Better Roads editors choose
the year’s top products.
some great times clambering over and operating equipment. Tires were usually too big to kick but we ﬁddled
with any dials and levers we could ﬁddle with. We went
through endless online videos and spec sheets, iPad
launches and press conferences, interviews with engineers and marketing gurus and we even made it to Paris’
huge Intermat show in spring.
What you see in our 2012 Top Rollouts is a collection
of outstanding products now in our market. We looked
for ingenuity, for engineering boldness and excellence, the
wow factor, evidence of critical thinking and evidence that
people had gone out of their way to address problems or
advance techniques, and perhaps most of all we realized
our limitations. This is a short list. Leave your company
brand or favorite brand out of the equation and try it. It
will lead to some very productive debates.
There is evidence throughout of how OEMs have
learned to seek and respond to user input, to be more
“interactive” with their customers when it comes to new
or upgraded products.
So this is our list; it probably won’t match yours top
to bottom. But it is a way for us to acknowledge some
of the industry leaders, some of the companies, some of
the engineers and designers who did something special
to bring us outstanding products – to us and our ways of
thinking the best of them – in 2012.
We want small but we want power, and there is endless pressure on engineers to deliver more of both
in the same package. The Cat people have delivered.
While boosting its 272 skid steer and 299 compact
track loader models to D Series versions, Caterpillar took the opportunity to push the boundaries
of compact construction equipment. The company
rolled out D-series version of its 272 skid steer and
299 compact track loaders at World of Concrete
2012 but it also rolled out a high-performance
XHP version of each loader. The 106-horsepower
272D XHP and 299D XHP are the largest, most
powerful skid steer and compact track loader
Caterpillar has ever built. The 9,304-pound 272D
XHP skid steer has an operating capacity of 3,600
pounds, rated at 35 percent of tipping load. The 11,647-pound 299D XHP
compact track loader has an operating capacity of 4,550 pounds, rated at 50 percent of tipping load.
6 December 2012 Better Roads