Construction takes over Washington, D.C. with an agenda for the future

By Andy Brown and Jenny LescohierMay 19, 2023

The Celebration of Construction took place on the National Mall, May 14-16

Heavy equipment manufacturers recently displayed their machines in Washington, D.C. as part of an effort to highlight the industry’s importance to the national economy and its efforts to build a more sustainable future.

Hosted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in partnership with over 40 member companies and industry partners, including the American Rental Association (ARA), the Celebration of Construction took place on the National Mall, May 14-16.

In addition to being open to the public, organizers invited lawmakers, regulators and their staff to learn more about construction’s efforts in innovation and sustainability and how the $1-trillion industry helps to drive the American economy.

More than 75 pieces of off-road construction equipment were shown. Hands-on displays include the latest in autonomous machines and renewable energy-powered products from exhibitors including Caterpillar, John Deere, Komatsu, Develon and Volvo.

“Develon was excited to be invited to participate in the 2023 Celebration of Construction event,” said Todd Roecker, the company’s vice president of growth initiatives. “This not only provided us with a chance to promote our new brand but, more importantly, raised awareness of the importance of construction equipment safety.”

Roecker joined a panel of industry leaders on Monday and addressed the issue of job site safety.

“Our industry can be a high-hazard environment, so providing safer job sites through improved technologies on our equipment is an important step in minimizing these risks,” added Roecker.

“We enjoyed participating in the special event and showcasing some of the latest technology for our wheel loaders.

“The 2023 Celebration of Construction was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of this topic to key officials who can influence our industry.”

For its part, Volvo CE demonstrated that sustainable solutions are available in the here and now, while also showcasing the potential for future technologies. With one of the largest industry line-ups of electric machines, Volvo CE has positioned itself to work with policymakers to support and accelerate their deployment.

“We are delivering the solutions we need to reduce carbon emissions and build a better world, but it is policymakers who are making decisions every day that will impact how the equipment industry will grow,” said Stephen Roy, president of Region North America, Volvo CE. “In the U.S., we need federal, state and local governments to ensure the necessary resources are deployed to support the transition to cleaner equipment.”

Policymakers visiting the Volvo booth included Mitch Landrieu, senior advisor to the President on infrastructure, and Rep. Rick Larsen, ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as a number of senior U.S. representatives and leadership from the U.S. Department of Energy.

One objective of the event was to educate policymakers, as well as the general public, on the societal benefits of modern construction equipment, while urgently driving

Ray Gallant, VP Sustainability and Productivity Services at Volvo CE North America (left) with Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor to the President on Infrastructure

forward the required collaboration. Volvo CE stated that permitting reform is needed to modernize the electric grid and increase domestic production of critical minerals, while federal and state investments and incentives are needed to help manufacturers remain competitive in tomorrow’s markets with reliable and diversified supply chains.

On display at the Volvo CE booth were the L20 Electric and L25 Electric compact wheel loaders, the ECR18 Electric and ECR25 Electric compact excavators, the DD25 Electric asphalt compactor, the mid-size EC230 Electric excavator – one of Volvo CE’s largest electric machines which will be made commercially available in North America in 2024 – and the innovative HX04, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell articulated hauler prototype.

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