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In-depth report: compact track loaders

The John Deere 325G compact track loader.

Compact track loaders are fast and agile, and large ones can even compete with small wheel loaders and dozers. With their vast array of available attachments, they are highly versatile, productive machines and are easy to trailer. It's no wonder they have gained in popularity. Our panel of experts from several manufacturers provide details on today's compact track loaders.

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Are all excavators the same?

Among the top brands, many believe all excavators are the same. But when you look closely, you can spot the small differences in design that add up to huge differences in productivity and efficiency — differences that can boost your profitability. 


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Shows & Events

Komatsu to showcase hybrid excavator at Intermat

Komatsu Hybrid excavators strongly contribute to reduce Komatsu customers' carbon footprint and environmental impact, with up to 40 percent less fuel consumption and emissions.

Since 2008, when Komatsu commercialized the first hybrid construction equipment in the history of the industry, a total of 10,000,000 hours of operation have been registered by excavators benefiting from Komatsu‘s proven hybrid technology, which is today at work on over 4,000 units worldwide. Komatsu's HB365LC/NLC-3, a high technology and environmentally sustainable 36-tonne hydraulic hybrid excavator, will be highlighted in its "NLC" narrow configuration at Intermat 2018.

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Cat articulated trucks boast new controls, transmission protection features and stability assist system

Cat 735 articulated truck.

Three new Cat articulated trucks – 730, 730 EJ (Ejector), and 735 – have been extensively redesigned, enhancing the field-proven features and performance of their C-Series predecessors (730C2, 730C2 EJ, and 735C) with new operator stations – including innovative new controls, transmission protection features, new hoist assist system, advanced traction control system, new stability assist system, and a fuel saving ECO operating mode.

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ASV packs performance into compact size on RT-40 Posi-Track Loader

ASV's RT-40 is a productive alternative to walk-behind and stand-on mini skid-steer loaders.

ASV Holdings Inc. has introduced the new RT-40 Posi-Track loader. Featuring a compact size in a class of its own, the RT-40 provides a productive alternative to walk-behind and stand-on mini skid-steer loaders. Expanding ASV's expertise in small-frame compact track loaders, the machine offers maximum power, reliability, serviceability and comfort. The model is ideal for the rental market, homeowners or contractors working in tight spaces for anything from urban snow clearing to landscaping.

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Volvo's revamped D-Series skid-steer and compact track loaders feature stronger boom design

Volvo's D-Series skid-steer and compact track loaders are equipped with the next-generation curved single loader arm, built with 20 percent more steel than conventional models.

Volvo's new MC110D, MC115D and MC135D skid-steer loaders, and MCT110D, MCT125D and MCT135D compact track loaders offer more strength, greater capacities, and improved safety and operator comfort.

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John Deere adds SmartGrade technology to 950K Power-Angle-Tilt dozer

Deere's Auto SmartGrade allows the operator to easily adjust the system when moving the machine from one soil type to another.

North America's largest Power-Angle-Tilt (PAT) crawler dozer now boasts the benefits of John Deere SmartGrade. Adding SmartGrade technology to the 950K PAT improves the quality of work and jobsite accuracy through the complete integration of Topcon's 3D-MC2 Grade-Control System. The system is fully incorporated into the machine cabin, structures and software – delivering precise grading performance while eliminating vulnerable external masts and cables. 

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Volvo debuts updated L90H wheel loader at World of Asphalt 2018

Offering up to 20 percent greater fuel efficiency, added versatility and lower lifetime operating costs, Volvo's new L90H, featuring H-Series 2.0 updates, is a multi-talented powerhouse.

Volvo Construction Equipment unveiled its latest innovation in mid-sized wheel loaders with the debut of the updated L90H wheel loader at World of Asphalt 2018. Volvo says that the H-Series 2.0 machine offers improved fuel efficiency, productivity, serviceability and ease of use over its predecessor and competitive products.

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ASV large-frame skid steers feature 10.5-inch ground clearance for easy travel over obstructions

ASV's radial-lift RS-75 and vertical-lift VS-75 skid-steer loaders feature highly efficient hydraulics and cooling systems.

ASV offers the large-frame, radial-lift RS-75 and vertical-lift VS-75 skid-steer loaders which feature highly efficient hydraulics and cooling systems, as well as best-in-class high ground clearance, departure angle and serviceability, according to the company. The skid steers are ideal for a wide range of applications, including rental, construction, landscape, snow removal and forestry.

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Volvo adds three new models to its wheeled excavator lineup

The latest wheeled excavators from Volvo Construction Equipment – the short swing EWR150E and EWR170E, and the conventional swing EW220E – give contractors three new models to choose from to take advantage of the versatility and mobility offered by wheeled machines. "Wheeled excavators are underutilized in North America, and contractors are missing out on the benefits they bring, especially in applications like roadbuilding and in urban utility work," said Matt McLean, product manager, wheeled excavators at Volvo Construction Equipment. "They can travel on their own up to 22 mph from site to site, even towing a trailer, rather than being loaded on a lowboy. Wheeled machines also have lighter footprints and don't damage hard surfaces like their tracked counterparts. That equates to less cleanup and lower labour costs. We really see these wheeled machines as an opportunity for contractors to rethink the way they're building their fleets."

Versatile on the jobsite

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Underground & Utility

Revised weight regulations in Ontario behind the design of new vacuum excavator truck

Regulations focused on various types of trucks and equipment in the province of Ontario have had a small loophole in them for quite some time – a fact discovered recently by the Provincial Government during a licensing review that was undertaken to raise fees on heavy commercial vehicles. For owners of vacuum excavators, the loss of that loophole may mean a loss of payload, which would mean a loss of efficiency. One long-standing Ontario dealer, Joe Johnson Equipment (JJE), took the concerns expressed by its customers straight to the manufacturer, Vactor Manufacturing, which has responded by developing a truck that can meet regulations both in Ontario and throughout other regions where operators face weight-limit challenges.

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JCB JZ141 excavator makes its North American debut

The JCB JZ141 crawler excavator a  new 33,000 lb, reduced-tail swing excavator is equipped with a fuel-efficient JCB EcoMAX engine that meets Tier 4 Final emission standards with no diesel particulate filter (DPF), no diesel engine fluid (DEF) and no engine aftertreatment, making it well suited to rental fleet operations. The EcoMAX engine produces high torque at just 1,500-1,600 RPMs and the engine and hydraulic system has been optimized for the perfect balance of power, productivity and efficiency. This results in up to 10 percent lower fuel consumption than competing 33,000 lb machines. Additionally, the efficient engine results in low noise levels of just 98 dB, which makes the JZ141 particularly suitable for inner-city construction projects, where site noise can be an important consideration.

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Closer Look: Liebherr 50-tonne-class PR 766 dozer

The hydrostatic drive on Liebherr's new PR 766 means the diesel engine can be kept at a constant, optimally efficient speed, regardless of the load. The fact that speed fluctuations are avoided sets the Liebherr travel drive apart from all other large crawler dozer drive concepts currently available on the market, the company says. Essential drivetrain components are developed in-house and optimally coordinated, which increases the efficiency of the system as a whole. 

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Closer Look: Doosan DA30-5 and DA40-5 articulated trucks

Doosan's 28-metric-ton, 365-hp DA30-5 and 40-metric-ton, 490-hp DA40-5 are powered by fuel-efficient Scania DC9 and DC13 diesel engines, respectively. The trucks have been configured with a high-pressure common-rail (HPCR) fuel delivery system as well as cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR). Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) using diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), and a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) reduce engine emission levels.

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Closer Look: Caterpillar launches next generation excavators

Caterpillar's Next Generation excavators are the first major redesign of this product - a flagship line for the company - in 25 years. Over the years, there have been things added, removed and improved on the excavators, but this launch of the 20-ton size-class models marks the first major overhaul to their hydraulic excavator line in a quarter century. 

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Volvo adds demolition and wheeled excavators to lifetime warranty program

Volvo adds demolition and wheeled excavators to lifetime warranty program

Volvo CE has extended its Lifetime Frame and Structure Warranty to cover high-reach demolition excavators and wheeled excavators. New models covered by the warranty include the EC380EHR and EC480EHR high-reach demolition excavators, as well as the EW180E, EW160E and the EW60E wheeled models. Four additional new wheeled excavator models set to debut in spring 2018 will also be covered by the Lifetime Frame and Structure Warranty.

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JCB launches towable 45Z-1 zero tailswing compact excavator

JCB has unveiled the 45Z-1, a powerful, next-generation, zero-tailswing compact excavator with an operating weight of 9,866 lb (4,475 kg) and a transport weight of 9,700 lb (4,400kg), making it the largest rental-specification excavator on the market that can be towed without a commercial driver's license (subject to local regulations).  The 45Z-1 shares the durable design proven on the larger machines in JCB's next-generation compact excavator range, with 100 percent steel bodywork and sturdy four-plate dipper construction. The dig end uses 100 percent graphite-impregnated bushing, leading to extended 500-hour greasing intervals

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