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by Nick Drew  |  Mon 27 May 2013

Innovative Swedes on display during my first day at MaskinExpo

I have just returned from two exciting days in Stockholm where once again, I was kindly invited to sample the delights of MaskinExpo by Engcon.

Innovative Swedes on display during my first day at MaskinExpo
MaskinExpo is one of Scandinavia’s biggest events for the building and construction machinery sector. Held at the Stockholm outdoor exhibition area, which is set in some truly beautiful countryside, the event is a great place to see some of the latest developments that are on offer from a country that is at the cutting edge of hydraulic attachment technology. I arrived on Friday 24th May, which was day two of the show and was delighted to receive such a warm welcome from Carina Tegelberg, who informed me that this year I was the only “press” representative attending from outside of Sweden. For people like me, who are big fans of tiltrotator systems, this show is like heaven-on-earth and understandably, one of my first ports of call was to the Engcon stand, where Marketing Manager, Sten Stromgren, was keen to show me their latest product. The all new Q-Safe fully automatic quick hitch, is described as the safest quick hitch on the market, and is a product from the company’s new “Non Accident Generation” range. Basically, the bucket cannot be removed from the machine unless the bucket is in contact with the ground. There is of course much more to it than that, but I will go in to more detail in a separate post on the Q-Safe system. Just across from the Engcon stand, a customer was trying out an Atlas wheeled excavator, which was equipped with the latest “Advance Line” tiltrotator from Indexator. Just a bit further down the track I came across a Bobcat T870 tracked skidsteer loader, which was equipped with Bobcat’s grader attachment. Graders of all shapes and sizes were to be found all around the showground. The machines are still fairly popular in Sweden, and during winter months are often deployed on snow clearance duties. Also on the Bobcat stand, were a number of the company’s mini excavators, all fully loaded with tiltrotator attachments naturally! As previously arranged, I paid a visit to the Amas Sweden AB stand to check out the products on offer and to catch up with their demonstration operator, Karolin Eriksson. Amas are very similar to our own UK company ECY Haulmark, and sell products from VTN, Simex, OilQuick, FRD Furukawa, Dynaset and their own Amas Grippen grabs. In a similar demonstration scenario to what ECY Haulmark put on at the recent Plantworx show, Amas demonstration operator Karolin displayed the versatility of the OilQuick system, which was mounted on a New Holland E215C excavator, and showed just how easy it is to change hydraulically driven attachments, all with the click of a switch from inside the cab. Now don't get me wrong here, I know ECY's demo operator Dave Simmons is a smashing fella, but he is nowhere near as attractive as Karolin in my opinion! Karolin also displayed the Italian VTN SR07 rotary screening bucket, a fantastic piece of kit which is becoming very popular at the moment. VTN currently make 5 different models for excavators, ranging from 5 to 35 tons, which can be used to sift and separate materials as part of a planned recycling programme, which saves the end user money by making the most out of the materials on site. One of her demonstrations concluded with her grabbing a plastic water bottle from a young child in the audience, who was accompanied by an adult, and placing its safely on the other side of the stand, showing some great skill and a silky smooth touch with it too! Just for clarity here, and before the PC brigade kick off, I don't advise this practice to be done on site. This stunt was performed under controlled conditions at the show. Kubota’s much anticipated and long awaited KX080-4, which was launched at last month’s Bauma trade fair, and also appeared at Plantworx, was also on show at MaskinExpo, where it was fitted with a Steelwrist X12 model tiltrotator. Steelwrist also had a number of new models and ideas on display in Stockholm, which I will cover in future posts here on the Digger Man Blog. There was also plenty of presence from the Chinese manufacturers, including LiuGong, who are sold and serviced in Sweden by Karlstad based, Peters Lastmaskiner AB. Models on display included three new excavator models, the 325E 25 ton, 906D 6 ton and the 904D 4 ton class models, as well as a selection of the company’s wheeled loaders, such as the 816G and 856III models. Liebherr’s Swedish division had a challenge competition going on, and young and old were actively encouraged to take part. This veteran machine man was having a tough time getting to grips with the sensitivity of modern day machines, like this Liebherr 916, and at times I was getting a bit concerned when the back wheels were coming off the ground a bit too regularly! But credit where it’s due, he kept it going right to the bitter end, and looked extremely pleased with his efforts at the end of the contest. It had been a long day for me travelling from Gatwick on the early flight, so I headed for the hotel and an early meeting with my bed. Saturday’s weather forecast promised blue skies and sunshine, but more on that in a future blog post.              

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