Construction Services

Fat Truck Slims Down, Adds Pickup Capabilities

There are sites that are easy, and then there are sites that are boggy, muddy, steep, swampy, treacherous or covered in snow and ice. For the former, 4WD and diff-locks are usually enough. For the later, you may need a Fat Truck.

We first reported on the Fat Truck 2.8C back in 2019. Now the company has come out with an upgraded amphibious version with pickup truck capabilities. The new Fat Truck pickup version 2.8P from the Canadian firm Zeal Motor is designed to transport people material and tools to the jobsite through just about any conditions.

“Some companies have both people and equipment to move,” says Michele Ashton, Zeal Motor sales manager, speaking with Equipment World at the Utility Expo. “It also has a lower price, with the 2.8P model priced at around $120,000, while the 2.8C comes in at more than $140,000.”

The pickup model of the Fat Truck is designed with utility contractors in mind. It can be outfitted with a variety of options including a high-speed capstan, vegetation control spraying unit, water tank, firefighting foam kit and small service crane for equipment and material recovery after heavy rains or storms.

“It has the same bottom, motors, engine, hydraulics and hydrostatic drive as our other model, but the frame is different,” Ashton says. Additional options include front winch and rear hitch, roof rack, rear ladder, rear ROPS, electronic inclinometer, tow package, storage box, tow package, transportation trailer and an extra battery. The company is also working with Provectus Robotics to offer an autonomous version.

The Fat Truck 2.8P carries a payload capacity of 2,200 pounds and can travel up to 25 mph on land and 3 mph on the water. If you’re facing seemingly impossible hills, the truck can climb grades up and down hill on grades 70% and traverse sidehills as steep as 40%.

With its big, high traction tires, the Fat Truck’s footprint is just 1.6 psi, which is five times less than the weight exerted by a human footprint. In addition to great flotation, the low-impact tires tread lightly on sensitive vegetation and won’t crush roots around the drip line of trees clients may wish to preserve.

Dimension-wise, the Fat Truck 2.8P lives up to its name at 103-inches tall, 146.5-inches long, and 100-inches wide with a 20.7-inch ground clearance. It weighs 4,900 pounds.

An automatic tire inflation system ensures you have the optimum inflation for the terrain and load.

The truck runs on a four-cylinder Caterpillar C2.2 turbo diesel that puts out 67 horsepower and 153 pounds of torque. The fuel tank holds 18.5 gallons. Braking is through a hydrostatic transmission with positive deceleration. For safety, the brakes automatically engage anytime you’re not moving.

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Construction Management

Big bucket and counterweight enable Komatsu’s new WA480-8 to fill trucks in just three passes

Engineered as a three-pass match loader for aggregates and other materials, the new Komatsu WA480-8 yard loader can also be used in infrastructure, forestry and non-residential applications where you need to move a lot of material efficiently.

Komatsu added a 1,400-pound counterweight to this version of the WA480-8 to help you fill the generously sized 7.2 cubic yard bucket while also enhancing stability. Low-profile tires add stability while helping to transfer the machine’s 299 horsepower to the ground. For trailering and transportation considerations the WA480-8 weighs between 57,232 and 61,311 pounds.

The shape of the bucket, with a long jaw and decreased strike plane angle, provides smooth material flow and lower resistance while the curved side edges minimize spills. All together these improvements make the WA480-8 suitable for high volume truck loading, carrying, stockpiling and hopper charging applications.

To maximize brake life in long load-and-carry or high-speed operations, the new loader supplements wet-cooled brakes with an air-cooled brake system that has demonstrated cooling improvements of 56-to 58-degrees Fahrenheit. This reduces the risk of overheating the brakes in severe conditions. A sensor on the electric drive pump measures axle temperature and activates the system when needed. A lock-up torque converter improves driveline efficiency and fuel economy during those long hauls.

In the Level 2 ROPS/FOPS cab, the loader offers an optional Komatsu Advanced Joystick Steering System and a heated air suspension seat. The pressurized cab keeps dust on the outside and makes for a more comfortable operating environment.

An auto-shift transmission with a mode selection feature and an automatic digging system with a boom kick out help the operator focus on the work rather than the machine. The hydraulic-drive fan has auto reverse to keep the radiators and cooling system clean and efficient. Large gull-wing type engine doors and large steps on both sides of the frame make engine access easier. Auto-idle shutdown and Komatsu’s Smart Loader Logic help conserve fuel.        

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Construction Management

The Future of Paving? Volvo Unveils Its CX01 Concept Compactor

Asphalt compactors aren’t known as the most difficult machine to operate on the job. Although compactors perform a critical function especially when smoothness specs are at stake, many contractors put their less-seasoned operators on them.

But what if these machines didn’t even require an on-board operator?

Enter Volvo Construction Equipment’s CX01 asphalt compaction concept, a planned ConExpo reveal that had to wait until the recent Utility Expo to get in front of contractors.

“We just wanted to examine what the future of compaction would look like,” Justin Zupanc, head of Volvo CE’s asphalt compaction development team, told Equipment World at the show. “We wanted to create a better operator’s environment, reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions and boost productivity.”

“Better operator environment” translates to no cab. Instead, a connected fleet of CX01 single-drum units directed by a downloaded compaction plan would be either be remotely controlled by an operator or controlled autonomously.

Volvo already has an autonomous system on its TA15 haulers, now in customer testing, and the plan is to test a similar system on the CX01, Zupanc says.

The CX01 does not have an articulation joint “so there’s no balance point, there’s nothing that we can steer away from,” Zupanc says. Volvo solved this by using a split-drum which has two halves that can be operated independently   kept upright by using a self-balancing control system. (The split drum comes off of its current 9-ton class machine sold in Europe.) To turn, operators can vary the rate of speed of each half of the drum. “You can make a fairly tight turn,” he says.

And while it wouldn’t be used while the unit is on asphalt, users also would have the ability to pivot steer the machine. 

Rethink the paving process

The Volvo CX01 prototype compactor features guarding and emergency stops on each corner.Equipment World

Volvo says the CX01 which stands for compaction experimental unit No. 1  provides the means to “fundamentally rethink the paving process.” By removing the operator, you’re also removing their exposure to vibration, noise and dust. 

As envisioned, a fleet of CX01s could be deployed on larger jobs and communicate not only with each other but with other machines on site. The machines could survey the job, report on mat conditions such as density, temperature and passes (which intelligent compactors are already doing) and determine when and where to compact. “They can shift over if an area is already compacted,” Zupanc says. “All information is available to the crew and to other machines. You could even send it to the asphalt plant.”

The machine’s compact design and maneuverability could also lead to streamlined compaction cycles, reduced costs and more agile work patterns, Volvo says. The rolling pattern, weight and number of rollers could be adjusted to match the width, thickness and speed of the paving operation. Using Volvo’s existing Co-Pilot system, operators can use a touchscreen to remotely control the compactors.

Flexible power

The CX01 has a flexible power system. It has both a 1.7-liter diesel engine and an energy storage system that can be operated indiesel-only, hybrid or fully electric modes. “The diesel is only there to spin the 20-kilowatt generator,” Zupanc says. The generator in turn powers two 48-volt ultracapacitors placed on each side of the drum, which in turn are powering three 14-kilowatt electric motors, one for each side of the drum, and another to power the vibration system eccentrics. 

“You can run it with the diesel engine on, and it’s always charging the ultracapacitors,” Zupanc says. When the ultracapacitors are charged, the engine can be turned off, and the machine becomes fully electric. The engine will cycle back on when the ultracapacitor charges get low. “They charge very quickly, within a couple of minutes,” he says. The downside: the capacitors don’t have the capacity of a lithium-ion battery; runtime is around 20 minutes, depending on your speed.

“We had never used them before, and we wanted to see how they worked,” Zupanc says, explaining why Volvo was using ultracapacitors on the CX01. “While they don’t have the capacity of lithium-ion batteries, they are good for vibration and they have a long lifecycle. They may not be the right solution because they don’t have that longevity, and who knows, we may couple them with a lithium-ion battery pack down the road.”

Because the ultracapacitors need a constant charge, it’s unlikely that the diesel engine will go away as long as they are used. 

Volvo is also exploring using a low-friction water-reduction polymer-based coating on the drum surface now theoretical — which could also be used on its other compactors. This would combat the common problem of asphalt sticking to the drum, now solved by using water. The CX01, however, has limited water storage.

Volvo produced =the following explainer video of how it envisions the CX01 being used:

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Construction Services

Best Roof for Your Split-Level Home

Split-level homes are popular in many areas of the United States. These homes have unique arrangements that minimize the need for large staircases. The multiple levels of a split-level home are staggered, with shorter staircases toward the centers of these homes. This style of home construction makes for attractive floorplans and a surprising amount of floorspace inside a home that appears relatively small from the outside. If you own a split-level home, you may wonder what type of new roof would suit the split-level architecture best.

Mr. Roof has experience installing new roofs over all types of homes. Modern split-level homes often have more than one elevation, and it’s possible to use this advantageously when it comes to creating your ideal split-level home exterior.

Roofing for split-level homes

Split-level homes can have many different styles of roofs. Some are built with a single roof elevation, while others have a more interesting architecture with multiple roof surfaces. Gabled roofs, hip roofs, dormer roofs, and even flat roofs are all possible for modern split-level homes. If you want the best new roof for your split-level home, it’s important to consider both the construction of your roof surfaces and the materials for your new roof.

Asphalt shingle roofs are the standard for residential property owners throughout the US. Asphalt shingles can provide around 20 to 25 years of protection for your home when properly installed using the best available materials. Mr. Roof can help you choose the best shingles for your split-level home that meet both your performance and aesthetic standards.

Mr. Roof provides comprehensive guidance through all phases of roof replacement for our customers. We understand that you have lots of options for replacing the roof on a home with split-level architecture. Depending on the type of new roof you choose, you can create a cozier appearance or make your home seem much larger from the curb. Mr. Roof only works with the best available roofing materials from the most respected manufacturers in the industry, such as Owens Corning. Rest assured that no matter what type of new roof you select for your split-level home, Mr. Roof can ensure the result suits your needs and preferences.

Choosing a cohesive split-level roof

When you replace the roof on your home, you need to take the home’s whole exterior into account if you want a truly beautiful, finished product. However, Mr. Roof provides much more than just roof replacement. We can also help you choose the best windows for split-level homes, help you upgrade your split-level home exterior, and handle various other repairs that will increase your property value and allow you to enjoy your home for years to come with peace of mind. If your split-level home needs a new roof, Mr. Roof is here to help. We can provide a free estimate and walk you through all your new roofing design options so you can find the new split-level roof that works best for your needs, preferences, and budget. Contact Mr. Roof today to schedule your free estimate and find out more about the roof replacement options we have available for your home’s split-level architecture.

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