Equipment Roundup: Father’s Day construction gift guide; How backhoe loaders are holding their own among specialty machines; Cat unveils 814K wheel dozer; Ram to bring a Raptor rival to market; Manitowoc unveils MLC100-1 crane

Updated Jun 12, 2018
Caterpillar 814K corner

Manitowoc unveils MLC100-1 crawler as “quickest crane to erect, decommission in its class”

During a media event in Pennsylvania Thursday, Manitowoc unveiled the newest model in its crawler crane lineup, the MLC100-1, with an introduction fit for a rock star.

As Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” popped through an array of loudspeakers, two panels guarding the machine from view opened wide like barn doors, unveiling a split American flag now flanking both sides of the new 100 t (110 U.S. tons) machine. But the crane was quickly obscured again, this time by a pyrotechnic strip sending sparks into the air.

When the smoke cleared, there stood the 100-1 carrying a banner explaining all the fan fare: “Only 100-Ton Crawler Crane Proudly Made in America.” Despite the fanfare, the MLC100-1’s American roots are far from the most defining feature of this new machine. The company says what sets this machine apart is how quickly it can get to work.

Manitowoc says the MLC100-1is the quickest crane to erect and decommission in its class.


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Ram will bring the 1500 TRX, a high-performance Raptor rival, to market along with new mid-size and HD pickups

The Ram Rebel is a great and very capable pickup. But it’s no Ford Raptor, and Ram has never pretended that it was. Now, the truck maker has decided to officially bring to market the 1500 TRX, a truck first unveiled as a concept back in 2016.

But that’s far from the only plan Ram has for new trucks. The company has also revealed plans for a new mid-size pickup, an all-new heavy-duty pickup and an all-new ProMaster City van by 2022.

Besides new vehicles, Ram reports that it will also be introducing Level II autonomy on the Ram 1500 and ProMaster City by 2021 and its heavy-duty pickups by 2022. The announcements came during FCA’s Capital Market Day meeting in Balloco, Italy, where the automaker presented its five-year business plan to financial analysts and institutional investors.


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Cat unveils 814K wheel dozer with updated cab, new engine

Caterpillar has introduced a new 814K wheel dozer the company says provides more comfort to operators and easier serviceability.

The new machine is powered by a new Tier 4 Final Cat C7.1 ACERT engine that consumes less fuel than previous models and features engine idle shutdown and auto idle kickdown.

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The engine is paired with a Cat planetary powershift transmission, making this machine capable of handling demanding mining applications, Cat says. The transmission offers four forward and reverse speeds and Cat says shifting is smooth, even under load, thanks to the Advanced Productivity Electronic Control Strategy (APECS). APECS prevents loss of momentum on slopes during gear shifts, allowing the dozer to climb grades more efficiently and with less fuel burn.


To read more, click here.

In a sea of specialty equipment, the backhoe is holding its own as a do-it-all machine

After years of contraction, the backhoe loader market seems to have found a sustainable level. Here’s why backhoes still fit on the jobsite:

Backhoes have taken a beating with years of falling sales driving OEMs to limit their offerings. Who stole backhoes’ market share? The usual suspects. Skid steer loaders. Compact and smaller mid-size track and wheel loaders and excavators. Where these machines did tasks also done by backhoes, they did them better. It was a burgeoning age of specialization.

But that age of specialization is also what saved backhoes from extinction. They don’t do specific tasks as well as the specialists, but they do everything competently. A skid steer is better at scuttling around tight quarters loading trucks and transferring materials, but it can’t trench. A crawler excavator is better at excavating, but it can’t be driven on the road between jobs at 25 mph. In a sea of specialty equipment, backhoes stand out for their versatility, and this versatility keeps backhoes in fleets.


To read more, click here.

Father’s Day Gift Guide: 12 great tools, gadgets and more construction gear for Dad

Our 2018 Father’s Day gift guide has a great selection of tools, tech and other cool gear that’s perfect for the construction worker or mechanic you call Dad.


To see the gift roundup, click here.