Established in 2003 to honor excellence in new product development for the equipment rental industry, the 2012 RER Innovative Product Award showcases the most innovative products introduced between Aug. 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012.

A panel of industry judges narrowed the pool of entries to one winner in each of eight categories. Then, the judges selected the product they felt displayed the most innovation in respect to the rental business from those eight products selected category winners. This year, the panel was deadlocked on two significant industry innovations and a tie was declared for the Grand Award recipients.

Thank you to all of the companies that entered products in this year’sRER Innovative Product Awards competition. Following are the 2012 Grand Award winners, followed by the six products that won their respective categories. Honorable mentions will be featured in the January issue of RER. For additional information on the Innovative Product Award winners, visit

Category: Compaction

MBW Rammers
MBW Inc., Slinger, Wis.
Introduced: September 2011
Key innovation: The R422, R442, R482 and R483 rammers are free of metal-on-metal components in the percussion system, causing less internal friction and leading to longer life.

A recent innovation applied to traditional rammer design has made significant improvements to the overall lifecycle and cost of ownership of this heavily battered type of equipment. MBW’s new line of rammers is now completely free of metal-on-metal reciprocating components in their percussion systems. A major step forward in rammer design, all reciprocating surfaces of MBW rammers are now bushed with Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene slide bearings, or UHMWPE for short, which, the manufacturer says, will result in up to 700-percent longer life.

Traditional rammers are designed with metal-on-metal wear surfaces in their delivery systems. Wear surfaces are found on the spring box, guide cylinder, spring separator and, in some cases, between the ram shaft and entry port at the top of the spring box.

“As these surfaces wear, the rammer’s tolerances become progressively sloppier; operation becomes more difficult until the rammer is worn out,” explains MBW Inc. president Frank Multerer. “Replacement of worn wear components is prohibitive typically approaching the cost of a new rammer. The MBW design differs in that spring box, guide cylinder, spring separator and ram shaft are never exposed to metal-on-metal contact. They never wear. This is accomplished by use of thin UHMWPE slide bearings sandwiched between the reciprocating metal components. This material wears at a fraction the rate of steel-on-cast iron wear surfaces. When eventually called for, replacement of UHMWPE bearings is easy and economical.”

According to Wikipedia’s entry for this material, cited by Multerer, UHMWPE is made up of extremely long chains with molecular weight numbering in the millions. This longer chain serves to transfer load more effectively to the polymer backbone by strengthening intermolecular interactions, resulting in a very tough material with the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic presently made. Other benefits of UHMWPE include its resistance to corrosive chemicals, with the exception of oxidizing acids; its extremely low moisture absorption and low coefficient of friction; and its self-lubrication and high resistance to abrasion — in some forms 15 times more resistant to abrasion than carbon steel.

Using UHMWPE, MBW rammers now generate less internal friction enabling more efficient transmission of energy to soil during the compaction process. But the practical benefits of the new design extend to service and life expectations. UHMWPE slide bearings create substantially less friction in the percussion system making the rammer’s internal works, including lubricant, run cooler. Less friction translates into less wear, extending life expectancy of critical components. Less internal friction also generates less operating load, prolonging engine life.

“We first experimented with UHMWPE because it provided two characteristics essential to what we were trying to accomplish with our rammers, extreme abrasion resistance and impact resistance,” says Multerer. “Frankly, we struggled with thermal instability until we understood how to use that characteristic in a beneficial way.”

MBW slide bearings are configured to allow for thermal expansion of UHMWPE bearings under normal operating temperatures. One slide bearing, the easiest to get to, is configured to fail first in the event of excessive temperature caused by low oil. “By sizing the thermal expansion gap in one slide bearing to close first and bind up the percussion before further damage can occur, all other components are preserved,” Multerer explains. “Moreover, the bushings selected to fail first require the least amount of time to get at and replace. In such cases, the MBW rammer can be repaired for $100 to $200 while a traditional rammer is simply down for the count.

“Perhaps the single-largest benefit of our new design is that overall life expectancy is extended to a point where a paradigm shift is warranted in terms of rental fleet turnover,” says Multerer. “Many rental operators are conditioned to turn rammer fleets between 12 and 18 months of use before their rammers are too far into their life expectancy. By extending life expectancy, it now makes sense to replace worn engines, shoes, springs, shock mounts, etc., because the basic rammer is sound.”

When a metal-on-metal percussion system has worn appreciably, repair costs can approach $1,400 and take three hours to get the job done. With the new MBW rammers this compares to $41.44 in replacement slide bearings and less than one hour to complete the repair, Multerer says.

“The math is pretty simple — double or triple life in the rental fleet, with reduced maintenance expectations during that time frame, and you’ve got a financial winner,” Multerer says.

Category: Miscellaneous
Work Zone Safety System
National Trench Safety, Houston
Introduced: 2011
Key innovation: The NTS Work Zone Safety System is an outgrowth of customer demand and the lack of an integrated solution for contractors. The system provides a continuous fall-protection barrier, while also addressing the need for access and egress points and providing a recovery option in an OSHA-compliant manner.

Developed in response to the need for an OSHA-compliant, trench safety system designed exclusively for trench work, The National Trench Safety Work Zone Safety System is an integrated, fully engineered solution innovated by Houston-based National Trench Safety to address underground contractors’ need for a solution to protect workers and the public in and around an excavation. The NTS Work Zone Safety System includes a modular fall protection hand rail system, a ladder access and egress system, and a complete fall arrest and recovery davit arm device for workers in and around an excavation.

“While there are products in use today that were designed for the scaffolding industry or other similar purposes, the NTS Work Zone Safety System was the first to be specifically designed for and engineered for the trench safety market,” says NTS president Ron Chilton.

With today’s excavation depths commonly exceeding 20 feet there is a significant exposure to contractors by employees and the public accidentally falling into the excavation. In addition, the problem of worker injuries created by using ladders against trench boxes, steel sheeting, slide rail and other shoring systems is well documented as a major problem in the industry. Many contractors are frustrated with the lack of a true employee fall protection, retrieval winch and davit arm system that will actually work with the various shoring and shielding products that also meet the OSHA standard for such devices. Available for rental and sale from NTS, the NTS Work Zone Safety System addresses these jobsite issues with proprietary handrails, ladder access platforms and articulating davit arms that can be used as a set or on a standalone basis.

NTS knew all too well the need for such a system because as a trench-shoring rental specialist, its rental customers were constantly asking for one.

“A comprehensive fully functional safety system for today’s more complex shoring and shielding systems was not available,” explains Chilton. “Many safety departments were asking NTS what was available to allow their projects to meet OSHA standards for fall protection, retrieval and safe ingress and egress on their jobsites. Many in the industry were trying to adapt and or force existing systems that were designed for other products and purposes — such as wood handrails, scaffolding safety systems and highway bridge safety systems — to meet the various needs that today’s complex trench shoring and shielding projects created.”

Created with a modular design, each part of the NTS Work Zone Safety system can be used alone or fully integrated as a package. The NTS Handrail System is specifically designed to attach to most trench shield panels, slide rail panels and on various other forms of excavation protective systems in use today. The system can be attached either above ground or from the outside of the trench to ensure worker safety and OSHA compliance. Once properly installed, the handrails are pinned together to create a continuous barrier along the excavation wall. The system can be quickly installed and removed without any required mechanical equipment.

The NTS Ladder Access Platform maintains the continuous barrier benefits found with the NTS Handrail System and provides an access and egress point that does not compromise the fall protection provided by the handrail system. The system contains a platform and ladder rest that is secured by a self-closing access gate. The NTS Ladder Platform is specially designed to attach to most trench shield panels, slide rail panels and various other forms of excavation protective systems. The system meets current OSHA standards and comes with manufacturer’s tabulated data.

The NTS Davit Arm System is the final component of the fully integrated NTS Work Zone Safety System. The davit arm was designed to allow for the continuous use of the handrail system and the Ladder Access Platform. The davit arm was created so that it could be easily repositioned. Its wide range of motion helps to minimize the frequency of repositioning. The system meets OSHA 1926 Subpart R, Protection Systems Criteria, (d) fall arrest systems. The winch is a fully functional fall-protection device and also acts as a fully functional retrieval winch.

The NTS Work Zone Safety System is the industry’s first fall-protection system designed specifically for trench and excavation work, according to the maker who has filed patent applications on all three major components of the system and expects patents to be awarded by the first quarter of 2013. The entire system was designed by a Registered Professional Engineer in accordance with OSHA Subpart M 1926.502(b). Manufacturer’s Tabulated Data is provided with the system to govern its use and ensure worker safety.

“At NTS we try to ensure we’re providing the right mix of products and services to meet the needs of our customers and when we don’t have those products or services we’ll see if we can engineer a solution to meet the market need,” Chilton says.

Category: Computer software
Mobile Inventory Manager
Alert Management Systems, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Introduced: November 2011
Key innovation: Mobile Inventory Manager makes paperless the difficult, time-consuming task of managing the physical inventory of rental assets, automating the entire process.

Alert Management Systems introduces an innovative use of mobile technology to maximize physical control over rental assets in the warehouse or on-yard. Mobile Inventory Manager was developed to make it easy to conduct a thorough physical inventory of all rental assets — an important, yet difficult and time-consuming task that is relevant to virtually all rental businesses. Mobile Inventory Manager automates the entire process, from assigning digital “count sheets” to participating staff, to adjusting on-hand quantities, to making final accounting entries for serialized and/or bulk assets.

An entirely paperless process, the software’s web design is optimized for smaller screens and for the latest generation of smartphones and mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads. This versatile app also runs on standard PCs. Bring-your-own device means all the user needs is a smart device with Internet access and a web browser. No downloads or special setup is required. Mobile Inventory Manager is compatible with Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome and other standard web browsers.

Simple screens show anticipated on-hand quantities as well as on-rent and pulled quantities, updated in real-time via secure Internet access to the user’s Alert EasyPro server. Intuitive hyperlinks help manage staff assignments and workflow. In addition, Mobile Inventory Manager automatically generates an internal invoice to make all inventory and accounting adjustments properly, without re-entering, providing a secure, permanent audit trail.

The paperless process reduces human errors, motivates staff, and saves time and money. The process also reduces loss through real-time asset surveillance and cycle counting and helps manage rental assets more profitably, the developer says.

Category: Cutting/Drilling
Hilti DD 150-U Diamond Coring System
Hilti, Tulsa, Okla.
Introduced: January 2012
Key innovation: Motor with increased power and LED lights help operator maximize performance. Fast and precise motor attachment with single-cam action bolt, and no special tools required.

Designed to be simple to understand, and easy to use, the DD 150-U Diamond Coring System allows the operator to core holes as a hand-held tool or as a traditional rig with a drill stand. The DD 150-U has a 6-inch bit capacity for drilling the most popular sizes of holes for anchoring, and through holes. Versatility makes this system a suitable rental choice. It can handle a variety of base materials including reinforced concrete, masonry and natural stone.

Performance is optimized in the wet drilling mode making it the ultimate coring system for rig-based drilling in concrete, the maker says. The DD 150 is also designed to be effective at setting large-diameter anchors and reinforcing bars that require hand-guided wet drilling.

The drilling mode can be switched to dry drilling for hand-guided applications such as drilling in masonry for pipe penetrations in HVAC installations. Where dust is a concern, the Hilti Dust Removal System may be used.

The DD 150-U features a high-performance motor and reliable three-speed gearing. Integrated LED lights indicate optimum feed pressure to maximize drilling performance and a 360-degree adjustable side handle with integrated dust and water management functions adds convenience. It can be ordered with a standard 1 ¼-inch threaded chuck or with a quick connect chuck that does not require the use of any tools to remove the core bit. The drill stand features a tilting column for drilling at angles and a base plate with an integrated vacuum seal to accommodate fastening with a vacuum pump or the traditional method of using an anchor.

Category: Earthmoving equipment
Terex TA400 Generation 9 articulated truck
Terex Construction, Southhaven, Miss.
Introduced: March 2012
Key innovation: Tier 4-compliant, fully adjustable transmission with two-speed drop box, dual retarder systems (transmission & exhaust brake), four-bar trailing, arm suspension system and an electronics system that communicates through a CAN-bus system designed to keep the truck running at peak efficiency.

Designed to work on jobsites ranging from sand and gravel quarries to coal mines and road construction projects, the new Terex TA400 Generation 9 articulated truck is designed to keep productivity levels high, fuel consumption low and cycle times short. Featuring a 444-hp Tier 4 interim-compliant Scania DC13 engine, the TA400 has a maximum payload of 41.9 tons and a heaped capacity of 30.3 cubic yards.

With an emissions-compliant engine offering maximum torque of 1,548 foot pounds at 1,350 rpm, coupled to a fully automatic Allison transmission through a two-speed drop box, the new TA400 provides both exceptional rim-pull and high-speed capabilities. The new Generation 9 TA400 is equipped with dual retarder systems, a transmission retarder and exhaust brake, giving operators increased control in loaded, downhill hauls. Engineered with a permanent all-wheel-drive, six-by-six driveline and equalizing rear suspension, the new TA400 also offers exceptional traction capabilities, the manufacturer says. A four-bar trailing arm suspension system contributes to ride quality, allowing operators to travel faster and more comfortably on difficult terrain.

“The combination of high torque, high horsepower, high capacity and top speeds make the Terex TA400 Generation 9 articulated truck a class leader in productivity,” says Terex product manager Ken Emmett. “The new TA400 is engineered to provide maximum rim-pull and gradeability for negotiating inclines, and with its high range in the drop box for high-speed hauls and a large body capacity designed for high retention, this articulated truck offers customers an excellent cost-to-value ratio.”

The new TA400 is equipped with computerized systems that communicate to each other through a CAN-bus system, which helps ensure that the truck is running at peak efficiency. With this communication system, truck data can be optionally transmitted via satellite to almost any location.

Category: Generators/welders
Honda EB10000 Industrial Series generator
Honda Power Equipment, Alpharetta, Ga.
Introduced: January 2012
Key innovation: The compact, lightweight EB10000 features a narrow-shaped design, centralized exhaust mechanism and newly designed alternator. Innovative layout include clearly delineated hot and cool zones and the i-Monitor digital operation system.

In 2012, Honda expands its Industrial Series generator line with the all-new EB10000 — a model well suited for industrial and commercial applications, including the rental market.

With a maximum output of 10,000 watts, the EB10000 generator includes a standard a wheel kit, folding handles, and lifting hook, along with full generator GFCI. The compact, lightweight model also features a narrow-shaped design, a centralized exhaust mechanism, a newly developed alternator, and the best fuel efficiency and lowest noise in its class, the maker says. Its innovative layout includes a patented frame design that clearly delineates hot and cool operating zones, along with a one-touch, removable plastic top cover allowing for easy battery access and maintenance. In addition, the generator is designed with the i-Monitor digital operation system (with lighting), displaying operational information including: hour meter, operating voltage, battery condition, Oil Alert, and Onboard Diagnostics error codes to support service and maintenance activities.

The new Digital Auto Voltage Regulator is an exclusive Honda feature integrated into the design of the EB10000 generator, providing stable power to protect tools and sensitive electronics. The DAVR functions to improve the output capability, holding the voltage stable within one percent during standard operation. The DAVR adjustments are driven off the main winding (versus a sensor winding in conventional AVR systems) and include a built-in temperature protection system.

Powered by a Honda commercial GX engine, the Honda EB10000 generator operates at a quiet noise level for its size — approximately 76 decibels at 23 feet. This low noise level is achieved through a large muffler that includes a punching pipe, a perforated mechanism that allows for the smooth release of exhaust gas.

The launch of this generator reinforces core focus areas of the Honda Power Equipment team: continuous improvement of technology and the integration of innovation and environmental operating attributes into product offerings for customers.

Category: Lifts
Terex Aerial Work Platforms
Genie GS-2646 AV scissorlift, Redmond, Wash.
Introduced: March 2012
Key innovation: The new Genie GS-2646 AV scissorlift offers a smooth, powered extension deck option that provides an extra five feet of reach. Engineered specifically for the aviation industry, the Padded Aircraft Protection Rail (PAR) system cushions the platform railings, providing an extra level of protection to the operator.

The Genie GS-2646 AV scissorlift offers a working height of 32 feet and a drive height of 26 feet. The width of the scissor with the PAR is 4 feet, 8 inches. The scissorlift has an unmatched inside turning radius of zero and a lift capacity of 900 pounds. Through extensive research, Terex Aerial Work Platform engineers were able to design the new scissor to hone in on the needs of the aviation industry. A “start-to-finish” product, the scissorlift is designed for aircraft maintenance as well as for aircraft manufacturing. The platform extension deck and gates are interlocked, preventing the machine from being operated while the deck is extended or while the gates are open.

A thick, platform deck provides a slip-resistant surface for operator comfort.

The new Genie SmartLink control system provides onboard diagnostics allowing software updates to be easily implemented remotely or while connected to a laptop.

The Genie GS-2646 AV is available in all ANSI markets.

Category: Material handling equipment
512-56 Loadall telescopic handler with Tier 4i Ecomax Engine
JCB, Pooler, Ga.
Introduced: August 2011
Key innovation: The 512-56 features JCB’s new high-torque, low-emission Ecomax diesel engines, which require no after-treatment to meet U.S. Tier 4 Interim emissions standards.The innovative engine design also allows JCB’s dealers to sell low-cost kits to recalibrate the 512-56’s engine back to previous emissions standards so they may be sold used at auction to buyers from non-legislated countries without access to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. As a result, the 512-56 is designed to hold its residual value longer than competing machines.

JCB’s 512-56 Loadall telescopic handler has a maximum lift capacity of 12,000 pounds and maximum lift height of 56 feet. Axle-mounted stabilizers provide superior chassis leveling, enabling the 512-56 to lift massive loads safely. Its combination of power and lifting height make it suitable for lifting and placing heavy items at construction and industrial sites.

The 512-56 was recently updated with a new high-torque, low-emission, 109-hp Ecomax diesel engine. Developed to meet U.S. Tier 4 Interim emissions standards, the Ecomax engine does not require diesel particulate filters or exhaust after-treatment fluids. This design allows JCB’s dealers to reprogram the engine back to previous legislative standards. Thus, buyers from non-legislated countries without access to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel will be able to purchase used 512-56 Loadalls at auction and operate them without difficulty — unlike competitive Tier 4-compliant machines.

The 512-56’s boom is positioned high for optimum operator visibility. A hydraulic cylinder mounted underneath the outer boom extends the boom’s intermediate section, with chains for second and third stages. The boom is coated with a Waxoyl lubricant (exclusive to JCB) that does not attract abrasive sand or dirt. The boom’s quick-hitch enables operators to use a wide variety of attachments on the 512-56, further enhancing its versatility and productivity.

The 512-56 features JCB-designed and built axles with torque-proportioning differentials as standard equipment. Heavy-axle shafts and outboard planetary hubs offer long service life and reduce repair and maintenance costs. Inside the 512-56’s lower-mounted, ergonomically designed cab, a large right-hand cluster provides at-a-glance reading of the machine’s instrument display. A plus-pattern servo hydraulic control lever features proportional and flow-share capability for precise control with fast cycle times.

JCB’s 512-56 Loadall telescopic handlers with Tier 4i Ecomax engines combine innovation with practicality, improving productivity time and time again.