August 2005 News

John Deere Skid Steers Thrive in the Rough

Machine Durability and Performance Deliver Extra Uptime to Oil Sands Contractor

Canada’s Athabasca oil sands — one of the world’s largest petroleum resource basins — is one of the most punishing places on the planet. It’s also the worksite of a fleet of five John Deere skid steers belonging to Carmacks Construction of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.

The oil sands are a huge, buried pile of sand with oil residue, and Carmacks’ fleet of skid steers must endure a steady rain of abrasive, sandy, oily material constantly falling from the sky. The spillage material is so abrasive that in just 36 hours it completely wears down a bucket’s cutting edge, according to Dave Scragg, manager at Carmacks Construction.

“To be realistic, nobody should take a piece of equipment into this environment, but there’s a job to do,” Scragg said. “And John Deere is the only machine that can withstand this kind of punishment. They come out of there after a 12-hour shift with a 6-in. coating of this tarry, sandy material.”

A truck-and-shovel method is used to mine the oil sands. This method allows operators to access a higher quality of oil sands with less clay. Huge shovels load the sand into 350-ton trucks, which transport the mix to primary crushers. The oil-sand mix is transported from the crushers to the oil-extraction plant by a 600-m-long conveyor. Concrete beams support the conveyor, which is suspended as high as 20 m above the ground in places. The skid steers clear spillage from underneath the conveyor. The spillage piles up so rapidly that in a 12-hour shift, it starts to reach the conveyor even where 20 m of clearance had existed.

“There’s barely enough room, but the Deere skid steers have the ability to get into tight spaces, with the power you need to pick up this material,” Scragg said. “Deere machines have the best horsepower-to-weight ratio you can find for this job.”

Carmacks has used both 200- and 300-Series skid steers. Recently, the energy company that contracts Carmacks rented three John Deere 328 skid steers to work underneath the conveyor.

“Deere has the most durable machines out there,” Scragg said. “We’ve tried every brand, but John Deere is the only one that gives us the uptime we need. Our mechanics and operators make it clear they prefer Deere, and we listen to them.”

Over the years, Carmacks has owned more than 40 John Deere skid steers. In addition to the advantages the machines provide, the Deere dealer network has been a real partner to the company, according to Scragg.

“We need tremendous parts and service support, because we really are pushing our equipment to the extremes,” he said. “Our experience with Deere dealers has been excellent — they bend over backwards.”

JCB Saves the Race at U.S. Grand Prix

Ralf Schumacher suffered a terrible crash June 17 during practice for the U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis, in the same turn where the crash one year ago nearly cost him his life. Luckily, JCB was there to help Schumacher’s car off the track.

The German driver lost control of his Toyota entering the final corner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The car spun around and slammed into part of the wall. Schumacher was able to exit the vehicle on his own, but was taken to a local hospital to have his eye examined for debris.

As the race must go on, Grand Prix crews quickly summoned one of the nine Loadalls that were in position on the track in case of situations like these were to arise. The JCB 540 telescopic handler was used to quickly and safely retrieve the Team Toyota car. Formula One Teams and JCB collaborated to create a special jib attachment designed specifically to handle the cars driven by the skilled Formula One drivers.

The 54O’s precise hydraulics and powerful drivetrain made the task of lifting the 1,322-lb Formula One car a normal day’s work. Crews were able to quickly clean the track and the race was held as scheduled on June 19.

Concrete: A Pictorial Celebration Honored with Awards

The American Concrete Institute’s commemorative centennial coffee-table book, Concrete: A Pictorial Celebration, has been awarded the prestigious Magnum Opus Grand and Gold Awards from Publications Management magazine and APEX Award from Communications Concepts Inc.

The Magnum Opus Awards are designed to honor publications worldwide that deliver — strategically, editorially and visually — with a quality consistency of the highest order. Presented in conjunction with the Missouri School of Journalism, the Magnum Opus recognizes the achievements of those who work painstakingly every day to elevate the bar of custom publishing.

Concrete: A Pictorial Celebration was published in 2004 in conjunction with the American Concrete Institute’s 100-year anniversary to commemorate milestone achievements in the concrete industry and celebrate the utility and beauty of concrete for all applications. This hardcover, coffee-table book is a tribute to architects, engineers, concrete producers, constructors and artisans who bring concepts to life. The photos show concrete structures ranging from residential foundations to edifices recognized around the world, and illustrate the American Concrete Institute’s purpose of advancing concrete knowledge. It is packed with over 250 pages of full-color photos of structures that benefit from the strength, durability and economy of concrete.

Additionally, Concrete: A Pictorial Celebration has been awarded the APEX 2005 Award of Excellence from Communications Concepts Inc., for the “One-of-a-Kind Publication” category. APEX 2005 awards were based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the success of the entry in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence. To learn more about Concrete: A Pictorial Celebration and its recent accolades, visit

Tiger Equipment and Intensus Engineering Announce Strategic Partnership

Intensus Engineering and Tiger Equipment have jointly announced a strategic partnership. Under this alliance, Intensus appoints Tiger responsible for rental sales and dealer development for the United States.

Under this arrangement, the Intensus products in the United States will include 2- to 4-cu yd wheel loaders, 2.5- to 12-ton asphalt rollers, soil vibratory rollers from 8 to 20 tons, motor graders and bulldozers. Tiger has emerged as a major multi-line supplier offering compactors, mixers, power trowels, floor saws, mini skid steers and attachments. Tiger also maintains a marketing partnership with Smith brand portable compressors.

J. Carlos Salcedo, managing director of Intensus Engineering said: “This partnership with Tiger brings energy and national exposure. Intensus is the market leader in many Asian countries, currently producing over 14,000 earthmoving and road building machines per year. We are confident that working with Tiger in the United States will help grow volume.”

“We are extremely excited about working with Intensus,” said Charles Trelease, president of Tiger Equipment. “Their products tested well beyond expectations and are a natural compliment to our light equipment line. It is our philosophy at Tiger to add value for our customer by making it easy for them to source a wide range of high-quality, reliable equipment. We have seen tremendous success and growth over the past few years and with this partnership, the sky’s the limit.”

American Rental Association Launches 50th Anniversary Celebration

It began in 1955 when 21 business owners gathered in Illinois to discuss joining forces to strengthen their equipment rental businesses. Today, the American Rental Association is an international trade association of more than 7,500 rental businesses and more than 1,100 manufacturers and suppliers of rental equipment.

Its purpose has expanded to serving as the source of information and business growth tools for the rental industry, which includes the world’s largest rental trade show. The Association’s celebration of its 50th anniversary officially kicked off June 1 and will culminate at The Rental Show in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 6-9.

Special anniversary logos for the Association and for The Rental Show are now being used. ARA has the logos available on its Web site for all general and associate members to use.

These special logos are only one of the ways the 50 years of the Association and The Rental Show will be commemorated. A 50th anniversary task force convened at ARA headquarters in Moline, Ill., in March to define elements and activities to honor the milestones. Tom Fouts, ARA chairman of the board from Bledsoe Rentals, Lee’s Summit, Mo., led the committee of ARA general members, associate members, retired members and staff.

“Our goal is to recognize the accomplishments of all those who have built the rental industry and the Association into what it is today — to honor our past, while also looking ahead to a continued strong future,” Fouts said. “The task force developed a wide variety of ways to do this, from features in all of ARA’s publications starting this summer to special events at The Rental Show and keepsake items that are sure to generate pride for the rental industry.”

Complete details on the commemoration of the 50th anniversaries of ARA and The Rental Show will be coming in the months ahead. Watch the Web sites and for updates.

POLARIS Laboratories Preaches Practical Oil Analysis Maintenance

POLARIS Laboratories, one of the top 10 largest fluid analysis companies in the United States, recently announced “Practical Oil Analysis & Cooling Systems Maintenance” training for maintenance and reliability professionals. The four-day program provides the knowledge and management tools key to developing a practical fluid analysis program that makes a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.

The training consists of two separate courses — “Practical Oil Analysis” and “Cooling Systems Maintenance.” Participants may attend one or both courses. Taught by experienced industry professionals, each course focuses on program goals, appropriate testing, selecting a quality laboratory, taking timely
samples and interpreting results. “Cooling Systems Maintenance” stresses the importance of total system maintenance for longer engine life.

Anyone responsible for maintaining equipment reliability within virtually any industry can attend this extensive, four-day fluid analysis training session, including equipment operators, maintenance managers, industrial engineers, operations managers, lubrication engineers, maintenance technicians and reliability engineers.

Participants will also receive an extensive laboratory tour, as well as a reference manual, a data management software program and a $200 credit toward testing services. The remaining sessions for 2005 will be in Houston Oct. 3-Nov. 3. Private sessions may also be scheduled upon request by contacting Jacque Powers at POLARIS Laboratories toll free at (877) 808-3750 or visit


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