RER magazine named MBW rammers and National Trench Safety’s Work Zone Safety System each recipients of the 2012 Grand Award in the 10th anniversary of its Innovative Product Awards competition, which was 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.
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.
“As these surfaces wear, the rammer’s tolerances become progressively sloppier; operation becomes more difficult until the rammer is worn out,” said 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.
“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,” Multerer added. “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.”
Co-winner National Trench Safety was honored for its National Trench Safety Work Zone Safety System, which was developed in response to the need for an OSHA-compliant, trench safety system designed exclusively for trench work. An integrated, fully engineered solution, the NTS Work Zone Safety System addresses underground contractors’ need for a solution to protect workers and the public in and around an excavation. It 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,” said 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.
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,” explained 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.”
“RER has been presenting this award for 10 years and, as usual, this year’s entrees were spectacular in their innovative vision and value to the construction rental industry,” said RER editor in chief Michael Roth. “That can be said for all the products, not just the grand prize winners.”
RER named winners in a total of eight categories. Following are all of the 2012 RER Innovative Product Award category winners:
- Category: Compaction – MBW Rammers
- Category: Computer software – Alert Management Systems Mobile Inventory Manager
- Category: Cutting/drilling – Hilti DD 150-U Diamond Coring System
- Category: Earthmoving equipment – Terex Construction TA400 Generation 9 articulated truck
- Category: Generators/welders – Honda Power Equipment EB10000 Industrial Series generator
- Category: Lifts – Terex Aerial Work Platforms Genie GS-2646 AV scissorlift
- Category: Material handling equipment – JCB 512-56 Loadall telescopic handler with Tier 4i Ecomax Engine
- Category: Miscellaneous – National Trench Safety Work Zone Safety System
RER has covered the equipment rental industry since 1957, providing its readers with a mix of news, features and product information. For more information, visit www.rermag.com.