Sutton Report: Online Buyers' Resource

By Rod Sutton, Editorial Director | November 10, 2010

Technology in equipment rushes onward. Years ago, machine updates would last three to five years. The product-innovation cycle keeps accelerating. Today, partly because of EPA-mandated diesel engine improvements, new machines are being introduced much more quickly.

Conexpo-Con/Agg 2011 promises to be a doozy this go-round. With Tier 4-Interim engines bursting on the scene, it will be one of the more memorable in the history of The Road Show.

Caterpillar, for example, has said it will redesign each of its 300-plus models over the next few years to accommodate the new engine hardware.

Attempts to bring hybrid technology to earthmoving are moving rapidly, too, with the major equipment manufacturers launching and fine-tuning innovations. Stay tuned for our evaluations of both the Komatsu hybrid excavator and Cat’s D7E electric-drive dozer.

We took one of the highlights of Conexpo-Con/Agg 2008 into the dirt recently; here's our Hands-on Earthmoving report on the John Deere HSD764. The undercarriage on the high-speed dozer promises to transform dozer applications. Coupled with machine-control technology, the HSD does some impressive fine grading, too.

On top of the iron innovation, last month’s launch of the telematics standard by the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) will unleash some impressive improvements and opportunities in asset-management technology. See our report on how this landmark piece of code came about, including how an asset manager can implement and benefit from it.

The asset-management game has become equally fast-paced. Smart-phones are replacing laptops and two-way radios as equipment managers and their field staffs stay on top of equipment fleets.

Construction Equipment has relaunched its website to aid today’s managers in the acquisition and management of fleets of equipment and trucks. We’re calling the new a buyers’ resource site, and here’s why:
• New products are posted regularly, before they appear in print;
• Equipment information is organized by product type, with each housed on its own mini-homepage;
• Evaluations and in-depth product reviews are readily searchable by brand, model or equipment type;
• Supplier listings appear within each article, so buyers can immediately locate who handles that machine and ones like it, and find their contact information; and
• Asset-management content is organized for easy access.

Those are the highlights; more features and functionality will be added over the next months. We built this site for asset managers: Tell us how we’re doing and how we can serve you better.