By Joshua Lee
Have your customers returned dented or damaged construction equipment? Today’s equipment technologies make it easier to avoid these situations. Rearview mirrors, while still used on many machines, are fast becoming old news. More cameras, stronger materials and clever engineering define on-site safety.
Rental center investment in top-of-the-line technology will ensure customer satisfaction and relevance. Improved motion detection technology can prevent equipment damage. Virtual, programmed walls can warn of imminent collisions. These smart solutions can improve uptime, longevity and productivity. Proactive rental shops will benefit from shorter machine downtime and an improved customer experience. Here are a few cool developments that today’s excavators, dozers and wheel loaders are using.
Cameras aid visibility
Equipment operators must see their environment to reach their highest potential. Cutting-edge manufacturers emphasize large floor-to-ceiling windows, strong lighting both inside and outside the cab and advanced camera systems. Machinery, nearby obstacles and other workers will be clearly seen to help avoid accidents. Your rental customers can keep utilization high by keeping machinery out of the shop due to accidents or collisions.
An optional all-around view monitoring (AVM) camera system displays a full view of the excavator’s surroundings, giving operators greater confidence when they’re using or positioning the excavator in tight work areas. Five unique visual perspectives can be seen from the separate AVM monitor: top view, rear view, top right view, rear corner view and 3D view.
The Transparent Bucket option from Doosan Infracore North America is another innovative example. It allows wheel loader operators to “see through” the attached bucket. Two cameras project an in-cab image to the operator, allowing improved visibility on the jobsite. Improved visibility means more confident operators. Confident operators are productive operators.
“The cameras on the Doosan machines are an amazing feature for visibility and safety and allow the operators to be more cognizant and aware of their surroundings,” says Mike Thesier, owner of Backbay Construction in Fort Myers, Fla. Thesier owns a general contracting company in Southwest Florida and operates heavy construction equipment including excavators and wheel loaders.
The sharp operator makes use of modern motion-detection technology. Cameras on heavy equipment help navigate blind spots. Cab display monitors can show an excavator operator surrounding obstacles.
Audio alerting devices warn of approaching hazards: Excavator operators can set an audio alarm and be alerted when obstacles are close to the machine. Keep machinery moving and their worksites safe through motion detection technology.
“The all-around view monitoring (AVM) camera system can be linked with optional ultrasonic detection sensors for an additional level of awareness of objects behind the machine,” says Joel Escalante, Doosan senior product specialist. “This system gives operators greater confidence when operating or positioning the machine in tight work areas.”
Heavy equipment, most notably excavators, can be programmed with virtual walls, allowing excavator operators to improve safety and productivity right from their cab. Once set, the equipment will stop at preset points, as if hitting a virtual wall. These programs can also include floor and ceiling limits: perfect for confined spaces. Imagine the ease of operating heavy equipment with this technology.
The new Doosan DX225LC-7X crawler excavator is one example of a machine with virtual wall technology. Excavator operators control the settings from the LCD screen in the machine’s cab.
“If the DX225LC-7X operator has obstacles on either side of the excavator, he can set the limits and the machine won’t swing past that point,” Escalante says.
More precise attachment technologies
Heavy equipment can be damaged if bucket limits are pushed or exceeded. But new lift assist mode technology can help improve equipment uptime. Bucket weight is monitored throughout operation and software calculates tipping load and alerts equipment operators to improve safety.
Bucket angle setting and onboard weighing systems are additional technologies that improve productivity. Bucket angle setting software allows operators to lock equipment at a specific angle for efficient operation. Weighing system technology allows wheel loader and excavator operators to measure and display bucket material totals when loading trucks. This helps minimize overloading or underloading trucks.
Telematics enhances monitoring
Modern telematics management systems allow rental centers and owners to monitor machinery from their smartphone or computer. Fuel usage, error codes and even equipment location can be viewed from a screen. Owning and operating a top-of-the-line fleet is even more straightforward. Rental store staff can rest easier with their fleet’s health and exact location at their fingertips.
Look at the DoosanCONNECT Telematics system. The data pulled from equipment is uploaded automatically to the DoosanCONNECT online system using dual-mode communications (cellular and satellite) for maximum coverage. Dealers can access equipment data and work with clients to resolve issues or recommend preventive maintenance to minimize downtime. With DoosanCONNECT Telematics, customers can do the following:
● Help prevent theft with a geofencing feature (GPS location tracking).
● Avoid unauthorized use of the machine.
● See when maintenance is due.
● Customize alerts to the customer’s schedule.
● Track oil pressure, operating temperature and more.
Leading brands proactively solve tomorrow’s challenges to deliver today’s smart solutions. The Doosan Transparent Bucket and the all-around view monitoring camera system are excellent examples of the heavy equipment industry’s changing future. Stay ahead; contact your equipment manufacturer today.
Joshua Lee is a strategic communications writer, Two Rivers Marketing, Des Moines, Iowa.