving a lot of different needs, and one of the most important is to keep kids interested in construction.” Sometimes, it’s a model’s absence that’s felt. “When the recession hit, no one thought of scale models,” says Mats Bredborg, director of global brand management, Volvo Construction Equipment, “but three years ago our dealers told us loud and clear it was important to get our scale models up to date. The latest models are the ones that help the buying conversation.” JCB licenses its brand to six model makers: TOMY, Joal, Siku, Motorart, Universal Hobbies and NZG. “We
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model mania | continued like to have different scales and levels of detail,” says Sam Johnson, senior licensing manager. JCB uses TOMY for entry point models, designed to appeal to beginning collectors. On the other end, Germany-based NZG produces 1:50 scale detailed models. “For us,” Johnson says, “it’s a great way to reflect the breadth and diversity of our line. It also shows the key selling points of the machines.” JCB actively courts collectors, a rarity among OEMs. Last September, when it launched a vintage diecast of its 1977 JCB 3C Mark III backhoe, it hosted a press event to “our most JCB actively engages with scale model collectors, and last fall held a press event to unveil its 1977 JCB 3C Mark III backhoe scale model.
26 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
keen collectors and the diecast press. It was a great success,” Johnson says. JCB relies on its collector contacts, seeking advice on future scale models. It also showcases 150 models at The Story of JCB museum at its headquarters in Rocester, United Kingdom. Models can also be part of company milestone celebrations: • To celebrate Bobcat’s 50th anniversary in 2008, the company issued six gold-colored models depicting six significant evolutions of the skid steer. • This year, Volvo Construction Equipment released a model of its first loader, the H-10, in a specially designed wooden box, to celebrate its 60th year of making wheel loaders. • And this summer JCB is issuing a special edition JS220 tracked excavator model, celebrating last sum-
mer’s millionth machine milestone. While special editions get a lot of attention – and are collector’s favorites because of their limited runs – Norscot’s Tom Ristow says the more typical models do a better job of extending a company’s brand. “We’re a better steward of Cat’s brand with those models, and not just creating a couple of cool things for a couple of cool people.”
Careful choreography The timing of a model requires careful choreography. “It takes at least 12 months from the time we decide to do a model on a machine until we get the finished product,” Althaus says. “There can be some real challenges in getting the final sheet metal on a new product reflected in the model,” including Tier 4-related tweaks that changed engine hood
and exhaust designs. “Sometimes the lead time for models is extremely long,” says dealer Roy Ferguson. “Other times the model is ready, but OEMs put a hold on it because the real machine isn’t ready.” Adding to the complication, there seems to be an increased emphasis on timing the release of a model alongside its big iron brother, certainly true at this year’s ConExpo. For the first time, Volvo Construction Equipment introduced several models with real machines at the show, including one for the A40G articulated truck. “If you get the scale model at the same time as the machine introduction, the impact is
fantastic,” says Bredborg. “It doesn’t have the same marketing impact if it comes three months later.” Timing was also a factor when Bobcat produced the special-edition model for its 1 millionth loader promotion: it kept it under wraps until the real iron was unveiled at the show.
Long relationships No relationship with a U.S.-based company and current model maker
goes back as far as the Ertl brand and John Deere. In 1945, working out of his basement, Fred Ertl started to cast a number of sand-cast molds, including the John Deere Model A tractor. A few years later, the relationship between the Ertl family and Deere grew, and Ertl moved to Dyersville, Iowa in 1959. When Deere branched out into construction equipment, Ertl started making the models to match. The
Deere dealers will soon be able to take orders for the 944K hybrid wheel loader, a model spotted by some discerning eyes when Dave Althaus posed with it in a photograph taken for a Deere customer magazine last year. “This is a case where the model will actually be available before the real machine,” he says.
EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 27
model mania | continued company, now owned by Japanbased TOMY, still has its off-road division in Dyersville, says Bill Walters, vice president. Ertl also makes models for Case, New Holland and Link-Belt. Norscot started making models for Caterpillar in 1970 and until recently was the sole model producer for the brand. “Our single largest channel is to Cat dealers,” Norscot’s Scott Stern says. While many model manufacturers mass produce units, Classic Construction Models specializes in limited production runs of big iron replicas. A division of winch maker Allied Power Products, Classic started when Allied Power president Bob Peterson wanted to help a customer get a model of a 4100 Manitowoc lattice boom crane. Not pleased with the quality of models currently on the market, he decided to commission his own, ordering 300 brass models. The plan was to give one to his customer, sell the rest at $800 a piece, and end his venture in model making. “But the customers who bought that one asked him what was next,” relates Bob’s brother Gary Peterson. “We’ve found that for our customers bigger is better,” adds Peterson. “We tried a skid steer model once, but it was not what our customers wanted.” But a Cat 390 excavator? “It sailed out the door.” Models can cost in the $30 range for the more mainstream units up to thousands. For example, Classic Construction Models’ highest priced unit to date was a Marion 6360 shovel that went for $6,295. What elevates a more typical model to one that would bring this kind of money? Detail. The Marion shovel, for example, had a fully detailed operator’s cab, moveable track rollers, idlers and crawlers and operable gantry service crane. In addition to the major diecast 28 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
It’s all in the details: This Marion 6360 shovel sold for $6,295, the most costly model Classic Construction Models has sold to date. The bottom photo shows some of the undercarriage details that prompted the higher cost.
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model mania | continued makers and specialty model producers, there are a number of custom model creators, who specialize in made-to-order and one-of-a-kind units. Some of these can get quite large, such as the 1:3 model of a Cat D11, one of several large size models owned by our cover subject, Leon Thompson with Thompson’s Grading, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Getting to market Buying and selling models is a global
business. “Depending on how the dollar is doing, in some years our overseas sales might be better than our domestic sales,” says Chuck Sword with dealer DHS Diecast. The company has a 12,000-square-foot warehouse at its headquarters in Berea, Ohio, devoted to construction and truck models. Like everything else, the Internet has changed the market significantly. “Models used to be hard to find,” Sword says. “Now the competition is a lot tougher.” Brandon Lewis, president of
construction model dealer Buffalo Road Imports, Clarence, New York, also has a physical store, but “we sell models anyway we can get them out there,” he says, including websites and events, such as his own International Model Construction and Truck Show, just held last month. (For more construction model events, go to equipmentworld.com/modelmania.) “Everyone who comes is serious,” Lewis says, estimating that he gets a few hundred attendees, including collectors,
How a construction scale model is made Confidentiality is a key concern with OEMs, especially when scale models are released the same time as the real machines. Model makers and producers – usually based in China – sign confidentiality agreements, “and we make sure our models are the only ones being produced on a factory floor,” Volvo’s Mats Bredborg says. Tom Ristow, vice president of scale models for model maker Norscot, describes the diecast model making process: • Using a CAD ﬁle from the OEM, together with machine paint chips and trade dress files, Norscot creates a 1:50 resin prototype using a 3D printer. • The prototype goes through rounds of approvals, both by Norscot and the OEM, and is then released for molds and related tooling. “The prototype review is really important, because after it, there’s the point of no return,” Ristow says. The reason: model tooling, created by the company’s production partners in China, costs $100,000. • Next, Norscot gets a “ﬁrst shot” from its production partner – an unpainted model that is reviewed for fit and finish. • After various approvals, the factory will then produce a preproduction sample, painted and decaled, and sent to the OEM for design and trade dress review. • During mass production, individual models are pulled out for spot check inspections. • To prevent damage en route, shipping containers usually carry only six models – sometimes two if the model is larger – to prevent damage en route. Production to scale: The majority of model makers produce their units in China, in a process that goes from CAD files (1) to finished product in about a year. Here,Volvo Construction Equipment shows the step-by-step procession on its new L150H loader scale model. A tooling model (2) is made from ABS resin material. After the tooling model is approved, the model producer makes a painted prototype with additional details, which goes through another round of details. During mass production (3), some parts may need hand crafting and painting. The model is then boxed (4), ready for market. 30 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
other dealers and custom model makers. DHS Diecast also has an open house, enticing around 700 people with free hot dogs, diorama and model contests, and displays of full-size historical equipment. To hear Sword tell it, it takes on the nature of a swap meet, especially when it comes to stories. “People will come up to me and say “I bought my first model from you 15 years ago,” he recounts. In 2013, one DHS Diecast open house attendee brought a fully operational 1:16 Manitowoc model; another – an 8-yearold boy – showed off a Roadtec Shuttle Buggy he’d made out of cardboard. “They come from all walks of life,” Sword says. “You’ll get rich collectors and guys who are scraping together every dollar to buy. The only thing they have in common is a love of models.” Equipment manufacturers often celebrate milestones with special edition scale models, such as this Bobcat 1 Million Loader edition unveiled at ConExpo.
EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 31
machine matters | by Richard Ries
here’s a direct correlation between power and fuel consumption; more power requires more fuel. Higher injection pressures, careful design of the piston and combustion chamber, turbocharging and other mechanical ploys improve combustion efficiency and help ensure maximum power is extracted from each unit of fuel, but they don’t change the fundamentals. More power still requires more fuel.
32 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
But mid-size dozers’ duty cycles vary considerably as do their power requirements. If the dozer is always producing the same power, it’s always using the same volume of fuel. If you reduce power during less demanding applications, you’ll reduce fuel consumption. The trick is to reduce power with no loss of performance. Electronics make this possible. A reduced-power Eco mode – a term common among several manufacturers – reduces engine speed
from, for example, 2,000 rpms down to 1,800 rpms. And while electronics are controlling the engine speed, they’re also controlling and balancing it with the hydraulic system. Need full power? You’ve got it. After the demand is met, though, the system returns back to Eco mode.
Location, location, location GNSS, or Global Navigation Satellite System, has been making steady inroads into machine performance.
(The U.S. system is GPS, but since many machines are also compatible with Russia’s GLONASS system, manufacturers are using the generic GNSS instead.) The use of base stations and reference networks has made high-precision GNSS signals widely available. The challenge for dozer manufacturers has been to settle on a system to use those signals. There are three primary suppliers of GNSS systems and components – Leica, Topcon and Trimble – and they are not compatible (although conversion is possible with aftermarket products). Some dozer OEMs work with one of the big three GNSS companies to develop proprietary machine control systems. Some offer one of the big three systems installed from the factory. Others offer pre-wiring for a specific system so installation of that system at the customer’s facility is a plug-and-play proposition. Regardless of the approach taken, machine control is better integrated into dozer design, so overall performance and efficiency is improved. While there’s minimal impact on some features, such as geofencing (restricting operation to within defined boundaries), there are significant gains in dozing operations.
John Deere chose an open architecture for its K Series dozers, which allows users to select machine control systems from their preferred vendor: Topcon, Trimble or Leica.
Other considerations Beyond fuel savings and machine control, other improvements to mid-size dozers include reduced noise, better ergonomics, improved visibility and easier access to service points. But even here electronics often play a role. Multiple injections per combustion cycle improve fuel efficiency and power output while helping with emissions control, but also help reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Tier 4 Final regulations went into effect for engines greater than 174 horsepower January 1 of this year. Tier 4 Final for engines just below that go into effect January 1, 2015.
So all dozers discussed here, which are 130 to 330 horsepower, are under Tier 4 Final or soon will be. Common strategies for compliance include the use of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR), a diesel oxidative catalyst (DOC), a diesel particulate filter (DPF), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or some combination of these, and the approach chosen by an OEM may vary depending on the size of the equipment and its intended use. Engines using SCR require the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and those using DPFs require regeneration; you need to adjust your operating and service practices accordingly. Here are some of the highlights from several mid-size dozer manufacturers.
Case “These models feature engines from Fiat Powertrain Technologies with SCR,” says John Bauer, brand marketing manager for Case Construction Equipment. “SCR requires no regeneration or filter maintenance and lets the engine run at peak performance without compromising power or drawbar pull.” Compared to the closest comparable previous Case model, the 2050M offers an 11 percent improvement in fuel efficiency (measured in cubic yards of material moved per gallon of fuel) and as much as 17 percent greater productivity (measured in yards per hour). And Case says the 1650M offers best-in-class drawbar pull of 61,200 pounds. Advanced electrohydraulics are found throughout the 1650M and 2050M. Blade sensitivity, steering sensitivity and shuttle sensitivity each have three user-selectable settings: smooth, moderate and aggressive. A new joystick provides better feel and fingertip blade shake allows for quick blade cleaning. Each M Series dozer is compatible with blade control technologies EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 33
machine matters | continued
The Case M Series dozers, introduced last year, offer advanced electrohydraulics, giving operators three user-selectable settings, from smooth to aggressive.
from any of the major GNSS suppliers, but Case recently signed a development/partnership agreement with Leica and future models will be optimized for use with factoryinstalled Leica systems. Case Extended Life Tracks (CELT) are available as optional equipment. The CELT design uses two coaxial bushings, the outer one rotating when in contact with the sprocket to dramatically reduce wear. Service life can be up to twice that of standard tracks.
Caterpillar Enhanced AutoShift on the D6T (207 horsepower) and D8T (310 horsepower) effectively provides a 3-, 6- or 9-speed transmission. The box itself has three gears; the multiplier effect comes from electronically-controlled engine speeds. In 6-speed mode each gear can be run with the engine at half speed or full speed. In 9-speed mode the en34 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
gine speed options are half, threequarters and full. (Relative engine speeds are rounded off for simplicity.) The results are a much wider range of operating characteristics, better productivity, and improved fuel efficiency. The Cat Clean Emissions Module includes the Cat Regen System burner to preheat the aftertreatment system to improve its performance and also reduces regeneration time. DEF consumption is around 2 percent of fuel consumption. Cat’s Tier 4 Final tractors have up to 10 percent lower total fluid consumption (DEF plus fuel) than their predecessors (counting fuel only, since those models did not require DEF). Productivity enhancements on the D8T include Auto-Carry, which maintains a full blade, and AutoRip, which adjusts ripper shank depth. Both rely on sensors that detect load and measure track slip. Sam Meeker, product applica-
tion specialist, emphasizes that Cat offers multiple levels of technology. “All our tractors come Grade Control-ready for easier installation of aftermarket blade control,” he says. “Technology options start with Stable Blade. From there we go to AccuGrade Laser, AccuGrade GPS, and finally to Cat Grade Control 3D.” The point is to have performance characteristics – and costs – to meet varying customer requirements.
John Deere The 205-horsepower 850K, launched in 2011, was the platform for changes that carried over to other dozers the next year, including the 750K (165 horsepower; 155 horsepower XLT model). K Series machines have CEGR with DPF aftertreatment. A hydraulically-driven fan runs only as needed to conserve fuel and reduce noise. Other noise-reduction techniques include
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machine matters | continued sound damping in the cab and viscous cab mounts; noise levels at the operator’s ear in the 850K are reduced 45 percent compared to the previous model. Transmissions are hydrostatic. Deere’s Total Machine Control system allows operator to tailor performance characteristics to suit their needs. K Series dozers can be ordered with machine control systems from Leica, Topcon or Trimble installed from the factory. Or they can be ordered pre-configured for machine control systems from any one of those three providers. “We chose an open architecture because we knew customers had strong preferences for machine control systems,” says Mark Oliver, product marketing manager for crawler dozers. “They may want to stay consistent with other machines in their fleet or they may simply have a loyalty to a dealer for one of those brands. Our approach provides a setup that is configured for seamless integration with whichever brand they prefer.” The 6068H engine used in the 750K and 850K allows operation on slopes up to 45 degrees while maintaining adequate oil flow to prevent damage.
Auto-Carry on Cat’s D8T maintains a full blade, and Auto-Rip adjusts ripper shank depth, both controlled by sensors that detect load and measure track slip.
Komatsu New to the lineup are the D51EXi-22 (130 horsepower, standard track), D51PXi-22 (130 horsepower, low ground pressure/LGP), D61EXi-23 (155 horsepower, standard track) and D61PXi-23 (168 horsepower, LGP). The “i” in the model name indicates a model with Komatsu’s Intelligent Machine Control technology, which is installed by Komatsu at the factory and serviced by Komatsu distributors. Compared against machines with add-on 3D machine control systems, Komatsu says the D51-22 and D61i-23 with Intelligent Ma36 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
Komatsu says its Intelligent Machine Control, introduced last summer, improves dozing efficiency on the D51Pxi-22 by 9 percent.
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machine matters | continued
chine Control provide improvements in dozing efficiency of 9 and 13 percent, respectively. This is achieved through automatic control of the blade during both rough and finish dozing combined with minimizing track slip by monitoring blade load. Both models have three userselectable load settings plus four dozing modes to tailor machine performance to the application: cut, cut and carry, spreading and simple grading. All directional movements and the dual-path hydrostatic transmissions are controlled with Komatsu’s Palm Command Control System joystick. Komatsu builds the D51i-22 with a Tier 3 engine while the D61i-23 has a Tier 4 Interim engine with DPF aftertreatment. All Komatsu models come standard with KOMTRAX machine monitoring system. Additionally Tier 4 Interim models come with Komatsu Care complimentary maintenance.
Liebherr The PR 736 (201 horsepower) will soon replace the PR 734. Tier 4 38 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
Liebherr’s 201-horsepower Generation 6 PR736 will replace the company’s PR734 and uses a 4-cylinder inline engine offering a 6 percent increase in fuel efficiency over the previous model.
Final compliance is achieved with the use of an SCR. According to Robert Klima, Liebherr’s product manager of crawler tractors, SCR has lower operating costs than using a DPF, is simpler to maintain, and does not require the regeneration cycle of DPF systems. While SCR requires the use of DEF, topping off the DEF tank typically occurs during refueling. With a displacement of 7.0 liters, the inline 4-cylinder engine on the PR 736 is larger than many inline 6-cylinders engines found in other dozers of this size. The intent is to provide excellent power and performance along with gains in fuel efficiency. In heavy dozing applications, the PR 736 has an up to 6 percent increase in fuel efficiency over the PR 734. Even greater fuel savings can be had under light and medium loads when using the ECO mode. The hydrostatic
travel pumps and motors are carried over from the PR 734 but the electronic controls are all new. Liebherr chose to develop their machine control system entirely in-house. As with other machine control systems, the one on the PR 736 manages engine power and varies hydraulic pump and motor parameters to provide optimal performance based on load conditions. A seat switch replaces the safety levers of previous designs. A delay allows the operator to rise and check the blade while the dozer continues to operate normally. Once in safety mode the machine can idle but all hydraulic circuits are inactive. Like all Liebherr Generation 6 dozers, the PR 736 is compatible with blade control systems from all major suppliers and can be ordered GNSS-ready for the system of the customer’s choosing.
safety watch | by Amy Materson | AMaterson@randallreilly.com
Don’t enter unprotected trenches Following proper procedure when trenching minimizes cave-in risk The accident: An excavator operator working on a sewer system installation struck two sections of pipe and broke them with the bucket of the excavator as he compacted material over a completed section of the line. To access the pipe to remove it, the operator removed the trench shield. The next day, two workers entered the unprotected trench to set new pipe sections. The trench wall caved in, burying one worker to his knees and one to his chest. After being freed from the trench, they were transported to the emergency room, where the worker who had been buried up to his chest suffered a cardiac arrest and died. The bottom line: A post-accident investigation determined the deceased worker was a minor who was assigned to the company via a job placement program. Child labor laws prohibit youth workers to work in hazardous occupations. Furthermore, he was new to the company and had not yet participated in safety training. Also, although the excavator operator had to remove the trench shield to access the pipe sections, no one should have entered the 11-footdeep trench until the shield was replaced.
Skipped steps Like many accidents, this one was preventable. Had the excavator operator replaced the shield, the workers would have been protected from the trench walls. Had the untrained worker known not to proceed without shoring or shielding, he would not have been in the trench when it collapsed. Here’s what you should remember to prevent these situations: New task = new training. If you’re asked to perform new or unfamiliar work, complete the required training that applies specifically to that job beforehand. You can’t work safely if you haven’t been trained on the hazards unique to the situation. If you see fellow crew members working unsafely – such as in an unshielded trench – alert them to the potential dangers and advise them to stop
Illustration by Don Lomax
until the proper protective measures are in place. Leave things better than you found them. Since the excavator operator removed the shield, he should have replaced after removing the broken pipe. It was his responsibility to leave the trench in a safe condition, which he failed to do. Make it a priority that, once you finish operating a piece of equipment, you leave each work area as clean and safe as possible. Realize an inexperienced crew member can hurt you. New employees may have minimal construction experience. Although it’s your supervisor’s job to train them, you have a vested interest in their developing safe work habits. Mentoring workers who need guidance can help keep your entire crew safe.
Information for this Safety Watch was taken from an accident report, the Center for Disease Control’s NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act. It is meant for general information only.
Date of safety talk: Attending:
_____________________ EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 39
alerta de seguridad | por Amy Materson | AMaterson@randallreilly.com
Zanjas a toda prueba
Seguir procedimientos correctos al hacer zanjas minimiza los riesgos de derrumbe
Illustration by Don Lomax
El accidente: El operador de una excavadora que trabajaba en la instalación de un sistema de desagües golpeó y rompió dos secciones de tubería con la pala de la excavadora cuando compactaba material sobre una sección ya terminada. Para ingresar y poder retirar la tubería, el operador retiró la protección de la zanja. Al siguiente día, dos trabajadores ingresaron a la zanja sin protección para colocar nuevas secciones de tubería. La zanja se derrumbó, enterrando a un trabajador hasta las rodillas y al otro hasta el pecho. Tras ser liberados de la zanja, fueron transportados al servicio de emergencia, donde el trabajador que había sido enterrado hasta el pecho sufrió un paro cardiaco y falleció. Conclusión: Una investigación posterior al accidente determinó que el trabajador fallecido era un menor asignado a la compañía por un programa de colocación de
empleo. Las leyes de trabajo infantil prohíben a los trabajadores jóvenes emplearse en ocupaciones peligrosas. Peor aún, él era nuevo en la compañía y no había participado todavía en la capacitación de seguridad. Además, aunque el operador de la excavadora tuvo que retirar la protección de la zanja para tener acceso a las secciones de la tubería, nadie debió haber ingresado a la zanja de 11 pies (3.35 m.) de profundidad hasta tener la protección colocada de vuelta.
Pasos que fueron omitidos Como muchos accidentes, éste pudo haberse prevenido. Si el operador de la excavadora hubiera vuelto a colocar la protección, los trabajadores habrían estado protegidos de las paredes de la zanja. Si el trabajador sin entrenamiento hubiera sabido que no debía haber procedido sin apuntalamiento ni protección, no habría estado dentro de la zanja cuando ésta colapsó.
La información para esta Alerta de Seguridad proviene de un reporte de accidente, del programa de Evaluación y Control de Víctimas Fatales del NIOSH del Centro de Control de Enfermedades, y de la
Fecha de la charla de seguridad: Asistentes: 40 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
Esto es lo que usted debería recordar para prevenir estas situaciones: Tarea nueva = capacitación nueva. Si a usted se le pide que realice un trabajo nuevo o con el que no está familiarizado, complete antes la capacitación requerida específicamente para dicho trabajo. Usted no puede trabajar con seguridad si no ha sido capacitado para enfrentar los riesgos particulares de la situación. Si usted ve que otros compañeros están trabajando bajo condiciones inseguras – como en una zanja sin protección – alértelos sobre los peligros potenciales y aconséjeles que se detengan hasta que las medidas de protección apropiadas han sido implementadas. Deje las cosas mejor de cómo las encontró. Ya Illustration que el operador de by Don Lomax la excavadora retiró la protección, él debió haberla vuelto a colocar después de retirar la tubería rota. Era su responsabilidad dejar la zanja en una condición segura, y no lo hizo. Convierta en una prioridad el dejar cada área de trabajo lo más limpia y segura posible cada vez que termine de operar una máquina. Recuerde que tener un miembro de su cuadrilla sin experiencia puede perjudicarle. Los empleados nuevos pueden tener mínima experiencia en la construcción. Aunque entrenarlos sea responsabilidad de su supervisor, usted se beneficia cuando ellos desarrollan hábitos seguros de trabajo. Adiestrar a los trabajadores que necesitan orientación puede ayudarle a mantener segura toda su cuadrilla.
Ley de Normas Justas en el Trabajo del Departamento de Trabajo de los EE.UU. Tiene únicamente fines de información general.
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maintenance | by Preston Ingalls and Mark Barnes
Grease guns: a front-line defense in the war on friction
How this simple tool can make all the difference – if handled correctly. The weapon Friction is our enemy and lubrication is our ally… if applied correctly. As with any alliance, proper lubrication requires careful equipment selection and maintenance. One way to approach lubricating construction equipment is comparing it to a soldier’s responsibility toward his gun. A soldier knows his weaponry has to be kept in pristine condition and that certain weapons are more effective for specific tasks. The ammunition has to be appropriate for the application as well, and also must be kept clean. Dirty ammunition can cause a weapon to misfire and jam – which also applies to
Types of weapons: Grease guns There are three primary types of grease guns: hand, air and electric. The hand-powered grease guns can use either a lever or a pistol grip. One other major variation among grease guns is how the grease is to be loaded: by suction fill, cartridge (tube) or bulk. Lever (manual) – This is the most common type of grease gun and can supply between 1 and 1.5 grams of grease per pump. The grease is forced through an opening by manual pumping. Pistol grip (manual) – This variation of the lever-type grease gun allows for the one-handed pumping method and is often more desirable than the manual lever type. It provides a little less than a gram per pump. Pneumatic– This grease gun uses compressed air (up to 15,000 psi). Many times, the grease provided to the gun is stored in large barrels, and the air compressor applies the pressure from a pump placed at the top of the barrel, through a pneumatic hose and into the gun. Battery (cordless) – This is a low-voltage, battery-powered grease gun that works similarly to the pneumatic grease gun. It offers the advantage of being cordless.
Graphic source: Bennett Fitch, Noria. EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 43
maintenance | continued grease guns and lubrication. A grease gun is a deadly weapon capable of “killing” your equipment. Grease guns can produce up to 15,000 psi per stroke (shot); however, most bearing lip seals are unable to withstand more than 500 psi. Because of this, grease guns can generate significant pressure and, if improperly used, can ultimately blow out the seals designed to protect the bearings from external contaminants. When asked why there was so much grease oozing out of a bearing, an operator once replied, “If one shot is good and two is better, then isn’t 50 wonderful?” No! A few welltargeted rounds are often more effective than “spray and pray.” Overfilling bearing cavities can create major issues: Grease is forced outside the seals (path of least resistance) as the equipment heats up, and it
is exposed to contaminants and moisture. When the equipment cools, the contaminated grease is sucked back into those same bearing cavities (part of thermal expansion and contraction) and can cause damage to the equipment. Overfilling the cavities also creates additional heat. It’s essential that grease is used as a lubricant because it adheres to equipment’s moving surfaces without easily dripping or flowing away like oil does. Grease is a semifluid-to-solid mixture of a fluid lubricant and a thickener and may contain additives. Lubricants used in construction are either mineral oil (petroleumbased) or synthetic oil. Most grease today is composed of mineral oil blended with a soap thickener. The difference between normal oilbased grease and organic grease is that organic grease contains no paraffin or oil by-products. The organic
Figure 2 Anatomy of a grease gun.
Graphic source: Bennett Fitch, Noria.
Graphic source: Bennett Fitch, Noria.
On construction equipment, grease should be applied at a 90-degree angle leading to the load zone. 44 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
Graphic source: Bennett Fitch, Noria.
Grease guns come with a variety of adaptors and couplers for different jobs and angles of application.
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maintenance | continued grease also outperforms oil-based grease by three times the pressure. Because there is a significant difference between oil-based and grease-based application, it is important to understand the use of the proper equipment.
Acquiring the target The location for ‘firing our weapon’ is not random. For a rolling element bearing there isn’t much of an issue, but in construction equipment where many grease applications are bushings, grease should be applied within a 90-degree angle leading into the load zone (see figure 3). Sighting-in: Calibrating the grease gun Just as soldiers sight-in weapons
to tighten the shot group, operators need to calibrate grease guns as well. Studies have shown that an individual stroke or “shot” of grease from a grease gun can vary from .5 grams to 3 grams. That is a 600-percent difference. In other words, three strokes from one grease gun may produce 1.5 grams of grease while three strokes from another could produce 9 grams. How do we minimize this issue? It is important to calibrate each grease gun and note the volume of grease each gun delivers with one full pump or stroke. One of the common ways to calibrate grease guns is to measure the weight of one slug of grease using this method: Take a Post-it note sheet and
place it on a scale. Measure its weight. Now, shoot 10 full strokes or shots of grease onto the Post-it. Deduct the weight of the paper and divide the balance by 10. That is the weight per stroke. Mark that on the grease gun, i.e. “2.5 gm/shot.” It’s ideal to standardize the type and therefore, the weight/stroke, on all grease guns used.
Weapon attachments: Connectors, adapters and couplers A grease gun may come with the standard connection adapter, such as a hydraulic coupler. However, there are several variations depending on the application. The standard hydraulic coupler is the most commonly used. A 90-degree adapter is
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46 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
ideal for fittings in confined areas that require a 90-degree bend. A needle-end adapter provides a thin, precise amount of grease for tight places, while a three-jaw swivel coupler offers a variety of locking positions for different applications.
The weapon barrel: Flexible hose vs. fixed tube The decision about whether to use a flexible hose or a fixed tube depends on a machineâ€™s grease-fitting type and ease of location, as well as the type of grease gun used. For example, a hard-to-reach location would benefit from a flexible tube. On the other hand, lever-style grease guns require both hands to pump the grease and would
favor the fixed-tube alternative.
Additional accessories Grease-gun meters can be retrofitted onto a grease gun to help optimize lubricant consumption. Plastic caps provide benefits such as preventing corrosion and debris. They also can be color-coded so that cross-contamination does not occur. Color-coded caps can also indicate the preferred frequency of application. Other accessories such as sonic/ultrasonic devices are also available.
This is the lubrication point where the grease connector is attached. The standard hydraulic grease fitting is most commonly used for standard applications. It can be either upright or angled. The button-head fitting is ideal for good coupler engagement when large volumes of grease are being added. A flush-type grease fitting is preferred when space is limited for standard protruding fittings, while the pressure-relief vent fitting helps prevent higher pressures that could lead to damaged seals.
Are they rounds or bullets? The grease fittings Grease fittings have several names, such as a Zerk fitting, grease nipple or Alemite fitting.
Malfunctioning weapons and other issues Rapid fire issues: High grease gun pressure: A highpressure manual grease gun is
EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 47
maintenance | continued designed to deliver from 2,000 to 15,000 psi. Applying too much pressure while greasing will damage the bearing seals, which rarely can handle more than 500 psi. Symptoms of high grease gun pressure include collapsed bearing shields, damaged bearing seals, grease driven into electric motor windings, and safety and environmental issues. Reloading: Re-greasing frequency: Matching re-greasing frequencies to optimal conditions is necessary to avoid long-term machine health problems. If the frequency interval is too long, symptoms may include lubricant starvation, which promotes wear, friction and grease contamination. If the frequency interval is too short, excessive grease consumption and safety and environmental
issues may occur. OEM recomsumption. Symptoms of undermendations should be examined greasing include bearing starvaand coupled with historical data tion, which results in friction wear from your computerized mainteand increased contamination. nance management system. To overcome this problem, it is Firing for effect: Overnecessary to calculate the amount greasing and under-greasing: of grease that is released from a It is important to know the exact grease gun per stroke. Refer to amount of grease necessary for the calibration method mentioned your greasing application to earlier. avoid over-greasing or under-greasing. Symptoms of overgreasing include Preston Ingalls is president/CEO of TBR damaged seals and Strategies, a Raleigh, North Carolinamotor windings, enbased maintenance and reliability convironmental issues, sulting firm, tbr-strategies.com. and fluid friction, Mark Barnes is vice president of reliwhich lead to inability services for Des-Case, which specreased heat generacializes in fluid management and contamition, higher grease nation control solutions, descase.com. oxidation rates and higher energy con-
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1 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com 48 JulyUntitled-25
6/23/14 10:54 AM
Text INFO to 205-289-3715 or visit www.eqwinfo.com
product report | by Tom Jackson | TJackson@randallreilly.com
Poppet valves and energy accumulators bring unique benefits to Hyundai’s R220LC Hi-POSS excavator
ne of the more intriguing equipment technologies to come out of ConExpo 2014 was Hyundai’s Hi-POSS system. (Hyundai Intelligent Power Optimal Sharing and Energy Saving). The company emphasizes that the model shown at ConExpo was a prototype and production models are not currently available. But the machine is being field tested in Korea now and according to the company the technology can result in fuel savings of 20 percent or more and in a more precise and effective machine operation.
Savings two ways There are two parts to the system, says Todd Johnson, CE district manager at Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas. “The first is the accumulator system – two large, nitrogen-filled accumulators under the frame,” he says. “These capture the regenerative braking energy of each function, whether its boom down or cab swing stop or bucket out. Then they release that energy back into the function.” The second part of the system is an electronically controlled series of poppet valves that regulate hydraulic flow and pressure. “In a traditional excavator, control is provided by spool valves, one spool for each function. We’re replacing that with a series of 20 poppet valves, electron50 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
valve and back into the tank and that makes the machine more efficient.” Not having to push the oil though a small relief valve improves fuel efficiency, reduces noise and heat build up and helps hydraulic fluid last longer.
ically controlled, and each function on the machine can be activated by multiple valves.”
Precision hydraulics The beauty of a series of poppet valves, Johnson explains, is that they can deliver extremely precise amounts of hydraulic pressure and flow. The valves are simple open-and-shut devices, but each valve has a specific flow and pressure. Some produce small amounts, others large amounts. “When a guy wants to feather the controls, one valve will open. If he wants a bit more, two valves will open,” Johnson says. For the heaviest applications, a computer controlled sequence of valves would open or all 20 valves might open. “That makes it easy to operate, and eliminates the need for relief,” Johnson says. “We’re not generating extra oil that has to go in the relief
Pressure settings The poppet system can also make it easier to work with attachments and the auxiliary system. On traditional excavators flow is easy to adjust, but changing pressure settings often requires the operator to manually set relief valves. “Most people don’t mess with it,” Johnson says. “But with this system I can select the flow and pressure from the cab without doing anything other than punching some buttons.” Hyundai is also exploring the potential of using remote control with the Hi-POSS excavator system. On a traditional excavator the operator must have a good feel for the controls to feather the bucket and do precise work. With the poppet valve system that kind of finesse and feel can be replicated electronically through the machine’s computer system. “Our vision is that someday at a quarry or mine site an operator can sit in a remote building and run the machine from a computer screen,” Johnson says. Although the model shown at ConExpo was a 20-ton machine, the first production versions will likely be 30- or 40-ton excavators.
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CONGRATULATIONS to the 2014 Contractor of the Year winner and finalists IN
Jeremy Hiltz Jeremy Hiltz Excavating Ashland, New Hampshire
Dwaine Doss Doss Enterprises Jane Lew, West Virginia
Kevin and Shawn Guyer Guyer Brothers Construction New Enterprise, Pennsylvania
Daniel Thiel and Steven Mueller J&S General Contracting Osceola, Wisconsin
Don Facciobene Don Facciobene Incorporated (DFI) Palm Bay, Florida
Vern Larman Larman Construction Garland, Texas
Brian Winot Northeast Site Contractors East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Brad Phillips Phillips Companies Beavercreek, Ohio
Landon Floyd Precision Pipeline Cedar City, Utah
Doug Thomas Thomas Construction Grove City, Pennsylvania
James Tollestrup James Tollestrup Construction Lethbridge, Alberta
Brian Winkler Wm. Winkler Company Newman Lake, Washington
contractor of the year | by Amy Materson | AMaterson@randallreilly.com
Giving back, not giving in, drives contractor to success
lthough undergoing changes in your life or career can be a hardship, for Brian Winot, owner of Northeast Site Contractors in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, unplanned paths have helped him become a successful commercial site development contractor with more than 30 employees and satisfied repeat clients throughout the Poconos.
Winot believes one of the tenets of success is to truly give back, and to give back locally. Northeast Site Contractors donates 10 percent of profits each year to local charities and performs in-kind services for a range of organizations. Winot supports a number of causes that touch him personally. After losing a relative to cancer, he made a special effort to direct some of the companyâ€™s resources to the area cancer center. As an Ironman triathlete, Winot has also funded a scholarship for a local swimEast Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania mer and sponsored races.
Northeast Site Contractors Number of employees: 30 Annual revenues: $5 to $7 million Markets served: Commercial site development
Managing distractions and disasters Although Northeast Site Contractors was officially formed in 2005, the company was years in the making. Winot started digging ditches for his father when he was 12
years old, and eventually went to work for a contractor. Construction was all heâ€™d ever known. But even as he worked his way up in a large construction firm, he still had an entrepreneurial spirit. So, when friends approached him about going in on an investment opportunity, Winot decided to take a chance on the side venture, even though it had nothing to do with construction â€“ an ice skating rink. Although not in line with his career, he hoped the investment would be a profitable side business. The rink became less of a side venture and more of an immediate concern in 2001, when the manager the partners had hired to run the rink left. The abrupt announcement presented Winot with a difficult choice to make. He could quit his job and run the rink himself or face losing his entire investment. He left the large highway contracting firm where he was working as a regional supervisor and set to EquipmentWorld.com | June 2014 53
contractor of the year | continued mark in the area, as many of the busiest contractors were from out of state. As a local company, the firm could have its pick of projects, and now works primarily in the Poconos. The Northeast Site Contractors took on the challenge of an accelercompany has ated schedule for this Dick’s Sporting Goods location in Bartonsville completed Square, finishing the site work in 17 days rather than the originally planned 22 days. challenging projects for the Pocono Medical Center, East Stroudsburg Uniwork managing the rink. But in 2004, versity and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hurricane Ivan changed his plans yet which had the added demand of an again – by flooding the rink with 12 accelerated schedule. “They’re a fast feet of water. Although friends and growing company,” says Tim Primneighbors showed up immediately rose with Primrose Landscaping. “It to pitch in, the damage was done. “It seems like they’ve gotten all the comwas a catastrophic loss,” Winot says. mercial work in the area.” “There was nothing that could be Since the company grew rapidly, done to save the rink.” their equipment needs grew rapidly, says Phil Coventry, Northeast’s vice Applying lessons learned Winot was free to return to his career, president of operations. “We started with three pieces of equipment and but he’d decided he wasn’t about to quickly experienced growing pains.” go back to work for another large The company has all Caterpillar contractor. Running the rink had givexcavators and dozers, and a variety en him a taste of being on his own of paving and compaction equipand managing his business his way, ment, which their clients say is well and he’d lost the corporate mentality maintained. “They’re in good shape he once had. Winot had started as a and their equipment looks new,” says laborer, working his way up to estiPaul Brandenburg, the project manmator and then regional supervisor, ager for the cancer center at Pocono and felt he’d learned some imporMedical Center. “It’s not going to be tant lessons over the years. “I slowly watched companies get too big – and embarrassing when those guys roll up on the hospital site.” too greedy,” he says. Thinking he had a better way, Winot wrote a business plan for an excavating company, Shared philosophies Winot has implemented a level of and in 2005 launched Northeast Site flexibility that allows his company to Contractors with the assistance of his survive and thrive, but of course, he mentor and business partner, Craig would be unable to operate in that Hendricks. He started small, digging manner without the talented people footers for a Kohl’s and building a 5-acre pond for a friend. Winot knew Northeast Site Contractors hires. He credits mentor Craig Hendricks – he had an opportunity to make his 54 June 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
who now lives in London, England – for his philosophy towards how his employees get the job done. “He told me to hire good people and let them do their job,” Winot says. “He said, ‘You should be guiding them, not doing it for them.’” Winot and Coventry have developed a “one voice” mentality. While Winot interacts with the employees every day, he allows Coventry to manage them, delivering continuity and building loyalty and trust. Coventry himself is possibly the best example of employee loyalty; following a heart attack in December that required four bypasses, he returned to work in just two weeks. “Our guys would go through a brick wall for him,” Winot says. Coventry, a selfprofessed reformed micromanager, has learned his own lessons since coming on board. Although he has an open-door policy, he allows his people to do their work unimpeded. “I now know that if I have to micromanage someone, it’s the wrong guy,” he says. “I don’t tell them what to do, and I’m not worried about them making a mistake. Our men make us better.” Perhaps the attitude that sends the strongest message to employees that they are valued is that Winot simply refuses to give up on people. “Even a bad apple has its place,” he says. “If they’re a bad apple but they have the right attitude, we’ll find a place for them.” As a result, he often pays to send employees to classes, something he’ll also do if they express an interest in a particular skill. An avid hunter, Winot realized one of his workers was interested in taxidermy, and didn’t hesitate to pay for him to learn the skill. “We’re going to have a staff taxidermist,” he says with a smile. “Of course, by setting this kid up with this skill, I may lose him, but that’s okay if he’s doing what he wants to do.” One employee Winot knows he will lose soon is his father Keith, a long-time estima-
The company has greatly expanded their paving division to handle commercial and industrial asphalt paving as well as constructing and reconstructing municipal and state roadways.
tor and the person who instilled his drive and work ethic. “I know he’s just about ready to retire and will be very hard to replace. We don’t look forward to trying to fill that large hole, but we are beginning our search rather than wait.” Even when he has no positions open and work slows, Winot doesn’t like to lay employees off for lack of work. During the worst of the winter, Northeast Site Contractors performs snow removal, and during slow
times, the employees will keep busy cleaning and painting equipment. The company uses HCSS Construction Software for estimating and bidding, and one of the software’s features allows them to track equipment repairs, enabling them to schedule downtime to complete preventive maintenance.
Fixed on the future “I like chaos, and a mix of jobs makes things more chaotic,” Winot says. He may like to mix things up in the field, but Winot is the first to acknowledge his company has a handle on customer service from start to finish, and he aggressively markets a project until he closes it out.
He knows how his firm needs to be marketed and branded. Winot also has an eye for growth; Winot plans to continue to expand and has his sights set on a 50-employee operation. In a post-recession area that has seen lesser contractors fail, he sees it as a do-able challenge. “I work better under pressure, and it’s amazing to watch that rub off on others,” he says. “All you need is the right attitude and trust.”
Vice President of Operations Phil Coventry, left, and Winot’s father, Keith, middle, help Winot in maintaining his communityfirst approach to business.
EquipmentWorld.com | June 2014 55
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product report | by Marcia Gruver Doyle
Volvo offers first U.S. look at Tier 4 Final L150H loader
he just-released 4-to 15.7-cubic-yard Volvo L150H loader showcases a filter system design that allows 90 percent of the cab air to be filtered via a pre-filter that prevents larger dust particles from clogging the main filter. “This gets all the dust out,” says Stefan Solomonsson, wheel loader product manager, Volvo Construction Equipment. “There are a lot of 10- and 12-hour shifts in the United States, and this is one way to make the operator more comfortable throughout.” Solomonsson says Volvo has also addressed a concern of G Series users over the in-cab display screen; now the screen is easy to see even in bright sunlight. The Tier 4 Final L150H, with a 300-gross-horsepower Volvo DI3J engine, requires the use of DEF, which is used at a rate of 3 to 5 percent per gallon of diesel, depending on the application. “As
long as you fill both the fuel and the DEF tank at the same time, you won’t run out of DEF,” Solomonsson says. “Fuel economy is a balance between the machine components,” he continues. “Getting rid of the drag in axles and transmissions and using intelligent load-sensing hydraulic systems are just some of the ways we’ve achieved that balance. The loading-sensing hydraulics let us operate at much lower rpms and still do the same things that used to require 2,200 rpms.” L150H operators start their shift by turning on the ground-level ignition switch, and quickly checking the hydraulic oil and transmission oil levels, shown on two sight gauges located near the steps going up to the cab. Once operations get underway, an optional Boom Suspension System helps take out the bump and grind of the jobsite, creating a more comfortable ride
and reducing bucket spillage. Aimed at reducing fuel consumption, the Automatic Power Shift and Fully Automatic Power Shift functions adjust gears to sync with engine and travel speed. And a Reverse By Braking function automatically applies the service brakes when the operator changes the direction of the machine, a system aimed at further reducing fuel consumption and stress on the drivetrain. Volvo’s OptiShift technology, introduced on its F Series loaders, uses this RBB function in tandem with a lock-up torque converter to create a direct drive between the engine and transmission, which Volvo says eliminates power losses in the torque converter and reduces fuel consumption by up to 18 percent. In addition, the loader’s eco-pedal uses a mechanical pushback force to encourage operators to ease off the throttle when engine speed is about to exceed optimum operating range. The entire cab structure tilts 30 to 70 percent for additional access to service points. Another serviceability feature: the grouping of all filters under one service door. The H Series, which also includes the 334-horsepower L180 and 373-horsepower L220, has a new electronic platform. “We needed more memory,” Solomonsson says. “Just like computers, machines these days take much more memory.” EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 57
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Jeremy Hiltz, our 2014 Contractor of the Year, has a great story. So do you. One way to make sure it gets told is to become one of our 2015 Contractor of the Year finalists. equipmentworld.com | May 2014
CONTRACTOR OF THE
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Our Contractor of the Year program honors the forward thinkers, high achievers and just plain good people in construction. These are the construction companies that get the job done right, on time and within budget. Their clients sing their praises, their vendors wish all clients were like them, and their workforce is dedicated and loyal. Sound like your company? Then it’s the perfect candidate to become one of our 12 Contractor of the Year finalist firms in 2015. Our finalist representatives receive a free weekend at the exclusive Wynn resort in Las Vegas. Plus you will be Caterpillar’s honored guest at the Las Vegas NASCAR race next March – complete with pit tours, driver appearances, and VIP tent hospitality.
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pro pickup | by Bruce W. Smith
TUNDRA Toyota’s 2014 Platinum-level crew-cab 4x4 brings Lexus-like appointments, comfort and performance to the jobsite; new TRD Pro option adds even more
hen I first saw the rutted and muddy section of the double-barreled goat trail the Toyota guys called a road, I wondered just how far along we’d get into the deep woods before their latest iteration of the Tundra 4x4 under my command would get stuck. To my surprise, the all-terrain tires in combination with Toyota’s elegant electronic traction control
system and decent suspension, made it easy to motor through, only scraping the skid plate once as I misjudged where a tire needed to go to miss a rock. Hours earlier I’d driven the same crew cab 4x4 towing a 9,700-pound equipment trailer traversing country back roads and short interstate loops. It was stable as could be, and quite comfortable with a lot of ponies on tap from the Tundra’s 5.7-liter iFORCE V8 and six-speed automatic.
Make/Model: ‘14 Toyota Tundra Crew Max Platinum 4x4 MSRP: $47,320 Price as tested: $48,475 Engine: 381-hp aluminum 5.7-liter V-8 Transmission: 6-speed automatic Axle ratio: 4.30 Curb weight: 5,860 pounds Max tow capacity: 9,000 pounds Fuel economy: EPA: 13/17/15 Observed: 14 city/ 18.2 highway Performance: 0-60 mph: 7.2 sec 1/4-mile: 15.4 @ 92 mph 60-0 mph: 121 feet EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 61
pro pickup | continued
One area the Tundra 4x4 is capable is operating in the off-road environment where its traction control system works very efficiently.
Anyone that’s spent seat time behind the wheel of Toyota’s Tundra knows it’s a good work truck capable of handling any task that comes its way. It’s a well-built, spacious and powerful 1/2-ton. The 2014s are no different. Yes, Toyota imparted a few some minor body design changes to the hood
and grille, and small tuning changes to the suspension, but in totality it’s the same as a 2013. What’s different is the Platinum high-end trim level Toyota added to compete against the Big Three’s premium offerings. When it’s applied to a 2014 Crew Max you get Lexus-like luxury that makes the
rolling office a plush, comfortable workspace. The Platinum Crew Max is right at home taking clients to a classy restaurant with its richly appointed leather interior, a plethora of creature comforts, power everything, and a high-end audio system that can rattle the windows. Add nearly 8 inches more space between the front and rear seat than the standard Double Cab model and you have an excellent people mover – or that extra cab space to haul more stuff to the job. The benefits of the longer cab spill over into payload, too: The Crew Max 4x4 can haul 100 pounds more the Double Cab (7,100 vs. 7,200 pounds) even though the bed is only 5 feet 6 inches long. The trade-off for the longer cab is reduced towing capacity. Although most 1/2-ton owners never pull big trailers, the Crew Max 4x4 is at a slight disadvantage compared to its stablemates with a max towing capacity limited to towing 9,000 pounds where as the Double Cab can pull 9,800 pounds. (Note: All Tundras require the use of a weight-distributing hitch on trailered weights exceeding 5,000 pounds.)
ne option buyers of a 2015 Tundra should consider if they are going to use the truck a lot off-pavement is the TRD Pro package. I equate the TRD Pro option to Ford’s SVT Raptor and GM’s Z71 4x4 off-road packages, with special wheels, skid plates and suspension upgrades for more aggressive off-pavement/off-road use. The difference is the Toyota Racing Division (TRD) went more toward Ford SVT’s route by lifting the front two inches with Eibach coils and then adding remote-reservoirs Bilstein shocks at all four corners, along with custom black wheels and a cat-back exhaust system. (Toyota doesn’t offer a locking rear differential, which is the only bummer.) Inside the package has special seats and trim, and outside the bed is embossed with the “TRD Pro” logo. Underneath the truck is a thick, one-piece aluminum skid plate that extends from front bumper back to the end of the transfercase for added protection from ground impacts. These types of upgrades will reduce downtime and repair expenses in the long run. The TRD Pro package will also take some wear and tear off the occupants. At test time, Toyota had not set a price for the TRD Pro option. But after driving a TRD Pro 4x4 Tundra in the desert, I can say it’ll be worth it.
62 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
Toyota’s TRD Pro option isn’t just about driving fast. The upgraded suspension and other modifications in the package are designed to improved ride and durability in the rugged off-road/off-pavement work environment.
Under the hood there’re no changes in 2014: It’s still the 381-horsepower 5.7-liter i-FORCE V8 and six-speed automatic that outruns all of the competitors 5Ls I’ve tested to date in a drag race – and out stops them on the other end. I ran the Tundra at Gulfport Dragway on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The 5,800-pound 4x4 hit 60 mph in just 7.2 seconds and crossed the 1/4-mile traps in 15.4 seconds at 92 mph. That’s quick for a 4x4 truck. That performance is due to the strong V8 combined with 4.30:1 axle ratios and the close ratio of the sixspeed automatic, which work in tandem to give good launch and smooth power transitions during shifts. That smooth, steady power really shows up when towing. Fuel economy is the Tundra’s weakest area and it’s average at best. Toyota hasn’t made any significant changes to the engine since it was introduced years ago, and the 13/17/15 (city/highway/combined) EPA numbers match up with my real-world driving observations. Steering is light, the brakes quick and firm, and visibility excellent to the front and sides. As for overall ride quality, it’s a little jitterier than the
Platinum Tundras have high-end interiors and a host of creature comforts and electronics that make the rolling office comfortable and well connected to the outside world.
EquipmentWorld.com | July 2014 63
pro pickup | continued competitor’s 1/2-tons; more so in the rear than the front because of the heavier-duty rear suspension. It’s not uncomfortable at all. It’s just something you notice swapping from, for example, a 2014 Silverado 1500, Ram 1500 or F-150. Seating is firm and the power front seats have more adjustments than you’ll ever need. The plush interior is relatively quiet even at freeway speeds with little road or wind noise penetrating the cab. In the back, the bed is the deepest in the full-size pickup market and it’s equipped with adjustable tie-downs along both sides. The high bed sides increase payload capacity for materials such as The brushed aluminum trim and big touch-screen on the Tundra’s centerstack shows just a few of the touches Toyota used on the upscale Platinum edition.
64 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
mulch, gravel and sand. A week and some 400 miles behind the wheel showed me the 2014 Tundra Crew Max 4x4 Platinum has all the power you’d ever
need in a 1/2-ton for work or recreational towing while surrounding the occupants in premium surroundings every bit as nice as GM, Ram or Ford offer.
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final word | by Kirk Landers
What World Cup host Brazil can teach us about ignoring infrastructure needs
n the search for morality tales about the consequences of inadequate investment in infrastructure, it would be hard to top the quagmire of Sao Paulo, the financial center of Brazil. In a recent article on BBC.com, journalist Katia Moskvitch noted that the city’s traffic management agency described a rush hour traffic jam last May as a 214mile cumulative queue. Other great cities in countries experiencing rapid economic growth have similar problems. Economic growth ushers in a vast new class of people able to afford cars, and they arrive on the highways many years before the highway capacity can be expanded to accommodate the mushrooming fleet of automobiles. Sao Paulo’s traffic problems were already evident in the mid-1990s, when I toured the area with a group of construction equipment manufacturers. Even then, use of area roads was rationed – even-number license plates one day, odd-numbered plates the next. There were other infrastructure needs, too. From the highway you could see ribbons of concrete running down the hills where masses of poor people lived. The concrete ribbons were open sewers that emptied into what was once a river but had become more of a canal filled with viscous sewage that required constant dredging. We Americans think such things can’t happen here, but they can. Great civilizations rise and fall, sometimes due to war or pestilence, sometimes because of generations of complacency and corruption. Letting infrastructure decay is seductively easy for a society that refuses to face
74 July 2014 | EquipmentWorld.com
challenges. Roads and sewers and power grids don’t turn to dust in a year or two, they corrode gradually over decades, each year of inaction easy to rationalize, until at some point the decay is so severe you face monumental rebuilding challenges requiring funds no longer generated by your economy. Such dire thoughts occurred to me in the political furor following the primary election defeat of Eric Cantor, the oncepowerful Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives. Analysts suggested that much of the momentum for his ouster stemmed from his willingness to compromise with moderates and liberals on budgets and immigration reform. Several construction industry analysts took Cantor’s loss as proof that the GOP will now be rigidly opposed to any compromise on things like the federal fuel tax and our failing federal transportation program. The consequences of inaction won’t be visible for years to come, but they are real enough. Every year that we lack the resources to adequately maintain our roads and bridges, more bridge structures and lane miles of pavement decline from maintenance projects to rebuild/replace challenges, and the cost of intervention expands exponentially. Getting this message to the grass-roots forces who have powered the revolt against taxes and government will require more than the traditional educational efforts in Washington. It will take grass-roots construction people taking the educational message to conservative gatherings where they live and work. That’s where decisions are being made today.
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Building your construction business together. Our G-Series Compact Excavators may be small, but theyâ€™re full of big ideas from contractors and feet managers like you. For example, a wider entryway. Improved visibility. A third service door for easier maintenance and cooler cleaning. And a dependable, no-fuss Final Tier 4 engine. You asked for machines that are operator-friendly, dependable, and easy to maintain. We madesure the G-Series delivers. See for yourself at your dealer or on our website. JohnDeere.com/excavators Text INFO to 205-289-3715 or visit www.eqwinfo.com