Indicate and E-Fence are now available on mini hydraulic excavators and new attachments have been produced for the company’s skid-steers, track and wheel loaders.
Caterpillar introduces two new Mini Hydraulic Excavator (MHE) Ease of Use technologies – Indicate and E-Fence – for the Cat 306 CR, 308 CR and 309 CR Next Generation Mini Hydraulic Excavators. Triple Grouser Track Shoe
New to Cat mini excavators, Ease of Use Indicate helps operators to reach grade faster, while Ease of Use E-Fence constrains machine motion to within operator preset boundaries. These technologies are ideal for digging footings, drainage and septic systems, irrigation, electric utilities and applications near structures or obstacles operators need to avoid. They allow operators of all experience levels to work more efficiently and consistently.
An entry-level grade system, MHE Ease of Use Indicate provides visual and audible indications to bucket position compared to target grade to assist operators in cutting to exact specifications the first time. Regardless of skill level, operators reach target grade faster with improved precision and reduced need for on-the-ground grade checking to create a safer work environment.
With Indicate, the operator selects target depth and slope from the in-cab guidance system, and the monitor provides real-time work-in-progress and distance-to-grade feedback. The technology enables operators to reach grade faster without overcutting, saving time, manpower and saving cost overall.
MHE Ease of Use E-Fence automatically constrains machine motion to within operator preset boundaries for ceiling, floor, wall and swing. Operators work confidently and efficiently by avoiding structures overhead, underground, in front, or to the left or right of the machine.
Once the E-Fence range limits are established using the machine’s touchscreen monitor, no part of the boom, stick or bucket will pass the predefined limit(s). Setting height limits using E-Fence Ceiling helps operators avoid obstacles such as powerlines, ceilings or tree limbs. Fiber optic cables and underground utilities are protected by the defined depth limits established with E-Fence Floor. Structures in front of the machine are protected by E-Fence Wall, and where the mini excavator is working next to live traffic or walkways or loading trucks, E-Fence Swing is ideal to avoid these areas.
E-Fence is ideal for new operators to work within set boundaries and helps minimize job costs from repairs and downtime due to equipment damage and fines from damaging utilities or other structures. For experienced operators, E-Fence allows them to work more efficiently and safely with fewer ground personnel required around the work area.
Both MHE Ease of Use E-Fence and Indicate are packaged with Swing Assist and Bucket Assist features at no added cost. Swing Assist, also referred to as return to trench, automatically stops machine swing at one or two set points, ideal for truck loading and trenching applications. It helps operators hit more repetitive swing targets with less effort, reducing fuel use and improving cycle times. Bucket Assist maintains last known bucket angle and keeps the cut accurate in sloping, leveling, fine grading and trenching applications.
Current production Cat 306 CR, 308 CR and 309 CR Next Gen Mini Hydraulic Excavators are shipped from the factory Ease-of-Use-ready to reduce installation time in the field. Ease of Use Indicate and E-Fence can be ordered bundled together or as separate feature packages, installed at the factory or through Cat dealers as an upgrade kit. These technologies are not currently available for Cat 308 CR Variable Angle Boom, 309 CR Variable Angle Boom, 308 CR Fixed Boom, or canopy models.
More information on MHE Ease of Use Indicate and E-Fence for Cat 6- to 9-ton mini hydraulic excavators can be found here.
Additionally, To improve machine efficiency in nursery and landscape applications, Caterpillar introduces new attachments for its range of Cat Skid Steer Loaders (SSL), Compact Track Loaders (CTL) and Compact Wheel Loaders (CWL). These purpose-built attachments cover multiple tasks, including the handling and scooping of trees, shrubs and bushes, removing and carrying stumps, and loading mulch.
New Cat nursery fork, tree scoop bucket and 1 yd3 (0.76 m3) mulch bucket attachments improve machine utilization for Cat SSL, CTL and CWL models. The new Cat stump buckets and nursery grapples are specifically designed to efficiently work with Cat SSL and CTL machines. The full range of new attachments feature durable construction for reliability in the field, and deeply serrated steps integrated into attachment design deliver secure footing for operators when entering and exiting the loaders.
Ideal for handling ball and burlap trees as well as large potted plants, Cat nursery forks come in manual and hydraulic designs. Both offer a hydraulic pivoting fork that allows the left fork to swing open to fit around multiple root balls. The right fork adjusts either manually or hydraulically, depending on the version, allowing contractors to pick and place desired trees and plants and load/unload them quickly and efficiently.
With their 70.4-in (1788-mm) usable fork length, the new large-capacity nursery forks can hold up to three 28-in (711-mm) root balls or one 54-in (1372-mm) root ball. The pivoting fork design delivers maximum opening for grasping large root balls, while the side shifting fork provides greater control and proper fit when handling different sized root balls. The 25-degree, diamond tread plate fork provides a secure grip for maximum load retention, matching the cut angle of more B&B plants. Its integrated grab handle offers a secure contact point for machine entry/exit.
Similar to nursery forks, the new Cat nursery grapple is well suited for handling ball and burlap trees and potted plants. Its paddle shape wraps around root balls ranging in size from 28 to 54 in (711 to 1372 mm) without damaging the root system or tree. Offering better control and placement, the grapple’s pivoting design helps manipulate the load in numerous positions to reduce the need for manually handling heavy plants while placing them at the nursery or loading them for transport. The tool is capable of swinging 90 degrees to the left and right, and its ability to downward tilt reaching nearly 90 degrees at any point of rotation allows easy laying of material for loading.
The new 1.0 yd3 (0.76 m3) mulch bucket loads mulch into pickup trucks and tight spaces. With its narrow, 56-in (1421-mm) width, the mulch bucket comfortably loads material inside the bed of most pickup trucks without concern for contact or damage. Minimizing waste, its smaller profile delivers the necessary clearance to load trucks without material spillage. Its 1-yd measurement is lasered into the side of the bucket, allowing customers to be confident they are getting a full load. The design’s adjustable machine interface provides proper ground contact with different hinge pin heights, so it works effectively throughout the range of Cat SSL, CTL and CWL machines.
Designed for land clearing and the removal of invasive trees, stumps and large shrubs, the stump bucket for Cat SSL and CTL models is purpose designed for removing and carrying tree stumps. Long and narrow floors allow for easy digging around and below tree and large shrub root balls. Its serrated side plates easily saw through stubborn roots, while replaceable teeth ensure long service life with a BHL style that can be changed to fork or pick style teeth. Heavy steel construction withstands twisting and prying in the tough jobs for long life reliability.
The Cat tree scoop efficiently handles shrubs and small trees at nursery sites and in landscaping applications. Capable of digging and scooping up to a 36-in (901-mm) diameter, the scoop easily transports or transplants trees and other materials. The spade profile easily digs into the ground, and a flattened tip cuts roots for easy tree removal. Welded gussets and thick plates lend to its rugged design and increased durability.
More information on the new Cat attachments for SSL, CTL and CWL models can be found by contacting a Cat dealer or visiting the Caterpillar website.
The robotic mower company says the new autonomous line allows landscape contractors to reduce mowing staff and improve profitability.
RC Mowers, a manufacturer of robotic mowers, announced the launch of its Autonomous Mowing Robot (AMR) line to help landscaping contractors reduce labor needs and scale their businesses to manage fewer employees while improving mowing profitability.
“RC Mowers’ Autonomous Mowing Robot is a revolutionary product that directly addresses the labor availability problems in the landscaping industry,” said Tim Kubista, vice president of sales and marketing for RC Mowers. “With our autonomous mowers, landscape contractors can reduce the number of employees needed to handle mowing jobs. Our AMR’s allow one operator to generate the same revenue as a crew of three. RC Mowers’ autonomous line creates the opportunity for increased profit from mowing services, which traditionally is the number one source of landscaping companies’ revenue but also generally the least profitable.”
With a focus on advanced technology and safety in mind, Michael Brandt, CEO of RC Mowers, put together a research and development team of cross-industry heavy-hitters. The autonomous line was designed and built by the RC Mowers robotics team, which is led by the experts who developed the U.S. military’s weapons guidance systems and includes experts who worked to develop U.S. Department of Defense autonomous vehicles as well as leading experts in aviation safety.
“This highly-skilled team saw the perennial problems the landscaping industry faces and then set out to develop this transformative product that solves those problems,” Kubista said. “These autonomous mowers can increase the productivity of a single operator by 300%. Landscape contractors often say they want to grow – that getting the work is easy – but they simply don’t have access to available labor that would allow them to scale their business. The Autonomous Mowing Robot solves this problem.”
Kubista said companies that transition to autonomy will have a significant competitive advantage. The services they offer will become more profitable and they’ll have the ability to grow without adding labor.
“Companies that stay at the forefront of technology are also able to attract the best talent by providing better wages because they’ve reduced their need for unskilled workers,” he said. “Skilled employees and fewer people to manage simply makes a business easier to run.”
The made-in-America Autonomous Mowing Robot will be distributed through the company’s established dealer network throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. The new AMR line joins RC Mowers’ remote-operated robotic mower line.
For more information on RC Mowers’ Autonomous Mowing Robots, click here.
SiteLight LD is a Virginia distributor specializing in landscape lighting and design.
Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply has acquired SiteLight LD, a Virginia distributor specializing in landscape lighting and design.
This acquisition expands Ewing’s geographic footprint into the Richmond market, opening the supplier’s second location in Virginia. The alignment between Ewing and SiteLight will allow contractors and landscape designers access to the same great lighting products from SiteLight, while expanding category offerings into all outdoor living and landscaping products. SiteLight customers will have access to Ewing’s full catalog of products. including pavers, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, irrigation, turf and ornamentals, tools and more.
“As we continue to expand in the Eastern Territory, we are always looking for opportunities to partner with companies that share similar philosophies as Ewing," said Phil Kerchner, Ewing Eastern Territory president. "A positive culture and one that believes in putting customers first is one of those philosophies. SiteLight has built its reputation as a premier supplier to the green industry for over 35 years doing just that. The company also provides us with a unique opportunity to launch our expansion into the Richmond, VA area while broadening our market reach throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region."
There are over 19 models in the fleet of new models.
SITHL is releasing a new line of zero-turn mowers at EQUIP this week. One being the STIHL 500 Series. Equipped with commercial-grade Hydro-Gear ZT-3400 transaxles, these mowers offer a top forward speed of 10 mph and reverse speed of 5 mph, and the advanced four-wheel suspension system with mowing deck height compensation is designed to provide a comfortable ride and consistent cutting height. With four models to choose from—the STIHL RZ 552, STIHL RZ 552 K, STIHL RZ 560 and STIHL RZ 560 K—users can maintain property with the customized options and performance of the STIHL 500 Series.
“With a choice of a professional-grade 52” or 60” mowing deck and a Briggs & Stratton or Kawasaki carbureted engine, the STIHL 500 Series gives users the power options they need to efficiently mow multi-acre properties,” said Brian Manke, STIHL Inc. product manager. “On top of all that users will experience improved performance and a more comfortable ride on uneven surfaces with the adjustable rear suspension with shock absorbers.”
STIHL now offers various financing solutions on zero-turn mowers for ease of purchase. Qualifying customers can finance STIHL zero-turns with 0% and low APR programs, and all STIHL zero-turn mowers are backed with an up to 3-year limited warranty. As an added benefit to financing a zero-turn mower with a STIHL Dealer, customers can also include an unlimited number of STIHL handheld tools on the same purchase, giving them a convenient way to fulfill all their outdoor power equipment needs.
Also new from STIHL are the STIHL 700 Series and STIHL 900 Series zero-turn mowers provide professional users with the ultimate range of mowing solutions, boasting efficient operation, smooth cuts, durable components, and a comfortable ride designed to get the job done with less fatigue. Offering a total of 12 new models within the 700 and 900 Series, pros can choose from varying deck widths from 52”-72” across the range, as well as diverse high-performing engine options from fuel-efficient EFI engines to carbureted engines.
Both the STIHL 700 and 900 Series include an advanced four-wheel suspension system with mowing deck height compensation, independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms, and rear suspension with shock absorbers. Powerful Hydro-Gear ZT transaxles deliver an efficient top-forward ground speed of 10 mph in the 700 Series and 12 mph in the 900 Series. Both professional series have a reverse speed of 5 mph, allowing the user maneuverability.
To help keep pros comfortable on the job, the 700 Series features a deluxe seat with armrests. However, the 900 Series offers superior comfort with a premium suspension seat providing an adjustable backrest, armrests and padding for comfort during longer professional jobs.
“STIHL is thrilled to launch the two professional series of zero-turn mowers,” said Brian Manke, STIHL Inc. product manager. “With three distinct engine options and various mowing deck sizes, professionals can choose the ideal mower for even the most demanding landscaping jobs.”
Both the STIHL 700 and 900 Series are equipped with the following key features and benefits:
Any Florida-based trade company assisting with recovery or rebuilding gets one year of free service.
FieldBin will offer its application free of charge for one year to any Florida-based trade company assisting with Hurricane Ian recovery or rebuilding their existing business. FieldBin’s application is designed to help contracting, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, and other trade companies manage every aspect of their business.
“Like many people across this country, we are heartbroken by the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in Florida and the unimaginable hardships its residents and businesses now face,” said Garrett Wilson, the president of FieldBin. “We hope that by giving our solution to field service trade professionals assisting with hurricane recovery, we can help them get their businesses back up and running faster so that they are then able to better manage the massive challenge of rebuilding their communities.
“The Hurricane Ian recovery effort requires significant boots on the ground, but Florida has been experiencing a significant shortage of skilled labor. Construction companies and other trade workers have an admirable history of responding quickly to disasters and emergencies, and we’d like to empower them to help in the relief efforts as best they can,” Garrett added.
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