Komatsu, AgJunction Team Up to Automate Trucks on Jobsites

Komatsu and AgJunction have are partnering in a project designed to automate the operation of multiple off-highway trucks on construction sites.

The two companies will use what Komatsu is calling “Digital Transformation Smartconstruction” or DX Smartconstruction to examine how multiple automated trucks can flexibly respond to different work conditions. First fruits of the joint project are expected to be unveiled in Japan within the next two years.

The challenges to effectively using automation in the ever-changing construction environment are many, Komatsu notes. Loading, dumping and haul routes frequently change and the trucks must find their way around workers, other equipment and materials.

The partnership will combine AgJunction’s general-purpose automation kit, which enables real-time obstacle detection and avoidance, with Komatsu’s planned automation-compatible dump trucks. The two companies say they will take advantage of Komatsu’s DX Smartconstruction platform, which provides truck operating instructions that respond to position information and downloaded construction plans.  This joint effort is also designed to cut both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by using optimal truck deployment and haul routes.

[Related: Komatsu, Honda Team Up to Build Micro Electric Excavators.]

AgJunction, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, previously integrated customized autosteering systems for Komatsu’s construction equipment used in agricultural markets. AgJunction currently provides automation modules that support mapping, path planning and autosteering for these machines.

The two companies will work together to provide automated operations for construction sites that build on AgJunction’s Novariant division’s proprietary autosteering, connectivity and sensor fusion technology. During the first phase, the partnership will develop a proof-of-concept system to showcase safe operations using Noviariant’s advanced obstacle detection and avoidance  algorithms. 

“After the successful integration of the customized autosteering, we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Novariant in developing an automated system capable of being integrated on multiple vehicle platforms for construction workplaces,” says Yuichi Iwamoto, Komatsu chief technology officer. “Automated operation of multiple dump trucks is required to achieve safe, highly-productive, smart and clean workplaces of the future.”

Case Adds Leica’s OEM-Fit 2D, 3D Machine Control to D Series Excavators

Case Construction Equipment has added the option of Leica Geosystem’s OEM-Fit 2D and 3D machine control systems to its Case D Series excavators.

Case SiteControl Certified dealers will install the systems, ensuring that it is properly installed and tested. The systems can also be part of the acquisition process, with financing or lease approval grouped with the purchase of the machine into a single package.

“It takes the guesswork out of what solution works best with each machine, and ensures that it is installed and tested by certified professionals before it’s delivered to the contractor,” says Nathaniel Waldschmidt, product manager, Case. “The excavator and the machine control system are optimally matched and calibrated — helping the owners and operators of each machine get up and running immediately upon delivery of the machine.”  

In addition, Case says OEM-Fit  machine control solutions increase the residual/resale value of equipped excavators, and let used buyers know that the system is designed and proven to work with the machine.

“Machine control has the ability to transform the productivity, efficiency and long-term profitability of excavators,” Waldschmidt says. “We’re now making the addition of machine control with excavators completely turnkey.”

Case says the Leica system offers several features that increase the productivity, safety and accuracy of excavators while providing an easy-to-use hardware and software platform.

Case’s D series excavators range from the 30,140-pound DX130D to the 158,300-pound CKL750D.

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The Long and Short of it: Cat’s New Wheeled M319, M320 Excavators

Caterpillar has taken the wraps off a pair of new wheeled excavators, the Cat M319 with a short front-end design and the Cat M320 with a longer wheelbase.

Wheeled excavators excel at urban sites, whether it be working from paved surfaces, traveling from point to point or operating inside cities. The compact footprint of the Cat M319 gets you into and out of confined workspaces whether it be utility work, general excavating or trenching.

With its minimal, 6-foot, 3-inch tail swing, you can dig, swing and dump with limited side overhang making it possible to work up against buildings, built structures, other machines or barriers. And when scooting over to the next job, you can road this machine at speeds up to 21.7 miles per hour.

The 46,407-pound M319 runs on a Cat C4.4 diesel engine putting out 171 net horsepower. It digs down to 18-feet, 10-inches and reaches up to 30-feet, 3-inches. Maximum loading height is 25-feet, 7-inches.  Auxiliary hydraulic options with high- and medium-pressure circuits and one and two-way pressure flow allow you to tailor the machine configuration a wide range of attachments.  

Cat M320

With its longer wheelbase, the Cat M320 increases operating stability, improves machine ride when roading and offers up to nine percent more swing torque than its predecessor, the Cat M320F.

A Cat C4.4 diesel engine with 129.4 horsepower provides the punch as this 46,740-pound machine digs to a depth of 19-feet, 9-inches. Max reach is 30-feet, 6-inches and loading height comes in at 22-feet, 10-inches. On-demand electric cooling fans conserve fuel and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) to lower operating costs. And it can run on B20 biodiesel.

A dedicated swing pump provides consistent power. The advanced hydraulic system automatically balances power and efficiency to give operators more machine control for precise working requirements. When the job calls for it, a heavy lift mode boosts lifting capacities.

The M320 also reduces service time with centralized grease points and an automatic lubrication system option for the implement and swing system. 

Features in common

On both machines you’ll find an updated the cab on with a new 10-inch touchscreen monitor and intuitive machine controls. You can program joystick configurations and power preferences and recall operator-specific settings based on a unique operator ID.  A tilt-up console makes cab entry and exit easier and viscous mounts reduce vibration feedback in the cab, keeping you more comfortable and focused during all-day work sessions. 

As for maintenance, fluid sampling ports and daily maintenance points can all be accessed from ground level to simplify these chores. You can also track filter life and maintenance intervals inside the cab via the touchscreen monitor.

The operator ID features a push button start for added security, and the M320 offers a Bluetooth enabled key fob. Also useful on crowded jobsites is an optional 360-degree visibility system that pulls together video from multiple cameras around the machine to give operators a complete view of their surroundings.

Two cab designs are available. Deluxe comes standard with a heated and air-adjustable seat. Premium offers a heated and ventilated seat that automatically adjusts.


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Colorado Becomes First State to Require Greenhouse Gas Data on Asphalt Mixes

A new Colorado law requires contractors to submit data that show the environmental impact of the asphalt mixes they will use on road and bridge projects, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

The new Buy Clean Colorado Act affects projects advertised beginning July 1, 2022, by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The same requirement holds for cement and concrete mixtures and steel. NAPA says Colorado is the first state to extend the requirement to asphalt mixes statewide.

Another part of the law could also affect driveways and parking lots for construction of public buildings, NAPA says. The Office of the State Architect is in charge of that part of the law, which also affects cement and concrete mixtures, glass, steel and wood structural elements.

To comply, asphalt mixes and other affected materials will be required to have an “environmental product declaration,” or EPD.

Joseph Shacat, NAPA director of sustainable pavements, likened the EPD to the nutritional labels found on food products.

“Instead of counting calories,” he said during a recent webinar on the new law, “… you’re counting things like how much energy is involved with producing this product.”

Building material label environmental product declaration
The West Coast Climate & Materials Management Forum likens the environmental product declaration, or EPD, for building materials similar to a nutritional label required on food. In the above example, the forum illustrates an EPD label for concrete mix to show the environmental impact of its production.West Coast Climate & Materials Management ForumCompliance will come down to the asphalt plant level, which will be required to detail the greenhouse gas emissions of the entire asphalt production process, from “cradle to gate,” Shacat said. That includes acquiring the materials, transporting materials and asphalt mix production.

The main greenhouse gas producers in the process are burner fuel consumption in drying aggregates, asphalt binder content and hauling aggregate, Shacat said.

“If you’re an asphalt mix producer and you’re providing your material to a project funded by the state of Colorado, you’re going to have to be doing EPDs within the next year or so,” Shacat said.

To help comply with the law, plants can use NAPA’s Emerald Eco-Label web-based software tool, which can create an EPD in 15 or so minutes for an asphalt mix, says Kelly Kanaras, NAPA director of marketing.

As the CDOT collects EPDs for its construction projects, it will use them to formulate a policy by 2025 to reduce greenhouse gases, according to NAPA.

For building construction, the Office of the State Architect will establish a procurement policy in 2024 that uses EPDs to determine compliance with greenhouse gas emission limits for each material, NAPA says.

Contractors and construction material producers around the country could soon become affected by such Clean Buy laws. Shacat noted that President Joe Biden has made climate change a top priority and there have also been discussions of requiring EPDs for federal projects, such as natural parks and military bases.

As infrastructure discussions continue, greenhouse gas emissions and the use of low-carbon materials could be tied to highway funding. Shacat noted that the CLEAN Future Act, which was recently introduced in the U.S. House, would require EPDs on materials for federal projects. The bill calls for “net zero greenhouse gas pollution no later than 2050.”

On the federal level, Shacat said, there is still uncertainty whether EPDs will be required and, if so, to what extent.

“We don’t now clearly yet what the direction is,” he said. “We know they are going to be looking at EPDs. We’re just not sure how it’s going to be implemented.”

Buy Clean Legislation map
This map shows where “Buy Clean” legislation, which would require greenhouse gas data on construction materials used in public projects, has been passed or considered. Colorado became the first state to enact such a law that includes asphalt mixes. (Note: The map has not been updated to reflect Colorado’s status change.)NAPA 

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concrete construction

How To Evaluate The Different Types Of Concrete Work



Before you contact any concrete service, you should do some preliminary research. First of all, you should identify your needs and what the concrete services offer that can help you meet those needs. For instance, if you need some decorative concrete work done around a pool or patio, you should contact a poolside contractor to see what types of decorative concrete services are available. You may be able to get an estimate over the phone right then and there, or you might have to visit the site. Some contractors offer online estimates as well.


Once you have identified your needs, you should look for DIY possibilities. This will depend on what your needs are as far as concrete work is concerned. Many factors influence the price of such things as concrete work. If you are looking for simply putting in a walkway or driveway, you can probably get it done for a few hundred dollars. For more complex projects, like putting in a pool, a new roof, or a patio, you may have to spend several thousand dollars.


It would help if you also considered the types of concrete services you want before contacting any contractors. For example, if you want to get colored cracks in your driveway, you can get the DIY version of stamped concrete cracks. You can also get colored decorative finishes on various parts of the project. These include black stone, marbles, browns, and even gold leaf. These are just some examples, and you can use whatever you like. In fact, some DIY concrete services will allow you to choose your own color finishes.


Another thing to think about is whether you want DIY concrete services for various types of concrete work. For example, you can get a decorative concrete finish that will seal the surface after being stained or painted. You can also get a sealer that will prevent water from seeping into the slab or hole. There are many different types of sealers, and some of the most popular ones include concrete sealers, UV sealers, slip-resistant sealers, and water-based sealants.

Concrete Contractor Near Me

Before you start looking for a decorative finishes contractor, you will also need to ask how old the slabs in your home are. If your flooring is several decades old, then you should probably consider replacing it with new ones. This will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to spend time and money getting them repaired or replaced.


Before you start searching for a concrete job contractor, you will also need to make sure you ask for quotes on various types of projects, including the square yards required for the project and the total cost. The project’s price depends on many factors, including the material used, the size of the slab, its shape, and the finishing techniques used. Some contractors will quote a price based on the square yards of concrete required, while others will quote based on the overall number of square yards.


You can find the average cost of concrete jobs online by visiting websites that display the service’s quotes. Most of these websites also allow you to contact past customers and obtain their opinions about the contractor’s service. It’s important not to place too much value on the quote but keep in mind that it will always differ from company to company. It is important to keep in mind that you might not always get the same service you get from one company to another. This is especially true if you live in different areas or have been offered a special deal.


Once you’ve received quotes and discussed the project with the contractors, it will be time to start looking at the different decorative options available. A popular way to enhance the appearance of concrete floors is by applying decorative finishing methods like stained concrete and stamped concrete cutting. Stained concrete is done by applying colors to the slabs, ranging from vibrant colors like red, orange, green, yellow, blue, and black to more subdued shades. Colored concrete is also popular in many homes as it can add a lot of character and charm to a room.