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Thousands Flock to Las Vegas for ConExpo/ConAGG Extravaganza

Thu March 28, 2002 - Northeast Edition
Amanda L. Gutshall

With more than 100,000 visitors and registered guests, ConExpo/ConAGG 2002 started and closed with a bang.

Major manufacturers launched scores of machines with much fanfare and a quality crowd to usher it all in.

The enormous trade show was also a chance for many industry-wide associations to hold annual meetings and other hospitality events.

A multitude of seminars, running throughout all five days, kept contractors and other visitors up to date on the latest technology, law changes and industry news.

Two exciting portions of the week included the United States Skeleton Olympic team, which graced the New Holland equipment exhibit on Wednesday, March 20. Attendees lined up to have their pictures taken with Jimmy Shea, the 2002 male Gold medalist; Tristan Gale, the 2002 female Gold medalist; and Chris Soule, a member of the U.S. skeleton team.

Also, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers officially launched its Internet bidding service: rbauctionBidLive. This service allows customers to follow the live auction, hear the auctioneer and place bids, all live and in real-time over the Internet. A crowd of visitors (and bidders) stopped by the Ritchie Bros. booth to check out the auction that was being held in Fort Worth, TX.

And, the main attraction – the equipment – spread from one end of the Las Vegas Convention Center to the other. Cranes could be seen towering over vast rows of scrapers, excavators, wheel loaders and an assortment of attachments.

Inside, the sights ranged from huge mining pieces, light construction equipment and parts to financial service, customer care booths and various trade publications.

The Main Event

Equipment at ConExpo 2002 was introduced daily with scores of press and visitors checking out the new releases. Here’s a sum up of some of the action at this year’s show.


Repeating the slogan “Focused on Your Success,” Komatsu released a variety of new models at ConExpo. Among the new pieces are the PC45MRX, PC58UU, PC200LC-7, and PC300LC-7 excavators as well as the huge PC1800 mining excavator; WA450-5L and WA600-3LK wheel loaders; D31EX-21 and D275AX05 dozers; HM350-1 articulated truck; SK714 and SK815HF skid steers; and WB140 backhoe loader.

The goals of Komatsu are to provide one-stop shopping and a complete and broad line of products and services to its customers.

The company also announced an alliance with the Hard Dollar Corporation, a provider of cost estimating and project management systems for the construction industry. The duo will pursue corporate initiatives that include join marketing programs and technology development to enhance existing product offerings, as well as offer new products.


It could have been the Fourth of July, but it was only JCB’s celebration – complete with fireworks – of its launch of new products for 2002.

The company introduced 14 new models at the show, manufactured in four countries (U.S., Brazil, India and United Kingdom). Some of the new pieces include: 212S-217S backhoe loaders; 8027Z and 8032Z zero tail swing mini-excavators; 456 HT tool carrier; 515 and 5508 Loadall telescopic handlers; a new mini-backhoe, the Mini JCB; 190 and 1110 robot skid steer loaders; 190T and 1110T rubber tracked skid steer loaders; 8008 and 8012 micro excavators; 8060 midi excavator; micro 700 dumper; JS460 L tracked excavator; and 718 articulated dump truck.

Crowds gathered throughout the week to watch JCB’s Dancing Diggers put on quite a show.


On Tuesday, March 19 Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Glen Barton, Gerald Shaheen, president of Caterpillar Inc., and J.E. Pfeffer, vice president, North American Commercial Division, discussed the finances of the company. According to Barton, the company will reduce cost structure by $1 billion over the next few years. “2002 will be a challenging year of all of us,” Barton said. Caterpillar, he added, plans to deliver on promises to give returns to its shareholders while also satisfying customer needs by offering better products and services.

According to Shaheen, Cat’s work tool division is driven by the company’s desire to serve customers. “We found that customers often do specialized work,” he noted. With the addition of a new wheel loader, with an auto dig feature, it is just one example of how Cat plans to respond to the needs of the industry, he stated.

Pfeffer talked about the Cat Rental Stores. “Much of the credit for our success is in our dealer network. We are truly partners, joined at the hip, acting as one,” he said.

Over the past several years, Caterpillar has opened 350 new Cat Rental Stores outlets.

The following day, Caterpillar announced the release of its new products for 2002. These include the D3G, D4G and D5G track-type tractors; the 314C CR hydraulic excavator and backhoe attachments for skid steer loaders and multi-terrain loaders.


LBX Company launched a multitude of equipment at ConExpo. Expanding its offerings to include wheel loaders, more excavators and dump trucks, LBX first announced the new Spin Ace Series. The series is an all-new line of minimum swing radius excavators.

The company also announced the additions of the 800 LX and 460 LX to its line of LX Series excavators.

LBX released an all-new series of wheel loaders, which included the L120, L125 and L130 units. Last but not least, the manufacturer added the D300 articulated truck to replace its D30 truck.


Grove was in the news all week with its announcement of Manitowoc acquiring the company. The company also showcased its newer models that have been released since ConExpo 1999.

Grove has updated its TMS 875C, which is approaching 50-percent market share, according to the company.

It also launched the GMK 7550, the winner of the 2002 Design News Global Innovation Award; the RT 9130E, the company’s newest rough-terrain crane at 130 tons; the RT700E, which went into production in 2000 and can be 50- or 60-ton capacity; the RT600E, the largest with the four-plate boom design; the TMS 700E truck crane, which was the first time the company took the superstructure from the GMK and put it on a truck crane; TMS 875C, which was updated to a 75-ton machine in 2000; the GMK 5120B, which was introduced in 2000 and is one of the company’s most popular in the series; and the GMK 5240 which was updated from the 5210 and was introduced in 2001.


Volvo has had a pretty busy year, as have most manufacturers, with the release of new machinery and the acquisitions of a few companies.

Volvo has acquired the telescopic handler business from Upright Inc., with the exclusive rights on product design and manufacturing. It has also purchased Scat Trak, Textron’s skid steer loader business, as well as buying Compaction Equipment’s assets from Superpac, giving Volvo the rights to several soil compactors.

Volvo plans to release its telehandler line in 2003 as well as complete its compact equipment line by that time.

Covering more than 35,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, Volvo showcased its new BL70 backhoe loader at ConExpo 2002. Other additions to the company’s product line included the A25D and A30D articulated haulers, the new E-Series wheel loaders and the new B-Series hydraulic excavators.

The company also announced the opening of its first Rental Centers in North America. The first opened on Feb. 4, 2002 in Alpharetta (Atlanta), GA.


Tramac introduced an array of attachments in its outside booth at ConExpo. Included in the introduction were the CPA excavator-mounted rock drill attachment; the V65MS hydraulic breaker, the biggest breaker for the company; the line of vibro hammers for pile driving and extracting jobs; the TraPac-6 vibratory plate compactors; TCH-120 rotary cutting head and its DA Series of demolition processors.


Link-Belt has been on a roll. It has released 15 new models in the past few years and will continue the pace in the immediate future.

At the 2002 ConExpo/ConAGG show, Link-Belt announced the launch of a variety of models to complete and update the current product line. These include the LS-108H II lattice boom crawler crane, LS-218 II luffing attachment for the 110-ton crawler, LS-308H II, lattice boom crawler crane, the HTT-8670 LB hydraulic truck terrain crane, ATC-3130 all-terrain crane, and the RTC-80100 Series II rough-terrain crane.

The company also announced that it has formed an alliance with Tadano to purchase all-terrain mobile cranes from Faun GmbH in Germany. The first crane in this agreement is the ATC-3130 and first shipments will begin in May 2002.

Compaction America

Compaction America, whose companies are made up of Bomag and Hypac, introduced a variety of paving products at ConExpo. On the Bomag side, introductions were made for the BW205 tandem-drum vibratory roller, the BW124-3 single-drum vibratory roller, MPH121 recycler/stabilizer, BP25/48 and BP25/48D vibratory plate compactors, a new line of reversible plates, new line of plate compactors, BPH80/65S remote-operated reversible plate compactor; BT65/4 tamper; the BMP851 multi-purpose compactor and the BW145D-3 single-drum vibratory roller.

Hypac launched its C810C Series single-drum vibratory rollers, as well as its C820C, C830C, C840C and C850C Series rollers. The company also introduced the C784 tandem-drum vibratory roller, the C760C double-drum vibratory compactor, and the C778B and C766C double-drum vibratory compactors.

Allmand Bros.

Allmand Bros. released two new compact utility tractors, the 8450 and 8330, as well as two new compact tractor loader backhoes, the TLB-535 and TLB-425, two of five new backhoe loader models. The new utility tractors were inspired by customers’ demands for a machine from which the operator could remove the backhoe. With this introduction, Rick Benstra, product manager, said, “it allows us to go into different markets.”


Ingersoll-Rand released a variety of light construction equipment at ConExpo 2002 including light towers and compressor modules. It also introduced a line of track pavers, wheeled pavers, mobile conveyors, screeds, asphalt pavers and track-mounted pavers from its Blaw Knox and ABG units.

With its Bobcat unit, IR launched the A300 all-wheel skid steer, the S250 vertical lift skid steer, a new line of mini backhoe loaders, a 442 zero-tail swing excavator and a bunch of new attachments.


Those traveling to the JLG booth saw its introduction of new high-reach telescoping booms, rough-terrain scissor lifts, TF6-42 transformer and G9-42A telehandler.


Daewoo unveiled its expanded Mega V-Series of wheel loaders and introduced the Mega 500 V, the Mega 400 V, the Mega 300 V, the Mega 250 V and Mega 200 V. It also released its Mega 200 V tool carrier, Solar 470LC-V excavator, Mega 160 tool carrier and Mega 160 wheel loader.


Sakai introduced its new line of paving equipment at Las Vegas’ premier construction trade show including the 4000 VPM rollers, SV510DVC-1 vibratory soil compactor and SV201TB compactor. The company also featured its new Georgia headquarters at the show.

Look for more ConExpo/ConAGG 2002 coverage in CEG’s next Midwest issue. CEG

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