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Case Unleashes Industry’s Largest Compact Track Loader, the TV620B

With an operating capacity of 16,100 pounds, Case’s newest compact track loader is now the largest in the industry, designed for size and power for residential construction and land clearing. The company unveiled its new CTL at The Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.

Powered by a 114-horsepower engine, the TV620B provides 12,907 pounds of loader breakout force and 12,907 pounds of bucket breakout force. It has a rated operating capacity of 6,200 pounds.

Built on an extra-large frame, Case says, the TV620B isn’t just the big brother of the TV450; the machine was redesigned from the ground up.

“We talked to a lot of customers who were running larger CTLs and asked them what they’d like to see,” said George MacIntryre, product manager, Case. “We really focused on certain areas making sure that the frame was robust and could stand up to harsh conditions. A piston pump comes standard on this model giving customers the flow and pressure ratings they need to run big attachments. Lastly, we focused on the performance of the loader to be able to dump into high-sided trucks.”

More features now come standard on the TV620B, including:

Electro-hydraulic controlsHigh-flow hydraulicsAutomatic Ride Control and one-way self-levelingA programmable hydraulically reversing fanLED lightsThe new SiteConnect ModuleOne year of Case SiteWatch telematics

Electro-hydraulic controls allow the operator to set total machine responsiveness to low, moderate or aggressive, or independently set tilt, lift and drive speed, as well as loader arm and drive control to adjust to the demands of the job. This is set through the LCD multi-function display in the cab, which also comes standard, Case says.

“We are giving the operator more precise and intuitive control than they’ve ever had in a Case CTL and making the machine as simple to operate for as broad a range of applications as possible,” said MacIntyre.

High-flow auxiliary hydraulics and enhanced high-flow hydraulics are available options, delivering 3,450 psi and 4,100 psi, respectively, at 41.6 gallons per minute, making mulching heads, cold planers and grading blades ideal companions for this machine. An enhanced hydraulic cooling system maximizes uptime when using high-powered attachments. The TV620B also offers a selection of buckets, including a heavy-duty 84-inch, 1.25-cubic-yard bucket with SmartFit teeth.

One-way self-leveling and automatic ride control with adjustable speed settings reduce material spillage and deliver a smoother ride. Operators can adjust the foot pedal to serve one of three functions — accelerator (traditional acceleration), trans (reduces drive speed but retains rpm for loader arm functions), or decel (traditional deceleration).

The beefed-up undercarriage on the TV620B takes a nod from Case’s 650M dozer. “It’s much heavier-duty than the size class down from this,” said MacIntyre. “The idler ceiling on the TV620B is similar to the 650M dozer. The dozer components are a little bit larger than what we have on the CTL, but it’s really just a downsized version of what we have on the very reliable Case dozers.” Additionally, the 17.7-inch rubber tracks allow for minimal ground disturbance (6.1 psi) and enhanced performance on improved surfaces.

With a maximum dump height of 39 inches and 140.2-inch hinge pin height, the machine is well-suited for loading trucks. But MacIntyre says the loader arms will also look different from previous Case models. “We’ve gone to a straight-in-line loader arm linkage, giving great visibility down to the coupler and bucket area. It also allows the cab to be tipped forward with the loader arms in the down position to get even better access to all the components that are underneath the cab.”

Inside the cab, the TV620B features 360-degree visibility and an 8-inch split-screen display that simultaneously shows both the rearview camera and equipment information. A cab-wide rearview mirror gives visibility to the back of the machine. Large windows provide visibility to the front of the machine down to the attachments and optimal sight lines to the sides and rear of the machine.

Ground-level maintenance points allow for easy access to critical components. “The rear of the machine features an extra-large engine compartment so the components are easily accessible for daily checks,” said MacIntyre. “Our battery is located in a separate panel with the battery and master disconnect switch. It’s very easy to access – you don’t need to open up the rear hood for that.”

A combination of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR), diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technologies enables the machine to meet emissions standards. The TV620B features no diesel particulate filter (DPF) and requires no regeneration, reducing downtime. An adjustable hydraulically reversing fan minimizes the buildup of debris in the engine compartment.

Production of the TV620B is underway, and customers can expect to see it at dealers in Q4 2021.

Quick Specs 

Operating Weight: 16,100 pounds    

Engine Horsepower: 114

Rated Operating Capacity (50 percent tipping load): 6,200 pounds

Rated Operating Capacity (35 percent tipping load): 4,340 pounds

Hinge Pin Height: 140.2 inches

Reach at Maximum Dump Height: 39 inches

Loader Breakout Force: 12,084 pounds

Bucket Breakout Force: 12,907 pounds

High-Flow Auxiliary Hydraulics: 41.6 gallons per minute at 3,450 psi; 83.7 hydraulic horsepower

Enhanced High-Flow Auxiliary Hydraulics: 41.6 gallons per minute at 4,100 psi; 99.5 hydraulic horsepower

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Dozers Decked Out with Tech: Pushing Dirt is Getting Easier

The market is full of new dozers and those new dozers are full of new technology.

The new tech includes increased automation features to make the machines easier to operate.

“One of the biggest struggles facing contractors today is finding and retaining skilled operators,” says Matt Goedert, solutions marketing manager, John Deere. “John Deere is developing several features to help overcome this challenge.”

Manufacturers have also focused on improved design to make their dozers quieter, more comfortable and with increased operator visibility.

Cat improved forward visibility up to 30% on its newest model, the D4. Visibility is especially improved to the top of the blade and the area in front of it. The company lowered the hood line and relocated components that could impede sight.

“The D4 is the smallest of Cat’s mid-size dozers,” says Sam Meeker, market professional, Cat. “Visibility is especially important in applications where this size class is typically found, where obstacles and workers are common on site.”

Here’s a look at the latest dozers and their new technology and design features:

New and improved

The D4 started last year as a rebadged D6K. This was done to align the machine with Cat’s revised machine model naming protocol and to fill a numeric gap in D Series dozers.

The current D4, however, is truly a new machine and has been available since the second quarter of this year.

The Cat D4 is powered by a Cat C4.4 engine rated at 130 net horsepower. Operating weight is 29,259 pounds in non-LGP with 22-inch shoes, and 30,882 pounds in LGP with 30-inch shoes. Blade capacities are 4.26 cubic yards non-LGP and 4.98 cubic yards LGP. Foldable blades are available for both and have the same capacities as the standard VPAT blades.CaterpillarThe rearview camera is integrated into the new 10-inch color touchscreen. The view can be on only during reverse travel or can be left on all the time. In the latter case, the camera view occupies about one-fourth of the screen and is surrounded by operating data. All Next Gen Cat dozers share the same screen layout to help with familiarity.

The D4 has all the machine control options Cat offers on its dozers, including Cat Grade with 3D and the ability to install systems from Topcon, Trimble and Leica. A Waste package includes guarded rear lights, double-skinned fuel and hydraulic tanks, final drive guard and air pre-cleaner.

The HD package is ideal for forestry, demolition and other high-demand applications. It has additional underbelly guards; additional sweeps, sealing and screening to keep out dust and debris; a reversing fan and heavy-duty fenders. Standard and low ground pressure (LGP) versions are available.

A variable pitch angle tilt (VPAT) blade is standard. Blade options include power pitch for more aggressive cutting, and folding blades that bring the blade within the width of the tracks (under 93.3 inches for standard pitch and under 110.8 inches for LGP).

Liebherr PR766 Generation 8 dozer
Liebherr offers six models of Generation 8 dozers, from the PR 716 G8 (132 horsepower, 29,231 pounds, 3.82-cubic-yard blade) to the PR 766 G8 (422 horsepower, 119,784 pounds, 22.23-cubic-yard blade). Available operator assist features include Free Grade blade stabilization, Definition Grade for 2D grading, and 3D Grade from Topcon for modeling complex terrain.Liebherr

Liebherr offers Generation 8 models of six dozers, from the 132-horsepower PR 716 G8 to the 422-horsepower PR 766 G8.

The five small and mid-size models come standard with 1D and 2D Liebherr Operator Assist Systems. 1D provides active blade stabilization for free grading; 2D provides active blade positioning for grading to longitudinal and cross slope specs.

3D Grade is an available option and has roof-mounted Topcon 3D Machine Control for complex 3D models. Ready kits, consisting of mounting and cabling, are available for customers using Trimble or Leica systems.

The large PR 766 G8 features Liebherr’s Delta High Drive as well as an oscillating idler and double bogie suspension for improved traction and comfort in mining and other production applications.

Liebherr Silent Design resulted in the company’s quietest dozers, thanks to noise-attenuating changes in cab mounting, hydraulics and drive systems on Generation 8 models.

Electronic pilot controls on the small- and mid-size models allow the operator to tailor response and speed of front and rear equipment and includes blade shake, rear ripper parking positioning and automatic blade lifting when reversing.

The LiDAT on Liebherr Generation 8 dozers has more sensors and greater data management capacity, helping ensure compatibility with current and future site management systems. All G8 models use common-rail diesel engines designed and built by Liebherr.

John Deere 750L Dozer
The John Deere 750L has a Deere PowerTech PVS 6068 engine rated at 131 net horsepower. Operating weight is 38,330 pounds. Blade capacity is 5.6 cubic yards. The dozer has hydrostatic drive with triple reduction final drive. The standard track has 40 shoes with a 7.5-inch pitch and single grousers designed for moderate service. Standard blade width is 129 inches; a 161-inch wide blade is optional.John Deere

Released in mid-2020, the 700L and 750L expand the L Series catalog for John Deere. The first was the 850L, released in 2019.

Features of the L Series include larger, more comfortable operator stations. Noise has been reduced more than half in the 700L compared to the 700K. Heated and ventilated premium seating and automatic temperature control are optional.

Horsepower and operating weight have been increased. An optional 161-inch blade is now available for the 750L. Hydraulic hose and electrical harness routing has been improved to reduce potential rub points, and hydraulic hose length on the 700L and 750L has been reduced 20%.

Komatsu D71PXi-24 dozer dirt pile
Komatsu’s D71PXiKomatsu

The D71-24 is Komatsu’s newest dozer. It is available with or without the company’s new iMC 2.0 intelligent Machine Control. All are powered by Komatsu SAA6D114E-6 engines rated at 237 net horsepower.

The D71 is Komatsu’s largest hydrostatic-drive dozer. Track options include 24-, 30- and 36-inch widths with blade capacities of 5.8 to 6.1 cubic yards.

“The D71 was a clean-sheet design,” says Andrew Earing, senior product manager, Komatsu. “The hydrostatic drive and standard PAT blade of the D71 make it a very nimble and versatile dozer.”

Other standard features include heated and ventilated seating, LED work lights and three-speed blade drop to shed sticky materials. Fast steering mode slows the inside track but also accelerates the outside track for tighter, faster turns while still allowing counter-rotation.

In a previous interview with Equipment World, LiuGong indicated its revamped Dressta dozers were scheduled for a fall launch. We have no additional information at this time.

Grade control technology

Deere has launched Slope Control on several dozer models in recent years, filling a need for less complex technology that doesn’t use a 3D model or external reference, such as a base station or laser.

“While adoption of 3D grade control systems has been significant over the past five or more years,” says Goedert. “There is still a place for entry-level grade control technology to grow adoption and simplify tasks.”

Slope Control automatically controls the blade, is designed to be simple to use and offers two operating modes, joystick and target. This entry-level system can be upgraded to Deere SmartGrade advanced 3D grade control at any time. SmartGrade performance responds to multiple inputs, including load levels, material types and dozing activities.

Case 1150M dozer machine control
Case factory-fit machine control from Leica is available on 750M through 2050M dozers. Multiple levels of control are also available. For customers with six-way (PAT) blades working in extreme conditions, the iCON grade MCP80SP adds SP sensor technology and dual blade-mounted GNSS antennas for speed and accuracy.Case CE

Case announced in March the availability of its factory-fit machine control option on 750M through 2050M dozers. Packages include Leica Co-Pilot, 2D and dual-mast 3D systems. The factory installation includes calibration using Case World Class Manufacturing processes so the dozer arrives at the dealership ready for immediate use.

Jeremy Dulak, product manager for dozers, cites several advantages to the factory-fit approach. “The first is simplified ordering. Working with your Case dealer, you can group the Leica system that best fits your operation in with the purchase of the machine.” This allows a single payment, a single financing package, a single approval and a single interest rate.

Factory fit also ensures that when the machine arrives at the dealer, “it’s ready to go after just a very quick calibration.” And factory fit preserves residual value, he adds, because “the second owner will have confidence knowing the system was purpose-built to that specific machine and meets all quality and performance standards intended by the manufacturer.”

Komatsu’s iMC 2.0 offers “grass-to-grade automation,” says Earing. Most systems focus on grading; iMC 2.0 adds automated lift control for the fill process. This dramatically aids  compaction and reduces the likelihood of costly rework by allowing each layer to be compacted before the next layer is lain.

Komatsu says iMC 2.0 brings performance to a level that is 96% equivalent to that of an experienced operator, which elevates the performance of lesser-skilled operators. Seasoned operators also benefit from iMC 2.0 because it will maintain settings they create, a feature Komatsu calls “operator-guided automation.”

Each Komatsu dealership has a technical service expert to help train customers on iMC 2.0. TSEs also help with the installation of systems from Topcon, Trimble and Leica.


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12 Road Projects Named Finalists for America’s Transportation Awards

After months of regional competitions, 12 road construction projects have been chosen as finalists for America’s Transportation Awards.

The awards, sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, include projects in Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Utah. Along with AASHTO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AAA sponsor the awards program.

“This competition recognizes just a few examples that highlight the ways in which state DOTs are improving quality of life and economic vitality of our communities, saving time and money through new innovations and technologies, and making better use of assets already in place,” says Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director.

The grand prize and People’s Choice winners will be announced October 26. Each winner receives $10,000 cash to donate to the charity of its choice. The competition evaluates projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Technology & Innovation; and Operations Excellence.

Finalists are also categorized by project size: small (projects costing up to $25 million); medium (projects costing between $26 million to $200 million); and large (projects costing more than $200 million).

Here are the 12 finalists:

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet – Brent Spence Bridge Emergency Repair Project (Operations Excellence, Small project group) (Photo above.)

Safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians was improved with the $13.9 million widening of the Fourth Street Bridge over Interstate 40 in Flagstaff, Arizona.Arizona Department of TransportationArizona DOT – Fourth Street Bridge over Interstate 40 (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium project group)

Margaret Rose Henry Bridge Delaware
The Delaware Department of Transportation alleviated traffic congestion and created more transportation options for a Wilmington community by constructing the $82 million Senator Margaret Rose Henry Bridge.Delaware DOTDelaware DOT – Margaret Rose Henry Bridge and Approach Roads (Operations Excellence, Medium project group)

Florida Gateway to Keys project wins award
The Florida DOT deployed a SMART Work Zone System that included a temporary traffic signal, three closed circuit cameras and nine Bluetooth devices on its project to improve the Cow Key Bridge.Florida Department of TransportationFlorida DOT – Leveraging Innovation: How FDOT Transformed the Gateway to Florida Keys (Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Small project group)

Grand Valley Boulevard Bridge Indiana DOT
The Indiana Department of Transportation opened the Grand Valley Boulevard Bridge on June 15, 2020, in Martinsville. Replacing a section of four-lane State Road 37, the bridge gives drivers and pedestrians a safe connection to neighborhoods, schools and businesses.Indiana Department of TransportationIndiana DOT – Grand Valley Boulevard Bridge (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small project group)

Turner Diagonal interchange Kansas City
Originally designed as a toll road in the 1960s but toll booths were never installed, the Turner Diagonal Interchange in Kansas City had three miles of obsolete and hazardous ramps. The Kansas Department of Transportation’s $30.3 million project increased safety and economic development.Kansas DOTKansas DOT – Turner Diagonal: Partnering for Growth (Operations Excellence, Medium project group)

New Jersey road shoulder installation Route 1
The $25 million Route 1 Permanent Hard Shoulder Running Project overseen by the New Jersey Department of Transportation improved safety, increased emergency access, increased capacity and travel reliability, and cut commute times by up to 50 percent.New Jersey DOTNew Jersey DOT – Route 1 Permanent Hard Shoulder Running Project (Operations Excellence, Small project group)

NCDOT Salem Parkway project wins award
The $101.6 million Salem Parkway improvement project in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The project included 10 bridge replacements, two new pedestrian bridges, a walking and biking path and extended sidewalks.NCDOTNorth Carolina DOT – Reconstruction of Salem Parkway (U.S. 421/I-40 Business) (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium project group)

Oregon snow safety project I-84 award
Oregon Department of Transportation developed a $15.6 million automated system that posts real-time weather, traffic flow and surface condition readings on digital billboards on Interstate 84 in northeastern Oregon.Oregon DOTOregon DOT – I-84 Snow Zone Safety Improvement Project (Operations Excellence, Small project group)

Ohiopyle park road project Pennsylvania award
To improve accessibility and safety for motorists, bicyclists, boaters and pedestrians along SR 381, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation launched a $12.8 million multimodal gateway project at Ohiopyle State Park.PennDOTPennsylvania DOT – Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small project group)

SCDOT rural road project wins award
This stretch of scenic S.C. 61 in the Charleston area underwent a $4.4 million improvement project to add new lanes and widen shoulders while reducing the number of trees cut.SCDOTSouth Carolina DOT – C. 61 Phase 1 (Rural Road Safety Program) (Operations Excellence, Small project group)

I-15 reconstruction Lehi Utah
The Utah Department of Transportation completed a $415 million project that widened I-15 to six lanes in each direction, reconfigured two interchanges, replaced 15 bridges, built a new bridge, and created a new flyover ramp to address traffic congestion in rapidly growing Lehi.Utah Department of TransportationUtah DOT – I-15; Lehi Main to S.R. 92, Technology Corridor (Quality of Life/Community Development, Large project group)

An independent panel of transportation experts will choose the Grand Prize winner, while the public will select the People’s Choice Award winner through online voting weighted to each state’s population, AASHTO says.

The online voting ends at 11:59 p.m. October 25. Votes can be cast at AmericasTransportationAwards.org.

AASHTO will announce the winners during its Annual Meeting October 26-29 in San Diego.

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Deere: Split With Hitachi Allows It to Flex Technology Muscle

What was behind the surprising Deere-Hitachi excavator split announced in August? What will this mean for Deere customers of both brands?


RuccoloJohn Deereerhaps a better question is what it won’t mean, says Domenic Ruccolo, speaking to Equipment World about the split. Ruccolo, a Deere veteran, is the company’s new senior vice president of sales, marketing and product support, global construction equipment. He also serves as chief sales officer for the Wirtgen Group.

“From a customer-support standpoint, I think the best way to put it is that there will be no change,” Ruccolo says. Irrespective of brand, Deere dealers will continue to support everything they have sold over the years “indefinitely,” he says. 

“There’s no question that we had a very successful partnership with Hitachi throughout the Americas for more than 30 years,” Ruccolo says. But times have changed, and “it was the right time for both of us to make this change,” he says. “Where we are really going our separate ways is on the marketing and product support side.”

After Feb. 28th, Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas will take over distribution and sale of its excavators. Hitachi plans to manufacture all of its excavators in Japan and import them to the North and South American markets. All manufacturing plants in the joint venture will remain with Deere post-split. This includes its flagship manufacturing facility in Kernersville, North Carolina, as well as plants in Brazil and British Columbia.

That doesn’t mean all has ended between the two companies, however. “We’re going to continue to have a strong relationship with Hitachi for years to come through our continuing supply agreement with them,” Ruccolo says.

Hitachi plants in Japan, for instance, will still make its above 47-metric-ton models, the 670G and 870G, and its 190G wheeled excavator.

Technology centric

During the joint venture, Deere relied on Hitachi’s excavator technology, although Ruccolo points out that Deere has developed its own excavator models over the past 13 years that were sold in markets such as Australia, Southeast Asia and Russia. “The agreement gives us the flexibility to transition on a model-by-model basis to Deere technology,” Ruccolo says. “We’re really excited about the opportunity to control our own journey in excavators.”

Ruccolo also says this transition to Deere technology supports the company’s overall smart industrial strategy announced in 2020.

“Obviously when we have our own technology in excavators, it makes the deployment of them a lot easier for us,” he says. Deere can also apply technologies to excavators that it develops in other markets — notably agriculture and as the result of acquisitions such as autonomous driving start-up Bear Flag Robotics.

Dealer reaction

Ruccolo says the Hitachi split was not expected by dealers, “and there was a bit of a shock factor.”

Still, “there’s a lot of excitement and a lot of energy around what the future holds” on the dealer side, he says. “Once we had the opportunity to explain the transition and what the future holds I think generally dealers are quite excited about the future.” 

He also says that by now Deere dealers are already well-versed in Deere’s new smart investment strategy. “Customers are going to experience the same continuity and exceptional support that comes in the form of reliable access to parts, solutions and service,” he says.

Three years down the road?

If plans proceed as envisioned, three years from now contractors will look back on an uninterrupted customer experience, Ruccolo says. “We intend to be there every step of the way from a support standpoint for our customers and dealers,” he comments.

And will the Kernersville plant start to produce excavators beyond its current 13- to 47-metric-ton segment? Ruccolo declined to comment.

The Deere-designed and manufactured excavator line, however, will be in full transition. “We want to accelerate the development of what we feel is industry-leading technology and machinery,” he says. “We’re full steam ahead.”

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“Death Trap” Chutes Removed from I-85 Work Zone in S.C.

Five miles of concrete barriers that created one-lane chutes on the I-85 widening project in Cherokee County, South Carolina, have been removed after being blamed for a deadly crash in the work zone. The remaining five miles of chutes are expected to be removed by the end of the year. 

The local coroner called the 10-mile section of one-lane chutes a “death trap” after three people were killed July 15 in an eight-vehicle crash. A tractor trailer had rear-ended the vehicles in one of the two southbound chutes near Gaffney. The semi was traveling in the passenger-car only chute instead of the one designated for truck traffic. 

After the crash, the S.C. Department of Transportation met with the contractor to remove the chutes between mile markers 81 and 91. The speed limit was dropped from 55 to 45 mph in the area and down to 35 mph in the chutes.

The State Transport Police and S.C. Highway Patrol stepped up traffic enforcement in the area. The DOT discussed options with national work zone experts, which recommended improved signs for truck restrictions in the work zone.

“This project has been plagued by crashes throughout the work zone, including crashes like this one that involved tractor trailers that were traveling in lanes designated for passenger vehicles only,” SCDOT said after the incident.         

The first section of chutes, between markers 81 and 86, were removed by September 15. The contractor is tasked with removing the chutes from markers 86 and 91 next. The SCDOT says 90 days of prep work is needed before the second five-mile section of chutes can be eliminated. It expects the removal to be finished before the end of the year.

The entire $830 million project involves widening and rehabilitating 29 miles of I-85 through Cherokee and Spartanburg counties between mile marker 77 and the N.C. state line. SCDOT commended the contractor, a joint venture of Blythe Construction and Zachry Construction, on removing the first chutes ahead of expectations. 

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Used Truck Prices Skyrocket, But Will the Bubble Burst?

The Class 8 auction market heats up more each month, and retail selling prices continue to crush records as the industry stands at the confluence of a strong freight market, an inadequate supply of low- to average-mileage used trucks and a shortage of drivers.

J.D. Power Senior Analyst and Product Manager of Commercial Vehicles Chris Visser, a guest during FTR’s ongoing virtual State of Equipment series, says “superheated rates” are keeping truck buyers energized. FTR forecasts rate increases to gradually relax and reach year-over-year parity starting in early 2022, while volume continues to grow into 2023. “In this market, we’re never going to have enough drivers to move the amount of freight that we have,” he says. “We’re really in a severe shortage of new trucks.”

The four-year truck trade cycle has been alive and well, Visser said, adding that 489,100 orders for trucks have been placed in the last 12 months with a bump in August due to the opening of model year 2023 build slots. However, OEMs have tamped down some of the enthusiasm as uncertainty surrounds the number of trucks they can build due to shortages of various components and workforce challenges. 

Based on the number of trucks bought in model years prior, the supply of trades was naturally set to increase by roughly 20% in 2022, but Visser says the new-truck shortage will delay that increase.

Model years 2015 and 2016 are the most common trucks on the auction market, Visser notes, adding that if you can find three- or four-year-old trucks at auction, be ready to pay upwards of $100,000 for them.

“2019s are three years old, and those trucks are selling for well over $100,000 on the retail market,” Visser says, “and they’re being snapped up.”

Year-over-year auction pricing has increased more quickly and steeply than retail, as a lack of inventory is currently limiting sales.

“Dealers would sell more trucks if they had more trucks to sell,” Visser says. 

An increasing number of fleets are bypassing dealers and auctions to dispose of late-model trucks because they’re so easy to sell. Visser adds the overall truck shortage has also pushed more fleets to the auction market as buyers, pitting them head-to-head against dealers and wholesalers on the auction floor and further driving up prices. 

“When there’s no bargain price equipment that’s unwanted, (trucking) business is tough,” Visser says. “It’s getting more and more difficult for an owner-operator to purchase a used truck.”

Trucks 4 to 6 years old brought 86.5% more money at auction from January to July this year compared to the same period in 2020. Monthly appreciation has averaged roughly 4.8% in 2021.

Retail pricing is now at a post-Great Recession high with monthly appreciation of 3- to 5-year-old trucks averaging 1.8% per month across-the-board and increasing to 5.3% for trucks with fewer than 500,000 miles.

Visser says J.D. Power’s 48-month residual forecasts will likely be adjusted upward due to lower than predicted build rate of model year 2022 and 2023 trucks. While there’s no change in sight for current conditions, he said pricing will eventually pull back. 

The used truck market will turn fairly quickly when new truck production returns to normal, parts shortages end and fleets start remarketing more trades through auctions, leaving the number of trucks on the ground and negative equity as concerns when supply returns to trend, Visser said. 

“I won’t say the bubble bursts,” he says, “but eventually pricing will return closer to trend as the availability of new trucks increases and economic factors work themselves out of the economy.” 

Fuel-saving equipment

Fuel-friendly specs 6x2s, wide-base wheels and aerodynamic equipment are hitting the used market in higher numbers, “and they do take a fairly substantial hit on the used side,” Visser says of used truck buyers typically seeking a dual rear-wheel, 6X4 configuration. 

Wheel covers and chassis fairings, Visser says, also “tend to be one more piece of equipment that break and tend to wear out.”

A full set of aluminum wheels, Visser says, is adding upwards of $2,000 over steel. 

The market is also warming up to automated manual transmissions (AMTs). Visser said most of the used truck market currently “wants” an AMT, adding that AMTs are now commanding a $2,000 to $3,000 price premium compared to a comparable manual transmission.

Historically, AMTs have been a pricing deduct compared to manuals, but that dynamic only exists currently with buyers seeking an 18-speed manual. 

“Value enhancers are engine size and horsepower,” Visser says, adding that buyers still put a premium on 500-plus-horsepower engines. Other possible equipment on used models include:

Electronic Driver Assist Systems The 2018 model was the first year of widespread installation for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, and while fleets want this technology on new trucks for safety and insurance savings, individual used buyers often need to be educated on how they work and their benefits. 

Gliders Gliders are commanding roughly a 20% premium compared to a factory original unit, applies-to-apples, Visser says, because they are in very limited supply and almost none are entering the market. “That will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future,” he says. 

Completed glider builds – Glider builds equipped with refurbished engines and transmissions in new truck bodies and chassis became popular among owner-operators and small fleets as an alternative to buying new in the wake of tightening federal emissions regulations that took effect in 2008 and 2011. 

But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency crippled the glider industry with its Phase II emission regulations, sending independent shops that produced most of the kits retreating to repair/replacement when OEMs stopped selling chassis for gliders or selling gliders themselves. 

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Why Is Terex Trucks’ Articulated Truck Line Now Called Rokbak?

When Volvo Group changed the name of its Terex Trucks articulated truck line to Rokbak earlier this month, it represented the first time the company had created an entirely new brand, says Paul Roberts, Rokbak managing director.

North American dealer input played an integral role in the rebranding.

RobertsVolvoAfter the dust settled following Volvo’s 2014 acquisition of Terex’s articulated and rigid-frame truck lines, “we started having a dialogue with our dealers and customers asking how they felt about the brand and what it should look like,” Roberts tells Equipment World.

Volvo had changed the division name to Terex Trucks with the understanding it would be a step along the way to new identities. (The rigid frame trucks  directed primarily at the mining  and quarry segments  are now Volvo branded; both truck types are manufactured in Motherwell, Scotland.)

And with Terex now concentrating on lifting, material handling and processing, “there was quite a lot of separation from that brand,” Roberts says. “And after quite a few years of Volvo ownership, there was still some confusion in the marketplace regarding who we were. Was it still part of Terex or part of Volvo? Did Volvo buy Terex?”

About three years ago, Volvo started to delve into the Terex Truck artic product branding, asking dealers if it was time for a change. “The answers were very clear: we had to start thinking about where the brand should go,” Roberts says. “We sampled a few names with some key dealers. We wanted to convey that this is a strong, simple product that’s as solid as a rock.” 

At the forefront in this effort was the North American articulated truck market. “The North American market is hugely important,” Roberts says. “In some years, it makes up 50% of the world market for articulated haul trucks, which can be around 8,000 units. North American customers and dealers really know the product and its applications.”

Rokbak artics are distributed by around 30 North American independent multiline dealers and not through the Volvo CE dealer network, which, of course, distribute Volvo’s popular artic line. “We keep the brands separate,” Roberts says. “It’s a different platform and design.”

Volvo says the two Rokbak models, the the 30.9-ton RA30 and the 41.9-ton RA40, offer better fuel economy, lower emissions, improved safety and greater durability than the previous Terex Truck models.
Volvo says the two Rokbak models, the the 30.9-ton RA30 and the 41.9-ton RA40, offer better fuel economy, lower emissions, improved safety and greater durability than the previous Terex Truck models.Volvo

Roberts points out that the articulated hauler space has relatively few competitors. He sees two types of customers: those looking for feature-laden premium products and those wanting simpler products. Rokbak products would tend to appeal to smaller to medium-sized earthmoving contractors. Top Rokbak markets are Florida, the Carolinas and Texas. The division is also looking to expand in Georgia and some areas in Canada. 

Today’s supply-chain problems, however, have created interest in Rokkbak trucks outside its usual customer base, says Roberts. It’s a two-edged sword, however, since the division also faces similar supplier issues as other OEMs. 

Volvo says the two Rokbak models, the the 30.9-ton RA30 and the 41.9-ton RA40, offer better fuel economy, lower emissions, improved safety and greater durability than the previous Terex Truck models, TA300 and TA400. For artics going to the European market, Europe’s Stage 5 engine requirements also prompted major changes in the machine control, intake and exhaust system that will not be part of the North American product.

Volvo traces the Rokbak’s lineage to 1934 when Euclid Road Machinery built what Volvo calls the world’s first off-road truck, the Model 1Z. The trucks have been made in Motherwell, Scotland, since 1950. General Motors bought Euclid in 1953 and renamed its earthmoving division “Terex,” from the Latin “terra” (earth) and “rex” (king). Terex became independent of General Motors in 1987, was bought by North West Engineering in 1992, forming Terex Corporation. Volvo Group then bought the off-road truck line from Terex in 2014.

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Equipment World Announces Editorial Leadership Transition

After a stretch of more than three decades, Randall-Reilly announces a change at the top of the Equipment World editorial team.

Marcia Doyle, Equipment World’s chief editor, is retiring at the end of 2021. She will be succeeded by Jordanne Waldschmidt, formerly head of content for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), who joins the Equipment World team this month as chief editor. Doyle will serve as the brand’s editor emeritus during the transition.

Doyle joined Randall-Reilly in 1989 and has expertly guided Equipment World since its inception, helping readers navigate the ever-changing construction industry and evolving equipment trends. She also served as editorial director for Randall-Reilly’s construction brands and successfully launched new brands in related markets such as Total Landscape Care and Big Iron Dealer.

Under Doyle’s leadership, Equipment World has become the most respected media brand in the construction industry and has won dozens of awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors and other industry associations. Equipment World’s June 2018 special report, “Death by Trench,” won the Jesse H. Neal award for Best Single Issue from Connective, the Business Information Association, a division of SIIA.

“Equipment World would not be where it is today without Marcia’s tireless service and dedication over the last 32 years,” said Jeff Crissey, content director, OEM/Aftermarket, for Randall-Reilly. “She has been the driving force behind award-winning content, and most recently guided the Equipment World team through the transition from print to digital and multimedia content.”

Waldschmidt joins Randall-Reilly from AEM, where she served as the organization’s content marketing manager for more than nine years leading trade show editorial, content marketing and social media strategies. Her audience focus and multimedia content skillset will propel Equipment World to new heights for audience engagement.

Waldschmidt has earned awards from the Content Marketing Institute, Construction Media Alliance and other organizations for her forward-looking approach to social media and audience engagement for AEM’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show.

“For decades, Equipment World has set the standard for trusted industry news and insights,” said Waldschmidt. “It is an honor to lead a team of top journalists as we explore new opportunities to serve construction professionals in a digital-first world.”

“Serving this industry as a journalist has been a great honor,” said Doyle. “I treasure the memories and look forward to seeing Jordanne and her team propel Equipment World to new heights.”

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Contractor Faces $1.35M in Fines After 2 Die in Dump Truck Incident

A Boston area contractor faces $1.35 million in penalties following the death of two workers who were hit by a dump truck and then fell into a 9-foot-deep excavation, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The trenching, excavation and underground construction contractor was cited with 28 violations. OSHA also used its “egregious citation policy” to propose additional penalties due to the company’s history of infractions and the severity of the incident, the agency said. The policy enables OSHA to issue a separate financial penalty for each of the 28 violations.

OSHA said the contractor had been fined for 14 previous violations for a total of $81,242. However, $73,542 of those fines were unpaid and referred to debt collection. OSHA is also investigating another incident involving alleged excavation violations on August 13 on a utilities project in East Boston.

Atlantic Coast Utilities/Advanced Utilities of Wayland, Massachusetts, was the contractor on a sewer repair project in downtown Boston on February 24 when Jordy Alexander Castaneda Romero, 27, and Juan Carlos Figueroa Gutierrez, 33, died. OSHA says the penalties also affect predecessor company Shannon Construction Corporation, owner Laurence Moloney and successor company Sterling Excavation. Sterling was also the contractor on the August 13 project being investigated.

“While two families still mourn the loss of their loved ones, this employer has ignored safety violations, failed to pay fines and shown a total disregard for the safety of its employees,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health James Frederick. “OSHA will use every enforcement and legal tool available to hold scofflaw companies such as this and their owners accountable.”

OSHA issues citations

On February 24, Romero and Gutierrez were working on an emergency sewer repair project when an Atlantic Coast Utilities dump truck struck them while backing up and caused them to fall into the excavation.

Emergency responders found them in the hole, and they were pronounced dead on the scene.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating the incident.

The bulk of the proposed financial penalties, which total $1,350,884, were related to failing to train workers on excavation and road work hazards.

“When you fail to train your employees properly, you deny them the most valuable tool they can have, knowledge. Knowledge to do their work correctly and safely, knowledge to understand the hazards that accompany their job and knowledge of how to identify and eliminate those hazards before they injure, sicken or kill workers,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Jeffrey Erskine in Boston.

OSHA also issued the following safety and health violations for the incident:

Inadequate cave-in protection. Failing to protect workers from potentially hazardous gases in the excavation. Repeat violation for workers in a trench where the pavement has been undermined.Ladder did not extend at least 3 feet above street level.No inspections program for worksites.Traffic control measures did not meet standards.Defects had not been corrected on dump truck before incident.Workers were not wearing high-visibility vests.Failure to properly document and report the two deaths to OSHA.

D.C. DOT Opens Triple-Arch Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge

Vehicles can now travel the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., marking the end of the largest construction project in the District Department of Transportation’s history.

Work began in 2018 on the triple-arch bridge over the Anacostia River. It replaces a 70-year-old bridge to provide an updated link between Maryland and D.C. It is part of a program to improve safety and traffic on the I-295/D.C. 295 corridor. The next phase involves reconstructing the Suitland Parkway/I-295 interchange.

A year ago, the city celebrated the last piece of the final arch being placed. The new bridge is 100 feet parallel to the old bridge, which has been traveled by 77,000 vehicles a day, mostly of Maryland commuters to D.C. It was deemed to be functionally obsolete. All traffic had been shifted from the old bridge to the new one by September 12.

The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., being prepared for its opening.District Department of TransportationAlong with the arches, features on the new bridge include four pedestrian overlooks and two piers that appear to float on the river. Six lanes of traffic now span the bridge, as well as new biking and walking paths.

The contractor for the new bridge consists of a joint venture of Archer Western Construction and Granite Construction companies. AECOM is the lead designer, and HNTB is assisting the District Department of Transportation with program and construction management.

Check out this DDOT video of the final arch piece being installed:

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