Mechanized, steel contraptions from around the world are rolling out into the Nevada desert. The magnetic oasis of Las Vegas is attracting iron from all over the globe — everything from giant metal excavators (digging mastodons with longs arms and big teeth) to transforming compact utility loaders (mechanical chameleons evolving into new applications and attachments).

The 2008 CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show is drawing machines, manufacturers and construction industry professionals from Boston to Beijing to view the world of construction equipment at the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 11-15. With over 125,000 attendees expected (it only happens every three years folks), CONEXPO, itself, will be the eighth most populous city in Nevada during that week in March. It will temporarily increase Las Vegas’ population by better than one-fifth.

Not big enough? How about equipment exhibits covering more than 2.28 million net sq ft, taken by nearly 2,000 exhibitors, while sister show IFPE (International Exposition for Power Transmission) exhibits cover 127,000 net sq ft taken by 400 exhibitors?

If you’re not impressed, just wander around the show’s enormous diversity of indoor and outdoor booths, where visitors will find the leading global manufacturers and service providers for construction, landscape, rental equipment and everything in between. Everyone from Caterpillar and Komatsu to Bomag and Bobcat is ready to lure you into their product area to discuss technologies, applications and your needs when it comes to equipment. Using extravagant product launches, enormous floor attractions, cool freebies and food and drink, exhibitors hope to introduce you to their latest mechanical creations. Not to mention associations (like NUCA — The National Utility Contractors Associations), service provices (such as LoJack securities and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers) and seminars (like the IFPE 2008 Technical Conference) will exhibit or be held throughout what is considered the world’s biggest trade fair this year; Germany’s BAUMA is actually bigger, but the shows rotate years (BAUMA was last year).

But don’t be intimated by the show’s massive girth. We’ve created a roadmap to help you navigate the enormity of CONEXPO and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Over these 10 pages, the crew at Compact Equipment highlights the latest product launches, the coolest floor attractions, the best freebies and the hottest industry insider destinations in our CONEXPO showcase. Don’t wander the show aimlessly (it’s just too big). Stuff this map in your back pocket instead and cruise CONEXPO with purpose.

Keith Gribbins is managing editor of Compact Equipment.

Volvo Construction Equipment


The International Brand Leader Builds One of the Biggest Attractions at the Show

(Booths N-2509, G-134 and SZ-1300)

Volvo is truly global. The Swedish supplier of commercial transport vehicles provides trucks, buses, industrial tools, aerospace components and, of course, construction equipment to markets around the world. Showing off its reach, Volvo Construction Equipment will be among the largest exhibitors at CONEXPO.

Big news at the show is Volvo’s rebranded range of road machinery, its revolutionary hybrid wheel loader and nearly 30 other recently introduced machines from across the company’s wide product range. Volvo Construction Equipment will be occupying nearly 43,000 sq ft of space at the world’s largest construction equipment trade show in 2008.

When it comes to futuristic construction machines, the prototype Volvo Hybrid Wheel Loader makes the future now. The “mild” diesel-electric hybrid drive system fitted to a L220F wheel loader is the first iteration of Volvo’s ongoing development process and its reduced levels of emissions and fuel consumption are impressive indicators of the potential environmental and economic benefits such hybrid systems offer.

Technical innovation will be joined by design innovation: Volvo designers have been tasked with imagining the articulated hauler of the year 2020 — the radical “Centaur” concept design is the result.

Another highlight of Volvo’s participation at CONEXPO will be the official unveiling to a global audience of the company’s new-look road machinery product range (acquired from Ingersoll Rand), now marketed in the Volvo corporate livery of yellow/grey and carrying the Volvo brand. Under the theme of “More Care. Built In,” the indoor exhibition space N-2509 will be home to 28 of Volvo CE’s latest machines: including F-Series wheel loaders, C-Series excavators (including the new ECR models), Volvo PL-Series pipe layers and E-Series articulated haulers, featuring the revolutionary full-suspension systems. The company will exhibit its growing compact equipment product line in a 11,000 sq ft outdoor area (G-134) where a further 18 compact machines will be on display.

Machines will be arranged in application-specific clusters (such as quarrying or general construction), highlighting Volvo’s increasing customer segment focus and demonstrating how Volvo machines are designed to work as “systems” rather than in isolation. Customer support will be integrated into these machine segments, with themed kiosks focusing on Volvo CE products and services.

The indoor Volvo CE exhibit is pictured in all of its majesty. Not only will the floor be home to 28 of Volvo CE’s latest machines, but it will also include a fully-equipped Volvo Rents rental center and a Volvo CE Merchandise Store. Looking to spend some money? Well, Volvo Financial Services will also be well-represented. Just make sure you head outdoors too (to G-134) where the company will be displaying all of its compact machinery.

Bobcat Company


Sojourn into Its Skid Steer Loader Museum and New Compact Tractor Lineup

(Booth G-100)

Bobcat Co. is one of America’s illustrious machine brand names. The North Dakota equipment trailblazer cut its teeth on the utility loader market when it bought the rights to the first skid steer loader prototype in the late ‘50s (back when it was called Melroe Mfg. Co.).

At CONEXPO, Bobcat will be celebrating that rich equipment heritage with its 50th Anniversary museum, which will showcase a history of machines, especially the evolution of the skid steer. The historic equipment list includes vintage vehicles (models M60, M200, M400, M440, 970, 610, 371, 825, 743, 753 and 773), road tour storyboards and a portion on collectables. If you have questions, search out Bobcat booth historians Paul Anderson, Leroy Anderson and John Walsh to talk the history angle.

Turning from the past to the future, Bobcat will be displaying two new big machines — its compact tractors and its T320 track loader with roller suspension. The company’s just-released small tractor lineup includes the CT230, CT120 and CT225, with Bobcat offering a number of implements for use on the compact tractors including an angle blade, box blade, finish mower, post-hole digger, seeder and tine rake, as well as a front-end loader and attachments.

Bobcat will also be showing off its new smoother riding compact track loader, developed with a roller suspension system that increases operator comfort and minimizes maintenance. The new roller suspension system is currently available as an option on the Bobcat T320 compact track loader and will be added to other Bobcat compact track loader models throughout 2008.

The booth will be designed in a sort of station format, with areas dedicated to landscape, construction, innovation, personal property management, the Bobcat store, museum and special displays on chaincases and radio remote controls. Fun extras include the Bobcat photo booth (read more in the sidebar below) and the chance to get your very own Bobcat tattoo. Also be sure to sign up for the Bobcat Unleashed contest. Give your unique story using a Bobcat product and get a shot at winning $75,000 worth of Bobcat equipment and other great prizes.

You’ll find Bobcat in booth G-100. Visit with sales associates, walk through its historic museum and equipment lineup and see what’s new and exciting about the future of Bobcat equipment. Looking for a vintage Melroe cap? Well, here’s your chance to buy one. While you’re there, purchase Bobcat merchandise at the onsite Bobcat store and register for great prizes. Then stop by the Bobcat photo booth and get yourself superimposed on the cover of WorkSaver magazine, operating a Bobcat product.

Ingersoll Rand


Air Compressor Innovator Time Warps from the ’20s to the 2000s

(Booth G-130)

The legacy of Ingersoll Rand started back in 1902, when the company first mounted a stationary air compressor on wheels under the name Rand Drill Co. To celebrate more than a century of Ingersoll Rand heritage, Doosan Infracore Portable Power (formerly Ingersoll Rand utility company) will have an antique Type 20 air compressor from the 1920s on display in its booth at CONEXPO.

This working gasoline-powered model will be displayed alongside a brand new Ingersoll Rand AirSource Plus IR, showing the advancement of air compressors in design and technology over 80 years. This display hopes to illustrate the meaning behind Doosan Infracore Portable Power’s slogan — “The Legacy. The Power. The Future…”

The future includes Ingersoll Rand’s latest AirSource Plus IR, which is compact in size yet delivers 185 cu ft of compressed air per minute (cfm) at 100 psi. Other portable air compressors on display at Booth G-130 will include Ingersoll Rand’s market leading 100- to 500-psi compressors from 65 to 1600 cfm. Other Ingersoll Rand machines to be displayed include a complete line of portable generators, light towers, light compaction, concrete equipment and truck-mounted equipment.

Also be sure to ask for a complimentary deck of cards branded with Ingersoll Rand equipment, free from Doosan Infracore Portable Power. There will also be a giveaway from Geith, Tramac and Montabert attachments which is great for dry weather in Las Vegas.

Keep an eye out for the new Ingersoll Rand banner — “The Legacy. The Power. The Future…” It’s the new slogan that Doosan Infracore Portable Power is pushing with its Ingersoll Rand brand. Doosan acquired the construction segments of Ingersoll Rand last year.

Parker Hannifin


Parker Reveals Motion Control Innovations in Between Videos and Coffee Bars

(Booths S-802 and S-13313)

Did you know Parker Hannifin designed the fuel system that made it possible for Charles Lindbergh to cross the Atlantic? Today, the company is still pioneering component technologies that range from hydraulics and pneumatics to climate and process controls.

This year at IFPE and CONEXPO, Parker Hannifin aims to shake up any preconceived notions OEMs might have about motion control with its “Innovation in Motion” Tech Tour Trailer, which contains the latest technologies in fluid connectors and hydraulics.

The tour includes interactive demonstrations and exhibits and new products and systems pertaining to dry technology, fan drive systems, fluid conditioning and onward.

Visitors will also have the unique opportunity to ride in a Doron motion simulator featuring an integrated Parker motion and control system.

At its main booth in the Silver Lot (S-802), the company will also have its mini backhoe and motion simulator where contestants can win a new iPod Touch. Racing fans will want to drop by just to meet World of Outlaws Racing Series driver Donny Schatz during show hours on Tuesday and until Noon on Wednesday. Schatz, who is sponsored by Tony Stewart Racing, will challenge visitors to a round of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car video game (a Playstation could be your prize for winning).

Check out the company’s IFPE booth (S-13313) with it’s many machine accoutrements — fluid connectors, filtration and sealing technologies and innovative solutions designed to optimize machine performance. The South Hall booth also will feature a free coffee bar to help rejuvenate weary show participants.

Terex Construction America


The Massive Machine Manufacturer Displays Plenty of Small Equipment

(Booth G-200)

Terex has been making plenty of headlines over the last 10 years — especially with its aggressive acquisition growth plan. The company now ranks as the third largest manufacturer of earthmoving equipment in the world. The company’s product offering can rival almost any machine manufacturer around the globe, from mining trucks and mini excavators to graders and generators.

The company is planning a big presence at CONEXPO. Terex Construction Americas will be highlighting its latest in compact equipment, including the TX860B backhoe loader, the TC50 compact excavator and the TL210 wheel loader.

When it comes to the products, be sure to check out the TC50, which is designed for trenching and excavating in space-restrictive applications. The TC50 compact crawler excavator is the newest addition to the company’s zero tail swing lineup. Ideal for landscape, plumbing, septic, electrical and utility installations, the TC50 is designed with an 39.4-hp Yanmar 4TNV88 engine and a load-sensing and load-independent flow division hydraulics system that is matched to the machine’s size. This gives operators a greater power ratio and smooth, simultaneous operation for maximum worksite production.

When it comes to dig-and-load operations, the new TX860B tractor loader backhoe (TLB) is the machine of choice. The TX860B boasts loads of standard features such as four-wheel drive, extendable dipper suspension seat, 1.32 cu yd loader bucket with high back splash, flip over stabilizer pads and even a counterweight. With an operating weight of 15,964 lbs, standard dig depth of 14 ft, 8 in. and an extended dig depth of 19 ft, 3 in., the new TLB is ideal for landscape, utility, general construction and rental users.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Terex TL210 compact wheel loader, which utilizes 175 hp to fill bucket capacities between 3.3 cu yd and 6.0 cu yd and achieves a breakout force of 26,995 lbs. It’s ideal for digging, loading and hauling jobsite materials, addressing the needs for a variety of construction site work, nursery and landscape applications. Each model incorporates transverse-mounted engines for optimal stability, so Terex wheel loaders can lift and transport high payloads and in turn lower fuel consumption. Designed with an oscillating rear axle, it provides comfort and easy handling on rough terrain by maintaining four-wheel traction, as well as articulated steering to effortlessly maneuver in tight spaces.

In between talking shop about all of these new Terex products, go meet Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs.” He will be available March 11-13 from 2 to 4 p.m. Rowe will be there to share stories about the most challenging jobs he’s tried and the ones you can tackle with heavy equipment from Terex. As for product managers, all divisions of Terex — including Terex Construction, Genie Industries and everything else — will have a full staff of product managers on hand during the entire show to talk about each and every Terex product.

Smart Gambles

The Skinny on the Las Vega Hilton Next Door:

Skywalk Bridge — connects you directly to the Las Vegas Convention Center

40,000-Sq Ft Casino — open 24 hours a day for your gambling pleasure, making it a fun, fast break from the hectic show floor

1,600-Seat Hilton Theater — features Barry Manilow’s “Music & Passion,” if your crews tolerate that kind of thing

Nearly 200,000-sq ft of event space — accommodating a zillion different CONEXPO events

Race and Sports SuperBook — the largest high-tech video arcade anywhere with a great sports betting area (good time to lay a bet down on the NCAA Basketball tourney)

Star Trek Museum — complete with its own Space Quest Casino (for the nerdy gamblers in your crews)

10 Amazing Restaurants — serve culinary masterpieces from around the world and five unique eateries, offer quick snacks, coffees or sweet treats (so don’t eat that awful trade show slop)

Nine Different Bars or Lounges — peddling booze and good eats, each with a distinctive Vegas ambiance, so feel free to catch a quick drink while the cab line thins out

State-of-the-art Business Center — with high-speed DSL Internet access to keep up on e-mails while at the show

Easy access to local attractions — via the Las Vegas Monorail

Shoeshine stand in lobby — to keep your shoes looking their best after all the tradeshow walking

Porters — ready to assist with luggage, packages and freebies from the show

ATM, gift shop — outgoing mail box and safety deposit box rentals

Fully-staffed front desk — at your beckon call 24 hours a day

Recreation desk — helps plan activities and tours for you to do during your visit (when you’re not busy perusing your next piece of equipment at the show)

All Pleasure: Great Watering

Holes and Eateries at the Hilton


Tempo, the Las Vegas Hilton’s high-energy lounge, is the ultimate gathering place for aging hipsters with cutting-edge music, international wines and champagnes and exclusive teas and coffees. Professional dancers add choreographed entertainment into the mix, while bartenders audition for roles in “Cocktail.”

Eighth Pole Bar

The Eighth Pole Bar is a sports lover’s paradise, complete with a watering hole that offers up-to-the-second live action (for the crazed sports junkie in your crew). Located in the infamous Race and Sports SuperBook, the Eighth Pole Bar also offers some of the best vantage points of the more than four dozen large screen TVs and monitors.

Quark’s Star Trek Bar and Restaurant

Set a course for the finest bar food in the universe inside Star Trek: The Experience. Geeky uniformed servers will take your orders of tricorders and Ferengi, available as recommended delicacies. Eat Vulcan Sauce wings, razz Klingon waiters and kick back with a Romulan Ale (a specially brewed blue beer).

Plaza Bar

The perfect setting for a before or after tradeshow drink, the Plaza Bar, located at the entrance to Andiamo and the Hilton Steakhouse, provides guests with a comfortable environment to enjoy their favorite libations. A popular spot amongst the convention crowd, the Plaza Bar is great for business, but mostly for pleasure.

Paradise Cafe

From the wee hours of the morning through high noon and beyond, Paradise Café offers decent and affordable breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. In a cheesy, colorful tropical setting, the Paradise Café prides itself on friendly service and an expansive menu ranging from tempting appetizers, hearty soups, green salads and over-stuffed sandwiches and burgers.

Two Essential Engine Stops

Perkins (Booth S-15927)

The premier British engine manufacturer will be showcasing its Perkins medium-duty 800D range of engines at CONEXPO — a range of engines tailored to the medium-duty, 63- to 83-hp off-highway equipment sector. Perkins 800 Series is a family of naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder engines offering a capacity of 3.3 liters; the series dovetails nicely with Perkins 400 and 1100 Series ranges.

JDPS (Booth S-17213)

Preview the power behind John Deere’s iron landscape and construction equipment at John Deere Power Systems’ booth, where the company will display its PowerTech M 2.4L engines and PowerTech E 2.4L engines under 75 hp that are EPA Interim Tier 4 and EU Stage III A compliant. The PowerTech M engines are ideal for lower horsepower applications. PowerTech E engines offer electronically controlled fuel systems with improved cold-start performance, precise engine speed control, torque curve shaping and more.

Visit NUCA (Booth L-3547)

If you’re a utility contractor, there’s one stop you have to make — the booth of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA). Learn how the organization is successfully defending the profession in the legislative, regulatory and legal arenas, aswell as providing the best in safety training and professional education. You’ll also be able to view the latest resources available through the NUCA Store and find out more about Utility Construction EXPO ‘09 “The Big Show” at the Phoenix Convention Center, March 4-6, 2009.

Three Must-See Booths

Gehl Plugs New Digs (Booth N-2601)

Gehl Co. makes compact machines that are Midwest tough. The West Bend, Wisc., machine maker offers the biggest skid steer on the market — now it’s fleshing out its line of mini diggers. At CONEXPO, Gehl will be pushing its new 283Z zero tail swing compact excavator. Gehl has extended its existing zero tail swing product range in the lower weight category. The 2.8-ton 283Z can be transported easily on a passenger car trailer with a permissible weight of 3.5 tons. The 283Z compact excavator can operate close to walls and obstructions without risk of contact.

JLG Raises Expectations (Booths G-170 and S-813)

JLG Industries is constantly raising the bar — usually with one of their aerial work machines. The company will be lifting eyebrows at the show with its brand new G5-18A super compact telehandlers. For the construction, landscape and agricultural markets, the G5-18A exudes operator comfort and machine maneuverability, designed with a 5,500-lb maximum lifting capacity and 1,850-lb capacity at the fully extended reach of 11 ft. Three operator-selectable steering modes come standard with the machine including four-wheel circle, four-wheel crab and two-wheel steering.


Bandits of Forestry Equipment (Booth C-7355)

Bandit equipment has shredded brush and tree jobs for a quarter century. The company celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2008 with its first Model 100 Brush Bandit chipper. At CONEXPO, the company will promote its latest Model 4000 track loader with forestry mower attachment. The Model 4000 turns dense brush growth and logging site tree top slashing into fine mulch.

The 4000 is used in such applications as right-of-way, trail maintenance, new construction sites, forest fire fuel reduction and numerous other applications.

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