Seconding the cautious but optimistic outlook offered by equipment distributors meeting in Anaheim this month, Case Construction Equipment is casting its own vote of confidence. The Racine, Wis., manufacturer is planning a massive rollout of 27 new models in six categories. Case's move is "unprecedented in the industry as far as product introduction," claims Robert F. Killian, vice president in charge of sales and marketing for North America and Mexico.

BIGGER IS BETTER New Case models are larger and reflect technology innovation. (Photo courtesy of Case)

The rollout follows the 1999 merger of Case and London-based New Holland into CNH Global N.V., which "gives us the opportunity to expand our line," Killian says. Some models are a move into new niches and bigger sizes. Case will soon release its largest-ever excavator, the CX800, aimed at the mass excavation, quarry and aggregate markets. The larger of two new crawler dozers, the 1850K, provides a 205-hp engine, 671 lb-ft of torque, and 126 in. of track on ground.

The year's introductions also will include four vibratory compaction rollers that can operate for up to 36 hours between refills; three compact wheel loaders with engine power up to 71 net hp and maximum bucket capacity of up to 1.44 cu yd; and several graders.

New models reflect increasing use of technology. Excavators feature an on-board computer that automatically selects the preferred operation mode by gauging load demands, plus a "smart" feature designed to improve cycle times by automatically monitoring and prioritizing oil flow.

A new security feature on FleetLink, Case's fleet management system, alerts managers by pager, cell phone or e-mail if a piece of equipment is taken outside its operation zone or is run at unauthorized times. An equipment locator or electronic-perimeter map allows a manager to track down the equipment. "We found that during the weekend, the equipment would move from the jobsite to excavate a neighborhood swimming pool and then be returned before Monday morning," says John Marshall, Case's director of customer support.