House Bill Boosts Transportation Spending, More

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on the $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act, a massive funding package meant to regenerate America's transportation infrastructure as it gives a shot in the arm to health care, airports, clean energy, broadband, education, and drinking water. On top of that, it would create millions of jobs while the construction industry plugs along during the COVID-19 pandemic and spring recession. "I'm particularly focused on investing in our roads, bridges, trans

Hydraulic Fluid Leaks, Poor Ground Conditions Contribute to Crane Outrigger Failure

Hydraulic fluid leakage and poor ground support are two of the most-critical contributors to outrigger failure and crane tip overs. Regular inspections can alleviate leakages; a geotechnical expert can determine ground conditions. (RHTC Inc. photo) The two biggest factors that contribute to crane failures are fluid leakage in the outrigger hydraulic cylinder and ground conditions, or the supporting structure for the outrigger pads. Ensuring that your crane is operating on firm, level and draine

Retraining Vs. Recruiting in the Times of COVID

Employing skilled labor is a process: Identifying potential workers, recruiting them and training them. The industry has dedicated resources to attracting junior-high and high-school students for careers in construction. But there are whole groups of adult workers whose career fields have changed or jobs have disappeared. The recruiting focus for some construction contractors is now on retraining people with skills that transfer well to construction work. Displaced workers in fields such as fa

Fast PPP Loan Approvals Helping Contractors

The Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program has been a shot in the arm for construction businesses, and a lifeline for a few. The forgivable loans, made available in two rounds during the month of April, guarantee companies can make payroll, keep their staff working and meet project deadlines. During the first round of the COVID-19 related stimulus loan program released April 3, approximately $450 billion in funds were issued on a first-come, first-served basis and were depl

CIS Helps Clear a Construction Career Path for Returning Military

Crane Industry Services is working with staffing company AEG to help returning members of the military become job-ready in the construction trades as they transition back into the civilian workforce. The Department of Defense program is called SkillBridge. AEG pairs the individuals to partnering employers, while CIS evaluates their military credentials and trains them for a construction career. SkillBridge is an opportunity for separating service members to plan their lives after the military.

ConExpo 2020 Provides the Backdrop for New Crane Intros

Rough-terrain crane buyers are on the hunt for bigger machines, in the 100-ton and 120-ton classes specifically. Crane manufacturers serving the North American market heard their customers loud and clear, and took advantage of ConExpo 2020 to unveil new models. Many of these machines featured new technology that answer customers' demands for easier mobility and operation. In Las Vegas, Link-Belt Cranes, Lexington, Ky., displayed two new models, the 100RT and the 120RT, with features to benefit

CARES Act Benefits Airport, Transit, Medical Projects

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Trump is a shot in the arm for parts of the U.S. construction industry. The $2 trillion funding package passed by Congress in late March designates billions of dollars for potential construction of hospitals, airports and transit systems. It is hoped the next relief package, being ironed out at press time, will boost road and bridge construction in a major way. Ken Simsonson, chief economist of the Associated Gen

How to Reshape Our Country's Surface Transportation Financing Outlook

With the COVID-19 health crisis front and center, many people in the heavy construction industry see a U.S. Congressional stimulus package as a means of funding the nation's roads and bridges. Efforts to bolster an economy buckled by the coronavirus, as well an uptick in non-traditional funding partnerships, present opportunities to reshape our country's surface transportation financing picture. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) reports that highway and bridge cont

Stopping Construction Equipment Heists

Heavy equipment theft rates track with the overall economy, and 2019 was a good year. Many major cities are in the midst of building and road projects, and construction sites are magnets for machinery heists. Tractors and loaders represent the highest percentage of stolen machines, and thieves aren't discriminating between equipment yards or construction sites. Being vigilant is crucial to preventing heavy equipment theft, and fortunately it can be a fairly painless process. Risk management pr

Fire Crews Battle Wildfires With Big Guns

The National Interagency Fire Center logged at least 48 large fires in 12 states last summer in the United States. When conditions set the stage for fire disaster, heavy equipment helps battle blazes. Putting in fire breaks to slow fire advancement, creating a safe area where firefighters can conduct burnout operations, and clearing out damaged trees are just some of the ways heavy machinery is necessary to fighting wildfires in the United States and abroad. The Amazon saw more than 80,000 fore

Operator Urged to Compete in South Central Crane Operator Rodeo by 2011 Winner | Lift and Access

Winner of the South Central Regional Qualifying Rodeo, held in Houston, Texas this month, was talked into participating by the man who won last year’s event. John Blankenship, a crane operator with Deep South Crane & Rigging in the Houston area, was awarded a 9.4-gallon Yeti Tundra 45 cooler by Webber Construction, who hosted the regional MCM Events' Crane Operator Rodeo. Placing second in the contest was Joe Cowen III, an operator with Alliance Crane. Both operators go on to the finals in Orlan

Smooth Operation

Often taken for granted when it comes to keeping knuckleboom cranes up and running, grease is a preventive maintenance linchpin. But close behind overlooked lubrication issues are overridden electronics, and neglected parts such as wear pads, joints, sliding sections, and oil filters. But, grease, by far the number one issue for knuckleboom maintenance technicians, is ironically one of the least-expensive preventive measures an end user can take to extend the life of a knuckleboom crane.

Lampson Carves Niche in Crawler Remanufacturing

June 17, 2015 - Last year, Lampson International dedicated a chunk of its mega-crane manufacturing operations to re-manufacturing Manitowoc 4100 cranes. The move turned out to be a profitable one for the Kennewick, Wash. company. The Lampson Millennium came about because the company saw a need for the beloved old workhorses and found it had more than 100 of them in its rental fleet. So far, Lampson has completed 14 of the remanned crawlers, and reports it has enough work to keep a team on the j

Economists Make 2020 Construction Predictions

Construction economists are not sugarcoating their outlook on the industry in 2020. The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (ELFF) forecasts slower growth in the economy next year, and predicts equipment investment will be weak. The Associated General Contractors and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers also expect moderate growth in the construction market. Though not the rosiest picture, there are bright spots. In fact, equipment sales are actually on somewhat of an expansion track.

Lowering Overhead With Cloud-Based Apps

Ever more stringent government regulations that demand concise and accurate documentation of heavy equipment performance are making equipment inspections even more critical. Though pencil and paper are still tools-of-choice for many in the shop and the field, the construction equipment sector is rapidly adopting the use of apps via tablet, portable electronics and even cellphone, for the sake of efficiency. Logging inspection data by hand is time-consuming, and the paper trail can bog down flee

Jobsite Safety Starts With Proper Tools, Training, Attention

With a primary goal of "correcting workplace safety and health hazards and ensuring compliance," OSHA has raised its civil penalties by about 1.8 percent for workplace safety and health violations. The new penalty amounts take effect immediately, applying to any penalties assessed after Jan. 15, 2020. If an OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) finds a hazard or standard violation during an onsite inspection, the inspector may issue citations and penalties. If the agency issues any c
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