Reporter

Volvo’s US-made excavators make production debut
Capping a $25 million to $56 million investment, Volvo Construction Equipment rolled off the first U.S.-made excavators at its Asheville, North Carolina, plant in November.

The 400,000-square-foot Asheville facility is building four of Volvo’s 11 excavator models: the EC160C, EC210C, EC330C and EC360C. In addition to the excavators, the company continues to produce five models of its 10-model wheel loader line, and just began production of excavator and wheel loader cabs. The additional line is expected to add between 250 and 300 employees at the Asheville plant.

In addition to Asheville, Volvo makes excavators – which it says represents 25 percent of all construction division sales – in Korea, Germany and China. Volvo says it’s currently producing around 13,000 excavators a year.
-Marcia Gruver


John Deere clarifies use of B20 biodiesel
John Deere Power Systems has clarified its approval for the use of B20 biodiesel in all of the company’s diesel engines up through Tier 3 models.

“John Deere supports the use of biodiesel because it recognizes the importance of biofuels to its customers and to the environment,” says Tom Withers, marketing communications manager for JDPS.

While John Deere says 5 percent biodiesel blends, or B5, are preferred, 20 percent blends, or B20, can be used if the biodiesel meets ASTM D6751, EN 14214 or equivalent standards.

When using lower biodiesel blends such as B5, the company says fuel conditioners containing detergent/dispersant additives are recommended, but with higher blends like B20, a fuel conditioner is required.

John Deere urges biodiesel users to purchase blends from a BQ-9000 certified marketer and to source from a BQ-9000 accredited producer that is certified by the National Biodiesel Board.

For more information on the use of biodiesel in John Deere engines, visit www.JohnDeere.com/biodiesel.
– Barbara Ibrahim Cox


Cummins’ path to Tier 4
Integrated technology solution to meet 2011 off-highway emissions standards

Particulate filters and cooled exhaust gas recirculation will serve as the core technology for Cummins’ solution to EPA Tier 4 interim off-highway emissions standards for 174- to 741-horsepower engines, set to take effect in 2011.

The integrated technology path, which extends from air intake to exhaust aftertreatment, also includes Cummins Variable Geometry Turbochargers (VG Turbo), advanced electronic controls and high pressure common rail fuel systems. Included in a range of engines from mid-range to heavy-duty, the Cummins Tier 4 product line will maintain or increase power outputs when compared to the company’s Tier 3 engines, and fuel efficiency will improve up to 5 percent, according to Ric Kleine, vice president, Cummins Off-Highway Business. “We were able to take our Tier 3 base engines and combine this with successful technologies such as cooled EGR,” Kleine says.

Designing and pre-engineering key subsystems in-house at Cummins enabled the company to target minimal installation complexity as a key focus of the Tier 4 development program, says Susan Harrison, executive director, Cummins Industrial Engineering. “Standardized engine, aftertreatment and air intake packages speed up installation work and realize space saving advantages,” she says. With Tier 4 final standards set to take effect just three years later, Cummins is also looking ahead to installation requirements in 2014. “We are evaluating NOx-reduction technologies to meet Tier 4 final when NOx will need to reduce to near-zero levels,” Harrison says. “We will use an incremental technology approach with the least possible installation impact.”
-Amy Materson


Diggingsafely.com offers free excavation safety training
The Midwest Energy Association has for years provided training and safety tools for their industry members. Now, the association is sharing those tools in Diggingsafely.com, a website that provides free online training in excavator safety.

“MEA believes excavation-related fatalities and injuries are preventable,” says Patrick Van Beek, MEA President. “That’s why we’re sponsoring the website.”

The website provides information on several topics including excavation safety, who and when to call before digging, hazards and safe practices when working around buried power and gas lines, characteristics and hazards of natural gas, preventing accidental ignition if a gas line is damaged, and working in enclosed and confined spaces.
– Lauren Barrera


ARTBA releases transportation study findings
Reform, refocus, restructure and refinance – that’s the message the American Road and Transportation Builders Association has outlined in a new report on the nation’s transportation network. The 72-page report, entitled “A New Vision and Mission for America’s Federal Surface Transportation Program: ARTBA Recommendations for SAFETEA-LU Reauthorization,” is the result of a 16-month project during which an ARTBA task force headed by Tom Hill, Oldcastle Materials, and Paul Yarossi, HNTB Holdings, studied current federal transportation law, policy and administration.

ARTBA believes policymakers need to address six issues facing America’s transportation system: traffic congestion, global competition, freight bottlenecks, unacceptable roads and bridges, transportation financing solvency and public health and safety.

In the report, ARTBA recommends two priorities for the federal transportation programs, which are up for reauthorization in 2009:

Enhanced core highway and transit investment programs – to meet growing infrastructure demands, ARTBA proposes improving regional mobility and protecting past investments through a variety of financing options, including an increase in the federal motor fuels tax by at least 10 cents per gallon, providing states with toll financing options such as congestion pricing and high occupancy toll lanes, appropriately structured toll systems on existing interstates and debt financing for long-term capital improvements.

New financing mechanisms such as a motor vehicle mileage tax, implemented over a specific transition timeline, would offset the dilution of the federal gasoline tax caused by alternative fuels and fuel efficiency.

Critical Commerce Corridors – ARTBA recommends a strategic initiative to address the increase of truck traffic and freight in the next 25 years, and supports corridors created to increase transportation system capacity and efficiently moving freight.

The 3C program, which ARTBA recommends developing through a cooperative public-private sector process, could include most of the existing interstate highway system, a portion of the non-interstate highway system, new multi-modal trade corridors, new “truck-only” lanes separating commercial and personal vehicles, tunneling and elevated road and railways on existing right-of-way, multi-modal freight centers and other components. ARTBA’s report also includes legislative recommendations including earmark reform and transportation research.
– Amy Materson

To learn more about ARTBA’s SAFETEA-LU proposals, visit the “government affairs” section of www.artba.org, or contact ARTBA’s government affairs team at (202) 289-4434.


Industry Briefs
Doosan Infracore completes Bobcat acquisition

Doosan has announced the completion of the acquisition of the Bobcat, Utility Equipment and Attachments businesses from Ingersoll Rand for $4.9 billion. The utility and attachments divisions will be renamed Doosan Infracore Portable Power (formerly Ingersoll Rand Utility Equipment), and DII Attachments (formerly Ingersoll Rand Attachments).

Landoll purchases Icon
Landoll, a trailer manufacturer based in Marysville, Kansas, has acquired Beloit, Kansas-based Icon Industries. Icon manufactures a variety of pull-type construction equipment, including scrapers and graders.

JCB breaks ground for expansion
JCB has broken ground for a 200,000-square-foot customer support center for the company’s North American operation. The JCB customer support center will serve as a global distribution center for North America, South America and the Pacific Rim.

Komatsu opens eight parts depots
Komatsu America has announced the opening of eight regional parts depots throughout the United States and Canada. Komatsu says these eight depots, in addition to their Master Parts Distribution Center, will expedite parts orders, improve operational productivity and efficiency and minimize customer downtime.