The industry outlook for light equipment and attachments in 2006 is looking bright, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ 2005-2006 Outlook survey. The survey queried construction equipment manufacturers in the third quarter of 2005 for their predictions for year-end 2005 and 2006 business volume, a forecast that represents the overall percent changes predicted for unit sales. Company responses indicated their anticipated business volume for their industry segments as a whole and not individual company forecasts.
The outlook forecast for year-end 2005 sales for light equipment was 10.5% higher than 2004, and the predicted outlook for 2006 sales in the U.S. is 9.3% higher than 2005 sales.
Sales for attachments and components also show growth in recent years. Sales for 2005 were 9.9% higher than those of 2004, while the total sales for 2006 is predicted to be 6.3% higher than 2005.
With successful sales in a growing marketplace, the equipment itself has been progressing with technical innovations and performance improvements to keep up with a demanding industry. What follows are brief descriptions of a few of the latest light equipment and attachment products in the market.
Brushing and shredding
Rockhound Attachments, Hughson, Calif., has added the BrushHound 30 Brush Shredder to its line of attachments. This machine has numerous advantages, including armor plate construction, T1 skid shoes and 18 2-lb blades with a blade cost of only 75 per hour. It features a direct-drive gear-type hydraulic motor that only requires 8 gpm at 3,000 psi, and weighs only 550 lb. This shredder can mount to a mini excavator or compact backhoe. The new BrushHound 30 (Circle 912) allows more mounting options and ships pressure tested and ready for work with hydraulic hoses and quick couplers. You can safely shred and mulch 4 in. of material quickly while sitting in the cab, with no hand cleanup.
Rammax’s new RAV Series boom-mounted compactors from Multiquip, Carson, Calif., are designed for efficient and trouble-free use on crawlers, backhoes and mini excavators. The compactors are capable of generating centrifugal force up to 24,750 lb and excel in applications including slope and hillside compaction, structure backfill, pipeline construction and work in confined places such as shaft compaction.
The RAV-700P generates 18,450 lb of centrifugal force and is well suited for applications on seven- to 20-ton excavators. It weighs 1,543 lb. The RAV-1000P is ideal for the larger jobs with 24,750 lb of impact force. It weighs 2,205 lb and is most effective on 18- to 40-ton excavators.
The new BPR55/65D reversible plate compactor from Bomag Light Equipment, Kewanee, Ill., offers the power, performance and durability to handle nearly any jobsite situation. Ideal for work on a variety of soil types, the BPR55/65D (Circle 914) is built with an 8.9-hp Lombardini air-cooled diesel engine, delivering 13% more hp than the model it replaces. This increased power, combined with new base-plate geometry and optimized positioning of the unit’s center of gravity, results in a 17% faster working speed of 92 ft per minute, a 10% increase in maximum centrifugal force to 12,375 lb and a 5% increase in gradeability to 35%. These performance enhancements also have resulted in a maximum frequency of 3,900 vibrations per minute. Heavy-duty base plates feature reinforced edges and offer maximum working widths of 17.7 in., or 25.6 in. with standard wear strips installed.
Atlas Copco Construction Tools Inc., West Springfield, Mass., has introduced the HC 409 and HC 920 hydraulic compactor attachments (Circle 915). Both compactors are part of a new line of hydraulic compactor attachments being offered by Atlas Copco that feature FAG bearings, a Permco motor and Lord shock mounts for exceptional performance and durability. These features make the compactors ideal for a variety of soil compaction projects along with driving and extracting sheeting posts.
Accepting a maximum hydraulic flow of 20 gpm at 2,200 psi of pressure and weighing 900 lb, the HC 409 delivers an 8,000-lb impulse force and produces 2,100 cycles per minute. Weighing 1,600 lb, the HC 920 boasts an impulse force of 16,000 lb and delivers 2,200 cycles per minute with a maximum hydraulic flow of 30 gpm at 2,200 psi of pressure.
Yanmar America Corp., Adairsville, Ga., now offers two universal mid-size mini excavators (Circle 916). The new models, the Vi045-5 and the Vi055-5, have operating weights of 10,121 and 11,312 lb, respectively. The stability of the new universal series zero-tail-swing machines equals that of full-size conventional excavators. Engineering improvements are evident in new levels of reliability, comfort and safety. The models have digging depths of 12 ft 8 in. and 13 ft 8 in., with a reach of 19 ft 1 in. and 20 ft 4 in., respectively. Both are true zero-tail-swing models with hydraulic quick couplers and VICTAS offset track design for increased side-to-side stability.