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Drum Rotates Up to 180 Degrees on Merlo DBM 3500 Mini Mixer



Merlo has introduced its new DBM 3500 Mini Cement Mixer to the U.S. market.

Along with its compact stature, the mixer is maneuverable on tight jobsites, able to discharge concrete up to 330 degrees around the machine. The drum can rotate laterally 180 degrees, and the chute provides additional reach.

The mixer also has a tight turning radius, and the drum has a reduced incline angle for further agility.

It can produce 37.7 square feet of concrete in less than 15 minutes, the company says. The 1,321-gallon drum can deliver 4.6 cubic yards of concrete. A self-loading bucket can handle up to 25 cubic feet of aggregate at each load cycle. Hydraulics lift and rotate the bucket as needed, while the  door automatically opens to unload aggregate into the drum. The pump moves 66 gallons of water per minute into the mixing drum.

Merlo duplicated the in-cab controls outside the mixer at ground level. “From the ground, an operator can control engine acceleration, water pump activation, drum rotation, barrel lift, chute lift and emergency stop,” the company says.

Merlo DBM 3500 Mini cement mixerThe Merlo DBM 3500 Mini Cement Mixer can produce 37.7 square feet of concrete in less than 15 minutes, the company says.MerloThe ROP-certified, enclosed cab has double controls split between the front and rear. The front controls are for driving. The seat rotates 180 degrees to access the rear controls, which manage the mixing drum and self-loading bucket and also drive the vehicle. A lever reverses travel direction. Travel speed is up to 25 mph.

The mixer runs on a 100-horsepower Deutz diesel engine mounted on the side for increased ventilation and access.

Other features include four wheel drive with three steering modes, hydrostatic transmission, and portal axles for increased ground clearance of 16 inches. It is designed for any terrain, the company says.

Merlo DBM 3500 Mini Cement Mixer Ground ControlThe Merlo DBM 3500 Mini Cement Mixer can also be operated at ground level.MerloThe water tank has a 246-gallon capacity. Max unloading height is 7 feet.

The DBM 3500 is 12.7 feet high, 7.7 feet wide and 17.9 feet long.

It is sold in the U.S. through importer Applied Machinery Sales.

Merlo DBM 3500 Mini Cement Mixer AggregateThe hydraulic self-loading bucket on the Merlo DBM 3500 Mini Cement Mixer can hold up to 25 cubic feet of aggregate to load into the mixing drum.Merlo


Keep Track of Dirt Moved, Job Progress with Komatsu Smart Construction Dashboard




You probably got a glimpse of it at ConExpo 2020. Now it’s a reality. Komatsu just announced the availability of its Smart Construction Dashboard to enable the digital transformation of customer’s jobsites.

The dashboard combines data from multiple sources to create a complete picture of the work being done on an earthmoving site. It is in essence a mapping tool that uses drone and GPS-enabled machine data feeds to measure cut/fills, quantities and productivity and show you these results in 3D, in near real time.

With the dashboard, you can confirm that your pre-bid topographical map is correct, track jobsite progress, document site conditions and evidence for change orders, and measure stockpile quantities. A playback feature in the timeline function lets you examine the work done in previous days or weeks. Whole-site visuals, cross-sections and individual measurements are also available through the dashboard’s tools.

“In a typical scenario, they fly the drone in the morning and come back to the office to upload the data into Dashboard,” says Yoetzin Diaz, Smart Construction solutions manager at Komatsu. “Once they have their drone flight data, they can start creating measurements, whether that is the stockpile from yesterday, or a cut-fill map of the entire jobsite.”

Diaz, who worked for a general contractor before coming to Komatsu, says contractors often don’t have the software to gauge daily and weekly production progress. With the Komatsu Smart Construction Dashboard, they can determine productivity and make decisions for the further deployment of operators, trucks and machines in a matter of minutes.

“I see a lot of contractors taking pictures and tiling them to get the big picture, and that takes a long time. It’s a lot of work; it’s not very efficient even after you get all the pictures. With a drone and the Smart Construction Dashboard, you could have that in an hour or less. It’s accessible, convenient and collaborative,” she says.

The dashboard can be used in all phases of construction: pre-planning, tracking progress or even after construction. “When your project is done, you can go back and look at all the work that happened and use that as your as-builts to submit for payment. So you have a one-stop shop for all of this.”

Because the information is digital and web based, it can be shared with subcontractors, general contractors or project owners who also need to see how the job is progressing, she says.

The Smart Construction Dashboard is powered by Cesium, a platform used to visualize, analyze and share 3D data. Cesium’s 3D visualization engine combines video game computer-graphics technology with GPS accuracy that ties data to its precise location on the globe. Komatsu’s system for the dashboard uses DJI drones, but drones from other manufacturers will work as long as they are equipped for photogrammetry and have the appropriate software and file format, says Diaz.

When it was introduced at ConExpo, Dashboard and Drone were just two of 11 Smart Construction tools that Komatsu showcased. And while the Smart Construction Dashboard today is used as a mapping and productivity tracking tool, eventually other Komatsu Smart Construction features may be added to or integrated with it, says Diaz.

For more on the full suite of Komatsu Smart Construction tools, see our video from Komatsu at ConExpo 2020 here.

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Don’t Pay for Rental Equipment When Weather Stops Work




Of all the risks heavy equipment contractors take, bad weather is one they have no control over. And when you have rental equipment in the field and a big storm brewing there’s not much you can do except watch the water and your costs rise without any corresponding increase in productivity.

One solution is a new service, called Weather Warranty, that can take the sting out of having to pay for rental equipment that you can’t use because of weather conditions. The concept is simple. For a flat fee added onto your rental contract you can get coverage that will pay your rental costs on equipment that you can’t use because of weather conditions. If you’re rained out for a certain number of days, Weather Warranty pays your rental costs on the covered equipment those three days.

The fee you pay to the dealer for Weather Warranty coverage is a percentage of your total rental cost and varies depending on the season and the part of the country. Along the Gulf Coast, for example, rates go up during hurricane season. But in general rates are in the single digits. “There are not a lot of markets or a lot of months where we’re over 10 percent on average, and that price range plays pretty well with customers,” says Richard Wilmot, head of product at Weather Warranty.

“Rain and wind are our bread and butter,” says Wilmot. “But this season for the first time we are looking at snow- and cold-related protection. We can protect people who invest in equipment in anticipation of needing to plow snow, and then compensate them for their rental fees if it doesn’t snow.” In addition to covering losses, Weather Warranty can be used to hedge your bets by reducing the financial risks of getting started on a project earlier in the spring when unexpected storms and weather disruptions are more common.

Wilmot says Weather Warranty is not insurance with deductibles and contracts and claims. Rather it is a value-added service that contractors can take advantage of at the rental store at the time of the transaction. “Our promise to our dealer partners is that we’re going to add about 30 seconds to the transaction,” he says. “No more than one piece of paper for those who are on paper and no paper for those who want an electronic document exchange. We want to be ready to serve those people in a transaction that’s already happening.”

The idea for Weather Warranty came to Wilmot and his colleagues while doing research on contractor issues for Westerfield Insurance, a company well known for their construction coverage. “I was working with a team in 2018 that interviewed GCs, subs and everyone in the industry, trying to find areas that are not well served today by insurance products.

“The one thing that kept coming at us from all angles was the financial impact and schedule disruptions caused by weather,” he says. That’s not news to anybody but it really created a lot of psychological stress for these people. That really stuck out. And we were starting to learn about some cutting-edge weather technology, that, as far as we could tell, no one was applying to the construction industry. With those two things in mind, we put together a handful of products for ideas to test and the winner just kept on being weather warrants.”

While Weather Warranty can track weather issues with pinpoint precision, different regions, jobsites and soil types can recover from of rain or snow or ice with various degrees of timeliness. And the same weather can have different impacts on different trades or types of equipment. So, to more accurately fit customer needs, Weather Warranty is designed to be customizable as well.

“We have the option for any salesperson or counter agent to do on the fly customization,” says Wilmot. “And that adds no more than 30 seconds. Most of the folks that we work with, don’t have a need for that. But for those who do, especially those who may be in a specialty business or line of work, we had that built in from day one.”

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Equipment World Announces Editorial Leadership Transition




After a stretch of more than three decades, Randall-Reilly announces a change at the top of the Equipment World editorial team.

Marcia Doyle, Equipment World’s chief editor, is retiring at the end of 2021. She will be succeeded by Jordanne Waldschmidt, formerly head of content for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), who joins the Equipment World team this month as chief editor. Doyle will serve as the brand’s editor emeritus during the transition.

Doyle joined Randall-Reilly in 1989 and has expertly guided Equipment World since its inception, helping readers navigate the ever-changing construction industry and evolving equipment trends. She also served as editorial director for Randall-Reilly’s construction brands and successfully launched new brands in related markets such as Total Landscape Care and Big Iron Dealer.

Under Doyle’s leadership, Equipment World has become the most respected media brand in the construction industry and has won dozens of awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors and other industry associations. Equipment World’s June 2018 special report, “Death by Trench,” won the Jesse H. Neal award for Best Single Issue from Connective, the Business Information Association, a division of SIIA.

Equipment World would not be where it is today without Marcia’s tireless service and dedication over the last 32 years,” said Jeff Crissey, content director, OEM/Aftermarket, for Randall-Reilly. “She has been the driving force behind award-winning content, and most recently guided the Equipment World team through the transition from print to digital and multimedia content.”

Waldschmidt joins Randall-Reilly from AEM, where she served as the organization’s content marketing manager for more than nine years leading trade show editorial, content marketing and social media strategies. Her audience focus and multimedia content skillset will propel Equipment World to new heights for audience engagement.

Waldschmidt has earned awards from the Content Marketing Institute, Construction Media Alliance and other organizations for her forward-looking approach to social media and audience engagement for AEM’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show.

“For decades, Equipment World has set the standard for trusted industry news and insights,” said Waldschmidt. “It is an honor to lead a team of top journalists as we explore new opportunities to serve construction professionals in a digital-first world.”

“Serving this industry as a journalist has been a great honor,” said Doyle. “I treasure the memories and look forward to seeing Jordanne and her team propel Equipment World to new heights.”

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