Boom Trucks, AWPs, and Forklifts Take Part in Annual Equipment Showcase

Maximum Capacity Media, Fort Dodge, Iowa, hosted its fourth annual Lift and Access Equipment Showcase last week at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino in Scottsdale, Ariz. The event focused on a variety of equipment categories, including 6,000-pound straight mast forklifts, 45-foot RT articulating boom lifts, 32- to 35-ton and 50-ton boom trucks, and the OEM’s choice of electric aerial lifts, which comprised boom lifts, RT scissor lifts, compact scissor and vertical lifts, and a compact spider-type aerial lift. In addition to product manufacturers, component vendors and editors from Construccion Pan Americana, Crane Hot Line, and RER attended the annual event.

The Lift and Access Equipment Showcase provides manufacturers with an avenue to discuss their equipment’s features and benefits with industry editors, and it also offers a networking opportunity for component and product support vendors to meet with OEMs in a friendly, non-competitive environment. This year, component manufacturers that sponsored the event included John Deere Power Systems, U.S. Battery, Carpenter, Trelleborg, Hawe Hydraulics, OEM Controls, Pathway Polymers, Tendaire Industries, FullRiver Battery, and Hirschmann.

Equipment manufacturers that participated in the 2009 Equipment Showcase included Manitou North America, Case, JCB North America, MEC, Skyjack, Genie, Reachmaster, Snorkel, Haulotte, Custom Equipment, National Crane, Elliott Equipment, Manitex, Terex, Altec, and Tadano. Product experts from each company gave a walkaround presentation that detailed machine features and benefits, allowing attendees, including competitors, editors, and component vendors, ask specific questions about each product. Lift and Access editors and staff also tested equipment, measuring crane setup time,  forklift and AWP travel speed, aerial lift platform height, aerial lift maximum vertical height at maximum horizontal outreach, machine weight for all machines, AWP lift/lower speed, and more. Rough-terrain aerial work platforms at the event also took part in an obstacle course, which tested the machines’ performance in sandy areas, on grades, and turning capabilities.

In addition to the testing and walkaround presentations, 22 operators from the Phoenix area arrived at Southwest Industrial Rigging’s new equipment yard to test the operation of the six boom trucks at the Equipment Showcase. Southwest Industrial Rigging and Equipment Safety Services, Queen Creek, Ariz., also staged a practical course for operators to practice their skills. The operator with the top speed received a GPS system, and a drawing was held for the operators at the end of the afternoon for an LCD TV, which was sponsored by Hirschmann.

Relatively new to the industry, Melinda Zimmerman-Smith, marketing communications manager for Genie Industries, Redmond, Wash., said she enjoyed the networking opportunities, obstacle course, and product walkarounds. “From a training perspective, the Showcase provided me with an incomparable opportunity to meet our competition and see their equipment in a casual surrounding that was better than any tradeshow can provide,” she said. “I returned to the office with renewed energy for the industry and for construction equipment in general.”

Annette Hall, PBB-global manager, OEM account manager for Trelleborg Wheel Systems Americas, Hartville, Ohio, also attended the event for the first time to learn more about the machines in actual working environments and listen to presentations from the various equipment manufacturers to see what features and benefits seem to be most important to the market.

"We design our rubber and polymeric products, seals, vibration isolation, tires and wheels, and other products to enhance performance and protect the equipment, environment, operators, and thus the investment of the machine clients and owners," she said. "We are focused on protecting our clients through the 'total cost of ownership,' which means we constantly search for avenues where we can design new products or improve existing ones with total value in focus." Hall said it was nice to have the opportunity in a laid back, casual environment to brainstorm ideas and learn how to better serve this market.

A DVD of the Lift and Access Equipment Showcase will be soon available for purchase. Showcase DVDs include walkaround presentations from each manufacturer, discussing the features and benefits of each machine at the event. To order, call Becky Grazier at 800-231-8953.

Equipment reviews of the machines will begin in the January 2010 edition of Lift and Access.