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“Minimum Swing with Maximum Space”: JCB’s New 245XR Excavator

JCB has expanded its X Series of excavators with the reduced tailswing 28-ton 245XR while maintaining the lineup’s spacious cab.

Between 2018 and 2019, JCB rolled out five X Series excavators. But Tim Burnhope, chief innovation and growth officer, said there was still something missing in the line. As infrastructure needs and funding have grown, more contractors are finding themselves on tighter jobsites.

“We needed to complement our existing conventional tailswing models with a reduced tailswing model, a machine that could [operate] safely in urban settings, on utilities jobsites and on road construction projects,” Burnhope says.

That led JCB to develop the 5-foot 8-inch tailswing model, which has 40% less tail swing than its sister model the 220X. At 28 tons, the 245XR weighs 2 tons more than the 220X. JCB says it gave the 245XR an extra 2 tons of counterweight, and it recessed the counterweight to protect the rear end from impact damage.

JCB designed the reduced-tailswing 245XR excavator for such tasks as roadwork beside traffic.JCBThe next challenge was to reduce tail swing without sacrificing any space for the series’ standard Command Plus cab. JCB reports that the operator station is the same size as the 220X at 39 inches wide and 100 cubic feet of volume, delivering what it calls “minimum swing with maximum space.”  

To achieve the same performance, the company developed what it calls its strongest ever boom. The standard boom is composed of one piece for strength and lighter weight, according to Burnhope. A triple-articulated boom is optional.

A dipper-arm choice of 94 or 118 inches is offered. Dig reach with the mono boom is 31 feet and dig depth is 22 feet. The turntable rated at 26 tons is designed to increase digging force while distributing the force throughout the undercarriage, says Adrian Hall, heavy excavators product general manager.

The 245XR is equipped with heavy-duty track pads of 600 to 900 millimeters for “exceptional stability,” Burnhope says. A dozer blade is optional.

JCB 245XR excavator reduced tail swing
The JCB 245XR excavator’s dig reach with the mono boom is 31 feet and dig depth is 22 feet.JCBThe new excavator – along with all of the five other models in the X Series – gets a new JCB Stage V engine. Stage V is the new European emissions standard. The 245XR runs on a 172-horsepower JCB 448 diesel engine. Stage V and Tier 4 Finals emissions standards are achieved by selective catalytic reduction, diesel particulate filter and diesel oxidation catalyst.

Burnhope says the new engine does not require exhaust gas recirculation. He also says the new engine burns cleaner than the former diesel engine on the 220X, but delivers the same amount of torque of 708 foot-pounds. It also consumes 5% less fuel than the former Tier 4 motor, he says.

The engines now also feature auto-stop and auto-idle as standard to reduce fuel consumption and emissions when not in use.

JCB designed the excavator’s hydraulics for precise, smooth movement. The system features the latest Kawasaki pumps and Kayaba main control valve. The diameter of the hydraulic hose has been increased to improve hydraulic flow for increased performance and efficiency, Burnhope says.

JCB 245XR excavator reduced tail swing cab
JCB kept the same Command Plus cab on its other five X Series excavators on the reduced-tailswing 245XR.JCBThe full-size Command Plus cab is equipped with a variety of seat choices, including one with built-in heating and cooling and electric lumbar support. Standard cab features include rear and side cameras, heating and air, and Bluetooth integrated into the 7-inch control screen. The cab has double cushion viscous mounts to reduce vibration, and interior noise to 69 decibels. The joystick and switch controls are mounted to the seat and move with the operator.

JCB also placed the 245XR’s main service points in one ground-level compartment that is accessed by a large swing door. The company increased service intervals to 2,000 hours for air and hydraulic filters, and to 500 hours for engine oil.

Quick Specs

Max bucket capacity – 1.63 cubic yardsMax operating weight – 60,184 poundsHorsepower – 172Tail swing – 5 feet 8 inchesTravel speed – 1.99 to 3.54 mphMax digging reach (mono boom) – 32 feet 1 inchMax digging depth (mono boom) – 21 feet 9 inches



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Construction Begins on Tennessee’s Most Expensive Road Project

Work has begun on widening I-65 from Nashville to the Kentucky line, the highest-cost road project in the state’s history.

The interstate will be widened from four to six lanes.

In all, nearly 26 miles of roadway will be widened to address safety and improve traffic flow. The roadway currently sees high traffic, especially at peak commuter times, leading to traffic jams and crashes, says the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Shoulders of 12 feet wide will be added, as well as concrete median barrier wall in places.

The project includes two northbound truck-climbing lanes and an auxiliary lane in each direction between interchanges at Exits 96 and 97.

The project has been broken down into five phases. Jones Bros. of Tennessee has won the $160 million contract – the largest award in TDOT history – for the 9.68-mile section from State Route 25 to near SR 109 in Davidson County, which is set to begin.

Along with widening, that section requires the replacement of 10 bridges, replacing an overpass and building 17 retaining walls. The northbound weigh station will be converted to tractor trailer parking. And Intelligent Transportation Systems will be added throughout the corridor.

Work is expected to be completed in December 2025, with road closures mostly on nights and weekends. The contractor has incentives to finish early, as well as penalties for missing deadline, according to TDOT.

Other sections of the project are as follows:

From Rivergate Parkway to near SR 41 (US 31W)From near SR 41 (US 31W) to near SR 257 (Bethel Road)From SR 257 (Bethel Road) to SR 25 (Main Street)

A section between SR 109 and the Kentucky line has been completed.


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Industry Roundup: National Equipment Dealers buys Richardson

National Equipment Dealers (NED) has bought Richardson Service 1991, expanding its organization in South Carolina.

Based in Conway, South Carolina, Richardson specializes in construction, forestry and compact equipment and will now represent Hyundai Construction Equipment, Manitou, Sakai, Yanmar and Bell.

The former Richardson branch will be the first location among NED companies renamed as NED. Over the coming months, NED will rebrand the remaining MAY-RHI, Earthmovers Construction Equipment and Four Seasons branches to NED.

Through Richardson, NED gains the Berko, CMI and Prinoth lines. The entire Richardson team will remain with NED.

F&W adds Ransome Attachments

Pictured are (from left): Eric Ransome and Barbara Freund of Ransome Attachments, and Matt Valentine and Mark Laigle of F&W.Ransome Attachments

F&W Equipment has added the complete line of attachments offered by Ransome Attachments, including its Exac-One Mini Mower and Black Splitter S2 800 Cone Splitter. 

F&W also offers Kubota compact and mid-size farm and landscaping equipment, Doosan excavators, wheel loaders and compact equipment, as well as other specialty equipment.

Maverick joins Morbark

Maverick Environmental Equipment has been named a Morbark Industrial Products dealer for Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and western West Virginia. Maverick has locations in Newbury and Bremen, Ohio, with a focus on aggregate processing, waste recycling, forestry and biomass.

H&E completes crane sale 

H&E Equipment Services has completed the $130 million cash sale of its crane business to Manitowoc. H&E says it will use the funds for facilities expansion, rental fleet investment and general corporate purposes. 

“We believe our transition to a pure rental business strategy should result in improved revenues and margins through the industry cycle,” says Brad Barber, H&E CEO.

H&E also sold two earthmoving distribution branches in Arkansas, and will remain a distributor of earthmoving equipment in Louisiana. The company now has 101 branch locations in 24 states.

SMH Group adds Wood’s CRW

Wood’s CRW is now a dealer for Atlas material handlers, owned by SMH Group US. The Atlas line includes mobile industrial machines and industrial tracked machines for the scrap, wood and recycling markets, among others.

Based in Williston, Vermont, Wood’s CRW has four locations with coverage in all or part of eight states. It offers Volvo Construction Equipment, Link-Belt cranes and excavators, National cranes and Mecalac product lines.

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Vanair Debuts EPEQ Battery-Powered Truck-Mounted Compressor Line

Vanair unveiled its new electric battery-powered product line for its truck-mounted air compressors and other equipment at this year’s Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.

The new EPEQ equipment allows you to turn off the truck’s engine while running tools and equipment, releasing no emissions from the power source. Prior to the EPEQ debut, Vanair’s products have been PTO-driven off the truck’s chassis, hydraulic driven or they had their own combustion engine.

The heart of the Electrified Power System is the company’s new ELiMent lithium-ion phosphate battery. The system can be mounted on or within combustion-engine vehicles, electric vehicles and trailers.

Along with zero emissions, the EPEQ system reduces noise, heat and weight, while also reducing maintenance and overall vehicle costs, the company says.

The ELiMent battery system can discharge power at the same time it is being charged. ELiMent batteries can power electric-motor driven air compressors, electric-hydraulic power, AC power inverters, welders and electric-driven above-deck air compressors, among other devices.

The 48-volt battery system delivers 5 kilowatts of power. It is designed to be plug and play and mobile, as a 13-inch cube weighing 95 pounds versus a lead-acid battery setup of about 300 pounds and 3 feet. The company says it also plans to soon launch a 48-volt, 7.5-kilowatt version.

The Vanair EPEQ Air20 air compressor is powered by the company’s new battery and doesn’t use the truck’s engine to run.VanairAlong with the new battery system, Vanair displayed its new EPEQ Air20 reciprocating air compressor. The compressor produces 20 cubic feet per minute at 150 psi. It is designed to run such tools as an impact wrench. Vanair says it delivers a 20% efficiency gain for longer battery life.

Vanair also unveiled its EPEQ Air45 air-on-demand rotary screw compressor. It produces 20 to 45 cubic feet per minute for running a 1-inch impact wrench, inflating tires and similar functions.

The company also displayed a truck-mounted above-deck compressor powered by a 300-volt, 30-kilowatt ELiMent battery. The compressor produces 160 CFM at 250 psi.

Other products unveiled at The Utility Expo included:

An EPEQ welder with an integrated battery pack inside it. It weighs 33 pounds. A 48-volt, 5-kilowatt alternator, which allows you to charge the ELiMent battery while the battery is discharging. The alternator can be mounted under the vehicle.An EPEQ 3,000-watt inverter that can take a 48-volt input and put out 120 volts on the vehicle.An EPEQ 5,000-watt inverter that is stackable. So if you add two, then it can work like a 10,000-watt inverter and so on.

The company says all of these devices will communicate with its battery management system.





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Skycatch Releases Flight1x Cloud-Based Drone Solution

Using photogrammetry, drones can collect enormous amounts of information on earthmoving, industrial and mining sites. But when it comes to downloading all that data … put on a fresh pot of coffee, there’s lots of time involved.

That’s why many in the industry may be interested to hear that Skycatch, a data automation and analytics provider for drone mapping, has announced the release of Flight1x, a cloud-based solution for the DJI M300 drone platform.

Built on technology adopted by large mining companies and suppliers such as Komatsu and AngloAmerican, Flight1x is proprietary software developed specifically for the M300 that, according to the company, offers the most complete end-to-end high precision industrial drone capabilities available today.

Compared to off-the-shelf photogrammetry tools and laser sensors, Skycatch’s drone software reduces the time required to obtain high-accuracy 3D data by 60% and delivers results in 10 to 15 minutes compared to the more typical three hours. Flight1x takes these capabilities to the next level on the M300, delivering sub-3-centimeter accuracy for tailings management and inspection.

This reduces surveying costs, improves production planning and minimizes the risk of human error in hazardous mining sites. Skycatch’s analytics platform, Datahub, delivers added value for specific industrial workflows such as pit survey, highwall mining and repeatable tailings inspections.

Skycatch specializes in bridging data from the physical world to the digital. The new Flight1x solution delivers data and network security via Skycatch servers in the United States coupled with advanced automation features like a 3D first-mission planner, mining-focused workflows and deep integration into Datahub.

Additional functions and features when using the Flight1x software and M300 include:

Automated capture, extraction and processing of high-precision 3D point clouds.>Specialized mission planning automation to extract data from complex terrains such as high walls.>Complete industrial data capture and processing for repeatable and automated spot inspection.>Consistent data retrieval analysis of thousands of terrain spots in a single location by an automated industrial drone. >Automated aerial robot technology built on Skycatch’s platform that eliminates need for manual pilots and reduces risk of human error.

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Task Force Racing to Develop Tech Guidance for Electric Trucks

Editor’s note: Trucking industry efforts to develop recommended practices for training techs on electric trucks may offer a glimpse of what the construction industry will go through as more electric machines reach the marketplace. Here’s what’s happening on the trucking side.

Electric vehicle (EV) research and development has become a major business unit for North American truck OEMs (and new industry players), but those efforts still represent a focus on the future rather than a necessity for today. 

An American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) study group intends to develop a recommended practice (RP) for Electric Vehicle Technician Training. Most of the discussion has focused on how fundamentally different EV operation is from conventional diesel engines, and how all service shops (fleets, dealers, independent service providers, etc.) will need to invest heavily in training to ensure their employees can correctly and safely perform EV service.

Kevin Otto, formerly with Cummins, led the discussion during a recent TMC meeting.

In opening the task force meeting, Otto said he estimates nearly every diesel technician working in trucking today will require substantial education on electrical systems to even approach working on EVs, let alone become an expert. Because today’s Class 8 trucks run almost entirely on 12-volt DC power — alternators use AC power within a closed system — most technicians have no experience working on or around higher voltage equipment.

Otto said obviously that will need to change. The electrical power running through a conventional Class 8 truck is dangerous enough. But in a vehicle fully run by batteries? Otto said untrained technicians attempting to service an EV tractor could put themselves in serious danger.

“These battery packs will pack a big wallop,” he said. ‘[Electric trucks] will be foreign for folks who haven’t worked on these systems before.”

That’s where TMC wants to help. Otto said TMC hopes to encourage participation from heavy-duty OEMs to leverage the EV training programs they are already developing for their dealer partners to put together top-level guidance that can be applied across the industry. Once developed, Otto said TMC’s RP won’t attempt to provide granular details on how to complete every EV repair, but it will hopefully offer clear and detailed descriptions of what training a technician needs before being allowed to start an EV service event.

The study group also intends for the RP to address battery testing, charging, shipping and handling, tool requirements and more. Meeting attendees spoke to the importance of each step, noting how dangerous battery packs for heavy trucks could be for an untrained professional.

With electric trucks now available to order but still mostly in development, it’s likely the study group has some time before its RP must be completed. Nevertheless, Otto said the group intends to work quickly once task force leadership is established so the RP beats the Class 8 EVs to the mainstream.

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Ritchie Acquires SmartEquip, Makes Parts Play

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is acquiring SmartEquip for $175 million, a deal that will give Ritchie “asset-specific full-lifecycle parts and service support” to dealers, OEM partners and buyers, says Ritchie CEO Ann Fandozzi. 

The acquisition, says Fandozzi, “furthers our goal of providing the best experience for our customers as we continue our transition from a traditional auctioneer to a marketplace for insights, services and transaction solutions for commercial assets.”

A multi-manufacturer platform, SmartEquip provides real-time service and diagnostic support that is customized via serial number to each asset on a customer’s fleet. It also enables online parts buying from OEMs and dealers. In the announcement Ritchie says SmartEquip supports about $1 billion in annual transaction volume with more than 600 OEM brands, on behalf of fleet locations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. 

For the foreseeable future, SmartEquip will continue to operate as a standalone business headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut. 

The move will “accelerate SmartEquip’s ability to support its rapidly growing footprint across our joint global marketplaces,” says Bryan Rich, SmartEquip executive chairman. The firm has 60 employees, who will transition to Ritchie.

Ritchie says this acquisition will accelerate parts and service sales on behalf of its dealers and OEM partners by “providing a seamless experience for users.” It also will deepen its inventory management system connectivity, enabling solutions around inspections and ancillary services and enable optimization of search and advertising revenue streams, Ritchie says.

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Cat Electrifies Its Largest Dozer, the D11 XE

Fewer moving parts generally mean lower maintenance costs and longer life. Combine that with the power efficiency of electric drive on a D11 size dozer moving hundreds of tons of material a day, now you’re talking real savings.

That’s the program Caterpillar is developing behind its newest dozer, the D11 XE shown at MINExpo this year. The D11 XE is currently operating at Caterpillar’s dozer proving grounds in Peoria, Illinois, and will complete an extensive field validation plan before entering full production.

According to the company,  it delivers the lowest cost per bank cubic meter in dozing operations and 25% better fuel efficiency. As for maintenance, the electric-drive technology results in a 20% increase in time between engine rebuilds, while 60% fewer moving parts translates to more machine uptime.  

Tapping into Cat’s 20 years of experience with electric drives, the D11 XE dozer’s system delivers constant power to the ground, continuous pushing and greater maneuverability for faster cycle times and improved fuel efficiency.

Although the D11 XE is a new design, the machine shares some components with Cat’s mechanical-drive models. That similarity means mechanics are already familiar with many of the dozer’s systems, and owners have fewer parts to stock.  

The new dozer’s modular design simplifies maintenance through improved serviceability of the powertrain. Fewer moving parts alsomean less wrenching required to maintain the dozer and lower service costs.

Also new with this dozer is the integration of powertrain, electronics and software controls which facilitate the use of Cat technologies such as MineStar Command for dozing with remote control or semi-autonomously.


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Truckers Banned from I-95 Work Zone in Delaware

To try to keep workers safe on a major rehabilitation project on Interstate 95, the Delaware Department of Transportation has banned tractor trailers on northbound lanes in the work zone.

“Since the beginning of the I-95 rehabilitation project there have been nearly two dozen crashes involving tractor trailers in the construction zone,” says Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “While the tractor trailer operators are not always at fault in these incidents, these crashes have shut down the roadway for lengthy periods of time, and this is an additional step we are taking to increase safety in this construction zone.”

The road section through downtown Wilmington is now only open to two-axle vehicles and buses until the project is completed. The section extends from I-495 north to the Brandywine River Bridge.

DelDOT said it implemented the temporary restriction after talks with the Delaware State Police in an effort to reduce crashes in the work zone.  

The DOT also asks that drivers of vehicles with more than two axles avoid the southbound lanes of the area. But it adds that it would be too difficult to enforce a restriction on those lanes due to the multiple access points.

Interstate 95 through Wilmington, Delaware, is undergoing major construction to extend its life.Delaware DOTThe I-95 rehabilitation project involves deck repairs and replacement, as well as other improvements to 19 bridges and ramps, including the Brandywine River Bridge. The bridges, built in 1964, are rated to be in “fair” condition and in need of major repairs to extend their lives. The mainline concrete pavement between the Wilmington Viaduct and Brandywine Bridge needs to be reconstructed. The area also needs new concrete barriers, signs and lights, according to DelDOT. Work began in February on the $200 million project and is expected to be completed in Summer 2023. 

The old concrete on the bridge decks will be removed using hydro-demolition equipment. After the top 2 inches are removed, they will be resurfaced with ultra-high-performance concrete, which will reduce the number of bridge joints. After the work is completed, the roadway is expected to last another 30 years.

DelDOT says that without the repairs, the entire section would need to be rebuilt.

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eBay “Doubles Down” on Used Equipment Market with Bidadoo Investment

Saying it is “doubling down” on providing tailored solutions for customer segments, eBay has taken a minority stake in online auction company bidadoo. While the two companies have had an 18-year partnership, the investment takes things to the next level, says Howard Hawk, bidadoo president.

For eBay, the deal was prompted by the rapid transition of the heavy equipment industry from in-person to online transactions experienced during the pandemic. “By harnessing the capabilities and experience of bidadoo  the largest industrial seller on the platform eBay can offer end-to-end transactions that are more transparent and efficient, while boosting buyer confidence in their purchase without having to see an item in person,” says Chris Prill, vice president of eBay Motors, North America.

The companies estimate the value of the highly fragmented used equipment market at $50 to $60 billion.

“EBay and bidadoo are primed to meet this demand head on by connecting global buyers with equipment sellers through a seamless, industry-leading experience,” Prill says. “Professionals can not only discover high-quality equipment, parts and attachments, but also enjoy additional protections including machine evaluations and demos, eBay’s Business Equipment Purchase Protection (BEPP), and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.”

HawkbidadooFor bidadoo the deal “will add new value to both buyers and sellers,” Hawk says in comments to Equipment World. The two companies will remain separate although the brands will be brought closer together to show that “while it’s still bidadoo, we will have the the full power of the eBay platform, and bring more of their tools into the marketplace,” he says.

First up will be a “significantly expanded” field sales and solutions team along with marketing activities across all eBay channels, Hawk says. Another focus will be rolling out technologies and solutions that take advantage of this multi channel retail, wholesale and auction approach. 

Buyers will see a lot more inventory plus added retail options, Hawk says. There will be more items offered on a “buy it now” basis. Sellers also will have more remarketing options. The inventory boost will come from the variety of used equipment channels, including dealers, rental companies, governments and utilities along with companies in the transportation and agricultural markets. 

Bidadoo will also be rolling out additional buyer assurance programs “to further enhance buyer trust and give them the transparency they need to make intelligent buying decisions,” Hawk says.

During Q2,  bidadoo says it saw a 65% increase in new seller accounts those using its platform for the first time over Q2 2020. And today’s hot used equipment market prompted a 15% to 30% increase in sales pricing and demand in several asset categories. It also notes it’s selling bigger equipment: its average sales price per item rose more than 75% in the quarter compared to Q2 2020. 

“We track ourselves against a live auction model,” Hawk says. Bidadoo says it gets around 1,700 views per sale item, which it says is about 17 times more views per item versus a live auction platform that has simulcast online bidding. “The activity level is pretty astounding,” Hawk says. Bidadoo now has more than 63% mobile participation.

Currently, 70% of bidadoo’s inventory is construction equipment, Hawk says. The company also a presence in used truck and trailers. “But we will be investing in transportation, agriculture and equipment that comes through banks and lending institutions,” he says. 

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