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Interview with Aaron Kleingartner: Machine-to-Machine Communication

Rental Equipment Register (RER) provides coverage of emerging trends, operational techniques, market updates on key equipment lines and business insights. Currently, RER is running a series of interviews with manufacturers.

Here’s a recent article on an interview with Aaron Kleingartner, Doosan Construction Equipment Marketing Manager. He speaks about the growth of telematics, automation and links between units, larger reduced-tail-swing machines, improved fuel delivery systems, and more.

RER: What are the latest technological developments with your equipment?

Kleingartner: Doosan excavators offer the ability to control the auxiliary hydraulic flow and pressure for multiple attachments. A rental store can set the maximum flow and pressure for the attachment that is paired with the Doosan excavator going out on rent. For example, if a customer rents an excavator with a hydraulic breaker, the rental store can set the maximum flow and pressure for use with the breaker. Too much flow can be detrimental to the breaker. The same can be said for other attachments, including a hydraulic clamp. Rental stores can adjust the flow and pressure from the settings for use with a hydraulic breaker to the hydraulic clamp.

A growing trend with earthmoving equipment – articulated dump trucks, excavators and wheel loaders – is the ability to remotely monitor it. This is commonly known as telematics. For example, a rental store can remotely monitor a machine for any errors/faults, as well as keep tabs on a machine’s location. Some telematics systems allow owners to set geofences around equipment. When the equipment goes outside of the geofence, the owner is notified via email or text message.

What trends do you see and do you expect to see in earthmoving equipment in the near future?

Kleingartner: I expect more remote management and visibility to the earthmoving equipment, as well as other equipment on the jobsite. In other words, how are the machines working together (in tandem). I see continued automation, in terms of when an articulated dump truck is full and where the truck is located.

There was a lot of interesting technology at the Conexpo show, such as use of drone technology in earthmoving equipment, virtual reality training and more sophisticated use of telematics. What were some of the new technological advancements you have made?

Kleingartner: Doosan continues to enhance its telematics offering to customers who purchase excavators, wheel loaders and articulated dump trucks. In terms of the rental market, we expect continued development in machine-to-machine communication to improve operating efficiencies on jobsites, especially when two or more machines are working together.

It appears that hybrid machines are now more popular than in the past? Do you find more of a demand for them in the rental market?

Kleingartner: Overall, we do not see an increased demand for hybrid machines in the rental market. In certain applications, a customer who needs to supplement his or her earthmoving equipment may request a hybrid machine; however, earthmoving contractors who rent machines are typically more concerned about how much material they need to move. Often times, they are supplementing their fleet to get a specific job completed where production is a higher priority.

Are you finding increased demand for any particular kinds of machines from the rental market?

Kleingartner: There is an increased acceptance and use of reduced-tail-swing crawler excavators in the rental market. Infrastructure work, such as repairing roads and bridges, is better suited for reduced-tail-swing excavators because it requires fewer lanes of traffic to be closed. Reduced-tail-swing crawler excavators have typically been on the smaller size; however, during CONEXPO, we saw some companies introducing larger reduced-tail-swing excavators – as large as 30-metric tons – to accommodate the growing demand for this style.

What kind of knowledge of technology is necessary for rental companies to help their contractor customers?

Kleingartner: One of the challenges faced by rental companies is the variance between manufacturers and how to program certain machine features. Earlier, we explained how a rental store can set the maximum flow and pressure for an attachment to protect the attachment from potential damage during the rental. This process can vary among manufacturers and make it difficult for rental stores to know how to program each machine. Generally speaking, customers renting an

Generally speaking, customers renting an earthmoving machine are likely supplementing their existing fleet to help complete a project or are renting a machine for a niche application. They’re looking for a machine that is reliable and durable, and will help contribute toward finishing a project on time. Rental customers are probably not looking for a machine with the newest gadget or accessory because it’s all about productivity from a quality product.

How have machines improved (or not improved) with the advent of Tier 4 technology?

Kleingartner: Interim Tier 4 and Tier 4 emission standards not only improved air quality for everyone, they allowed manufacturers to introduce product enhancements that increase performance, productivity, operator comfort and fuel efficiency. For example, continued enhancements to fuel delivery systems allow engines to work more efficiently and deliver more usable power to the machine’s systems; thereby increasing the operator’s productivity. In other words, the operator can get more work done in less time because the machine performs at a higher level of performance.

Are earthmoving machines more fuel efficient than in the past? If so, how, and to what degree?

Kleingartner: Yes, Doosan earthmoving machines continue to improve fuel efficiency from prior generations. For example, from Tier 3 to Tier 4 machine iterations, Doosan machine fuel efficiency improved between 5 to 10 percent.

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