New construction equipment on display at Plantworx 2017

By: Geoff Ashcroft, Photography by: Geoff Ashcroft

DOW visits the UK's biennial Plantworx 2017 exhibition to see what's new in the construction equipment sector

Despite heavy rain showers making conditions tricky underfoot, visitors to the UK’s biennial Plantworx 2017 exhibition pulled on their boots and waterproofs as they braved the freak summer weather to see all that’s new in the construction equipment sector.

Mecalac TLB870


Since taking over the Terex Compact Equipment business, French maker Mecalac has wasted little time getting its name out in the market and on a much wider portfolio of products.

This 74hp TLB870 is one of a range of backhoe loaders in the Mecalac range. Models include centre-mount and sideshift variants, with the equal-wheeled, 100hp TLB990 heading up the range.

In addition, the firm now offers an extensive range of single-drum and tandem vibrating rollers from a compaction equipment lineup, and a range of site dumpers from one to
10 tonnes, following its acquisition of the former Terex business.

Thwaites cabbed dumper

Thwaites -cab

British dumper maker Thwaites revealed a fully integrated cab for its site dumpers. Available on nine-tonne forward tip and six-tonne forward tip and power swivel models, the cab meets level two FOPS and ROPS certification.

The reinforced cab structure also benefits from a fully integrated camera system, which provides the operator with 360-degree visibility. Tinted side and rear window glass, along with heating and ventilation with dust and pollen filters, completes the cab specification.

JCB Hi-Viz dumper

JCB-Hi -Viz

JCB turned site dumper design on its head with this prototype seven tonne Hi-Viz model, which looks at improving all-round visibility and safety but without compromising on payload.

The radical redesign starts with an extended wheelbase to allow the skip to be carried much lower in the chassis, to improve the view over the front, and lower the machine’s centre of gravity. The ROPS/FOPS cab also features side impact protection to enable the dumper driver to remain in the cab during loading.

An extended front edge for the skip also generates increased dump clearance for the front wheels. JCB says the machine will go into production at its world headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, at the end of 2017, in a move that will create more than 50 new jobs at the firm.

Kubota KX042-4

Kubota -KX042-4

Kubota continues to update its mini excavator range and the latest arrival is the KX042-4. Tipping the scales at four tonnes, this latest model is said by Kubota to be the most environment-friendly excavator in its class.

The KX042-4 incorporates a DPF (diesel particulate filter) to ensure cleaner exhaust emissions while the firm’s ECO Plus Mode offers reduced fuel consumption. Common rail fuel injection is also part of the environmental attraction, and is said to deliver greater efficiency, better fuel economy, and less engine noise.

Manitou MT420H

Manitou -MT420H

Telehandler firm Manitou has shrunk its MT series to create the MT420H. Based on the MT625, this latest compact model offers a reduced footprint while maintaining a generous lift capacity of two tonnes to a height of 4.28m.

It uses the full-size cab from the larger MT625 complete with JSM single-lever controller but is mounted on a chassis that measures 1.49m wide, 3.67m long and 1.9m high. With four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer, the turning radius for the MT420H is said to be 2.95m.

JCB 3CX Compact ‘racing’


To celebrate its partnership with Formula One team Williams Martini Racing, JCB has created a one-off machine wearing the race team’s iconic livery. The sporting 3CX Compact tool carrier features two- and four-wheel steering, a 74hp Kohler engine, 40kph travel speed, and the ability to squeeze through tight spaces, thanks to its 1.95m width and 2.74m overall height.

Komatsu D51PXi

Komatsu -D51PXi

Komatsu continues to rollout iMC (intelligent machine control) systems across its range, and the latest to go high-tech is the firm’s 130hp, D51 dozer. With fully integrated intelligent machine control, there are no third-party component add-ons, and the only tell-tale sign of the tech within is a GPS antenna on top of the cab.

iMC offers the ability to run the machine in fully automatic mode from rough cut to finish grading, thanks to an advanced inertia measuring system that lets the operator simultaneously maximise blade load and manage track slip, though the wet weather did hamper most working demonstrations during the first day.

Hanix N085uj

Hanix -N085UJ

Rumours surrounding the development of Hanix’s 8.5-tonne excavator have been circulating for some time, but the new model has finally broken cover.

The N085UJ model is said to be the first of a new generation of urban excavators, and can be specified with short or long dipper sticks, with the longer stick said to be better suited to truck loading activities, as a result of a dump height of 5.14m.

Power for the short radius machine comes from a 58.5hp Kubota V2607 engine, with two piston pumps supplying a total of 185 litres per minute of oil flow. Hanix says 792 litres of flow is available through the auxiliary circuit for attachments.

The H085uj also features steel panel work and a wraparound counterweight.

Hyundai HL940XT

Hyundai -HL940XT

Hyundai showed a number of machines at the event, including this HL940XT wheeled loader in extended boom guise. Equipped with longer loader arms than the standard HL940, it is more suited to materials rehandling and waste transfer duties. Packing 156hp from a Cummins QSB 6.7 engine, this 13.4-tonne wheeled loader offers a dump clearance of 3.21m—an increase of 0.425m over the standard HL940.

However, the longer loader arms do mean a reduction in the full turn tipping load, from 9000kg down to 7700kg. Options include joystick steering, LED lighting, and a five-speed transmission with torque lock-up to reach a 40kph travel speed.

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