Diggin' Some Dirt

Rod Sutton, Editor in Chief, ASBPE Regional Award Winner | September 28, 2010

Rod Sutton, Editor in Chief, ASBPE Regional Award Winner
Rod Sutton, Editor in Chief, ASBPE Regional Award Winner

Construction Equipment's Field Test revolutionized equipment journalism more than 10 years ago. In fact, it still stands out as one of the unique features this magazine offers the industry.

Hold on tight, because we're launching another first in the field: Hands-on Earthmoving. A direct response to readers' requests for quality third-party analysis and evaluation, Hands-on Earthmoving puts a recently introduced machine into the hands of an experienced operator.

Testing takes place at the training facility of Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, where it runs its Apprenticeship and Skill Improvement Program (ASIP) for both apprentices and experienced operators. Site-coordinator/administrator Roger Allen has graciously allowed us to use his facility and trainers for Hands-on Earthmoving.

The machine is in our hands for the entire day of the test. The Union's operator puts it in a variety of situations to evaluate just how well the machine handles the work. He also tells us his impressions of the cab, controls, and other features such as serviceability. At the end of the day, we have an excellent feel for how the machine functions in real-world circumstances.

After watching equipment users operate machines at the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition in Louisville this fall, we're reminded how critical it is for purchasers to feel the hydraulics and move the machine around a site. We can't offer that to our readers, but we're confident Hands-on Earthmoving will help acquaint them with some of a machine's operational and engineering nuances. In our first installment, operator Gene Held spent several hours on one of John Deere's 17-foot 710G backhoe-loaders. His evaluation on page 30 provides the kind of analysis we're confident readers can use.

Chris Dixon, asset manager for Dixie Construction Co. recently reminded us: As "consumers of some very high-priced machinery," our readers want to know all they can about a new product.

Hands-on Earthmoving is just another way we're offering the ideas and insight our readers have come to expect from Construction Equipment.

Author Information
Rod Sutton, Editor in Chief, ASBPE Regional Award Winner, 630-288-8130, rsutton@reedbusiness.com