The astonishing production capability of modern agriculture can, in no small part, be attributed to the tractor. Once the internal combustion engine hit the farm, there was no turning back. Farms grew bigger, with farmers able to cover more ground faster. Cash crops replaced oats needed for horses. Family size became smaller as less labor was needed to farm.

Rural America was forever changed.

Today’s tractors are incredible, amazing, powerful feats of mechanical engineering and precision.

New innovations in tractor technology are coming out all the time. In other words, it’s not your grandpa’s tractor anymore. In 2018, equipment manufactures seemed to focus on combines. In 2019, their shift has turned to tractors. Sales are up nearly 5%, and the new models offer innovative possibilities.

CASE IH unveiled its AFS Connect Magnum series at the National Farm Machinery Show, with its updated exterior and cab design and improved precision technology.

Other manufacturers feature versatility to perform multiple operations around the farm, along with improved precision technology.

John Deere’s new 6230R and 6250R models focus on the needs of livestock and hay producers with an infinitely variable transmission (IVT) that allows the machine to accelerate quickly, haul heavy loads, and reach optimal transport speed in a hurry, making it perfect for baling and hauling hay. An improved factory-installed command center works smarter and adds to driver comfort.

John Deere also has updates to its largest lineup of tractors. The new John Deere 9R series offers 120-inch track spacing and 30- and 36-inch tracks to help reduce field compaction and increase stability on hilly ground. A new command center and software upgrade is geared toward saving fuel and allowing more acres to be covered in less time by reducing overlap. A hydraulic kit, in either factory or field installed versions, helps manage implements that require continuous hydraulic power. The kit is retrofittable on some older models.


First-person digger: Stanley Black & Decker’s game controller for excavators

In a parking lot at an industrial and office park just outside Baltimore, I took an excavator for a spin. I pushed around some cinder blocks with a leveling blade, nosed them around with the excavator’s shovel, and maneuvered the heavy metal beast around to make room for an incoming tractor-trailer. And I did all of this with a wireless controller that was almost identical to the one I used to play Forza the night before.

The excavator was configured with a prototype of the Remote Operated Control (ROC) System from Stanley Black & Decker’s Infrastructure Innovation unit—a bolt-on remote control system that allows heavy machinery from major manufacturers to be operated either from in the cab as usual or with a wireless game-style controller.

Stanley is currently recruiting contracting companies to act as beta testers for the technology, which is currently being targeted at Bobcat, CAT, Kubota, and John Deere excavators under 10 tons. The remote control kit can be installed in existing excavators in about 5 hours by someone with little to no mechanical experience. And the control system has a physical switch that allows an operator to quickly switch back and forth between local and remote control.

Read more: First-person digger: Stanley Black & Decker’s game controller for excavators


Calim Grab Industry (Calim Kepce) Lifting Technologies manufactures of grabs and other lifting equipment which can be used to handle, among others, coal cargoes. The range of products includes bulk cargo handling as well as special hoists.

Key areas of operation are ports, ships, manufacturers of cranes and construction machinery, steel mills, waste-to-energy plants and recycling/scrap handling industries.

Calim’s main customers are: crane manufacturers; stevedoring companies; dredging companies; shipping companies; fertilizer companies; cement companies; mining companies; alumina producers; steel manufacturers; and electrical power plants. Calim Grabs has gained great expertise in handling all types of cargo, including: fertilizer; coal; gypsum; grain; soyabeans; sand; scrap steel; rock; clinger; cement; iron; ore; salt; petcoke; wood; chipboard and many more.

Calim Grabs can be found everywhere where materials are handled, moved or positioned, and is a respected global brand for the loading and unloading of bulk carriers. The success story of the Calim Grabs began in 1970, with the building of the first grab — a mechanical 800-litre single-rope grab. Today, Calim Grabs offers a complete product range: mechanical two- and four-rope grabs, electro-hydraulic motor grabs, radio-controlled single-rope grabs, touch down single rope grabs, hydraulic grabs, as well as a wide range of special lifting accessories.

Calim Grabs’ products are world-class, and the company proudly owns a modern machine park that is can adapt very fast to technological developments in the world.

Calim Grabs specializes in the manufacture and repair of grabs which are used to handle a wide range of materials, including coal. Its well-trained and experienced staff work to develop highly efficient and cost-effective grabs. It offers great expertise in engineering and customer-focused developments.

The company’s domestic and international market activity has been growing since the end of 2011. One source of satisfaction for Calim Grabs is the recent sale of 30 units to Latin America. Over the last few years, the products have been in operation in the largest ports in the world. Port activity is one of its key sectors and it is very conscious of the market’s new demands concerning product efficiency and evolution.

Its last project was for a Algeria Annaba Port and AlcelorMittal steel mills. Calim’s products can be seen in many ports, cement and steel factories and on ships worldwide. They are especially popular in Latin America, North Africa, Venezuela, the UK, Romania, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Ireland, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Ghana, Madagascar, Ukraine, Sudan and more. The company also ships spare parts with any purchased product which may be needed in, say, six months, at no cost.


Kubota Introduces M7 Generation 2 Tractor

Kubota Tractor Corporation showed off its new M7 Generation 2 deluxe tractor at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

“It’s got all of the simplicity and controls of our standard tractor, but now we’ve added a tractor with the Closed Center Load Sensing hydraulics,” said Kent Brown, senior product manager. “So, for farmers that have a value conscious need for a tractor but want a high performing hydraulic system, this tractor is going to be built for those customers.”

Brown said the front end loader on the M7 Gen 2 tractor is best in class. It’s good for baling hay, but this tractor can also pull a smaller planter or sprayer. Other improvements include a new semi-powershift transmission and an exceptionally clean diesel engine.

Read more: Kubota Introduces M7 Generation 2 Tractor

Anglo Quellaveco to operate Cat fleet teaming 794AC trucks with both rope & hydraulic shovels

By the time Anglo American produces its first copper from the Quellaveco mine in Peru, the company will have owned the orebody for nearly 30 years, spent more than 15 years laying the groundwork, invested millions of dollars, and made thousands of decisions necessary to get the mine up and running. Company leaders believe that this attention to detail and commitment to preparation will allow the mine not only to succeed but to exceed expectations. In fact, before the first copper ore is extracted from the mine, the company is already thinking ahead.

“We see significant potential to expand Quellaveco beyond its current 30-year reserve life as well as to increase throughput above the initial capacity of 127,500 t per day,” says Anglo American Chief Executive Mark Cutifani. First production of copper is expected in 2022, ramping up to full production in 2023. During the first 10 years of full production Quellaveco is expected to produce approximately 300,000 t per year.

“While Peru will be a new operating geography for us, we’ve been preparing the ground for many years — both literally and figuratively — developing strong relationships with local communities, government authorities and regulators along the way,” the company says on its website. Anglo American board members approved development of the project in July 2018. That same month, partner Mitsubishi Corporation increased its interest in the project to 40%. The company has secured the licenses and permits to move forward with Quellaveco and development has commenced. “After several years of extensive preparatory work, we are very pleased to develop the project together with our partner Mitsubishi,” said Cutifani.

Read more: Anglo Quellaveco to operate Cat fleet teaming 794AC trucks with both rope & hydraulic shovels

Roadtec boosts power on cold planer and milling machine

Roadtec has equipped its RX-700 cold planer and its RX-900 milling machine with new engine options.

The new model of Roadtec’s RX-700 features the increased power of an 800 hp Tier 4 Final Caterpillar engine.

The new Tier 4 Final engine does not require diesel exhaust fluid as a component of the after-treatment system, which reduces operating costs typically required at this emission standard.

Thanks to the increase in power, the updated half-lane cold planer provides higher production and reliability.

“The increased horsepower delivers even more production. We give customers what they need: a reliable and efficient cold planer that helps them complete jobs on time and with success,” said Kyle Hammon, Roadtec’s product manager for mills, stabilizers and brooms.

The RX-700 cuts up to 35 cm deep with standard widths of 2, 2.2, 2.5 and 3.2 metres.

As well, the cutter housing includes angled moldboards, which prevent material from accumulating around the drum, resulting in less wear. Furthermore, track pads are bolted on, which makes changing pads fast, saving time and money.

To achieve a stronger and lighter frame, Roadtec used A656 Grade 80 steel when building the RX 700, which is twice as strong as common mild steel.

A 60-degree conveyor swing, which is greater than the traditional 40-degree swing, allows easy feeding of a truck in an adjacent lane or around a tight bend. A folding secondary conveyor is also available to aid in transport and loading.

Automated elevation controls
The Automated Control of Elevation (ACE) system automates machine elevation through a combination of grade and slope sensors. The operator and ground crew may easily make changes to the grade and slope parameters, on the job and in real time.

Roadtec RX-900
Roadtec’s RX-900e asphalt milling machine has been upgraded to a 1,055 hp Tier 4 Final Caterpillar engine. The new Tier 4 Final engine does not require diesel exhaust fluid as a component of the after-treatment system, reducing the operation costs typically required. The upgraded power and heavy-duty fabrication make the RX-900 ideal for half-lane and full-lane milling.

Read more: Roadtec boosts power on cold planer and milling machine

Rotary Vane Pump Offers High Vapor Capacity for Aggressive Gases

Pascal 2021 HW two-stage rotary vane pump is said to offer the highest vapor capacity in its class, making it suitable for working with aggressive gases in freeze drying and medical sterilization applications. An optimized design and gas ballast system allows the pumping of large volumes of vapor without condensation inside the pump. This prevents accumulation of fluid that would adversely affect the service life of the pump and the pump oil. The pump is constructed of materials that tolerate aggressive chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide. The pump is ready to deliver vapor in just a few minutes due to a customized temperature management system. Its safety device impedes the water from entering into functional sections of the pump if the steam capacity is inadvertently exceeded. Its compact design enables easy installation into OEM and custom equipment.

Read more: Rotary Vane Pump Offers High Vapor Capacity for Aggressive Gases

Alleviating Firing System Safety Risks And Costs

The need to streamline perforating operations while alleviating the risk of misfires, assembly and downhole time, labor and maintenance costs is a key component to hydraulic fracturing operations, particularly when completing long horizontal wellbores in unconventional shale plays. DynaEnergetics’ DynaStage perforating system incorporates technology in the addressable firing system and an improved mechanical design to help improve overall plug-andperf (PNP) operations. It optimizes perforating operations with fully assembled and ready-to-shoot gun modules delivered to the base or well site.

The fully disposable, maintenance-free system is made more robust by eliminating traditional approaches to selective perforating, detonators, gun hardware and accessory equipment and, with its additional safety features, allows other wellsite operations to run in conjunction with the perforation process.

System features

The system includes intrinsically safe, integrated switch-detonators, preassembled guns with shaped charges and a composite plug, a firing panel, and a surface tester. Commercialized in 2016, the DynaStage system has targeted two areas to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

The first is safety, for which the system has a simple design that eliminates the risk of inadvertent detonation from stray current or voltage. Surface explosive handling and arming can be conducted in less time and in conjunction with other operations. The design eliminates the need to hold the gun system at shallow subsurface depth during simultaneous operations. Both factors reduce wait times at the well site.

The second targeted area is reliability. The design of the electronic system and simplification of the mechanical field assembly process help to reduce the number of misruns, which increases efficiency and lowers the cost of completions.

Improved assembly at surface

During the assembly of conventional perforating systems, including mechanical component assembly, arming the system and connecting the gun string to the wireline, there is a risk that resistorized detonators can be initiated with radio frequency energy, stray current or stray voltage on the surface. These traditional detonators can contribute to an increased risk of injury and destruction when connecting the detonator to the gun string and wireline truck.

Read more: Alleviating Firing System Safety Risks And Costs

Improve your haul cycles

Haul road design, construction, and maintenance have a huge impact on truck haulage cycle efficiency, costs, and production. Design factors, including road materials, grades, curve designs, and traffic layout, play critical rolls in efficient truck haulage. But proper maintenance of roads — to ensure smooth surface conditions, low rolling resistance, and consistent grades — is equally important to achieving lowest cost per ton of material hauled.

As an example of the importance of haul road design and maintenance, a 5-percent increase in rolling resistance can result in as much as a 10-percent decrease in production and 35-percent increase in production cost. Though 5-percent rolling resistance doesn’t sound like much, it is equivalent to about 2 inches of tire penetration.

Good haul road design, construction, and maintenance reduce fuel burn, help minimize tire heating and damage, and reduce wear on truck components. The results are lower operating and maintenance costs and less downtime.

Motor graders play critical role

Motor graders are not only critical to maintaining haul roads, but also to building haul roads to the right specifications, which, in turn, enables the roads to resist damage and provide optimum hauling conditions for longer periods.

Motor graders are the best grading machines for ensuring that cross slopes and cross falls are built to specifications. Building to spec helps ensure that roads drain water efficiently, which reduces the formation of potholes and washboards, and reduces the need for frequent haul road maintenance.

Motor graders are also the best machines for building superelevated curves. Such curves help trucks maintain proper weight distribution and constant speed, reducing the frequency of transmission gear shifts and braking for less wear on truck components.

After roads are built, the motor grader is the most efficient tool to keep them in good condition. Motor graders provide smooth roads, constant grades, and reduced rolling resistance. They also can maintain safety berms and drainage ditches, and, with their fast travel speeds, graders can be dispatched to quickly clean up rock spillage from haul trucks.

Read more: Improve your haul cycles


Caterpillar introduces Next Gen excavators and more new equipment

Caterpillar introduces the Next Gen 336 and 336 GC excavators, designed to balance productivity with lower fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Integrated Cat Connect Technology is said to increase operating efficiency by up to 45 percent over traditional grading operations. The standard Cat Grade with 2D system provides guidance for depth, slope, and horizontal distance to grade through the standard touchscreen monitor. Standard Grade Assist automates boom, stick, and bucket movements so operators can stay on grade with single-lever digging. Cat Payload precision makes loading more efficient, while an E-fence feature prevents the machine from moving outside operator-defined set points. The 336 is up to 15 percent more fuel efficient than the machine it replaces. With extended and more synchronized service intervals, the excavators can also lower maintenance costs by 15 percent over prior models; for example, the new air filter has double the dust-holding capacity over the earlier design. Three cab packages are available to keep operators comfortable. All include standard features such as keyless push-button start and touchscreen monitor.

Read more: Caterpillar introduces Next Gen excavators and more new equipment