Archive for March, 2010

Volvo to build technology centre in China

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Company announces multi-million dollar investment in Jinan, China for the creation of a BRIC-country focused product design and technology center.

Volvo Construction Equipment has announced plans to build a design and technology centre that will concentrate on the development of products and components targeted at the needs of customers in the BRIC countries, as well as devising appropriate areas for cooperation between Volvo’s SDLG and Volvo brands. The approximately $40 million investment will see the centre built in Jinan, the capital city of Shangdong Province. A city of six million, it is home to a talent pool of engineers drawn from its universities and engineering focused industries.

A temporary design center is to be established in rented premises in Jinan during the construction phase, with the new centre becoming fully operational in 2012. Recruitment of engineers will begin during the third quarter of 2010, with 20 people in place by year end, rising rapidly to 60 by the end of 2011, 120 engineers by the end of 2012 and ultimately reaching its full complement of 180 people during 2013.

“This investment builds on our existing strength in product design, and is a significant vote of confidence in the competence of Chinese designers,” says Anders P. Larsson, head of Technology for Volvo Construction Equipment. “It also creates a closer bond between the Volvo and Lingong organizations, leveraging synergies as well as reinforcing the company’s strategic commitment to producing products tailored to the needs of customers in the BRIC countries.”

SDF set to launch UK’s first Agricenter

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

The UK is to have its first Agricenter – the revolutionary one-shop, one-stop agricultural and groundscare parts centre is to be launched on the 14th April at the premises of Deutz-Fahr main dealer, Pallisers of Hereford.

Already an established and successful format in several Western European countries including France, Spain and Italy, the Agricenter is a Same Deutz-Fahr initiative which enables customers to shop for parts they require, selecting items from display shelves before taking them to be checked out.

At Pallisers, some 250 square metres has been allocated to allow a generous browsing area for customers seeking parts for their agricultural and groundscare equipment. Many of the parts are either SDF branded or sourced from key suppliers such as Sparex or Draper Tools – the idea is provide customers with the widest and most comprehensive range of parts and accessories available.

“I see the launch of the Agricenter as an important development of our business,” says David Palliser. “For the first time our customers will have access to an incredibly wide range of parts – from oil filters to service their tractors to new blades to fit on their ride-on mower, and literally thousands of other items.”

Experience with Agricenters in France, where there are currently 10 up and running and another 28 planned, reveals that this self-service approach is not only well received by customers but also encourages impulse purchases of other items.

“It’s a totally new concept which takes customers away from the stilted and limiting traditional counter service most dealerships offer,” explains SDF’s parts marketing manager, John Percy, who adds there are advantages for customers and dealers alike.

“Customers can select and handle items on offer at the point of sale, check out prices and make decisions – just as they do in stores generally. Dealers, meanwhile, can expect higher sales of parts and accessories and can employ special seasonal promotions to boost sales.

“It has also been proven that dealerships having an Agricenter will attract a higher number of visits ensuring maximum exposure for other facets of the business.”

SDF Agricenter for industry news

Bord na Móna buys John Deere tractors from TFM

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Templetuohy Farm Machinery and John Deere have secured a major five year fleet deal with Bord na Móna for the sale of 245 tractors, after an extensive tender process last summer.

The five year deal will see 133 machines being delivered in 2010 and the remaining 112 over the following four years to 2014. A total of 189 6830 Standard 140hp tractors and 56 new 5070M 70hp tractors will be supplied by TFM, all on dual wheels, for use in the Bord’s peat harvesting operations.

This is both the dealer’s and John Deere’s biggest ever deal with Bord Na Móna, which has been hiring a number of John Deere tractors for the past five years.

“The Bord usually keeps its tractors for a long time, so when the decision was made to buy rather than hire, the Bord’s group procurement manager Declan McDonnell was particularly looking for reliable and durable machines,” says TFM’s dealer principal Jimmy Butler.

“From previous experience, the Bord appreciated the performance and reliability of John Deere tractors, and knew that they had a proven ability to work in the harsh peat bog environment. We are delighted to have won the contract, and look forward to working closely with the Bord to deliver and service their new tractors over the next five years.”

5090M tractor C

6830 tractor C for industry news and used farm machinery

JCB And Their Massive Investment Results In Industry’s Cleanest Engine

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

JCB has made one of the biggest investments in its history to develop the off-highway sector’s cleanest engine in readiness for incoming emissions legislation.

The company has invested around £80 million in researching and developing a new combustion system for the new JCB Ecomax T4 4.4 litre engine – the latest generation of JCB Dieselmax engine. The investment has delivered an industry-first solution which eliminates the need for any exhaust after-treatment and delivers cost savings for mid-range customers.

The engine is now undergoing full in-field testing before going into production in 2012 to meet Tier 4 interim/Stage 3B legislation.

The keys benefits of the innovation are:

Reduced fuel consumption
Reduced cost of ownership
Better reliability
Better packaging and no compromise of machine design

Alan Tolley, JCB’s Director of Engine Programmes, said: “Meeting Tier 4 emissions legislation is a massive challenge but also a huge opportunity for innovation; an opportunity to come up with a solution that has real advantages for our customers. We believe the result is not only the off highway sector’s cleanest engine, but a first for our industry.

“The expectation for the first part of Tier 4 interim/Stage 3B legislation was that to achieve these really low particulate levels you needed to fit a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF).

“But when you look at that technology for our particular part of the market, namely mid-range construction equipment, we see there are some real disadvantages with that solution, in particular increased fuel consumption through increased back pressure to the engine. Also, in many applications load cycles are light and the DPF doesn’t self regenerate so you have to force it to do so and it needs fuel to do it.

“Our strategy therefore has been to meet Tier 4 interim emission standards without a DPF but also to achieve this without any exhaust after-treatment. We have focussed our research and development efforts on a high efficiency combustion system; in other words we have made sure we don’t create the pollutants to start with rather than try and deal with them later. This approach also gives us very low fuel consumption levels.

“The solution we have come up with gives significant advantages for our customers for packaging and integration. On machines there is not much spare room in the engine compartment and we had a lot of discussion about how to optimise the machines, their design and functionality. The risk with something like Tier 4 is that in order to package everything you have to compromise those elements and we were not willing to do that which is what drove us to pursue a different technology solution.

“One of the advantages we have as a company that makes machines and engines is that we can come up with a final machine product which is better optimised.

“The real end user benefits come in the shape of reduced cost of ownership and reduced fuel consumption and better reliability. We see DPFs as a significant reliability risk; that has certainly been the experience in the automotive sector. We knew the emissions limits were very challenging but we always had the belief and objective of achieving it without putting the onerous burden on our customers.”

Better by design
Since its launch in 2004 the JCB Dieselmax engine, which powered the JCB Dieselmax car to a world diesel landspeed record of 350mph on the Salts Flats in Bonneville, USA, in 2006, has undergone continual development. More than 100,000 engines are now working in the field globally, recording class-leading levels of performance and reliability. The latest developments will see the Dieselmax engines cleanly past the Stage IIIB/Tier 4 Interim legislation that will come into effect for engines of this size in 2012.

As many engines within the 129kW (75-175hp) range are used in plant and equipment that is operated under variable light loads, there can be concerns about Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) regeneration, with the engine management system having to force the regeneration process by burning additional fuel. This is not only inefficient but can result in additional service requirements, substantial cost increases and the risk of damage to the DPF if a contractor uses a high sulphur fuel.

To achieve the next round of emissions regulations, JCB Power Systems has worked closely with research and development specialist Ricardo, using computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and a Ricardo designed combustion bowl to perfect the combustion process.

With second generation common rail fuel injection technology, injection pressures have been raised to 2,000 bar and nozzle hole geometry has been refined to provide highly effective atomisation and distribution of the fuel within the cylinder. JCB has incorporated variable geometry turbochargers on all but the lowest powered 55kW Dieselmax engine, which falls under a slightly different emission regulation. Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is also used to clean up the exhaust gases before they are passed from the engine. This means that there is no requirement for any exhaust after-treatment components to meet these emissions levels on the 4.4 litre JCB Ecomax T4 engine.

The company has worked with fuel system and electronics specialist Delphi to develop an electronic control system with a form of learning capacity, that will ensure that the engine stays within its intended parameters even as the components settle throughout their design life.

Benefit to the Customer
As well as there being no need to fit a costly exhaust after-treatment system, there has been no requirement to increase the cooling pack size or to reduce service intervals from their standard 500 hours. In addition, under test conditions, the engines have been achieving a 5-10 per cent fuel consumption improvement compared to the previous generation.

The engine design is also future-proofed, as the structural architecture, the componentry and systems will remain the same for Stage 4/Tier 4 Final regulations in the future, at which time exhaust
after-treatment for NOx reduction may be unavoidable.

Investment In The Future
JCB has invested heavily in its Power Systems business in Derbyshire, UK, to meet the requirements of its customers and legislators. The original 4.4 litre Dieselmax 444 engine has been joined by a 4.8 litre Dieselmax 448 version, while power ratings have been extended at both ends of the scale.
The latest investment sees the opening of one of the most sophisticated engine test cells currently in operation in the UK. JCB Power Systems has built 10 test cells, and will initially operate six cells. Each cell is capable of carrying out the full EU transient test cycle that is required to meet Stage IIIB and Tier 4 Interim legislation and the cells can handle engines with up to 300kW of power output, leaving room for further expansion in the future.

To meet this increase in workload, JCB Power Systems has increased its research and development team by 40 per cent, investing further in the JCB Dieselmax range.

This continual investment in technology, research and development of the JCB Dieselmax engine line will ensure that JCB stays at the forefront of diesel engine technology. JCB Power Systems will continue to provide customers around the world with low fuel consumption emissions compliant powertrains, without unnecessary expense or complex exhaust after-treatment.

EcomaxT405 for industry news and technology

Auto-section control for more implements

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Increased accuracy and lower costs can be achieved by using automatic section control on the growing number of ISOBUS-ready sprayers, fertiliser spreaders and seed drills, using the new Application Pro Universal system from John Deere.

John Deere’s AMS (Agricultural Management Solutions) division has introduced optional Sprayer Pro, Seeder Pro and Spreader Pro modules on the latest GreenStar 2 precision farming software packages, for use with the GreenStar 2600 in-cab display. These allow third party machines to be switched automatically on and off of according to their GPS position, in the same way as John Deere’s established Sprayer Pro system on its trailed and self-propelled sprayers.

The Sprayer Pro package includes automatic boom section control and an automatic master on/off control at the headland. Sprayer Pro takes over control of the boom sections and automatically switches them on and off when entering an area that has already been sprayed or is located outside the set field boundaries.

Initially, only Kverneland ISOBUS implements are being supported by the new Application Pro Universal system. However, other brands of ISOBUS machine will be tested and added to the approved compatibility list in due course, to provide the same auto-section control benefits. A complete list of currently compatible ISOBUS equipment can be found on John Deere’s Stellar Support website (

Research has shown that average cost savings in crop inputs of between £2.60 and £5.20/ha can be easily achieved using this type of control system, with greater savings possible depending on the product being applied and the type of application – and the greater the level of positioning accuracy, the greater the savings.

Chief benefits include the avoidance of over- and underdosing, to create the best possible growing conditions for the crop and help maximise yields. Lodging can be reduced, as well as crop damage or disease problems arising from the application of incorrect chemical dose rates at the headlands.

With the introduction of these Application Pro Universal modules, two new features have been added to existing GreenStar Sprayer Pro systems for use with the GreenStar Display 2600. Headland Control allows inputs to be applied to the main part of the field first and afterwards to the headlands.

When spraying for example, the machine no longer has to travel through previously treated areas – so any chemical deposit on the machine, which is one potential source of environmental pollution, is reduced. In addition, when planting or drilling, overlaps can be minimised automatically without the need for any manual measurement or control.

The second new feature allows up to 25 pieces of information about each crop input to be stored, so all the relevant product information can now be shown on the display at the point of application. Without GreenStar Sprayer Pro or one of the new modules, only the product name, type, measurement units and application rate can be shown.

This is particularly important for tasks such as chemical spraying. Harvest interval, the latest application date, buffer zone conditions and active ingredient details can all be at the fingertips of the operator in the field. If Farmade software is also being used, this data may be transferred from the farm office PC to the field as part of the work plan or prescription.

John Deere Application Pro Universal_Kverneland for industry news and used farm machinery


Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Volvo Trucks announces that the company will be introducing an important new truck at BAUMA 2010 Construction Show in Munich – the Volvo FMX.

The FMX has been designed specifically for heavy on/off-road tasks within the Construction segment.

“This is a great truck, and I’m very proud of it,” says Staffan Jufors, President and CEO at Volvo Trucks. “The new Volvo FMX really puts us – and our customers – in pole position.”

Towards further specialisation

Volvo Trucks has been producing construction trucks since 1928. Today, however, the Volvo FMX marks a new phase towards further specialisation. This has resulted in a separation of the highly successful FM range into two dedicated parts – Construction and Distribution.

“Customers are asking for increased specialisation and we are listening to them,” explains Staffan Jufors. “The purpose-engineered Volvo FMX is the proof – a truck that truly reflects its capabilities, inside and out. It breathes construction.”

Growing focus on Construction

The Volvo FMX is the latest contribution to Volvo Trucks’ aggressive product strategy – the most challenging product plan in the history of the company. The upcoming launch sends a powerful signal that Volvo is increasing its focus within the Construction segment.

“We are already successful with our current Volvo FM model, particularly in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Nordic markets, but with the new specialised Volvo FMX we see a huge potential to increase market share even further – in all markets,” comments Staffan Jufors.

Press Conference at BAUMA

The world premier and official press conference for the Volvo FMX will be held on the Volvo stand (Hall C4) at the BAUMA exhibition in Munich on Monday April 19th at 11am CET.

More information will be available then, as well as published on the Volvo Trucks media site and on the specially designed launch site:

FMX badge

FMX mystery for industry news

Drivers in Europe to win a brand new R-series truck

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The new Scania R-series truck is not only the truck of the year 2010. It’s also the first prize in the Young European Truck Driver 2010.

The Young European Truck Driver 2010 is Europe’s largest competition for drivers of heavy trucks. Thousands of skilled young drivers are taking part in qualifying rounds all over Europe. The winner in each country is invited to the final in Södertälje, Sweden, where the winner gets the first prize – a brand new Scania R-series truck.

So, if you’re a young European truck driver under 35 who knows how to reduce your vehicle’s environmental impact, how to drive safely and is also familiar with the transport business, register for the competition and go for a new Scania R-series.

Click here to visit your country website to register!

Win-a-brand-new-R-series-Tr for industry news


Monday, March 22nd, 2010

At the Energitinget energy symposium in Stockholm on 16th-17th March, Volvo Trucks presented several solutions showing that the company is a leader in alternative fuels for trucks performing both long-haul and local operations. These solutions could play a key role in helping Sweden and EU achieve their target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2020.

“We will soon initiate field testing of both methane diesel technology and bio-DME technology,” revealed Lennart Pilskog, Volvo Trucks’ Director of Public Affairs, at the Energitinget symposium. “This is a continuation of Volvo Trucks’ 2007 initiative, when the company presented drivable trucks for seven different alternative fuels.”

Bio-DME trucks to be tested this autumn

Energitinget 2010 was the 12th such symposium and attracted around 2,300 visitors. At the symposium, five speakers from Volvo Trucks discussed energy efficiency, logistics and fuel development. Volvo Trucks also spoke about one of its focus areas in alternative fuels: Bio-DME, which produces 95% lower CO2 emissions than diesel. In September 2010, field testing will start using the first FH trucks with 13-litre engines. The company also announced which customers will participate in the field tests.

“It has just been finalised that six haulage companies in four locations will drive the trucks daily in both long-haul and local operations,” said Per Salomonsson, DME project manager at Volvo. “These hauliers are DHL, Posten Logistik, Green Cargo, Bröderna Lindqvist Åkeri, J-Trans and Ragn-Sells. The field tests will be evaluated in 2012 and we will decide how to proceed after that.”

Methane diesel soon to be commercialised

Volvo Trucks is also at the forefront in developing methane diesel technology. According to Lennart Pilskog, this technology offers an extremely attractive combination of lower CO2 emissions, high energy efficiency, excellent drivability and reduced maintenance costs.

Field tests of methane diesel technology for gas operation will soon start in collaboration with eight Swedish haulage companies, which will use diesel and methane gas (CNG) in Volvo FL and Volvo FE trucks with 7-litre engines.

Methane diesel technology also suitable for long-haul operations

The next step is a new solution presented at Energitinget – diesel combined with liquid methane gas (LNG). The solution will be field-tested in the UK and Sweden on Volvo FM trucks with 13-litre engines during 2010.

“Methane gas combined with diesel in a diesel engine offers twice the operational range of a traditional spark ignition gas engine. Liquid methane gas offers four times the operational range of the gas trucks typically used today, making the technology highly attractive for long-haul operations,” explains Pilskog. “What’s more, if the gas filling stations are too far apart, the truck can continue running on diesel-only. This technology could play a key role in helping Sweden achieve its target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.”

“We’ve taken several important steps towards commercialising the technology and plan to start selling trucks powered by methane gas and diesel in 2011. We’ll start with a limited number of trucks with a view to increasing the volumes in 2012,” he added.

Collaboration gets results

“The important thing for us is to achieve results, and this is best done by collaborating with other players,” explains Lars Mårtensson, Environmental Director, Volvo Trucks. “We maintain active dialogue with fuel producers and distributors, transport and logistics companies, authorities and research institutions etc, but we are open to further collaborations.”

One concrete example is the ‘Klimatneutrala godstransporter på väg’ (Climate Neutral Road Haulage) project – a collaboration between authorities, universities, manufacturers and the transport industry. This network has provided the basis for several joint projects between the participants, including field testing of the new fuels.

“Chemrec will establish a production facility in Piteå, Sweden, in preparation for the Bio-DME tests, and Preem will build filling stations in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Jönköping and Piteå. In the methane diesel field tests, AGA, Eon and Fordonsgas will be responsible for establishing the filling stations for liquid methane gas.

Customers looking to reduce their CO2 emissions will actively participate in the tests and authorities will work on establishing regulations,” explains Pilskog.

FL - Methane-diesel 1 for industry news

RTK goes mobile, and further

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

John Deere’s AMS (Agricultural Management Solutions) division has announced two new ways of supplying farm vehicles with highly accurate GPS correction signals for precision farming applications – a mobile RTK system with an industry exclusive ‘fall-back’ feature, and a unique method of extending the signal reliably from an RTK base station.

Using the StarFire RTK (real time kinematic) system, it is possible to achieve a repeatable accuracy of only +/- 2cm. This is recommended for customers who require the very highest levels of accuracy for crop establishment, treatment and harvesting applications, such as potato growers or those wishing to carry out controlled traffic farming (CTF).

As an alternative to the existing base station system, the new StarFire Mobile RTK option instead uses a modem connected to the vehicle-mounted StarFire iTC receiver to provide a correction signal via the Vodafone mobile phone network and a central internet-based server.

The central server automatically calculates the optimum error correction for the vehicle’s location, maintaining +/- 2cm repeatable accuracy regardless of the vehicle’s position. In this way, StarFire Mobile RTK eliminates the build-up of inaccuracy at distance, which is inherent in all base station RTK systems. The correction signal is provided by Axio-Net, a member of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) group.

Other benefits, over and above those offered by fixed base station systems, include wider coverage without the need to maintain a ‘line of sight’ contact with the base station. RTK accuracy and repeatability can then be employed more practically by those working over wide geographical areas (for example contractors), without the need to change receiver settings.

Signal loss caused by hills, trees or buildings, which strongly affect the performance of base station RTK systems, is not a significant factor in StarFire Mobile RTK operation. Signal acquisition is extremely fast, from one to three minutes, and the modem can be quickly moved from machine to machine along with the GreenStar display and StarFire iTC receiver.

StarFire Mobile RTK also includes a ‘fall-back’ to satellite-based SF2 correction (+/- 10cm) in areas where mobile phone coverage is poor. With this industry exclusive feature, StarFire Mobile RTK allows work to continue in situations where users of other types of GPS correction system would be forced to stop.

StarFire Mobile RTK works with any of John Deere’s GreenStar 2 in-cab displays, and offers an ideal upgrade for existing users of SF1 or SF2 correction signals who are looking to increase the accuracy of their operations. Initially the Axio-Net correction signal is available across most of central and eastern England, and it is recommended that the Vodafone coverage for a particular area is checked before ordering a system.

New multiple repeater for StarFire RTK

John Deere’s new StarFire RTK multiple repeater is designed to extend and improve the range and effectiveness of an RTK base station network. This industry exclusive breakthrough makes it possible to use several radio repeaters per base station without the signal interference issues encountered by other systems, in which only one repeater can be used. It does this by using different frequencies for receiving and retransmitting the GPS correction signal.

With this exclusive John Deere technology, up to nine repeaters can be linked together with a single RTK base station. This greatly reduces the cost of covering a wide area with the RTK signal, and multiple repeaters do not need to be licensed like the higher powered base stations. It also provides the extra flexibility needed to get the correction signal around almost any obstacle, and makes the system easier to set up for shared base station networks.

StarFire Mobile RTK for industry news and farm machinery


Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The strong position of the Volvo FM within the regional distribution segment is further strengthened with the release of a new version of this well-proven truck.

Strong, modern and efficient

The most obvious change is the new exterior design that features a new grille and headlights for example, all clearly inspired by the Volvo FH. Simply put, this truck is built to look like a leader – strong, modern and efficient. New features, such as anti-slip windscreen steps and interior trim enhancements further refine the truck’s top-class comfort and safety, giving a sense that it is a continuously evolving leader and top-of-the-line distribution truck.

“It’s a ‘complete’ truck in every sense of the word,” says Claes Nilsson, President Europe Division at Volvo Trucks. “With the updated Volvo FM, we want to further strengthen this truck’s contribution to the segment and reinforce its position as the best truck in its class for regional transport. So much is already built into the Volvo FM in terms of comfort, safety and fuel efficiency, so it was more a matter of further fine-tuning, based on feedback we have received from customers.”

Complements recent FM news

The new release complements previous Volvo FM innovations, including the recently-updated automated I-Shift gearbox and Volvo’s recently-introduced new engine range that offers more power from less fuel. According to Volvo, the 13-litre engine – in combination with the Volvo I-Shift – reduces fuel consumption by up to three per cent compared to the earlier version, while offering power output of up to 500 hp and peak torque of 2500 Nm. The alternative 11-litre engine gives customers high load capacity, while offering high performance and impressive fuel efficiency. Both the D13 and D11 engines are also available in variants tailored for the Enhanced Environmental Vehicle (EEV) requirements.

New cab packages offer tailored comfort and economy

The new version of the Volvo FM also gives customers more choice. For example, Volvo is introducing a full range of cab packages to suit both operation and application. “The new cab packages give customers more choices and opportunities to optimise the truck to specific needs in terms of driver comfort and economy, for more productive and profitable operations,” says Claes Nilsson.



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