Look what those cunning Scandinavians have come up with now! By 2030, apparently, we’ll all be driving one of these.
This is the GaiaX concept compact excavator unveiled by Volvo Construction Equipment at the Las Vegas Conexpo trade fair earlier this month. "This is the future of Volvo" they tell us, with great certainty.
Apparently the structure is inspired by Swedish furniture, with the operator’s seat formed from three-dimensional molded wood – a first in the construction equipment industry, apparently. Very Ikea.
Danish bucket manufacturer Viby Attachment is introducing a new single-point lubrication system that it says will reduce downtime and simplify the task of daily greasing.
The system developed by Viby means that plant operators now need only to add lubrication to their attachment at one central greasing point rather than at multiple points.
The technology behind this new lubrication system ensures that the grease reaches all key areas instantly from just one central point, the company says. An equivalent automatic version, which is operated via the machine’s own auto lubrication system, is also available.
Those of us who write about construction plant get fed a lot of great material about the latest shiny new machines, but actually it’s the old stuff that continues to do 99% of the work across the industry.
Regardless of what your friendly local equipment dealer may tell you, it is always better to keep existing machines running well than simply trading them in for the latest model every couple of years – even if new machines are more fuel efficient and have new whizzy features that you never knew you needed.
So I was interested to hear about the work Chris Monk has been doing at Fairway Plant Services in Wellingborough.
A staple favourite of every major plant show is the famous JCB dancing diggers display. And this year at Conexpo is no different.
Every hour of every day demon fiddlers scrape their fiddles and the diggers dance up a storm, drawing crowds in their thousands.
More from the Conexpo show in Las Vegas and news here from Manitowoc, that iconic American heavy machinery brand.
Manitowoc makes crawler cranes but, as I’ve said before, doesn’t sell much in the UK. Contractors here have gone from favouring NCK and Ruston Bucyrus to Japanese machines for smaller and mid sizes and German ones at the upper end. However, in much of the world Manitowoc remains synonymous with lattice boom crawler crane, so it is always interesting to see what they are up to.
And at Conexpo they’ve got two new machines using the new Variable Position Counterweight (VPC) system first seen on its top-of-the-range 31000 model (2,300-tonne capacity).