High demands, tough terrains, challenging weather conditions. Operators work across a vast array of conditions, so not only do they need to know how to use a variety of equipment but they also need the skills to operate that equipment in various environments, temperatures and conditions.
5 things you should know about batteries used in construction equipment
Batteries are an important part of modern life and now Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is starting to use them to power its machines – but how much do you actually know about them? Magnus Larsson, Development Engineer Batteries, Electromobility Systems, presents five facts about the lithium-ion batteries that are being used in construction equipment.
1. They look nothing like conventional batteries
To power something like a wheel loader or an excavator, you need a high level of system voltage and energy, which is more than a single battery cell (chocolate bar size) can provide. So, we generally take multiple cells and connect them together to create a battery pack. Looking at them, they are just big boxes – but there's a lot going on inside.
2. Batteries come in all shapes and forms
You can buy a complete battery pack unit from a supplier (as Volvo CE does today), or you can assemble sub-modules and incorporate them into a custom-fit pack unit, or you can build everything in-house from scratch. Battery packs are sized and shaped differently for different machine types.
3. They're surprisingly big
Large vehicles require large battery capacity – there's no great surprise there. The lithium-ion battery packs we use in construction equipment can weigh more than 400 kg. Especially for large machines, there might be a need to install more than one of these battery packs, so the overall battery weight could easily exceed one ton. However, when it comes to lithium-ion batteries, significant progress is being made with respect to energy density. Developers are working on lighter and more volume efficient batteries. This essentially means that we can get more energy for the same volume or get the same energy capacity cheaper.
4. They're becoming cheaper
At the moment, lithium-ion batteries are still quite expensive, but the price is constantly dropping. If the price continues to decrease at this rate, the cost barriers to electromobility innovation within the construction equipment industry will significantly reduce. This price decrease is a result of two factors: more battery demand globally, and an increase in energy density, as mentioned earlier.
5. We're at the turning point where it makes sense to electrify big machines
With current technology, compact machines – like Volvo CE's recently announced range of electric compact wheel loaders and excavators – can put in a full day's work on electric energy from batteries. We're starting to enter this stage with bigger machines. Although regular recharging is still required, it's now a matter of when, not if, electric batteries can meet the energy and power requirements of heavy construction machines.
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Continental introduces Generation 3 construction truck tires and digital tire monitoring solutions at Texas event
Heavy Equipment Guide and Recycling Product News attended a demo of Continental's construction and on/off-road tire portfolio at the company's proving grounds in Uvalde, Texas, in September. Demos ranged from a 19.5-inch medium-duty truck tire up to heavy truck tires and earthmoving OTR tires. The company also introduced its digital tire monitoring solutions.
Kleenvac, by Onekleen, is a tiny power packed vacuum device designed to save businesses hours in workshop and general cleanup time. This machine is a versatile compressed air powered vacuum that converts metal drums into supercharged wet vacs. It will solve liquid clean-up challenges in a range of applications simply and affordably. Kleenvac is a low-cost investement that will last, and will:
- Clean up liquids and suspended solids simpler and faster ("Fill a 200L drum in just over 1 minute").
- Reduce manual labour and the use of expensive clean-up consumables, potentially saving $100s if not $1000s.
Petro-Canada Lubricants, a HollyFrontier business, has expanded its TRAXON and DURON product lines with the launches of DURON Advanced 5W-30 and TRAXON Synthetic 75W-85. The introduction of the new oils demonstrate continued product innovation from Petro-Canada Lubricants to help fleets meet new and emerging market trends.
As industries like construction and mining move toward adoption of new engine oil standards, oil manufacturers have been working to improve their product and take advantage of the properties that are inherent in their new offerings.
Unveiled in July, the new MICHELIN X TWEEL SSL 2 – the airless tire solution for skid steers – features a completely new wheel developed and manufactured by GKN Wheels. The TWEEL is a single, fully integrated unit which replaces the traditional tire/ wheel/ valve assembly. This means there is no need for costly and time-consuming wheel and tire mounting to be carried out – and once the unit is bolted to the vehicle, there is no air pressure to maintain.
Mack Trucks has introduced dynamic maintenance, a connected vehicle service focused on proactive vehicle maintenance planning and fleet operations efficiency.
A mining truck is only as good as the tires it rides on, and inspecting and maintaining those tires is a big job with significant implications for both productivity and safety. With its new Tire Operations Management System (TOMS), Kal Tire is demonstrating that tire management can benefit from more effective fleet inspections and improved planning and communication of required tire work. With TOMS, the company is making the tire inspection and reporting process clearer and more efficient today, while common language data capture and centralized data management will lead to predictive tire maintenance, AI recognition of damage and more effective training for inspectors in the future.
The LUBE-A-BOOM team is proud to introduce LOOSE-N-IT. Customer service and satisfaction is LUBE-A-BOOM's top priority, along with providing dealers superior lubrication products. After speaking with several industry leaders, a lubrication niche not being adequately satisfied by competing brands was identified: a product that allows technicians and parts managers to quickly remove old, stripped, and/or rusty bolts from equipment. The LUBE-A-BOOM team found that many times these crucial bolts and screws had become so worn and stripped that removing them was a time-consuming process. To alleviate this service-related pressure point, LUBE-A-BOOM set to work to develop a product that could easily be used in the field to assist in the removal of old and worn bolts. Thus, the LOOSE-N-IT product came to fruition.
Eliminate Downtime recently arrived in Chicago and over 40 construction industry leaders attended the event to discuss solutions to the challenge of low productivity, missed deadlines and cost overruns. Organizations including Komatsu, Admar, United Rentals, Sunbelt, CAT, Bechtel, Messer Construction, Uptake and Trackunit contributed to the day with presentations, workshops and a panel quickfire.
As construction and roadbuilding companies know, renting equipment is a small but pivotal part of any project. If a vital piece of equipment is not available, that can result in idle workers, and a project falling behind schedule and going beyond budget.
Construction sites in many parts of North America face cold weather on a regular basis, which often leaves contractors dealing with cold starts – very cold, when you consider Canadian winters. Cold machinery means more idling, more maintenance and more pressure on the bottom line.
We know we are all creatures of habit. Without even realizing it, you have established patterns that structure and fill most of your days – starting with the time you tell your alarm to get you out of bed, to your method for moving material with your wheel loader. While you may tweak your schedule periodically, much of what you do on a daily basis flows from the rhythm of routine.
Let's face a fact: construction equipment isn't cheap. For the majority of contractors, the purchase of a new machine is a big capital outlay that requires plenty of planning and financial preparation.
Cooper Tire has announced the availability of a new mixed service wide base all-position (WBA) tire as part of its Cooper SEVERE Series lineup. The Cooper SEVERE Series WBA provides long miles to removal while handling the harsh operating conditions found in construction truck applications – especially mixers and dump trucks. The tire is available in 385/65R22.5 and 425/65R22.5 sizes, in load range L.
SnowEx STORM SEEKER LED Headlamps with EdgeView Technology provide one of the widest, fullest and farthest light patterns of any snow plow lights on the market. Featuring a durable design and best-in-class LED output to simulate daylight, the headlamps produce up to twice the light output of halogen bulbs to increase safety and productivity while plowing.
After six years of development and testing, Michelin North America, Inc., introduced the MICHELIN XDR 3 surface-mine haul tire in size 27.00R49. Addressing the productivity and endurance issues found in today's surface mines, the XDR3 — developed for a range of rigid dump trucks with payload capacity up to 400 tons — is designed with new compounds and a revolutionary new tread pattern that helps provide exceptional tire life. The use of corrosion-isolating cables in the tire architecture is a significant upgrade in situations where this equipment is always moving as it is operated for up to 23 hours-per-day in extreme terrain.
So much rides on tires that manufacturers are constantly improving them in a variety of technically fascinating ways providing buyers with the best performance and durability for specific machines and applications. Here are some recent updates to tires for construction equipment.
Automatic Greasing Systems specialist FLO Components Ltd.announces the winner of the Lincoln 1844 PowerLuber Grease Gun Giveaway Contest. Gabriel Lopez, Marketing Specialist at FLO announced; "Congratulations to our winner - Matt Wilson. Matt is part of the team at Knott Construction Ltd., a proud second generation, family owned business in Meaford, Ontario. Matt's name was drawn randomly from all eligible entries on March 29 in the FLO NHES 2019 Booth and he successfully answered a skill testing question."
While there are many advantages to buying new equipment, some contractors find value in buying used. Volvo Construction Equipment wants to make it safer for them to do this so they are partnering with their dealers to create Volvo Certified Used centres in Canada and the U.S. that take the guesswork out of buying used equipment.
Keith runs the business with the help of his two sons, Tyler, 32, and Justin, 31. The Kitchen trio are known within their community as the go to guys for any mobile tire needs; from skid-steer tires and tractor tires to off-road mining truck tires and Caterpillar's 980 loader tires, the team at Keith Kitchen Full Service Tire can service it all.
Camso has launched its new Steel over-the-tire (OTT) track solution, confirming its leadership as the industry one-stop source for all skid steer tire and track needs.
Groeneveld (part of The TimkenCompany) announced a new range of innovative OEM lubrication systems that sets itself apart as a brand-new concept reshaping the auto lube market.
Continental's new ContiLogger service incorporates tires, hardware, software and data for OTR customers
Continental is presenting its new ContiLogger consultancy concept at bauma. ContiLogger incorporates tires, hardware, software and data in an innovative service concept. This allows Continental to link end users with Continental's expertise even more closely.
Elgin Sweeper and RoadBotics offer sweepers equipped with AI-based pavement assessment technology to Florida municipalities
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Continental is further extending its tire portfolio for the earthmoving industry. The technology company recently launched a new compound for its RDT-Master for the use on Rigid Dump Trucks. The cut-resistant compound was developed for rough and abrasive applications where tires have to withstand sharp gravel, rocks and stones.
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Thunder Creek Equipment has expanded its multi-tank platform of diesel fuel hauling solutions to include a new medium-duty truck body – the Multi-Tank Upfit – that can haul bulk diesel on the road without requiring a CDL or HAZMAT endorsement (Title 49 (CFR49) – local regulations may apply). Each truck is outfitted with eight independent 115-gallon tanks (920-gallon total capacity) that are only connected when a common manifold is opened at the pumping station.
Magnum Trailer & Equipment Inc., a manufacturer and service provider for heavy duty trucks and trailers, has completed its first install of snow plow rigs for two of Fort Garry Industries (FGI) Western Star 4700 trucks. FGI supplies hundreds of plow and spreader rig ups every year for snow and ice removal throughout Western Canada.
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FLO Components exhibiting automatic greasing systems for compact equipment at National Heavy Equipment Show
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Enerpac has introduced a new XC-Series Cordless Torque Wrench Pump that is ideal for maintenance applications in the PowerGen, Oil & Gas and MRO markets. This portable pump is ideal for remote locations, sites that do not have access to power or where having electric cords could cause trip hazards.
Long before a single load is booked or any wheels turn, someone - usually a fleet manager - needs to determine exactly what is going to separate the road and the load. There's a lot riding on this decision because, as much as some would like to think otherwise, a trailer is never just a trailer. It can be manufactured to many different specifications, with multiple raw material options, dozens of load and geographical considerations, various top speed requirements and hundreds of possible axle configurations coming into play. And it all comes down to one objective - the ideal trailer for an operation's specific loads.