UCon @ ICUEE: Day 3

ALLU Group, John Deere, ISCO, RIDGID, Underground Solutions and more
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The business end of John Deere's 323 D-series skid steer loader.

The third day of ICUEE was slower than the two preceding it, and a lot of booths were quiet inside in the morning as people focused on last-minute demos and deals or took the closing hours to go see what they’d missed. The heavy gray sky made clear that any outdoor activity was a limited-time opportunity, so Underground Construction headed for the last chance at exhibits we’d been hearing about.

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First up was ALLU Group, where two large excavators showed off the D-series fine screening attachments. The big machines, nicknamed the Dancing Allosauruses for their coordinated grace, screened the rich red-brown Kentucky soil to a dramatic waterfall of 5/8ths of an inch grain, and then dumped the leftover rocks in a pile nearby.
ALLU's Dancing Allosaurs sifting dirt.
On-site sifting removes the need to bring in outside earth or remove the soil a project digs up, significantly lowering costs for projects that require fine soil. This was the first time the technology has been shown in the United States, and the application is aimed at water, sewer, gas, oil and wind projects. Watch for video of the Dancing Allosaurs coming soon.

Next up was a long-awaited trip to the John Deere booth, where the new D-series generation of skid steer loaders that were available for test runs.
Deere also showed off "training software" that inspired a certain amount of competitive spirit.
After a lap around the track in the 323D skid-steer loader, I can confirm that it’s comfortable, easy to drive and pretty fun. Even I didn’t kill a single cone. New features include a side-open door in place of an overhead-opening one, improved visibility to the rear and the bottom of the loader and the attachment and “quick idle” capability: if you take your hands off the controls, after five seconds the machine goes to a lower RPM level to cut emissions and noise level, then zooms back up to the last RPM setting when you’re ready to move again. There are five skid steer models and two truck loaders in the D-series, and the models will be at dealerships in December.
The 323D. They let anybody drive this thing.