Tag Archive for 'CONEXPO-CON/AGG'

Think Tank

Custom Water Tank Improves Efficiency for RP Development LLC

By Josh Swank

Creative thinking and the willingness to take a new approach is often what sets innovators apart from their peers. These qualities are also the fuel that propels industry forward. Construction is one of the oldest industries, but thanks to continuous advancements in technology, techniques and materials, today’s structures have come a long way from their humble beginnings. Each innovation is the result of someone searching for a better way – faster, safer, more cost efficient. Over time, the innovation can become commonplace as it’s adopted by others, but someone had to be the first to say, “Let’s try it this way.”

RP Development was able to maximize capacity on its Caterpillar 730 Articulated Dump Truck by adding an 8,000-gallon, custom-designed Philippi-Hagenbuch water tank to its fleet, increasing productivity nearly 40 percent for this vital task.

RP Development LLC is a relatively new player in the booming construction and development market in Washington state’s Tri-Cities area. From its incorporation in 2016, the company has taken a different approach. The majority of developers in the area simply buy the land and contract out the actual development. RP Development, on the other hand, purchases and develops properties using its own in-house demolition and construction crews, making it the only full-service developer in the area. By removing the third party, RP Development is able to streamline the process, greatly increasing efficiency for itself and for customers. 

However, the process only works if RP Development is operating at maximum efficiency. Relying on in-house construction and demolition teams means the developer can work at its own pace, without the added time and expense of coordinating with third-party contractors. But that also means the company is balancing additional overhead from equipment and labor. Ensuring efficiency is the key to a successful project, and, to do that, RP Development invests in the people and machines that can deliver the necessary productivity. Management embraces innovations that allow faster, safer project completions and carefully selects partners that reflect the company’s customer-focused values. 

The Philippi-Hagenbuch tank features a flow rate of 1,500 gallons per minute, meaning it only takes RP Development six minutes to distribute the entire tank load – 14 minutes faster than the previous tanks.

One area RP Development saw the opportunity to revolutionize their current process was water haulage. The high sand content in Tri-Cities soil creates a dusty environment on any job site. Developers and contractors control dust and add moisture for proper compaction by trucking in thousands of gallons of water each day. Adding an 8,000-gallon, custom-designed water tank in 2019, from Philippi-Hagenbuch, to its fleet allowed RP Development to maximize capacity on its Caterpillar 730 Articulated Dump Truck, increasing productivity nearly 40 percent for this vital task.

Sandy Slope

Even as a young company, RP Development quickly built a reputation for high-quality development services in the Tri-Cities area. This is thanks in part to a management team with decades of industry experience and a willingness to innovate. In just a few short years, the company has delivered more than 440 lots – both residential and commercial – and expanded its services to include demolition and redevelopment projects as well as first-time development. 

“Our success is a direct result of the dedication of our team and the high quality standards we set for every project,” said Stephen Bauman, General Manager for RP Development. “We’ve never followed the idea ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ If there’s a better solution out there, we’re going to look into it. That’s what sets us apart and allows us to provide better results. We knew our process for hauling water wasn’t as efficient as it could be. It wasn’t broken, but we felt it could still be fixed.”

RP Development was using two Peterbilt 367 On-Highway Trucks equipped with 5,000-gallon water tanks to haul water within its jobsites. Due to high demand, the tanks were constantly in use. A 12,000-gallon water tower filled the 5,000-gallon tanks in about 90 seconds, but with half a mile or more between the fill point and the jobsite, RP Development lost productivity with each trip. On the jobsite, each tank slowly distributed its load through a dual-head spray bar equipped with six nozzles and a cannon, attached to the back of the truck. The 500-gallon-per-minute pumps took 20 minutes to dump the full load. Then the driver would return to the water tower for a refill.

On a recent project, RP Development found itself hauling up to 328,000 gallons in an 8-hour shift – a task that would have required 70 trips and 17 hours with the old process. 

“The entire process could take more than half an hour per truck,” Bauman said. “It severely limited what we were able to accomplish on the jobsite each day. We managed to make it work, with great planning and flexibility, but we knew we needed a better solution to achieve our productivity and quality goals.”

Tanking Chances

RP Development began researching larger water tanks that would fit its unique needs. They found no shortage of models available from reputable original equipment manufacturers. However, there was no way to customize the equipment to fit the developer’s application. The search continued until CONEXPO/CON-AGG when Bauman stopped by the Philippi-Hagenbuch booth. 

“From the start, PHIL was interested in providing a solution, not just a product,” Bauman said. “Where the other OEMs gave us a spec sheet with limited options, the PHIL team pulled out a notebook and started writing down what we wanted.”

Philippi-Hagenbuch’s square tank design can haul about 20 percent more water than a rounded tank with similar exterior dimension, allowing RP Development to increase capacity without increasing the overall size of the tank.

RP Development partnered with PHIL for an 8,000-gallon, custom-designed, square-sided water tank to fit the company’s 730 articulated dump truck chassis. 

“The square sides were different than anything else we were seeing on the market,” Bauman said. “But once the PHIL engineers walked us through the science behind it we realized the benefits to capacity and overall safety are remarkable.”

The PHIL team explained that a square tank can haul about 20 percent more water than a rounded tank with similar exterior dimension, allowing RP Development to increase capacity without increasing the overall size of the tank. A square design, manufactured with heavy-duty Hardox 450 steel, also offers a lower center of gravity, reduces internal water churn and due to their internal baffle doors, allows for optimal water flow while minimizing front to back surging. These features increased stability and safety during transportation, which is ideal for an application that requires a fair amount of travel between fill and dump sites. 

The new tank features a flow rate of 1,500 gallons per minute, meaning it only takes RP Development six minutes to distribute the entire tank load – 14 minutes faster than the previous tanks. The tank design also incorporates six spray heads and a water cannon capable of pumping 650 gallons of water per minute.

“Just comparing volume between one of the old tanks and the new one, we’ve got 60 percent more capacity with the PHIL tank,” Bauman said, “But that’s just the beginning. We can carry more and unload it faster. Plus, with the cannon we can reach areas we couldn’t get to before. It’s revolutionized what we can do in a day.”

Crystal-Clear Results

A recent subdivision project allowed RP Development to fully test out the efficiency of the new water tank. The side-by-side Riverhawk and Sorano subdivisions feature a combined 309 residential lots. Between the two, RP Development needed to move an estimated 200,000 yards of dirt. During development, the PHIL water tank delivered an average of 41 full loads of water daily.

Specialized design features of the Philippi-Hagenbuch tank offered a lower center of gravity, reduced internal water churn and due to their internal baffle doors, allowed for optimal water flow while minimizing front to back surging. These features increased stability and safety during transportation, which was ideal for RP Development’s application.

“For the Riverhawk and Sorano, we were hauling up to 328,000 gallons a day,” Bauman said. “With the old tanks, it would have taken almost 70 trips to deliver that much water. Assuming half an hour to deliver, dump and refill, even with two trucks hauling constantly, it would have taken us 17 hours to match the productivity of the new tank. With the PHIL tank, we can do it in an 8-hour shift.” 

RP Development isn’t the only one taking notice of the increased efficiency. Other contractors in the competitive Tri-Cities region have reached out to the developer about the new equipment.  

“With any new approach, people are curious how it will turn out; so, from day one, contractors and developers have been watching what we’re doing,” Bauman said. “With the number of questions we’ve fielded about our PHIL tank, I’d say the competition thinks we’re on the right track. But we’ve always known that relying on our in-house team was the only way to produce the high-quality, customer-focused results we’d be proud to put our name on. Combining our experience with the latest technology – from an OEM that shares our core values – wasn’t an innovation; it was a no brainer.”

While other contractors and developers in the Tri-Cities area look to adopt RP Development’s model, the company continues to strive forward – maximizing its efficiency with a second PHIL water tank in the near future.

This material appeared in the June 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

Liebherr at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020

Crawler Concrete Pump 110 D-K

The new Liebherr crawler concrete pump is particularly suited for applications in which pumping of the concrete is constantly being relocated around the building site. Maneuvering and operation of the crawler track-mounted concrete pump is affected via remote control. 

Liebherr Crawler Concrete Pump 110 D-K

A typical application for crawler concrete pumps is the supply of concrete to drilling equipment for bored piling foundations. Deep holes are drilled into the ground and then filled with concrete following extraction of the drill. Crawler concrete pumps are employed alongside the drilling equipment at the various operation points, whereby the concrete hose remains permanently connected to the drilling equipment.

LB 45 Drilling Rig

The name of the brand new LB 45 derives from the torque of 331,903-pound force per foot. That is an increase of approximately 10 percent in comparison to the already high performance of the LB 36. Both the counterweight and the leader are modularly constructed. This enables quick and easy assembly and flexible application. 

Liebherr LB 45 Drilling Rig

The leader top is designed for different drilling axes and is suitable for all applications. Through the enhancement of the drilling axes by 19.7 inch, the LB 45 can be applied for drilling diameters up to a maximum of 10.9 feet. At the same time, the maximum drilling depth for Kelly drilling with 5-fold Kelly bar has been increased to 328 feet and so significantly improved. The strong winches with a maximum pull force of 92,594 pounds enable highest performance even under the most difficult conditions. Furthermore, the noise emission is considerably reduced thanks to their elastic mounting.

LRB 355.1 Drilling Rig

The overall design of the LRB 355.1 puts special attention on the handling of the machine – both on and off the jobsite. For transportation, the crawlers can now be removed from both types of undercarriage. This reduces the maximum transport weight by about 30,865 pounds. To minimize the transport length, the leader can be folded. For the longer leader version with 88.6 feet, this saves 23 feet. A further advantage is that the machine can be transported with a mounted leader, sledge and ropes. Thus, the piling and drilling rig can be mobilized even more quickly on the jobsite. 

Liebherr LRB 355.1 Drilliing Rig

The core of the piling and drilling rig is a new 1,005 hp Liebherr diesel engine that complies with the NRMM exhaust certification Tier 4, Stage V. The new BAT 450.1 with a torque of 331,903-pound force per foot serves as rotary drive and has automatic torque regulation, continuous speed optimization and four electronically adjustable speed ranges.

Generation 8 Series Excavators

The Generation 8 series, now in production at Liebherr-France SAS in Colmar, is made up of seven models ranging from 24 to 50 tons: R 922, R 924, R 926, R 930, R 934, R 938 and R 945. The generation 8 is characterized by a new design which was first presented at Bauma in 2019. The team of developers from Colmar completely revised the basic excavator concept to further increase comfort, safety and performance, and to achieve even better operational ergonomics. 

The R 926 was on display at CONEXPO, along with the R 930, is based on a specific platform developed by Liebherr. The R 926 and the R 930 have an operating weight between 28 to 34 tons and achieve a power of 204 hp and 245 hp respectively. The backhoe bucket capacities vary from 1.15 m3 to 1.75 m3 on the R 926 and between 1.25 m3 and 2,15 m3 on the R 930. The R 926 and R 930 models are available in stage V and Tier 4f.

Liebherr R 938 Crawler Excavator

The R 938 together with the R 934 is based on a specific platform developed by Liebherr-France SAS. The R 934 and the R 938 have an operating weight of 35 and 38 tons, and achieve a power of 272 hp and 299 hp. The backhoe bucket capacities vary from 1 m3 to 2.5 m3 on the R 934 and between 1 m3 and 3 m3 on the R 938. The R 934 and R 938 models are available with the relevant engines in countries where emission standards regulation is extremely stringent or less stringent, or in countries where such regulation does not exist at all. 

In combination with the engine that meets Tier 4f emission standards, the R 934 is positioned between the R 936 (launched in 2015) and the new R 938. The R 938 in turn, replaces the R 946. With regard to the engines that meet Stage IIIA emission standards and the engines for unregulated markets, the new position of the R 934 is now between the R 934 C and the R 938. The R 938 succeeds the R 944 C.

Generation 8 Crawler Dozers

The new PR 736 G8 is powered by a newly developed Liebherr diesel engine belonging to the EVO series (217 bhp). It meets emission level 4f, its exhaust gases being cleaned by a combination between a DOC (diesel oxidation catalyst) and a SCR filter (selective catalytic reduction and particle filter). Alternatively, customers in lower regulated markets have additional engine versions and equipment levels to choose from. The machines’ operating weight is up to 56,218 pounds. Various blade versions (straight, semi-U and 6 way) are available to cover a large application range. Blade) capacities range from 5.36 to 7.27 cubic yards. Many rear equipment options are also offered.

Liebherr PR 736 G8 Crawler Dozer

The new assistance systems on the generation 8 crawler dozers offer three assistance levels: “Free Grade” or active blade stabilization during fine grading, “Definition Grade” for automatic blade positioning when creating 2D grades and “3D Grade” as an optional GPS machine control system to model complex terrain shapes – among others, with the standard roof-mounted GPS/GNSS antennas. Liebherr Active Sensor Control to stabilize all blade axis is on board as standard. Two independents, permanently mounted integrated sensor circuits (gyroscopic and inertia sensors) allow for particularly high grading speeds and perfectly fine grading at all times.

Wheel Loaders

The largest Liebherr wheel loader, the L 586 XPower, which weighs 71,870 pounds, can also be seen at the exhibition stand. Liebherr installs a power-split travel drive as standard in all large XPower wheel loaders. It combines the hydrostatic drive, which is ideal for short loading cycles with the mechanical drive, the benefits of which come into effect over long distances and up hills. Thus, the power-split XPower drive ensures massive fuel savings and high performance, regardless of the use profile. 

The L 538 represents the Liebherr medium-size wheel loader range at the exhibition stand. It is equipped with parallel kinematics for high holding forces in the upper lift arms area. This industrial design is suitable for working with heavy attachments, such as with high dump buckets when recycling. For customers from countries in Central and South America, Liebherr is showing the L 550 wheel loader. It is representative of the separate wheel loader series for less emission-regulated markets.

Liebherr L 586 Wheel Loader

The new joystick steering for the L 526 to L 586 XPower wheel loaders is an innovative steering system which is an option available to customers. It allows the machine operator to steer comfortably with one hand.

For more information visit www.liebherr.com

This material appeared in the May 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

A New Normal: How McElroy Manufacturing Is Dealing With COVID-19

“It was like a week of Mondays.”

That’s how Sharon McElroy summed up what it felt like to head into the office to tackle an ever-changing set of challenging circumstances in the first few days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From responding to the latest news and addressing employee concerns, to developing policies and communicating updated governmental guidelines, the vice president of marketing for Tulsa, Oklahoma-based AEM member company McElroy Manufacturing, Inc. and her fellow company leaders found themselves in an unenviable position seemingly overnight.

The task was clear – provide stability in an increasingly uncertain situation. But how exactly? While the seriousness of COVID-19 was becoming readily apparent, information and guidelines related to the growing pandemic were changing daily by mid-March. Further complicating matters, a significant number of McElroy employees were coming off a successful trade show run at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas, and were in the process of returning to Tulsa, right as elected officials began issuing their initial guidelines and mandates in response to COVID-19.

“It was like coming home to find out the world had changed,” said Sharon McElroy.

For more information and resources on COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 section on the AEM website


Three weeks later, everything has changed for McElroy, the company’s employees, and its customers.

“I feel like we are all living in some unreal Hollywood movie,” said Chip McElroy, the company’s president and CEO in a March 25 letter to staff. “From the chaos, the sensationalism, the ever-changing stream of directives, the loss of freedoms and the raw emotions we are all feeling, I have a deep appreciation for the stress and anxiety that all of us are living with as we work our way through this odyssey.”

Fostering organizational stability during a global pandemic has been a challenging and, at times, hectic undertaking for McElroy. And it’s not difficult to understand why. Every company – whether large or small – is comprised of a diverse set of employees, all of whom possess different personalities, backgrounds and skillsets. McElroy is no different. So, when COVID-19 began to upend the company’s day-to-day activities and processes, company leaders were quick to recognize staff members would have a wide range of responses to the growing public health crisis.

Some employees are quite fearful, especially those with families. Others are far less concerned. What’s universally consistent among McElroy employees, however, is a willingness to listen to what’s communicated by company leaders and – perhaps more importantly – comply with newly formed company policies to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone.


The “new normal” brought on by the spread of COVID-19 has required a shift in culture for McElroy. The company is proud of its tight-knit staff, but now everyone and everything feels much more spread out due to social distancing guidelines.

Employees who are able to telecommute alternate days spent in the office and at home to ensure the fewest possible number of people are in the same place at any given time. Conference rooms, once occupied by large groups engaging in regularly held meetings, now face strict occupancy limits. Video conferencing has become a primary mode of communication, much like it has for other organizations and businesses around the country.

“As a manufacturing company, we don’t do a whole lot of remote work,” explained Sharon McElroy. “We’re family-oriented, and we’ve always embraced a philosophy of being ‘One team, one company.’”

Many within the organization can’t help but wonder when it will be safe or appropriate to conduct certain tasks and responsibilities again, when everyone can return to work at the same time, or when the company’s focus will fully return toward providing valuable products and services for customers. So much has changed in such a short time, leaving everyone to adjust accordingly as quickly as possible.

“I feel like we’re also just trying to communicate with customers that we’re still in business and we can help them,” said Sharon McElroy.


Times of crisis often lead to lessons learned in a matter of only a few days and weeks. McElroy Manufacturing’s leaders appreciate the importance of good communication and transparency now more than ever – both with their employees and with their customers.

“We’ve always had a culture of open communication and this crisis brings the importance of that to a whole new level.” said Sharon McElroy. “It’s a lesson that we will remember.”

The company has also taken great care to ensure employees know they will be taken care of during these unprecedented times. Whether it’s through providing additional sick time, adjustments to pay structure, or implementing safety precautions and procedures related to social distancing, hand-washing, limiting group sizes or regular disinfecting, organizational leaders are doing whatever they can to provide as much stability as possible. Because, ultimately, the goal is to ensure McElroy’s workforce knows it’s safe, secure and valued when at work and on the job.

According to Sharon McElroy, the emphasis on communication and transparency has made navigating the current COVID-19 health crisis much easier for employees at the company, and it’s certainly helped limit unnecessary panic or concern. However, despite the best efforts of everyone at McElroy, uncertainty regarding the future still remains.

“I think people feel pretty secure, but the uneasiness for me comes from ‘How long is it going to last?’” she said. “Sometimes you need that ending to look toward. And when you don’t have it, honestly, it’s tough.”

To learn more about AEM’s efforts to support the equipment manufacturing industry, visit the COVID-19 section on the AEM website. If you have questions or need to get a hold of AEM staff, please e-mail our Response Team at responseteam@aem.org.

Subscribe to our AEM newslettersfor more AEM news and updates.

AEM Announces: The World’s Largest Heavy Metal Show in 2020:

The World’s Largest Heavy Metal Show in 2020:

Mark Your Calendar to Attend CONEXPO-CON/AGG

3 Steps to Get Ready Now


CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 is one year out, but it’s not too early to make plans for North America’s largest construction trade show for the asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and related industries.

“The show is shaping up to be one of the best ever; attendees and exhibitors will not be disappointed!” said Mary Erholtz, CONEXPO-CON/AGG chair, and vice president marketing for Superior Industries. “AEM and our show committees of industry leaders are working to deliver an outstanding event focused on the latest innovations, technologies and best practices to succeed in our changing world.”

At CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, big iron and tech will share the stage in Las Vegas, USA on March 10-14, 2020, with more new products, thousands of equipment and technology headliners, and hundreds of industry-driven education sessions. Plus, the Tech Experience returns with two locations.

Take these 3 steps now to punch your ticket to success for your business and career.

  1. Sign up for show alerts to be the first to learn the latest show information – visit http://www.conexpoconagg.com/show-alerts.
  2. Be the first in line to purchase show tickets (Registration opens July 23). Register early to save time and money and get the best hotel rates and availability.
  3. Stay in the know “365” with the show’s online news and trends articles, monthly CONEXPO Radio podcasts and the new CONEXPO Connect digital platform for contractors and off-road equipment buyers.

“Our company has been attending CONEXPO-CON/AGG for three decades now and plans to continue due to the amount of knowledge we gain. CONEXPO-CON/AGG has provided us the resources needed to create greater efficiencies and synergies within our own company,” said Chris Lane of Ronald Lane Inc.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG co-locates with IFPE, the International Fluid Power Exhibition for the fluid power, power transmission, and motion control industries. Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is a show owner and producer.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2020 will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and nearby Festival Grounds. The show connected campus will feature multiple registration areas and hotel and intra-show shuttles.  

“The show is a critical piece to our workforce development efforts. We send somewhere between 30 and 40 company representatives to Las Vegas to see what’s new and bring relevant information back to our company. It’s a great way to build our team,” said Jarrad Whissell of Whissell Contracting Ltd.

View introductory show video here. Learn more at www.conexpoconagg.com.


Are You Tuned In? CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio Podcasts Top 110,000 Downloads

Are You Tuned In?
CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio Podcasts Top 110,000 Downloads
Listen to Learn the Latest Construction Trends & Technologies

 Interest in staying ahead of the latest construction industry trends and technologies has propelled CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio podcast downloads to more than 110,000 since its launch prior to the 2017 exposition.

With an average of 1,200 downloads per episode, the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio podcast is in the top 25 percent of all podcasts, according to Libsyn podcast hosting service. Downloads have come from 184 countries.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio podcasts feature discussions with world-class experts exploring innovations in the construction industry and the opportunities they create.

Topics cover construction, technology, occupational health and safety, regulations, and education, with tips and trends to help construction professionals optimize their businesses and job sites. Guests include original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs), tech companies, academia and leading industry organizations.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio is brought to you by Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

“Our audience has grown rapidly, and reaching over 110,000 downloads reinforces how much interest there is in the construction technology space and in exploring innovations that will change the industry in the next 20 years,” said Nicole Hallada, AEM vice president marketing, and communications. “I’m excited at the opportunity this medium brings for busy professionals to conveniently access cutting-edge information that helps them succeed.”

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio host is Peggy Smedley, an internationally known and award-winning author, radio/TV host, and speaker who focuses on educating businesses and consumers on the latest technological advances that are shaping our everyday lives.

“I’m a firm advocate in all things construction technology and the response to our interviews have been phenomenal; people want that reassurance that they’re headed in the right direction and as the host of CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio, I believe it’s doing just that,” said Smedley.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio currently airs two new episodes each month. Listeners can choose episodes via the CONEXPO-CON/AGG website or through their mobile devices (apps include iTunes, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play).

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio is complemented by AEM’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 industry-trends articles.


CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the international gathering place every three years for the construction industries, spotlighting the latest technologies, products and best practices. The next show is set for March 10-14, 2020 in Las Vegas USA.

AEM is the Milwaukee-based international trade group representing the off-road equipment manufacturing industry. AEM’s world-class exhibitions include CONEXPO-CON/AGG and ICUEE-The Demo Expo.