10 construction news stories you don’t want to miss
By Jenny LescohierAugust 30, 2022
CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 has been covering news for the construction industry, and so far in 2022, the top stories - according to our website page views - have not been about infrastructure funding, supply chain and workforce challenges, or war overseas. They’ve been about equipment!
If you need to catch up on what’s happening, check out this list of our top stories. The following are ranked in order of audience popularity, starting from 10th leading up to first:
10. Bobcat’s all-electric T7X available in rental fleets this year - Bobcat introduced the world’s first all-electric compact track loader, the T7X, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January with great fanfare. No theoretical prototype, the T7X was expected to arrive in rental yards this year through Doosan Bobcat’s partnership with Sunbelt Rentals.
The recipient of this year’s CES Innovation Award, the 12,187-lb T7X has a rated operating capacity of 3030-lbs at 35% of its 8,571-lb tipping load. Powered completely by a 62-kilowatt lithium-ion battery, the T7X can provide four to six hours of continuous operation.
Bobcat said that during typical, intermittent use on the job site, it could run for an eight-hour shift, depending on the application.
9. Hitachi calls its new ZX210LC-6 HP excavator a ‘beast’ - Contractors looking for an excavator offering faster, stronger and more precise response, Hitachi brings you the 163-hp, 50,265-lb. ZX210LC-6 HP with features designed for heavy-duty operation.
Most noteworthy of those features is the exclusive TRIAS II hydraulic system with three pumps to supply just the right amount of oil to exactly where it’s needed.
In its first press briefing since the end of its decades-long manufacturing and marketing joint venture with John Deere, Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. (HCMA) introduced its first excavators for the North American market. In addition to the ZX210LC-6 HP, the company also debuted the ZX26U-5N and ZX50U-5N compact excavators.
8. First buyer to take delivery says all-electric Ford F-150 is ‘fast’ - The results are in. The first Ford F-150 Lightning has been delivered to a buyer, who reports the
all-electric version of the iconic pickup performs on par with traditional gas-powered models… with maybe a bit more speed.
“It’s fast,” Nick Schmidt told NPR. “I mean, for a big, full-sized pickup truck, it’ll do, I think, zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds or something, which is unheard of.”
When he first climbed into his new F-150 Lightning, he said it felt familiar right away: It had the same look and feel of his gas-powered F-150.
“It was exactly what I wanted it to be, just a Ford pickup truck,” said Schmidt.
7. President Biden’s new policy could threaten opportunities for non-union contractors - Objections were raised by construction officials over President Joe Biden’s executive order which will implement pro-union project labor agreements in order to increase union membership in the federal, public and private sectors.
The move was said to potentially affect contractors looking forward to new projects coming as a result of the $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill passed last fall.
The limitations were to be placed upon “large-scale construction contracts,” defined as a contract for which the estimated cost is $35 million or more.
Construction trade associations were claiming the order could increase construction costs and discriminate against most American workers, in addition to invalidating existing collective bargaining agreements.
6. Standing its ground: Hitachi stakes its claim on American markets - The recent and amicable split between Hitachi Construction Equipment and John Deere has been a hot topic since the companies announced their plan last year to end the joint venture that dates back to 2000. Questions in North America centered primarily on what the change will mean to the brands equipment buyers and dealers have come to know.
The joint venture officially ended on March 1, and what is now known as Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas (HCMA) held its first press briefing to not only clarify the brand’s direction in the U.S., but also to introduce three new excavators, including the 163-hp, 50,265-lb. ZX210LC-6 HP.
Simon Wilson, vice president of sales for HCMA, said the company sees itself as a top-three player in North America in the construction market.
5. Las Vegas gives Elon Musk the go-ahead for more tunnels - The Las Vegas City Council approved plans for Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. to build, own and operate a system of underground tunnels beneath the Las Vegas Strip.
The network of vehicle tunnels would connect hotel casinos with the Las Vegas Convention Center, the city’s new football stadium and McCarran International Airport.
Dubbed the “Vegas Loop,” the tunnel system will allow passengers to get from place to place in Teslas via underground tunnels. The Boring Company already operates a small version of this “Teslas in Tunnels” system underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center, which opened in June of 2021.
4. Wacker Neuson to build mini excavators for Deere - Just months after ending its decades-long joint venture with Hitachi, John Deere turned to Germany-based Wacker Neuson for design and manufacturing of mini excavators under 9 tonnes for North America.
Under the new agreement, Wacker Neuson will manufacture machines under 5 tonnes for John Deere at its plants in Menomonee Falls, WI and in Linz, Austria. The 5- to 9-tonne excavators will be developed and manufactured by John Deere using designs acquired from Wacker Neuson.
The machines, including electric models, will be distributed under the John Deere brand through John Deere’s global dealer network. Wacker Neuson machines in the same range will continue to be distributed under the Wacker Neuson brand through its own network.
3. Registration opens for CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 - North America’s largest construction trade show is back - March 14-18, 2023 - in Las Vegas and registration
is now open. As always, the don’t-miss-it event offers the perfect opportunity to build lasting relationships in the industry while comparing equipment and meeting the people who make the machines.
With 1,800 exhibitors spread across 2.7 million square feet of space, the event presents a uniquely vast and varied venue in which construction professionals can experience all the latest equipment and new features from every construction industry sector. That’s 47 football fields of indoor and outdoor exhibits with products in asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, hauling, lifting, trucking, underground and more.
2. 10 most fuel-efficient 4X4 trucks - The EPA’s official ratings were used to find the 10 new trucks that can send power to all four wheels with the lowest fuel consumption on the market.
These 4×4/AWD models come in almost every powertrain imaginable, from gas engines to diesel, and hybrids to electric trucks.
1. Bobcat unveils world’s first all-electric compact track loader - Construction equipment took one more step toward electrification this week as Doosan Bobcat introduced the world’s first all-electric compact track loader.
The move came in tandem with an announcement from Sunbelt Rentals that it has pledged a commitment to putting the new technology in the hands of its customers across North America this year.
The new Bobcat T7X was unveiled at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, widely considered to be the world’s most influential technology event.
The T7X is the first machine of its kind to be fully electric, offering the full benefits of eliminating hydraulic systems, components, emissions and vibrations – all while providing cleaner, quieter operation, according to the company.