Construction Blogs

Rokbak Sales Start Strong in North America

The first Rokbak units have reached U.S. shores and dealers are snapping them up, the company says.

The articulated hauler manufacturer, formerly known as Terex Trucks, has received confirmed orders from almost all dealers across the U.S., including:

Bane Machinery, B-C Equipment Sales and Easton Sales & Rentals in Texas >G.W. Van Keppel, with locations across the Midwest >Hills Machinery, Carolinas>Border Equipment, Georgia >Lawrence Equipment, Virginia>

Under the Rokbak brand, Volvo Group subsidiary Volvo Construction Equipment is offering two models, the 30.9-ton RA30 and the 41.9-ton RA40. The units offer fuel economy, lower emissions, improved safety, and greater durability than previous Terex Truck TA300 and TA400 models.

“We knew once we launched as Rokbak that the response would be positive because we have such a strong relationship with our dealers,” says Robert Franklin, director of sales – Americas at Rokbak. “But even we were surprised by just how successful our new direction has been. We’ve got a long history in the U.S. and Canada in our previous incarnation, but it’s exciting to see how enthusiastic our partners are about our new direction and backing up that enthusiasm with multiple orders.”

Rokbak offers two models: the 30.9 US ton payload RA30 and 41.9 US ton payload RA40.RokbakRokbak says orders are a mix of RA30 and RA40 units, with some already confirmed for delivery to end user customers, while others will join dealers’ rental or sales stock.

“Although the Rokbak brand has only existed a couple of months, it’s evolved from one of the world’s oldest hauler manufacturers,” says Kyle Fuglesten, COO at Hills Machinery. “We’ve been really impressed by the new branding – there is absolutely no doubt what it stands for. The team’s commitment to hard work, reliability, performance and environmental care are front and center – and with the Volvo Group’s backing, the quality is 100% guaranteed.”

Easton Sales and Rental took delivery of the first-ever Rokbak articulated hauler in early November. The RA30 was immediately sold to Linco Construction in Houston.

“Our business is built on delivering quality work that is competitively priced and performed by experts, so these new Rokak machines are ideal tools to help us do that,” says Steve Brown, president of Linco Construction. “They’ve only been at work for a few weeks, but we can already see they are workhorses. We have built relationships with our clients on our commitment, hard work and quality, and when we look at the Rokbak haulers, we see those same values shining through.” 

Dozens more of the eye-catching grey haulers are set to arrive in North America in the coming months. 

“We are so thankful for the loyalty and support of our customers and dealers in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Paul Douglas, managing director of Rokbak. “We are excited to demonstrate our passion, personality and skill under our new brand and can’t wait to see the first units at work on project sites.”

Construction Blogs

Titan Machinery Posts 25% Total Revenue Increase in Q3

West Fargo, North Dakota-based Titan Machinery has reported $454 million in total revenue for the third quarter of 2021, a 25 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

“The combination of our larger base of revenues, healthy inventory position, and lean infrastructure has allowed for powerful operating leverage that drove a 109% increase in pre-tax income for the quarter,” says David Meyer, chairman and chief executive officer, Titan Machinery.  “Our Construction and International segments are also generating strong gains in profitability, each producing another solid quarter and building upon the improvements made fiscal year-to-date. We are excited about finishing the fiscal year on a strong note after a successful harvest and construction season and will continue to work toward delivering the unmatched customer service that Titan Machinery is known for.”

Gross profit for the third quarter reached $92.5 million, compared to $72.6 million in the third quarter last year for the agricultural and construction equipment dealer. Higher variable expenses on increased revenues drove up operating expenses by $8.8 million to $62.9 million, compared to $54.1 million in the third quarter last year.

Revenues for the company’s construction segment were essentially flat. Same-store sales increased 11.1% due to increased equipment demand but was offset by the lost contributions from the company’s Arizona stores following the January 2021 divestiture. Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 was $79.7 million, compared to $79.0 million in the third quarter last year.

The company is continuing to pursue acquisitions to grow its footprint and effectively service customers amid ongoing supply chain challenges. “While supply chains remain challenged, we are getting factory shipments, as well as leveraging our parts and equipment inventories collaboratively across our network of stores,” says Meyer. “This has allowed us to take care of our customers during the critical harvest and pre-winter construction season – which enabled us to continue to deliver strong top line growth. Looking to the fourth quarter, we remain confident that we will be able to sustain our increased sales momentum and profitability, which we believe will allow us to deliver a record year of earnings per share.”

Based on fiscal modeling assumptions, Titan expects the construction segment to be up 2- to 7-percent for the 2022 fiscal year.

Titan Machinery carries CNH Industrial brands, including Case Construction and New Holland Construction, and has locations in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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Construction Blogs

Product Roundup: Komatsu harvester and forwarder feature ground-gripping traction

There is probably no tougher environment for equipment than forestry, and Komatsu’s two new purpose-built machines, the 931XC-3 harvester and 855-3 forwarder, are made to stand up to these gnarly conditions.

Designed for maneuverability in everything from thinning operations to felling big timber, the 931XC-3 harvester balances power, torque and fuel economy to optimize low-speed operation with a high torque backup when needed. The machine’s eight-wheel-drive traction and smooth ride come courtesy of what Komatsu calls its “Comfort Bogie” drive system. The bogies oscillate to keep tires on the ground, following the terrain closely while maintaining a high clearance. Additionally, a fixed rear-axle design reduces rear ground pressure.

The harvester’s automatic cab/crane leveling system keeps your operator in the best possible position to work comfortably throughout the day. An automotive-quality cab features heated and cooled meal storage, a big front window for visibility, an ergonomic seat and climate control.

Designed with a high departure angle for climbing obstacles, the Komatsu 855-3 forwarder offers an optional blade for stump removal.KomatsuThe 14-metric-ton Komatsu 855-3 forwarder also operates on Komatsu Comfort Bogie axles with a high portal offset and V-shaped frame for ground clearance. For ground or stump leveling, an optional heavy-duty stacked blade is available. Mounted with a high angle of departure for climbing obstacles, there’s no interference between blade, battery boxes or hood guard. Operators can monitor and control everything from the engine and crane to the transmission and service ladders with the MaxiXT system. And operator-specific controls can be fine-tuned to achieve the finesse and speed each operator prefers.

AUSA has announced the global launch of its AUSAnow fleet manager.
Keep tabs on your AUSA machines with cloud-based monitoring.AUSANew software gives customers telematics info for AUSA vehicles

AUSA has announced the global launch of its AUSAnow fleet manager, an online fleet control solution. With this new digital service, AUSA is offering its customers a product to improve their efficiency and profitability by monitoring their machines with mobile phones or computers.

The new software communicates real-time information about maintenance requirements, technical and performance issues and any unexpected movement of machines.

Machine information is stored in the cloud, so AUSAnow can be accessed anywhere you can connect to the internet. The new system will allow users to view and create their own personalized charts, obtain in-depth information about the operation of their machines and make decisions that are based on detailed information.

Mecalac 156MRail
Mecalac 156MRailMecalacMecalac debuts new MRail-Series, a dedicated line of machines for the rail industry

Purpose-built for right-of-way maintenance or the construction of new tracks, Mecalac’s four new MRail-Series machines offer advanced safety features and performance tailored to meet the requirements and track sizes of public and private railways, light rail and subway networks.

The two tracked models, 106MRail and 136MRail, are based on the MCR crawler skid excavator concept. The 10-ton 106MRail can travel up to 6.2 mph on ground and 14.3 mph on rails. The 13-ton 136MRail offers ground speeds up to 5.6 mph and rail speeds as high as 12.4 mph.  

Both models offer 360-degree rotation. Optional rear and side cameras provide extra safety, visibility and precision when working in-between tracks, in tunnels or confined spaces.

Based on the MWR wheeled excavator, the 156MRail and 216MRail models provide solutions tailored to rail networks, different track sizes and available workspace. The 156MRail is ideal for users looking for a machine to work on subways or private tracks without the expensive features required by rail regulations. The 156MRail’s compact design provides good visibility for work in hard-to-reach places. It boasts travel speeds up to 21 mph on the ground and 18.6 mph on rails.

Built for the toughest rail jobs, the 216MRail model brings agility and maneuverability to users looking to complete projects on national and urban railways. With the greatest boom reach of the MRail models, the 216MRail can reach up to 24 feet 7 inches. It travels at speeds up to 18.5 mph on both ground and rails.

GPS Trackit's GL500MG protects unpowered assets including construction equipment.
The hidden installation and a tamper-proof design of GPS Trackit’s monitoring system enables you to keep tabs on unpowered equipment.GPS TrackitStop trailer theft with GPS Trackit monitoring

According to the International Risk Management Institute, only 10 to 15 percent of stolen equipment is ever recovered. One solution is GPS-enabled electronic monitoring. The recently announced GL500MG tracker from GPS Trackit monitors truck trailers and cargo to deter theft and assist in asset recovery.

GPS Trackit’s GL500MG protects unpowered assets including construction equipment, freight trailers, flatbed trailers, freight containers, generators, tool storage boxes, and recreational equipment.

The device features a five-year, onboard battery and durable housing to help construction companies, carriers and trucking companies locate and control their trailers around the clock. Geofences provide alerts whenever an asset leaves a pre-set area. A user update button immediately shares the GL500MG’s GPS coordinates to help you and law enforcement find the stolen asset.

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Construction Management

Honda’s Autonomous Work Vehicle Put to the Test at 1,000-Acre Jobsite (Video)

Every newbie who ever worked in construction knows the grunt work of having to haul material around the jobsite. Well, good news newbies.

Honda has a prototype robot that someday may put an end to this backbreaking tradition. At a large-scale Black & Veatch solar installation jobsite in New Mexico, the company successfully tested the latest prototype Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV). (Check out the video at the bottom of this story.)

And perhaps the coolest thing about the Honda AWV project is that it is actively soliciting contractors who want to help design the next version of the robot. Companies interested in testing the Honda AWV in their work environment can contact Honda at: [email protected].

Hefty payloads

During the month-long field test in New Mexico, the second-generation prototype of the fully electric Honda AWV performed a range of functions including towing activities and transporting construction materials, water and other supplies to pre-set destinations within the worksite.

The vehicle carried payloads of nearly 900 pounds, and in a separate use case, it towed a trailer hauling more than 1,600 pounds. While Honda previously tested an earlier generation of the Honda AWV, this field test was the first to deploy multiple units working collaboratively to support construction use cases.

Honda has been tinkering with the AWV platform for a while. It was introduced as a concept at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. You can see what we wrote about the first version here: Honda unveils autonomous construction robot, wants your input on what to do with it   

GPS guidance

The current version of the Honda AWV employs a suite of sensors to guide the unit autonomously, using GPS for location, radar and LiDAR for obstacle detection and stereoscopic (3D) cameras for remote monitoring. The vehicle also can be operated by remote control.

To validate the capabilities of the Honda AWV, the company selected a Black & Veatch’s solar energy construction site where support structures for solar panels are laid out in a grid pattern at regular intervals over a thousand acres. The site was an ideal environment to test the ability of the Honda AWV to stop at precise points along a pre-set route.

Cloud-based directions

Honda produced a high-definition map of the site that allowed Black & Veatch operators to precisely set start and stop points for multiple Honda AWVs using a cloud-based app interface that runs on tablets and PCs. The vehicles successfully delivered materials and supplies along a calculated route and stopped within centimeters of their pre-set points.

The field test also demonstrated the viability of the Honda AWV battery system to support energy-intensive sensors and provide vehicle propulsion, while operating up to eight hours in a high-temperature environment.

Based on the capabilities verified in this field test, Honda says its AWV will be capable of providing a wide range of services to a variety of industries that need a rugged off-road autonomous solution, especially where workforce constraints and safety concerns make other solutions impractical. The ability to operate autonomously, or with remote control, and carry large payloads, along with the potential to add attachments and tools, make the Honda AWV a suitable platform for many work environments.

Efficiency and safety

The goal of the project, according to Honda, is to create a rugged and durable off-road side-by-side platform with advanced autonomous technology capable of being deployed in a variety of dynamic work environments.

“We believe the Honda AWV has the potential to bring greater efficiencies, higher levels of safety and better environmental performance to the construction industry and to other industries seeking an autonomous off-road solution,” says Kenton Williams, project lead for the Honda AWV. Honda has not announced commercialization plans for the AWV yet, but is continuing to advance the platform through field testing.

You can watch a video below of the Honda AWV doing its thing:  

Honda AWV Specs

Dimensions: 9 feet 6 inches long; 8 inches high; 4 feet 11 inches wideUnladen weight: 1,590 poundsMax load capacity: 880 poundsTowing capability: 1,653 pounds (including trailer)Min. turning radius: 12 feet 9 inchesRange: 27.9 miles depending on use case Charge time: Up to six hours        
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