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Honda’s Autonomous Work Vehicle Put to the Test at 1,000-Acre Jobsite (Video)

Every newbie who ever worked in construction knows the grunt work of having to haul material around the jobsite. Well, good news newbies.

Honda has a prototype robot that someday may put an end to this backbreaking tradition. At a large-scale Black & Veatch solar installation jobsite in New Mexico, the company successfully tested the latest prototype Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV). (Check out the video at the bottom of this story.)

And perhaps the coolest thing about the Honda AWV project is that it is actively soliciting contractors who want to help design the next version of the robot. Companies interested in testing the Honda AWV in their work environment can contact Honda at: [email protected].

Hefty payloads

During the month-long field test in New Mexico, the second-generation prototype of the fully electric Honda AWV performed a range of functions including towing activities and transporting construction materials, water and other supplies to pre-set destinations within the worksite.

The vehicle carried payloads of nearly 900 pounds, and in a separate use case, it towed a trailer hauling more than 1,600 pounds. While Honda previously tested an earlier generation of the Honda AWV, this field test was the first to deploy multiple units working collaboratively to support construction use cases.

Honda has been tinkering with the AWV platform for a while. It was introduced as a concept at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. You can see what we wrote about the first version here: Honda unveils autonomous construction robot, wants your input on what to do with it

GPS guidance

The current version of the Honda AWV employs a suite of sensors to guide the unit autonomously, using GPS for location, radar and LiDAR for obstacle detection and stereoscopic (3D) cameras for remote monitoring. The vehicle also can be operated by remote control.

To validate the capabilities of the Honda AWV, the company selected a Black & Veatch’s solar energy construction site where support structures for solar panels are laid out in a grid pattern at regular intervals over a thousand acres. The site was an ideal environment to test the ability of the Honda AWV to stop at precise points along a pre-set route.

Cloud-based directions

Honda produced a high-definition map of the site that allowed Black & Veatch operators to precisely set start and stop points for multiple Honda AWVs using a cloud-based app interface that runs on tablets and PCs. The vehicles successfully delivered materials and supplies along a calculated route and stopped within centimeters of their pre-set points.

The field test also demonstrated the viability of the Honda AWV battery system to support energy-intensive sensors and provide vehicle propulsion, while operating up to eight hours in a high-temperature environment.

Based on the capabilities verified in this field test, Honda says its AWV will be capable of providing a wide range of services to a variety of industries that need a rugged off-road autonomous solution, especially where workforce constraints and safety concerns make other solutions impractical. The ability to operate autonomously, or with remote control, and carry large payloads, along with the potential to add attachments and tools, make the Honda AWV a suitable platform for many work environments.

Efficiency and safety

The goal of the project, according to Honda, is to create a rugged and durable off-road side-by-side platform with advanced autonomous technology capable of being deployed in a variety of dynamic work environments.

“We believe the Honda AWV has the potential to bring greater efficiencies, higher levels of safety and better environmental performance to the construction industry and to other industries seeking an autonomous off-road solution,” says Kenton Williams, project lead for the Honda AWV. Honda has not announced commercialization plans for the AWV yet, but is continuing to advance the platform through field testing.

You can watch a video below of the Honda AWV doing its thing:

Honda AWV Specs

Dimensions: 9 feet 6 inches long; 8 inches high; 4 feet 11 inches wideUnladen weight: 1,590 poundsMax load capacity: 880 poundsTowing capability: 1,653 pounds (including trailer)Min. turning radius: 12 feet 9 inchesRange: 27.9 miles depending on use case Charge time: Up to six hours
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Rokbak Sales Start Strong in North America

The first Rokbak units have reached U.S. shores and dealers are snapping them up, the company says.

The articulated hauler manufacturer, formerly known as Terex Trucks, has received confirmed orders from almost all dealers across the U.S., including:

Bane Machinery, B-C Equipment Sales and Easton Sales & Rentals in Texas >G.W. Van Keppel, with locations across the Midwest >Hills Machinery, Carolinas>Border Equipment, Georgia >Lawrence Equipment, Virginia>

Under the Rokbak brand, Volvo Group subsidiary Volvo Construction Equipment is offering two models, the 30.9-ton RA30 and the 41.9-ton RA40. The units offer fuel economy, lower emissions, improved safety, and greater durability than previous Terex Truck TA300 and TA400 models.

“We knew once we launched as Rokbak that the response would be positive because we have such a strong relationship with our dealers,” says Robert Franklin, director of sales – Americas at Rokbak. “But even we were surprised by just how successful our new direction has been. We’ve got a long history in the U.S. and Canada in our previous incarnation, but it’s exciting to see how enthusiastic our partners are about our new direction and backing up that enthusiasm with multiple orders.”

Rokbak offers two models: the 30.9 US ton payload RA30 and 41.9 US ton payload RA40.RokbakRokbak says orders are a mix of RA30 and RA40 units, with some already confirmed for delivery to end user customers, while others will join dealers’ rental or sales stock.

“Although the Rokbak brand has only existed a couple of months, it’s evolved from one of the world’s oldest hauler manufacturers,” says Kyle Fuglesten, COO at Hills Machinery. “We’ve been really impressed by the new branding – there is absolutely no doubt what it stands for. The team’s commitment to hard work, reliability, performance and environmental care are front and center – and with the Volvo Group’s backing, the quality is 100% guaranteed.”

Easton Sales and Rental took delivery of the first-ever Rokbak articulated hauler in early November. The RA30 was immediately sold to Linco Construction in Houston.

“Our business is built on delivering quality work that is competitively priced and performed by experts, so these new Rokak machines are ideal tools to help us do that,” says Steve Brown, president of Linco Construction. “They’ve only been at work for a few weeks, but we can already see they are workhorses. We have built relationships with our clients on our commitment, hard work and quality, and when we look at the Rokbak haulers, we see those same values shining through.” 

Dozens more of the eye-catching grey haulers are set to arrive in North America in the coming months. 

“We are so thankful for the loyalty and support of our customers and dealers in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Paul Douglas, managing director of Rokbak. “We are excited to demonstrate our passion, personality and skill under our new brand and can’t wait to see the first units at work on project sites.”

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Randall-Reilly acquires data assets from Informa

Randall-Reilly, Equipment World’s parent company, has acquired Informa’s Asset Intelligence Business unit, comprised of Equipment Watch, Price Digests and FleetSeek.

The trio of brands provide proprietary pricing data, information and insights to businesses making decisions and investments in heavy construction equipment, commercial vehicles and other infrastructure assets.

“Strategically, these highly regarded brands really help us advance our progress toward being the go-to source for pricing and analytics in America’s most vital industries,” says Matt Reilly, president and CEO of Randall-Reilly. “They’re a perfect complement to our equipment market intelligence platforms, EDA and Rig Dig, and equipmentexperts.com, our performance-based used equipment marketplace.”

Equipment Watch is a leader in construction equipment valuation and operating cost data to contractors and state DOT’s. Price Digests is a top provider of commercial truck information and valuation data to insurers and others along the commercial vehicle value chain. FleetSeek is a database of 500k carriers with market intelligence used by trucking product and service providers.

“We wish the Asset Intelligence team continued success under their new ownership,” says Simon Ferguson, president at Informa Intelligence. “They have much to be proud of, and we are confident that Randall-Reilly will fuel further growth for these industry-leading brands.”

“Adding these insights to our existing platforms means no other company better understands heavy equipment buyer behavior and risk profile, than Randall-Reilly,” says Prescott Shibles, EVP & Division GM of Randall-Reilly.

Randall-Reilly is a leading data, pricing and analytics platform for transportation, construction, agriculture and other industrial markets.

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Toyota Boosts Power, Safety, Looks on 2022 Tundra

Toyota’s slow reveal of its 2022 Tundra has finally culminated in an impressive grand finale that clearly sets the full-size truck apart from previous iterations.

Aside from a bigger truck that’s more refined and includes more driver-assist technologies, the 2022 Tundra is more powerful.

Though fans may lament losing the long-running 5.7-liter V8, they may find solace in a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 that offers 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. A hybrid 3.5-liter i-FORCE MAX offers 437 horses and 583 pound-feet of torque. Both variants are bolted to a new 10-speed automatic. For those keeping score — and who doesn’t? — the outgoing 5.7 offers 381 horses and 401 pound-feet of torque.

More power and anew high-strength boxed, steel-ladder frame that the 2022 Tundra shares with the 2022 Land Cruiser offer a jump in max towing from 10,200 pounds on the 2021 model to 12,000 pounds and a max payload capacity of 1,940 pounds, an increase of 210 pounds.

Lackluster fuel economy in the dated 5.7, which comes in at 13 mpg city and 17 highway, will surely be bested by the more fuel-conscious V6s, but we’ll have to wait on final EPA numbers.

A new interior offers creature comforts for driver and passengers alike, including a 14-inch infotainment touchscreen, available panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats, rear sunshade, heated steering wheel.

The instrument panel can be optioned with conventional gauges or a 12.3-inch instrument panel display.

2022 Toyota Tundra’s new interior comfortsToyotaA host of new tech features are found throughout Tundra as well, such as towing aids, off-road enhancements, an all-new multimedia system featuring wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and over-the-air updates.

Two different four-door layouts are available, as well as various bed lengths, including a 5.5-foot bed, 6.5-foot bed and an 8.1-foot bed.

Safety first!

Toyota Tundra was the first full-size truck to feature automated emergency braking, and starting with the 2022 model, every Tundra comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5.

The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS with PD) features multiple enhancements, including not only detecting the vehicle ahead but also a pedestrian in low light, bicyclist in daytime, an oncoming vehicle and a pedestrian at intersections when making a turn.

At intersections, the system is designed to detect an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian when performing a left-hand turn and provide audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Additional PCS functions include emergency steering assist, which is designed to stabilize the driver’s emergency steering maneuvers within their lane while avoiding a pedestrian, bicyclist or vehicle.

2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck
2022 Toyota Tundra boasts a multitude of safety features.ToyotaTundra will be equipped with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Lane Departure Alert notifies the driver by sound if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) provides a slight steering force to help center the vehicle in its lane using visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle.

Automatic High Beams detect preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switch between high-beam and low-beam headlights. Road Sign Assist (RSA) is designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display it on the multi-information display (MID).

Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder comes standard on all 2022 Tundras. The feature can note whether a rear door was opened within 10 minutes of the vehicle being turned on, or at any time after the vehicle has been turned on, with a reminder message in the instrument cluster after the engine is turned off, accompanied by multi-tone chimes.

In addition to the TSS 2.5 system, the standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) helps detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. The available Parking Support Brake is designed to implement brake control when there’s a possibility of a collision with a stationary object, approaching vehicle or while parking.

Improved suspension and handling

The 2022 Toyota Tundra’s new multi-link rear suspension drops rear leaf springs for coil springs, which leads to improved ride comfort, stability, handling and increased towing capacity.

The front of the truck gets a new double wishbone suspension, which offers a kingpin offset angle reduction to improve straight-line stability and high-speed driving.

The caster trail gets a 1-inch boost for added stability. To improve cornering, roll steer has been reduced by 25% compared to the benchmarks, and the roll height center has been elevated (152mm compared to 104mm, or roughly 6 inches compared to 4 inches) to reduce body roll, especially when cornering.

The 2022 Tundra gets twin-tube shocks at the front and rear of each truck. The shock absorbers feature triple-oil seals and extended dust covers for added protection and durability. New aluminum forged knuckles are used to cut weight. TRD Off-Road packages offer monotube Bilstein shocks.

TRD Pro grades get 2.5-inch diameter Fox internal bypass shocks that provide a 1.1-inch lift up front. The aluminum-bodied front and rear shocks feature piggyback reservoirs to house additional oil for improved off-road performance. The shocks use a new polytetrafluorethylene-infused (PTFE) Fox shock fluid to improve on-road comfort. This fluid includes microscopic particles infused with the oil to reduce friction.

The all-new Tundra will go on sale in December.

2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck tailgate
Pressing a button in the rear taillight causes a lighter tailgate for the 2022 Tundra to drop down.Toyota

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West Side Tractor Sales Named Big Iron Dealer of the Year

West Side Tractor Sales, headquartered in Lisle, Illinois, has been named the 2021 Equipment World Big Iron Dealer of the Year.

“The fact that West Side was nominated by a customer is no surprise when you examine their absolute commitment to customer service,” says Jordanne Waldschmidt, Equipment World chief editor. “Our editorial team was impressed with how West Side’s family leadership  stays ahead of changing customer needs and yet remains focused on developing deep relationships.”

Established in 1962 by Rich and Mary Benck, West Side now serves as the John Deere dealer in more than 80 counties with 11 locations in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Six second- and third-generation owners – all deeply ingrained in the company’s day-to-day operations – now carry on the legacy: children Steve, Diane and Tom Benck and grandchildren Brian Benck, Jen Snow and Lauren Coffaro.

Equipment World will profile West Side in a coming article, detailing how its customer service focus has translated into its new headquarters and shop design, how it has developed technology solutions and positioned itself against supply chain disruptions.

Now in its fourth year, the Big Iron Dealer of the Year award recognizes dealers for excellence in meeting customer needs, employing technology and addressing parts and service requirements.

West Side is one of four dealers named finalists in the 2021 Big Iron Dealer of the Year Award. The following three finalists will also be featured in profiles throughout the coming weeks:

In 1926, 4Rivers Equipment began as Romer Mercantile, a small John Deere agriculture equipment dealer in Holly, Colorado. Through partnership and acquisition, the company has expanded to 18 locations covering Colorado, Texas, New Mexico and Wyoming. The company, still owned by the Romer family, now features agriculture and construction locations and has more than 400 employees. Key brands include John Deere, Wirtgen and Topcon.

Founded in 1983 with 28 employees, RECO Equipment now covers Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. Brands include Bobcat (including Bobcat of Pittsburgh), Allied, Hyundai, Hitachi Loaders America, LBX Excavators, LaBounty, Liebherr and Terex. The company now has more than 200 employees. The company is owned by partners Paul DiTullio, president, and Josh Gasber, vice president.

Butler Machinery started in 1955 when founder Francis J. Butler, a contractor, was selected to be a Caterpillar dealer. The company has since expanded to 18 locations across North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska with 850 associates. Twylah (Butler) Blotsky serves as the company’s president, the second person from the third generation of the Butler family to lead the company.

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Cat Debuts its Lightest Motor Grader, the Economical 120 GC

Caterpillar has added another GC-designated machine to its equipment lineup, the Cat 120 GC motor grader. The machine is engineered for a range of applications that include government and municipal work, county road maintenance and finish grading.

The GC tag represents a value-oriented design for small to medium-size contractors that don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles of a high-spec production machine. It’s a simpler machine for a variety of tasks. The owning and operating costs for the new 120 GC can be 20 percent lower than a standard Cat 120 motor grader, thanks to better fuel economy and a lower price, says Eric Kohout, product application specialist.

“The Cat C4.4 twin-turbo engine pairs nicely with the torque-converter drive transmission,” says Kohout. The transmission with torque converter eliminates the need for an inching pedal, so only throttle and brake pedals are required, which simplifies operation. “If you’re on and off of that inching pedal all day and wearing your leg out, this is an alternative where you can control the machine with just the throttle and brake,” says Kohout.

The 171-horsepower engine is matched to the standard rear-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive, and the eco mode operation increases fuel economy up to 5 percent. The hydraulic cooling fan, with an optional reversing fan for high-debris applications, only runs when necessary to further reduce fuel consumption. The 120 GC is also Cat’s lowest-weight motor grader, some 2,000 pounds lighter than the standard 120, says Kohout.

The steering wheel steering and lever controls are familiar to many and simplify operation.CaterpillarSimplified Operation

A no-spin differential on the 120 GC gives operators simplified operation. “A lot of times operators will forget to activate and deactivate the differential, and this can cause the machine to buck,” says Kohout. “The no-spin differential means if it’s going forward, it is locked up and pulling all the wheels for maximum tractive effort. When you go into a turn, it unlocks automatically. It’s one less thing for the operator to think about.”

The parking brake automatically engages when the machine is in neutral and the service brake is disengaged. If underfoot conditions require it, there is a simple on-off system for the optional all-wheel drive.

Maintenance and replacement parts play a role in owning and operating costs as well. Cat built the 120 GC motor grader with long-life machine structures for reliable operation, including the standard drawbar circle moldboard that increases durability with hardened circle teeth and replaceable wear inserts that protect the main component structures. This design stays factory tight to enable precision grading long term.

Damage Prevention

The circle drive slip clutch option on the Cat 120 GC protects the drawbar, circle and moldboard from damage if the machine strikes an immovable object. The circle saver option also reduces daily greasing requirements and repairs to the circle and pinion. Additionally, the grader’s new front axle design maximizes bearing life to minimize maintenance.

A newly designed mid-mount scarifier improves visibility to the attachment while decreasing overall machine length. “The advantage is that it allows the operator more movement of the drum or circle moldboard within the mid-mount scarifier, so you’re not hitting the sides of the scarifier as often,” says Kohout.  “And it installs easily. It just wraps around and bolts to the front of the machine without any welding or brackets needed. It also allows a plate in front of it, so you can attach a push block or a front lift group,” he says.

To improve machine performance, the 120 GC also features a common front bolster for a choice of front lift group, counterweight, or front blade option, which aids in spreading more material faster. The rear of the machine accommodates a ripper or tow-hitch option. Moldboard options include lengths of 10, 12 and 14 feet.

Wheel steering

Cat kept the familiar steering wheel and lever layout for the 120 GC the same as the 120, 140 and 160K models. For operating comfort, the cab offers a choice of mechanical or air suspension seat.

And the control console and steering wheel easily adjust to the operator’s preference. A narrow machine width of 7.9 feet, plus a choice of cabs (standard or low profile), can reduce overall transport height to 10.25 feet to enhance transportability.

Quick Specs

Engine: Cat C4.4Net power, Tier 4 Final/Stage V: 171 hpNet power, Tier 3 equivalent: 171 hpWeight Tier 4 Final/Stage V: 35,494 lbs.Weight Tier 3/Stage IIIA equivalent: 31,424 lbs.Moldboard width: 12 ft.
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Alicia Jimerson Didn’t Want to Run Her Dad’s Construction Firm – So She Started Her Own

For being the fourth-largest city in the country, when it comes to construction, Houston, Texas, often operates like a small town. Everybody knows everybody, and that suits Alicia Jimerson just fine.

Growing up the daughter of a well-known and respected Houston contractor, Jimerson had no intention of going into construction. But as fate would have it, she started helping out in the office of her dad’s company, and after she graduated from college, she decided to try her hand at the business.

Rather than run her dad’s company, Jimerson hung out her own shingle in 1989 to take advantage of minority-owned business provisions. Soon after, she hired two skilled veterans, Tony Bonner as general superintendent and Tom Nugent as project manager. Today, she has 45 employees, runs a $7 million to $10 million business in Stafford, Texas, and is one of Equipment World’s 2021 Contractor of the Year finalists.

But her first venture into the world of bid letting didn’t go exactly as she had hoped. At a meeting with Houston’s biggest general contractor, “I got my ass chewed out,” she says. “He told me my numbers were good, but next time I came in with a bid, I had better bring some men with me, that if I didn’t, somebody was going to take advantage of me on pricing.”

Jimerson didn’t win the bid that day, but undeterred, she kept her head down and worked hard. “It was difficult to get doors to open up. And I don’t think I could have done it without the support of Tom and Tony,” she says.

ssociations are gold

From the start, Jimerson knew something many contractors learn the hard way, if at all. She understood the key to getting business as a small start-up was to build relationships, to meet your peers, shake a lot of hands and pass out business cards.

Thirty years ago, Houston construction may have been a club of good ol’ boys, but that world was changing, due in no small part to the persistence of women like Jimerson. She joined the Houston Contractors Association and was elected to the board in 2008, then chosen as president in 2011. She was also a founding member of the Houston Women Contractors Association.

Just as the relationships developed in construction associations have been important to the success of Jimerson Underground, so has Houston’s Livestock Show and Rodeo. With more than 100 committees and 37,000 volunteers, it is the largest livestock and rodeo show in the world. It unites everyone from the city’s billionaire oil barons to multinational corporations, civic groups and local businesspeople in a common purpose – generating more than $500 million in scholarships for young people since 1932.

Jimerson joined one of the committees in 1989 and has steadily worked her way up to vice president. “You would be surprised at how many contractors are involved in the rodeo,” she says. 

Smooth operations

To keep up with the demand for its services, Jimerson hired Dennis Wolford in 2006 to add some bandwidth on the management side. He’s now the vice president and keeps all the different departments working together smoothly.

In addition to maintaining relationships outside the company, Jimerson Underground has done well by keeping its relationships with its employees strong. “Nurturing the relationships you have with the people who work for you is important,” Wolford says. “It’s not a one-way street. They work for us, but we work for them as well. The people who have been here 20 and 30 years know that.”

David Medrano, project manager, (left) and Dennis Wolford look over estimates.Equipment World“Your employees are not just employees, they’re family,” says Jimerson. “Yes, you’re here to make money, but you’re also here to make sure their families are taken care of. That’s what families do, and the long-term employees know this is home.”

That focus on relationships and the skill and knowledge of 30-year veterans like Nugent and Bonner have impressed Nelson Blackwell of Vaughn Construction, an earthmoving general contractor that does business with Jimerson Underground. “They’re dependable,” says Blackwell. “They’re going to be there for you year-in and year-out. To them, it’s more than just the price on the bid. They’re the people you want on your team.”


The recession of 2008-2011 was a stark reminder of just how important this philosophy was to the company. Employees went without bonuses, and executives went without pay for a period, but the company got through it without resorting to layoffs.

One thing it did change during the recession was its philosophy about equipment management. Before the recession the company would run equipment “until the paint fell off,” says Jimerson. But the slowdown in work and the lack of cash flow made it essential to sell most of the assets that weren’t vital to the work at hand. Today, equipment acquisition and disposal decisions are much more strategic, says Wolford.

Jimerson Underground has also been rigorous about sticking to what it does best. On occasion it’ll do a bit of site work for a friend or longtime customer, but the core business is underground utilities – basic water and sewer installations.

“Our guys know water and sewer,” says Wolford. “From the office to the estimator to the permits to the field, everybody knows exactly what to do.”

Proof that this philosophy works comes from customer Falin Ishee at Turner Construction. “From the start it has been a positive impression,” Ishee says. “They are great to work with, from the office staff to the field. Utilities are always a pain to deal with, but they make it easy. They are one of the contractors who stand out.”

jimerson underground contractor texas
Tony Bonner, general superintendent, (left) was the company’s first employee. Dennis Wolford, vice president, (right) joined in 2006 to help it grow.Equipment World

Volunteer to win

Having broken through the glass ceiling in one of the most male-dominated businesses in the country, Jimerson’s advice to those who want to succeed is essentially the same for men or women – build relationships.

It is essential to not just join your local construction and civic organizations, but to volunteer and get on committees in those organizations, Jimerson says.

“That’s how you meet suppliers and other contractors that you may work for someday,” she says. “Even if it’s just a 5-second introduction and handshake, they will at least know who you are. Once you get involved, you’re going to get out of it what you put into it.”

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Industry Roundup: Martin Equipment locations named John Deere Certified Rebuild Centers

Two Martin Equipment locations named John Deere Certified Rebuild Centers

Martin Equipment locations in Rock Island and Peru, Illinois have officially been named John Deere Certified Rebuild Centers. The rigorous certification process ensures large production class model machine rebuilds are executed at the highest level of quality. Martin Equipment is in the process of certifying more locations in this area.

United Rentals Awarded for its Commitment to Hiring and Retaining Veterans

United Rentals has been honored with multiple awards for its commitment to hiring veterans and supporting their careers. Awards include:

HIRE Vets Gold Medallion: Awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor for the company’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and professional development. “Top Ten” Military Friendly® Employers: United Rentals ranked sixth overall among all companies. The company also received awards in the Military Spouse Friendly Employers, Military Friendly Company and Military Friendly Supplier Diversity Program categories.2021 Best for Vets Employers: The award from Military Times Magazine is based on a comprehensive annual ranking of the country’s best employers and organizations with military-connected employment programs, benefits and support efforts.Best of the Best Top Veteran-Friendly Companies:  Honored by U.S. Veterans Magazine, the award recognizes companies that open up employment, business and supplier opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, disabled veterans, spouses and veteran business owners.VETS Indexes 5 Star Employer: The award from VETS Indexes recognizes employers’ commitment to recruiting, hiring, retaining, developing and supporting military-connected employees.

HydremaHydrema adds Hayden Machinery

Hydrema has added Hayden Machinery to its North American dealer network. Headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, Hayden will offer Hydrema’s 707G and 912G articulated dump trucks, with plans to add the larger 922 articulated dump truck model in the near future.

Monroe Tractor relocates to Westborough, Massachusetts

Citing tremendous growth since acquiring Case of New England, Monroe Tractor has relocated its Worcester, Massachusetts location to Westborough. The newly renovated 25,000-square-foot facility will allow for greater accessibility to customers, as well as expanded parts and service capabilities.

Monroe Tractor carries Case, Screen Machine, Tiger mowers, Kage snow removal systems and more. The company has 14 locations across New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Vermont.

Jesse Olmeda, Kirby-Smith Machinery
Kirby-Smith MachineryKirby-Smith Machinery hires Remarketing and Used Equipment Manager

Jesse Olmeda has joined the Kirby-Smith Machinery team as the remarketing and used equipment manager. Olmeda will be responsible for overall growth of the used equipment side of the business, including the development of an auction program. Olmeda has three decades of sales experience at the dealer and independent level.

Kirby-Smith Machinery has 12 branch locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri, as well as a dedicated Energy Services Division.


The Toro Company announces new leadership appointments

The Toro Company announced the appointment of key executive staff to lead operational and sustainability initiatives. Effective December 1, Kevin Carpenter will join the enterprise as vice president, global operations and integrated supply chain. Carpenter will succeed Blake Grams who is taking on a newly created role as vice president, sustainability, business analytics and process improvement.

Carpenter most recently served as vice president of operations, residential and light commercial systems at Carrier Global Corporation.

Grams has served as vice president of global operations for The Toro Company since 2013 with responsibility for manufacturing and end-to-end supply chain. This new position reflects Toro’s commitment to sustainability.

Guy Waggoner named Regional Business Manager at Takeuchi-US
TakeuchiTakeuchi names Guy Waggoner Western Regional Business Manager

Takeuchi-US named Guy Waggoner as the company’s regional business manager for the Western territory. Waggoner will be responsible for all development and activity in the region, including dealer recruitment and administrative and sales support. Waggoner previously worked as a regional sales manager for Hyundai Construction Equipment.

Brokk announces new controller, Corey Lewis

Brokk, a manufacturer of remote-controlled demolition machines, has named Corey Lewis controller. He will be responsible for all accounting operational functions. Lewis brings more than six years of accounting experience to his new role with a portion of that time spent with a manufacturer of steel buildings.

Paccar Winch Recognized by U.S. Department of Labor, Tulsa Community

For the third year in a row, Paccar Winch was recognized for its commitment to recruiting, hiring and retaining veterans. The company received the 2021 HIRE Vets Gold Medallion Award from the U.S. Department of Labor.

In addition, PACCAR Winch was one of 24 companies named Veteran Employer Champions by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, Community Service Council (CSC), and CSC’s Oklahoma Veteran Alliance.


Sany Enters U.S. Backhoe Market with “Fully Loaded” SLB95

“Fully loaded.” 

That’s what Sany America wants you to remember about its newest U.S. entrant, the SLB 925 backhoe. 

The machine with a 14-foot 3-inch dig depth offers these features as standard:

4WD power-shift transmission with limited slip differential.Load-sensing hydraulics with pilot controls and ISO/SAE pattern changeBoom float, return-to-dig and breaker lineFlip-over pads, outrigger cylinder guards and front bumpersEight LED working lights, rotating beacon, traffic lights and air suspension seat

“The features we are offering as standard can cost more than $7,000 on competitive machines,” says Juliano Silva, Sany America product manager. A heavy-duty bucket with side cutters also is standard. Four-in-one bucket and extend-a-hoe options are currently being tested. 

The backhoe made its debut at the American Rental Association show and is slated to be available in spring. The specs fit the rental market, says Silva, “but it’s going to deliver a lot more breakout force. We went with a 95-horsepower engine instead of a 74-horsepower engine to have a single product to fit most of our customers, including city, state and federal governments, as well as general contractors. These guys don’t look for a 74-horsepower machine.”

Sany is also considering adding electro-hydraulic controls, but first, “we want to make sure they are something operators actually use,” Silva says. 

Why a backhoe?

Why enter the mature backhoe market, one that’s gotten its share of dings as the combination of compact excavators and skid steers/compact track loaders has gained favor?

“We know it’s a stable market,” says Gabe Weiss, Sany America marketing director. “It also gives Sany an opportunity to have more of a full brand offering. It’s another tool in our quiver. We’re looking at it from a growth in brand recognition.” 

And as with other Chinese OEMs, Sany points out that its products are global machines with components sourced from around the world. “It’s really about the support and the commonality of what’s under the hood,” says Weiss. These include Deutz engines which Sany also uses in its telehandlers and wheel loaders  ZF transmissions and axles, Kawasaki pumps and Carlisle braking systems.

Sany is targeting both North and South American markets with the backhoe and put more than 1,000 hours on four prototype machines. “What is needed in both markets is very close,” Silva says. “We put a lot of effort into keeping the machine simple.”  Field testers specifically asked for spacious cabs; rental customers focused on machine serviceability and reliability. And Sany knows owner/operators another backhoe market staple are focused on digging power, Silva says. 

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Chevy Unleashes “The Beast”: A 650-Horsepower Supercharged Pickup Truck

Chevy has unleashed the Beast.

Debuting at SEMA, the 650-horsepower desert runner is built on a Silverado chassis and features tubular doors, a lightweight clamshell-type front end and a widened 91-inch track supported by high-performance suspension.

“The Chevy Beast concept takes the popularity of high-performance off-road trucks to the next level,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “It’s a vision for a new dimension of Chevrolet Performance capability from a brand that’s been pioneering performance and supporting customer personalization for more than 50 years.”

Engineers started with the chassis of a Silverado short-bed model and modified it for high-speed desert running. The frame was shortened. A custom-designed, 4130 chromoly tubular safety structure was integrated, while the modified chassis was wrapped with a custom, lightweight body.

A Chevrolet Performance LT4 6.2L supercharged V8 that’s rated at 650 horsepower is bolted to a 10L90 10-speed automatic transmission that sends torque to a two-speed transfer case and distributes it to 37-inch-tall off-road tires mounted on 20-inch beadlock wheels. The concept also includes the Chevrolet Performance Big Brake Upgrade System.

A Chevrolet Performance LT4 6.2L supercharged V8 crate engine powers the Beast.ChevyFront suspension comes courtesy of concept upper and lower control arms and fully adjustable racing strut assemblies with remote reservoirs. The rear is treated to concept 5-link suspension with Panhard bar and fully adjustable racing shocks with remote reservoirs. Disc brakes are mounted at all four wheels and include Chevrolet Performance Brembo brakes equipped in the front with six-piston calipers.

A pair of spare tires are mounted in the bed while the rear of the vehicle itself is left open to help extract dust. Additional unique design cues include a custom front grille, front and rear bowtie emblems and off-road lighting from Baja Designs.

Inside, the customized cab has a minimalist, functional design, featuring a quartet of Recaro performance seats with four-point harnesses, as well as a pair of 7-inch-diagonal LCD screens that monitor vehicle functions and performance data, including pitch and roll during off-road driving scenarios.

“There’s nothing else like The Chevy Beast,” said Jeff Trush, GM program manager, Pace Car and Specialty Show Vehicles. “It delivers a ton of performance and capability, which makes it adept at conquering rough terrain — and it flat-out flies in desert running.”

2021 Sema Chevrolet Beast Concept 04 6182c0e84e2d6

2021 Sema Chevrolet Beast Concept 05 6182c0c006548

2021 Sema Chevrolet Beast Concept 08 1 6182c0aa6c914

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