by Colleen Suo
2016 marked the 37th year of this highly regarded equipment and trade expo hosted by the Massachusetts Highway Association. This year’s dates were Sept. 28 and 29. The Holiday Inn in Boxborough, MA is the perfect venue for this event and although Wednesday’s weather was a bit cooler than everyone wanted, Thursday turned out to be a spectacular fall day in New England.
This years Expo featured over 150 vendors utilizing indoor and outdoor display areas giving attendees the opportunity to see new equipment fitted with cutting edge technology and the latest attachments.
All learning seminars were geared toward municipalities and their unique work situations, requirements and hazards. Included in the variety of topics were chainsaw safety, how to comply with “new” DPW safety laws, MS4 stormwater regulations, chipper safety and increasing operational efficiency – just to mention a few.
The keynote speaker featured on Wednesday, Eric Giguere, told the riveting story of his near-fatal trench collapse and how it effected those around him including family and co-workers. A newlywed laborer in 2002, his work-related accident nearly ended his life and now he is committed to speak on behalf of safety awareness on or off the job.
Inside there were several rooms of vendors, which saw much activity throughout both days. Material handler manufacturers and dealers, technology suppliers along with lubrication specialists, traffic safety product and high visibility apparel suppliers were all represented not to mention Massachusetts OSD and Dept. of Labor Standards.
Live demos included a crack sealing on Wednesday and pothole repair on Thursday.
Outdoor exhibitors I visited included the Gorilla / Lorusso Heavy Equipment booth, which had a Mecalac 8MCR mini excavator on hand equipped with the Gorilla GXS75 Hydraulic Breaker. Justin Cockayne of Slope Care and Dave Winnie from Spider Mowers had several models of the radio controlled commercial mowers on display. Both the ILD01 and ILD02 have a climbing ability of 40 degrees and can go up to 55 degrees (when using the patented winch system).
One of the street sweeping vehicles on hand was the Schwarze M6 Avalanche. Its trademarked Easy Change Conveyer System allows for removal or repair of the conveyer in minutes enabling easy access for maintenance or to change from belt to squeegee conveyer.
John Bellerose of RBG, Inc. gave me a lift in the Dur-a-Lift® DPM 52 fitted with the double basket, which was on display at their booth so I could get a few overhead shots of the impressive outdoor area. The ride was smooth and effortless as he masterfully brought the basket from ground level (where I entered) to full extension of 57 feet. It was a grand view as we pivoted, fully extended in order to see the entire scene in a panoramic view.