Past and Future of Construction Equipment—Part IVby Cliff J. Schexnayder, (F.ASCE),
Scott A. David,
Part of: Perspectives in Civil Engineering: Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Society of Civil Engineers
The development of construction equipment has followed the major changes in global transportation. In 1420, Giovanni Fontana was dreaming of and diagramming dredging machines. Development of the steam shovel was driven by a demand for an economical mass excavation machine to support the era of railroad construction. The Cummins diesel engine was developed in the early 1900s as the road-building phase of transportation construction began. In the short term, the basic machine frame will not change, but productivity, accuracy, and utility should improve because of enhancements. Machines will evolve into a mobile counterweight driven by an energy-efficient powerplant. This mobile counterweight will serve as a work platform for an array of hydraulic tools, and it will have synthesized computers that instantly communicate by satellite with distant management teams reporting diagnostics, production, and position.
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