NEWEST & BRIGHTEST: Ooh la la, that’s a jolie dozer

In the months leading up to Intermat most of the news was about the growing list of high-profile withdrawals – Atlas Copco/Dynapac, JLG, Manitou, Metso, Sandvik, Terex/Genie, Wacker-Neuson – but now the focus has rightly turned to what’s new and exciting at the show. So, what is new? Well, not a lot, really, at least compared to the equipment releases seen at the two most recent big triennial shows, Bauma 2007 and ConExpo 2008. With new equipment sales dipping and stock levels rising, manufacturers could be forgiven for deciding it’s not a great time to be unveiling a radical new machine.But while it’s more evolution than revolution at Intermat, there are still some significant new machines on show.JCB is displaying its new micro excavator, the 800kg 8008, along with its new range of zero tail swing mini excavators, which range from 2.5-5.0 tonnes. There’s also a new reduced tail swing six-tonner, the 8065 RTS. On the Ammann stand are two new vibratory tandem drum rollers, the AV 70X and AV 80X, which plug the gap between the company’s light and heavy articulated tandems.Caterpillar’s big news at Intermat is the Fusion coupler, a new wheel loader hitch which Cat says delivers better breakout force transfer and improved operator visibility.”The new design uses vertical pin lock rather than the conventional horizontal system and the pin shape has also been redesigned to be conical,” Caterpillar’s Michel Jenny said. “The main problem with the older system is that as the pins wear, movement developed between the machine and the attachment, which can lead to further loss of breakout force.”Cat says the Fusion coupler can be fitted to any of its wheel loaders from the 924 up to the 972.Access major Haulotte has unveiled the H28J, a new telescopic boom that features a 6m telescopic fly jib on top of its main boom. Total outreach is 23m and maximum capacity is 350kg. An oscillating axle and locking differential are said to provide high mobility.Haulotte says Intermat 2009 will be the first time Europeans will see the Summit trailer-mounted booms and X-Boom self-propelled machines made by American manufacturer Bil-Jax, which was bought by Haulotte last year.South African dump truck manufacturer Bell is launching its Mark VI series articulated dump trucks. Bell ADTs are sold in Australia under the Hitachi brand.Bell product manager Stephen Jones said the changes on the Mark VI focused on electronic upgrades and cab enhancements to improve safety, ease of operation, noise level reduction and vehicle protection.The new machines’ clever electronics will only allow the hand brake to be released when enough engine torque is produced to prevent rollback, and also allow the truck to pull away in second gear if unladen. Travel speed is automatically limited if the truck is overladen.

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