CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 Day 1 highlights

By: Dave Bullard, Photography by: Dave Bullard

Presented by
  • Earthmovers & Excavators

Construction industry mega-show CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 got underway today, with over 2500 exhibitors showcasing their new and wonderful equipment over the massive 23ha site in Las Vegas. We sent Editor Dave Bullard to the US to check it out, and these are a few of the machines that caught his eye on Day 1.

Mecalac 6MCR construction machine

Mecalac 6MCR construction machine

What better way to start the show off than with a stars-and-stripes-flying Mecalac 6MCR multi-purpose construction machine?

They’re hard to describe – Mecalac says they’re "crawler skid-excavators", which doesn’t really help – but basically these amazing machines combine a compact excavator with a compact loader, and can change from digging to skid-steer mode at the turn of a switch.

We caught up with the lads from Perth-based distributor Digrite at the Mecalac stand, and to say they’re excited by these earthmover is an understatement.

Check out our Facebook page to see this 6MCR in action.

3D printed excavator cab

3D printed excavator cab

We’ve featured this 3D-printed excavator cab on this site before, so we were rapt to see it in the flesh.

Part of Project AME (Additive Manufactured Excavator), the sort-of-organic-looking cab was designed and printed by researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the US.

The cab forms part of CONEXPO’s Tech Experience area, which explores the kind of tech we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future.

3D printed articulated arm

3D printed articulated arm

As impressive as the excavator cab was, this 3D-printed articulated arm printed using Wolf Robotics’ metal additive manufacturing system was probably more of a ‘Wow!’ moment for us as we were able to get up close to it and feel its cold steel for ourselves.

Being able to 3D-print components out of metal is a real game-changer, with huge possibilities for keeping remote sites running, and for saving costs in the manufacturing of little-used parts.

Liebherr A918 litronic wheeled excavator

Liebherr A 918 Litronic wheeled excavator

The super-efficient Tier 4f/Stage IV A 918 Litronic wheeled excavator was one of the stars at Liebherr’s big 4,600-square-metre stand.

With an operating weight of between 17.6 tonnes and 19.8 tonnes, the A 918 is designed for standard earthmoving and road construction use, as well as more specialised drainage and pipeline work.

The unit on display was equipped with a 2.5m-wide undercarriage and sturdy front and rear outriggers.

One feature we particularly liked was the SVAB automatic digging brake, which comes as standard.

JCB HMEE backhoe loader

JCB HMEE backhoe loader

We’re suckers for military-spec equipment, so we couldn’t go past this JCB HMEE (High Mobility Engineer Excavator) backhoe loader.

It has an operating weight of 16.2 tonnes, 149kW (200hp) gross engine power and a maximum dig depth of 3.9m – and it can hit 96km/h on the straight so it can keep up with military convoys.

The HMEE is four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-steer and is based on tech used on JCB Fastrac tractors.

Curry CA6U water tank

Curry CA6U water tank

As you can see from the sticker, this Curry CA6U articulated chassis water tank is destined for Coleman’s Equipment in Orange, NSW, via a short stop in Long Beach, California.

It’s a 22,600-litre tank that installs easily (no welding) on all brands of articulated trucks via a universal mounting system.

The Curry CA6U comes standard with a manual hose reel, 762mm top man-way, a Berkeley-style water pump and an Elkhart water cannon.

Ditch Witch HT275 trencher

Ditch Witch HT275 trencher

That’s not a trencher … THIS is a trencher! The Ditch Witch HT275 can dig a 66cm-wide ditch down to 3m deep in dirt and rock.

Built for heavy-duty tasks along the lines of pipeline distribution and under drain installation, the HT275 features a Cummins Tier 3 or Tier 4 engine capable of 205kW (275hp) and has a tractor tilt design that lets it dig a perfectly vertical trench on a side slope.

Leading Edge Talon multi ripper bucket

Leading Edge Talon multi-ripper bucket

Here’s something you don’t see every day – a multi-ripper bucket that promises to break rock four times faster than a hammer.

The boys at Leading Edge Attachments say these buckets "rip the sides and bottom flat, with no depth limitation" and increase the force of your excavator by two class sizes.

The buckets are new to Australia, being brought in by Ontrac Group.


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