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Dredging Exhibits Enjoy Brisk Business at Conexpo-Con/Agg 2014

Larry, left, and Lawrence Matteson, visited the show to view equipment for their company Flynt River Inc. They sold their dredging operation to GLDD in 2011

Larry, left, and Lawrence Matteson, visited the show to view equipment for their company Flynt River Inc. They sold their dredging operation to GLDD in 2011

Photos By Judith Powers

From left, Marketing/Sales Manager Henry Boschen, CEO Tony Maitlen, and President Randy Maitlen had a steady stream of customers at the VMI, Inc. booth.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2014 drew nearly 130,000 visitors this year, and the dredging-related exhibits saw constant traffic. Held on March 4 through 8 at the Las Vegas, Nevada, Convention Center, the show boasted 2,400 exhibitors, with displays in every hall and in surrounding parking lots.

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) was one of the show hosts, representing aggregate producers, many of whom use dredges in their operations. The Western Dredging Association (WEDA) booth, manned by Executive Director Larry Patella, distributed dredging literature and information on the organization. Dredge manufacturers saw traffic from both aggregate dredgers and contractors, and the exhibits included a full range of construction equipment, accessories and parts. International Dredging Review show issue featured 43 exhibitors related to dredging operations, and was distributed in a media bin as well as at the WEDA booth.

The WEDA booth was positioned at the entrance closest to Paradise Road, and after dozens of people stopped at the booth to ask how to get a lanyard (answer: from the registration area three halls away) Patella brought hundreds of lanyards from the registration area and put them on WEDA’s table. They were all distributed within hours, and he replenished this pile three or four times in the course of the show, asking all who took a lanyard if they were interested in dredging, and instigating some interesting conversations with current, former and prospective dredgers.

Robert Woodington, left, VP and general manager of aggregate producers Phoenix Pinelands Corp, and Will Denise, project manager, visiting the WEDA booth.

The show organizers provided a stepped-up shuttle service to move visitors around the show, and made an attempt to group equipment by category, which put most of the dredge manufacturers in the same hall, though widely spaced.

Tony and Randy Maitlen and Henry Boschen were in the VMI booth, and brought news of a major expansion underway at its dredge manufacturing plant in Cushing, Oklahoma, replacing its five-ton bridge cranes with two new 30-ton overhead cranes. The associated re-wiring and reinforcement of the building will require the plant to shut down for three weeks, but following the expansion, it will be able to build up to a 16-inch dredge. Business is good, they reported, with sales in the Philippines, South America, Canada and Mexico as well as in the United States.

Project Manager Bryce Leggins and President/ Owner Scott Salemink in the Twinkle Co. booth.

Pearce Foundry had an eight by eight by 20-inch pump on display, and a full contingent of management and sales personnel, including Mike Gomez, Jeremy Walker, Lars “Bernie” Ostervold and others. Walker reported that Pearce had signed an agreement with pump manufacturer Pioneer Pump to cast parts for and assemble a revolutionary new dredge pump introduced at this show. The 30x30-inch, 34-inch impeller pump was on display in Pioneer Pump’s booth, and Anthony Genovese was on hand to describe its concept and applications. (Note: IDR will report on this pump in the June issue.)

Dredging Supply Company (DSC Dredges) hosted a constant stream of customers and representatives, including customers Natalia Sukhoverkhova and Julia Gafarova of CETCO in Russia, Egyptian agents Abdelwahab Abdelkafy and Hassan Saleh, and John Rutledge of the Lake Panorama Association in Iowa, a homeowner’s association that owns and operates its own dredge.

Allu’s combination digger/crusher at work in the outdoor display area.

Tony Binsfeld, president of Wisconsin dredging contractor J.F. Brennan was on hand, along with family members and other Brennan employees. He had arranged with DSC to sign the order for a new dredge at the show. Together, DSC President Bob Wetta, Brennan Engineer Victor Buhr, and Binsfeld paged through the contract – a ruse to inform Buhr that the dredge would be named after him. He was astounded and gratified when he saw the page showing the dredge name.

“This is a great day between two familyowned companies,” Bob Wetta said. “Together we have produced 15 pieces of dredging equipment, and today we are signing the order for a new type of dredge that Vic (Buhr) suggested for their fleet,” he said. (See photo and story on page 46.)

Julia Gafarvoa, left, project coordinator, and Natalia Sukhoverkhova, project engineer, both in the mineral processing department of Coralina, Moscow, Russia.

Nearby in the Twinkle Co. booth, Scott Salemink, president, and Bryce Leggins, director of dredge services, hosted a steady stream of visitors. During a rare gap in traffic, Salemink told IDR that the company is thriving, with constant orders for aggregate and other dredges, including the company’s automation and control instruments. Scott’s father, company founder Willard Salemink, is retired but still writes his “Ask Willard” column on the website, in which he answers questions about dredging processes and equipment.

At the Ellicott Dredges booth, Paul Quinn, vice president of sales, and staff from the main office and subsidiaries Mud Cat, Rohr/Idreco, IMS and LWT greeted customers. Rick King from partner company Dredge Central was also present in the booth. The major news was the startup in December of two dredge simulators – one for cutter dredges and one for auger dredges – to be used in conjunction with the company’s dredge training program at its Wisconsin facility. Other news was that the State of Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) had ordered two Ellicott dredges to maintain lakes in Ohio’s park system, the 10th time in the past 50 years that Ohio has purchased Ellicott dredges.

Dredging Supply Company’s booth, with Bill and Bob Wetta, seated, and Charles Johnson at right talking to customers.

New player Pioneer Dredge, Inc. brought news that it had begun production on their Predator 3000 line of hydraulic dredges. Bob Sutton, Michel Allen, Sama Ekpenyong and Tom Kroeger were on hand for the show.

Custom Dredge Works was represented by, from left, Engineering Manager Mike Hagemann, Designer Tony Goodnow, and Logistics Manager Robert Stover.

Liebherr Construction Equipment’s exhibit included more than 20 machines and simulators, anchored by a two-story administration building. At an opening day press conference, representatives of the company’s divisions in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, as well as the United States, described their equipment innovations. Peter Mayr, recently appointed president of the Newport News, Virginia-based office, was among the speakers, and described events in the company’s earthmoving and material handling equipment in the United States.

Director Stefan Heissler of Switzerland announced that a third generation of the Liebherr family has joined the company, which was established in a small German town in 1949 by Hans Liebherr, and which is today run by his children Willi Liebherr and Isolde Liebherr. The four third-generation members are Jan Liebherr, Stefanie Wohlfarth, Sophie Albrecht and Patricia Ruef.

At the Pioneer Dredge booth, from left, Technical Sales Director Bob Sutton, Midwest Representative Bob Falk, President Michel Allen, Nigeria Director Sama Ekpenyong, and Director of Operations Tom Kroeger. Falk is president and part-owner of Mine Equipment and Design Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Allu’s outdoor exhibit included a demonstration of a crane equipped with a combination excavator and grinder, which can grind and screen rock in one operation.

Sennebogen, which manufactures material handling cranes and has built a number of clamshell dredges, presented several of its cranes in the Silver lot adjacent to the Convention Center.

Peter Mayr, left, and Gebhard Schwartz at the Liebherr press conference. Mayr was appointed president of Liebherr Construction Equipment Co., the U.S. arm of the company, last summer.

HardOx hardened steel was represented in its own exhibit and in many other products, including hopper trailers and other equipment subject to the impact of stone products. Ray Bergeron reported that 90 percent of the clamshell dredging buckets he builds are made of HardOx steel.

The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG will be held March 7 through 11, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Richard M. Goldsbury, president of Bobcat/Doosan North America and Australia/Oceania for Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment, West Fargo, North Dakota, will chair the event. He will lead a management committee consisting of volunteer manufacturers and other industry stakeholders, who will oversee show planning.

“2017 will definitely build on the momentum of 2014, and we are already in analysis and planning mode just weeks after such a successful event. Our focus is to amplify our efforts to deliver an outstanding quality show experience for our visitors, plus expand our exhibitor engagement outreach that results in improved exhibitor ROI (return on investment),” Goldsbury said.

In Ellicott’s booth, Steve Miller, right, talks to customers.

Jeremy Walker, left, and Lars “Bernie” Ostervold in the Pearce Foundry display.

Stephanie Wickstrom demonstrates the properties of Weir Minerals’ Linatex® rubber.

Jim Thurber from the television program Gold Rush was on hand at the Pioneer Pump booth to pose with the company’s new-design 30x30-34” dredge pump.

Judith Powers visited Larry Patella in the WEDA booth.

ESCO displayed the XHD quarry loader bucket with its patented tooth Ultralok® system.

SENNEBOGEN’s display included a range of their crawler cranes and bulk handling tools.

Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman tells reporters that construction activity in North America is the best it has been in four years.

 

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