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by Nick Drew  |  Wed 05 Jun 2013

Swedish sunshine and friendly people on my last day at MaskinExpo

On my last day in Stockholm, I awoke to glorious sunshine coming in through my hotel window, and straight away I knew it was going to be a great day at the Swedenís top construction plant & machinery show.

Swedish sunshine and friendly people on my last day at MaskinExpo
Close to the entrance, I wandered onto the Abelco Nordic AB stand to check out their machine range. Once on the stand I was spotted by major shareholder Stefan Nilsson, whom I had met briefly in Munich during the Bauma trade fair. Stefan was keen to tell me more about his company and its product range. Formed in 2004, Abelco is a relatively young company, which has developed quite rapidly in a short space of time. The company offers a broad range of machines, including excavators from 1 to 13.5 tons and wheeled loaders from 1.4 to 18 tons. In addition, the company offer a whole range of attachments to supplement these machines. The Abelco machines are originally sourced from China, but according to Mr Nilsson, once the machines are in Sweden, they are rigorously checked over and refined to meet the expected national industry standards. The end product is a reliable machine at an extremely competitive price. The machines were certainly attracting a lot of interest during my visit to the stand. On the Liebherr Sweden AB static stand, two examples of the new 914 Compact excavator were on display. These new wheeled and tracked models were launched at Bauma in Munich earlier this year. Also on display was the impressive looking R926 hydraulic excavator. Powered by a stage IIIB Tier 4 interim 129kw Liebherr engine, this machine was fully loaded as one would expect in Sweden, featuring an Indexator tiltrotator, and Novatron GPS digging system. This machine was set to be delivered to its new owner, GMAB Goteborgs Grav & Maskin, direct from the show. Also displayed was the L556 Industrial wheeled loader. Next stop was the Goransons stand, who are importers for the Chinese brand Sunward, amongst others. On show here were examples from the Sunward range of mini excavators and an interesting first sight of a new telehandler from the Chinese manufacturer. The SWTH 3514 is powered by a Perkins engine, and has a lift capacity of 3.5 tons and a maximum lift height of 13.65m. In the afternoon, I visited the stand of Beck Maskin AB, on a recommendation from our good friend at Hydrema UK, Mark Hyde. Once on the stand, I got to meet Owe Beck the Managing Director and founder of this highly successful business. Over the years, Beck Maskin have sold an enormous amount of machines into the Swedish and Norwegian markets, and had particular success while selling the Hanix range of mini excavators, selling more machines than any other dealer in the region! These days, Beck Maskin have added more manufacturers machines to their product range, which includes Atlas compact wheeled loaders, Hanix, IHI and Airman mini excavator ranges, tracked dumpers and skid steer loaders from IHI and the Cormidi range of mini tracked dumpers. Of course the Airman range of excavators are also marketed in the UK as Hitachi machines, so we are all familiar with those models, itís just that we donít see them in the Airman blue livery so often here. The recent big news for Beck Maskin is the official appointment as Kobelco dealers for Sweden and Norway. Mr Beck, like myself, is a big fan of Japanese built hydraulic excavators, and he was absolutely delighted to be selling the famous blue brand of excavators. I was very impressed with Mr Beckís passion for his business, and I look forward to covering stories on some of his customers over the coming months and years on the Digger Man Blog. Brokk, the Swedish remote controlled demolition machinery experts, were displaying a number of models at MaskinExpo, including the new 400D diesel driven machine. This machine is said to be the fastest Brokk machine ever, in fact itís said to be 60% faster than any other Brokk machines, making it easier and quicker when moving between job stations on site. Based on a stronger and more stable undercarriage, the machine also has a longer reach and is capable of carrying heavier work tools, like hammers, that really can pack a punch on site. As with its electric-powered family members, the Brokk 400D is remote-controlled, providing a safe, ergonomic work environment for the operator. The machine can be operated from some considerable distance away ensuring the operator is never put in any danger whilst operating it. I came across these stunning looking HBM-Nobas motor graders that were owned and operated by the unfortunately named Hjerpes Maskin Centra AB company. Nice machines however, and once again top specification as is always expected in Sweden. A family orientated fun atmosphere prevailed at MaskinExpo, and this ethos was clear to see all around the showground. Here we see a young lady getting to grips with a Kubota U10-3 mini excavator, attempting to stack some specially designed concrete blocks with hooks in. There was much hilarity all round, as she kept forgetting which lever did what! This Huddig 1260C tracked backhoe loader was an awesome looking piece of equipment, it was just a shame it wasnít being put through its paces this year. A visit to the Traktor Nord AB stand was next. They are the Uppsala based dealers for JCB machines. Amongst the extensive range of kit was an example of the latest JCB mini excavator the 8026 CTS, which was displayed with a Helac Powertilt unit, a cheaper alternative to the full blown tiltrotator. My last port of call was a re-visit to the old classic machines at the top end of the showground, and in particular, the 1938 Caterpillar motor grader. This fine old example still sounds awesome when working, and I think itís great that enthusiasts put a lot of effort into restoring these old machines for future generations to see. I would really love to see some form of construction plant and equipment museum set up in the UK, where classics like this old girl could be kept in pristine condition for all to see in the future. There are many collectors around the UK who already have classic items stored, it would be great if we could get them all together in one location. And so my time in Sweden drew to a close for another year. Despite a number of big players not appearing at the show this year, I felt it was an excellent event, and it was a pleasure to be invited back for a second year. Itís always a delight to visit this country with its friendly people and incredible scenery. I look forward to my next visit.  

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