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03Feb94 UK: PATENT ROW HITS POWERFAB MINI - SITE DUMPER.

By Mike Woof and Dan Gilkes report on the latest launches at Hirex 94.A patent dispute may cloud the launch of Powerfab's articulated mini site dumper.The machine is based on a dumper that was originally made in the UK and sold under the Keetona name, but French firm Pel-Job claims that it owns the patent rights to the design.Pel-Job initially manufactured the model under licence from Keetona and the firm says that it later acquired the rights from the designer. And the French-built Pel-Job has been sold as the ED750 for around two years.But Powerfab claims that it has bought the rights to the dumper from a former director of Keetona, which went into receivership last year.The dispute centres on the skip-raising mechanism which is said to be patented.The dumper's high lift skip allows discharge into storage bins 1.133m from the ground.Both models share similar specifications, four wheel drive, 990mm width, 800 kg unladen weight and a 750 kg payload capacity but use different transmission systems.Powerfab will have no such problem with its new wheel-mounted 360 micro excavator which has been designed in-house.Weighing just 210 kg, the machine can be towed by a car and is available with wither diesel or petrol engines.It can dig 1.5m deep with a 500 kg force and slews through 360 deg. CONSTRUCTION NEWS