(L-R): Cory Fuhrmann, Wirtgen Americas district sales manager, Chris Maher, Hayden Murphy equipment coordinator, go over the features of this Wirtgen W150i compact cold milling machine.
Heavy equipment operators and individuals starting out in the industry, were welcome at the first New Iron Expo at the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 49 Training Center on April 7 to 8 outside of Hinckley, Minn.
Extending across the 400 acres on the IUOE Local 49 Training Center's facility were heavy equipment vendors, industry professionals and hundreds of visitors to not only view, but also operate some of the newest models of heavy equipment in the industry.
“We had a lot of great top of the line equipment that folks could go inside with the vendor and either see how it all works, or if it was someone in the industry the vendors let them operate it,” said Dave Christensen, the assistant training director of Local 49's training center. “That's something that is just not heard of at expos, where people can actually go and operate a piece of equipment that a vendor brought in.”
Some highlights included a demonstration of a D-6T Cat bulldozer, a 480 excavator brought in by Nuss (Volvo), a 12M blade that Caterpillar had on site, and a W-150 milling machine that Hayden-Murphy demonstrated. The Local 49 Training Center also featured its own crane simulator where attendees could experience what it's like to operate a crane — giving visitors a bird's eye view of what a crane operator actually sees. In total, there were more than 30 vendors that attended the New Iron Expo.
Layne Johnson, the director of IUOE Local 49's Training Center said, “I consider the expo a success, this event gave everyone a chance to not only see, but also operate the newest equipment in our industry from various vendors.”
The New Iron Expo also showcased students currently training at the facility who were engaged in operating various pieces of equipment designed to perform a specific task like they would be on a real job site.
“The expo provided great exposure to our Training Center,” Johnson said. “It showed the wide range of hands-on training we do on all types of heavy equipment and cranes.”
For more information on the IUOE Local 49 Training Center, visit www.local49training.org.