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Six Practical Uses of Machine Control

Machine control on heavy equipment is often synonymous with road building and large site prep – but it’s not all about the long grade. Here are six machine control applications that can immediately help improve productivity and reduce rework in earthmoving applications.

1. Trenching at a specific depth using a 2D system: excavators, backhoes and compact excavators can all be outfitted with 2D and 3D machine control systems to assist in everything from mass excavation to precisely sloped trenches. Sometimes, however, a trench only needs to be a certain depth below the contour of the land. An excavator with a 2D system in this application can benchmark against the ground it sits on. The operator can set the machine to cut at a depth of six feet, as an example, and the system will indicate to the operator when the bucket has reached a depth of six feet. Then, the machine can back up, benchmark again against the new surface, and continue indicating to the operator when they’ve reached six feet in the new spot. The operator can repeat this for the entire length of the trench.

Backhoe Technology – Old and New – Helps Southern Pipeline Tackle Gas and Water Pipe Utility Work in Louisville

Oil, gas and water contractor successfully uses compact excavators, track loaders and backhoe loaders in a heavy-duty environment.

David Spencer, CEO of Southern Pipeline in Louisville, is no stranger to the demands of the oil and gas industry. Hired as an operator in 1981, then becoming a foreman and working his way through the ranks of the company, Spencer has just about seen it all.

Right on Target: Intelligent Compaction Drives Quality and Productivity

Compaction equipment is about as straight forward as it gets: weight, movement and vibration are used to compact construction materials (soil, gravel, asphalt) to required specifications. But there is a science to that compaction, and intelligent compaction technologies – ranging from simple meters to automated systems that adjust machine performance for the operator – help simplify operation and allow contractors to improve productivity by getting work done right the first time. 

Getting it done right the first time is the most important factor at play here: most agencies require the contractor to come in and repair improperly compacted surfaces at no cost. This is where intelligent compaction provides the greatest benefit, allowing you to move forward on paid work versus doubling back and working for free.

F & P Construction Increases Productivity by 3,500 Yards/Day with CASE CX700B

Randy Pitts, owner of F & P Construction in Reno, Nevada, is no stranger to the challenges of mass excavation. His current project in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center called for moving more than a half-million yards of rocky soil to prepare a pad for a 703,000 square-foot warehouse.  Pitts needed to break through about 6 feet of sun-baked hardpan and deal with many large boulders and cobble embedded in the soil.

Initially, Pitts relied on a dozer/wheel loader combo for moving material, but Pitts aimed to increase his productivity by adding a mass excavation unit to the site. To do so, he brought in the 463-horsepower, 153,400-pound CX700B from CASE Construction Equipment – an excavator with a 5.91 cubic-yard bucket. The overall speed and power of the machine has allowed Pitts to increase his productivity by 46 percent –without adding any additional equipment.

Beyond the Bucket: The Amazing, Versatile and Incomparable Backhoe

Dig with one end – load and carry with the other. It’s that basic functionality that drives the initial purchase of a backhoe loader. For the owner/operator starting a business, it’s the perfect combination in a single machine. But that machine can grow with a contractor’s business and add greater functionality as needed – often forgoing the need to add extra pieces of equipment (and the associated owning and operating costs).

Read on for a few thoughts on options to consider when specifying a new backhoe loader for added functionality, and then stick around for a few examples of backhoe flexibility beyond digging and loading.

Proper Care and Maintenance Maximizes Wheel Loader Uptime and Productivity

As seen in Pit & Quarry Magazine.

Wheel loaders take a pounding. They work in material that wears away at the very steel they’re built from. They lift and carry enormous loads across uneven terrain for hours on end. They fight dust that is determined to go places it shouldn’t. But the burden on wheel loaders is lessened when owners and operators practice proper maintenance. Here are a few considerations to help maximize your wheel loader’s uptime – and ultimately improve productivity and extend its service life.

Waste Handling Success: Not Optional

As seen in Waste Advantage Magazine.

Waste handlers work in harsh environments that pose unique challenges to construction equipment – rather than working with materials that are consistent in nature (soils, aggregates, etc.), these machines toil in varied work environments with material that is inconsistent in size, substance and weight. That waste material can work its way into just about anything. As such, outfitting a waste handler with specific performance and guarding features can go a long way in providing optimal uptime, machine performance and operator satisfaction.

Enhancing Motor Grader Performance and Efficiency with Machine Control and Telematics

As seen in Utility Contractor.

Motor graders remain among the most difficult to train new operators on and, as with many trades, finding skilled operators in the construction industry remains a challenge. At the same time, the industry is getting more competitive, and having capable operators along with the ability to compete in terms of productivity and quality is as important as ever.

Dozer Undercarriage Health and Maintenance Drives Total Machine Performance

As featured in Aggregates Manager. Fact: approximately 20 percent of the purchase price and 50 percent of the maintenance cost of a dozer sits in its undercarriage. That’s a lot of money tied to one component. Of all tracked machines, a dozer undercarriage experiences more force, abrasion and resistance than any other piece of equipment. Keeping that undercarriage in good working order will go a long way towards reducing maintenance costs and optimizing your working hours. In this article we will cover tips on how to prevent and minimize undercarriage wear, maximize undercarriage life and lower owning and operating costs.

We’ll follow that up with The Dozer Health Checklist. As with all equipment, it’s often the small stuff that can trip you up. Daily maintenance and upkeep is critical to overall machine health. Follow these important steps to ensure overall machine health – and see how new technologies can help you keep track of your service demands.  

The Art of the Compact Track Loader

Compact Track Loaders (CTL) provides three significant advantages: lower ground pressure for operating over terrain where utilities and other systems may sit just below the surface, the ability to minimize impact on finished surfaces (less rutting) and the ability to provide greater stability/flotation. While CTLs and skid steer loaders are often discussed interchangeably, they are different machines with different strengths and different challenges. Using CTLs in the appropriate applications, with the most suitable attachments and a proper understanding of the undercarriage, will help owners and operators master the art of the CTL.

The Advantages of Tracks
Generally speaking: applications that require lifting and articulating of a load on a soft or uneven surface may be best performed with CTLs. While CTLs can be used on asphalt, concrete and other improved surfaces, it’s not recommended. These surfaces shorten the overall lifespan of the tracks as they cause more abrasion and wear. CTLs are best suited for softer surfaces (grasses, dirt, gravel) and provide greater flotation and stability on uneven surfaces – a particular strength for slope work. The ability to operate on grass and other unpaved surfaces without creating ruts is important because it reduces cleanup time and site repair costs.

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