Smart Control Innovation

Dec. 1, 2004
The RER Innovative Product Award was developed in 2003 to honor excellence in new product development in the equipment rental industry. The award showcases

The RER Innovative Product Award was developed in 2003 to honor excellence in new product development in the equipment rental industry. The award showcases the most innovative products introduced between September 2, 2003, and August 2, 2004. First, 1,000 randomly selected RER readers narrowed the pool of 50 entries down to one finalist in a total of 12 categories. Then, another 500 randomly selected RER readers were asked to select the product they felt was most innovative in respect to their rental business.

Thanks to all of the companies who entered products in this year's Innovative Product Award competition. All non-winning entries will be featured in the January and February issues of RER. Category finalists are featured in the following pages.

Trench rollers may not be the first machine that comes to mind when you think of equipment that is critical to a jobsite. But without them there would be unstable trenches everywhere; no solid backfilled foundations supporting buildings; no road construction with to-standard subgrade; and no compaction of sub bases for parking lots and highways. While they may not initially come to mind as the most important piece of machinery on the jobsite, they are a necessary component and important enough that RER readers chose to recognize Wacker's RT trench rollers for their innovation.

What caught their attention and drew our readers to the RT 56-SC and RT 82-SC? To start with, their contemporary look and new electronics.

“We wanted to give the machine a new modern look, install a liquid-cooled engine and add new electronics to provide for easier operation and diagnostics,” says Jay Baudhuin, product manager, compaction.

A key innovation of the new trench rollers is the new Smart Control system, which starts with a dual joystick control box that makes steering the unit easy. One joystick controls right/left movement, the other forward/reverse.

“The control system offers an infrared signal that uses line of sight control — no radio frequencies to interfere with other machinery on the job — the preferred method for safety purposes,” says Baudhuin. “While the infrared control already keeps the operator out of the trench and a safe distance from the unit, there is a distance-sensing system that stops the machine's movement and vibration within five feet from the operator.”

Another innovation is the Engine Control Module, which contains a set of easy-to-read diagnostic LED's that provide important engine and machine data to the operator. In addition, the new RT has a liquid-cooled Lombardini diesel engine that is significantly quieter than the previous air-cooled models.

A new hood is designed to be stylish and robust. “It's made from a molded composite material, and it will never rust and is virtually dent free,” Baudhuin says. “The hood opens up in both the front and the back to completely expose the engine, hydraulic manifold, hydraulic tank and fuel tank.”

Originally introduced in 1992 and updated with new technology in January 2004, Wacker's original design sets it apart with its patented below-the-axle exciter design that was designed to efficiently transfer the compaction energy directly to the soil. “This design has been further enhanced by casting the exciters into the drum support, reducing maintenance,” Baudhuin says.

Suited for the compaction of utility excavations and pipelines, and sub bases for foundations, roads and parking lots, the RT trench rollers offer versatility that make them suitable for rental. A new vibration system has resulted in a 10-percent increase in compaction force. The increased force is now 7,700 pounds at low setting and 15,400 pounds at high setting and the drums can be changed from 22 inches to 32 inches.

The variable force settings allow for consistent compaction around the base of a pipe. For example, the user will want to select the lower compaction force to effectively compact the soil, but not damage the pipe with excessive force.

Additionally, the sheepfoot drums and vibration speed offer optimum compaction of cohesive soils. The impact force of the sheepfoot roller causes a shearing effect that squeezes out the air voids and excess water from between the particles, essentially kneading the soil.

“Dealers also appreciate the durability and the serviceability of the units,” says Baudhuin. “The overall serviceability of the rollers has been improved by the ECM, the easy-to-open hood, the removable fuel and hydraulic tanks as well as locating the hydraulic connector to one side of the unit. Only one side of the drums needs to be removed to service the exciters and drive motors, simplifying maintenance and reducing downtime.”

Buck Smith, small equipment purchasing specialist, Q&D Construction, Reno, Nev., purchased 10 of the new RT units this year. “The vibratory system is outstanding and the remote control system is great,” Smith says. “The electronic system is the best part of the whole machine. It's very easy to work on because it's so accessible.”

Smith also noted the company's commitment to customer service as a benefit to owning these trench rollers, a valued quality that results in very little downtime for the busy contractor. On one occasion, when Q&D needed some new parts for one of its RT units but had little time to spare, Wacker over-nighted them and the machine was back up and running the very next day. Even that is innovative.

Material Handling

Terex TX5519 Telehandler

In addition to its numerous productivity-enhancing features, the compact yet rugged TX5519 incorporates an innovative cab design, with rounded profile, ergonomically designed interior and easy-to-use joystick controls. The TX5519 features a 5,500-pound maximum lift capacity, 18-foot, 10.4-inch maximum lift height and 11-foot, 3.4-inch maximum forward reach, and is exceptionally compact at only 6-feet, 4-inches high and 5-feet, 11-inches wide with boom retracted and down. Combined with a variety of available attachments, the versatile TX5519 is designed for both large and small construction, masonry, farming and landscaping uses. Standard features include:

  • Infinitely variable hydrostatic transmission
  • Fully hydraulic, joystick-controlled proportional boom controls
  • ROPS/FOPS cab with ergonomic, automotive-style interior
  • Two-wheel, four-wheel coordinated or four-wheel crab steer
  • Powered by a Deutz F4M-2011 63-hp oil-cooled diesel engine


MMD Equipment Airman PowerPro 65 Towable Generator

MMD Equipment's all-new PowerPro 65 generator combines many engineering advancements in a super-quiet, efficient and low visual impact machine

  • Quietech sound reduction 62 dBA through advanced cabinet acoustics and materials, airflow management and engine design.
  • Delta demand excitation delivers instant solid-state voltage regulation through dedicated power and excitation coils.
  • Entertainment industry grade power when equipped with optional electronic governor.
  • Fully instrumented control panel monitors engine functions and power production.
  • Curbside power connections provide easy hookups and testing while being fully guarded.
  • Autostart control delivers instant electrical system backup, automatic glowplug delay and overcrank protection.

Concrete Working Equipment

Wacker CRT 48-31V-ES Ride-on Trowel

Wacker's new ride-on trowel with a patented electronic steering system consists of an on-board computer that allows the operator to easily maneuver the trowel via two joysticks. The ergonomic controls allow the operator to identify changing concrete conditions and work through them smoothly and without fatigue. Following is an overview of its unique advantages:

  • Easy control through two joysticks eliminates operator fatigue.
  • Its light weight allows the machine to get on the slab faster and it can be used on elevated deck pours.
  • Load-sensing actuators allow operators to identify changing conditions of the slab and easily work through them.
  • It is the only ride-on trowel to offer overlapping and non-overlapping operation on the same machine.
  • It is easy to maintain without the concern of potential hydraulic failures that could destroy the concrete surface.

Earthmoving Equipment

Gehl Co. Compact Excavators 503Z/603/753Z/803

The new zero-tail-swing models, the 503Z and 753Z, feature operator's compartments that are larger than the standard models they replace. Most manufacturers have compromised operator space and engine and hydraulic system serviceability in designing their zero-tail-swing excavators. The new Gehl excavator's side-mounted engine and tilting cab actually enhance service access and operator space. The Gehl zero-tail-swing and short-tail-swing models have one of the largest and best ergonomic cabs in the industry. The overhang on the 603 and 803 short-tail-swing models has been reduced by approximately 29 percent on the 603 and 22 percent on the 803 compared to previous models.

Lawn & Garden Equipment

Vermeer Manufacturing SC352 Stump Cutter

With similar design characteristics of its predecessor, the smaller SC252 unit, the SC352 is targeted at filling the needs of contractors in the stump removal market. This stump cutter boasts the power necessary for right-of-way clearing jobs, but remains versatile, lightweight and compact to tackle those hard-to-reach stumps hidden in the backyard. The standard 35 inch (89 cm) overall machine width allows the machine to fit through most standard backyard gates. The control console, positioned between the engine and steering axle, is equipped with simple two-position controls that are conveniently located to provide a full view of the cutting action.

Computer Software

The Edge Consulting Services IQ Edge

IQ Edge is a new interactive training program designed exclusively for rental operations. With IQ, rental owners and managers can offer employees an easy-to-use, 24-hour resource to help them better understand the equipment they're renting and improve the service they provide to customers. IQ is an interactive software program that you install on your own computers. There are four individual training pods that cover 1) Equipment, 2) Sales, 3) Safety and 4) Service. Each training pod can be purchased individually or in any combination.


Genie TZ-50 Trailer-Mounted Boom

The new Genie TZ-50 trailer-mounted articulating boom was developed to meet the demands of both the domestic and international marketplaces. It features an industry-leading working height of 55 feet, 6 inches and 29 feet, 2 inches of working outreach and a 500-pound platform capacity throughout its entire working envelope. Rugged, yet lightweight at 4,440 pounds, the TZ-50 easily tows behind nearly any vehicle with a 2-inch ball and a Class 3 hitch and was designed to compete in the European market, where vehicles used to tow are typically smaller than domestic sport utility vehicles. Its tow speed rating of 60 mph is the highest in the industry, the company says.

Compressors/Air Tools

Kaeser Compressors M57 Mobilair Portable Compressor

Kaeser's M57 Mobilair compressor provides more cfm per brake horsepower guaranteed. Using only 45 hp from a heavy-duty 4-cylinder diesel engine, it delivers 210 cfm at 100 psig — the closest competitor uses 49 hp to produce only 180 scfm. With the largest fuel tank in its class, it offers more than 10 hours of uninterrupted operation. The Sigma Profile airend is directly coupled to the engine, providing exceptionally low rotational speeds for previously unattainable efficiency and reliability. Sturdy, powder-coated enclosures with gull wing doors reduce noise levels to only 73 dB(A), providing easy access to service points and the extra-large toolbox.


CDCLarue Pulse-Bac Uncloggable Industrial Vacuum and Dust Collector

Pulse-Bac, a 110-volt self-cleaning portable vacuum, is designed for rental customers with dust-critical applications. Unlike other vacuums, Pulse-Bac uses only a vacuum system — not blowers, shakers or compressors — to clean filters. Pulse-Bac's patent-pending filtration system internally and continually cleans filters, prevents clogging and maintains lift. With easy on/off operation, Pulse-Bac can be used alone for clean up, or with surface preparation equipment and tools to collect dust. Filtering particles as small as two micron, Pulse-Bac captures dust generated by stone, concrete, wood, fiberglass or drywall. Requiring little maintenance, Pulse-Bac keeps customers coming back by increasing productivity and lowering labor costs.

Power Sourcing

Mosebach Manufacturing HotBox Portable Electric Heater

The Hotbox is a durable, industrial grade blower heater. It is 40-percent smaller and 20-percent lighter than any comparable electric heater. Its self-contained, compact design makes it highly mobile and easy to store. Electrically powered, there are none of the worries of fuel-driven heaters — no unpleasant fumes or odors, no carbon monoxide, and no refueling hassles. Key features include:

  • 9.6kW to 40kW; 208/240V, 480V and 600V; single- and three-phase models available
  • Low noise
  • Rugged, toss-around thermoplastic alloy case
  • Retractable pull handle
  • Weighs 55 pounds and is about the size of a medium-sized toolbox

Power Tools

MTA Distributors Bosch Power Box Jobsite Radio

Bosch's new jobsite tool is a battery charger, 4-way plug and radio/CD player all in one. The Power Box runs off of Bosch 12V, 14.4V, 18V, 24V batteries or AC power. The unit will charge 12V to 24V Bosch batteries and includes a 4-way GFCI-protected outlet that allows the user to power-up jobsite tools and equipment and meets OSHA requirements. The FM stereo/AM tuner gives the user 20 FM and 10 AM station presets. Four preset equalizer settings and enhanced “Bosch Sound” integrates a jobsite CD player with CD-R/RW and MP3 compatibility. A protective aluminum roll cage protects the unit from a 10-foot jobsite drop and is designed for increased durability on the job. An integrated antenna eliminates antenna bends or breaks.