Imagine you’re the chief of operations for a big construction company. You have three projects underway, dozens of machines and workers to keep up with. Just before you leave the house in the morning, you open your laptop to check on the status of those projects on your telematics reporting system.
Project A and B are good. Green lights on both. But when you click on project C, you get a flashing red light, indicating the potential for safety issues. Drill down further and you discover:
• A supplier dropped the rebar off last night, weeks early, right in the middle of the dirt work.
• The site supervisor who’s been on this project since day one called in sick. Another supervisor who’s never seen the job is on his way to fill in, but arriving late.
• Of the operators manning four machines and three trucks on the site, only two of them have more than a year’s experience.
• Predicted weather conditions may limit visibility.
It may sound like just another chaotic day in the world of construction, but your telematics system is equipped with AI, artificial intelligence, sometimes called “machine learning.” As all this information enters the system, the AI algorithms compute the probability of an accident in these conditions at 60 percent. Not good.
So you email the new supervisor to hold fire, ping the shop to get a set of forks out there to move the rebar and head for the project instead of the office to assess the situation. There you talk to the crews and conduct a site-specific safety briefing.
Your telematics AI algorithms register these changes and drop the threat threshold below the company redlines. The threat potential of an accident – something no individual human could have possibly predicted – is eliminated. And it’s not even 8 a.m. yet.
Fantasy or the future?
The construction industry, thanks to advances in technology and telematics, is at the cusp of creating scenarios just like this.
According to Mika Majapuro, director of product management and strategy at Teletrac Navman, the scenario described above is still on the bleeding edge but definitely the direction the industry is headed. And telematics provides the information the machines, in this case computers, need to learn.
Machine learning is basically about looking for patterns, Majapuro says. “What was the job type? What was the weather? How many people were there? What was their skill level? You can go as deep as you want.”
The contractor or fleet manager’s responsibility in making this a reality is inputting data, lots of data. “In teaching machines to learn something, you have to show cases where accidents happen and cases where they didn’t happen,” Majapuro says.
Teletrac Navman’s sister company, Predictive Solutions, has been doing machine learning for some time, says Majapuro. “You buy it as software as a service (SaaS),” he says. “They work with the customer to figure out their goals and get all the data. Then they run the model for you and provide the dashboards.”
In addition to machine learning and predictive analytics, “gamification” is another trend reshaping the telematics environment, says Pete Allen, chief client officer, MiX Telematics.
The over-the-road trucking industry is already using gamification to help improve driver safety and efficiency, he says. “I don’t see gamification as much in the construction world, although there are certainly pockets of it,” he says.
Gamification is simply putting all the driver’s behavior and metrics – things like speeding, harsh braking/acceleration, swerving and fuel economy – into a telematics dashboard and letting drivers and operators see how they compare to others. “The focus is to reduce crashes, but a lot of our customers like to make safety fun. If you put incentives around it or make a game out of it, it creates more awareness,” says Allen. “People will strive on their own to be safer drivers.”
The tracking of non-powered or non-mobile assets is another application the most advanced users of telematics systems are deploying to their benefit. Using QR codes and RFIDs, you can track things like light towers, generators, hand tools, conex boxes and trailers. “By tagging non-powered assets, you can build processes to take better care of your equipment,” says Majapuro.
Hand tools and other items tend to get stolen or lost, especially on large jobsites and sites where there are multiple subs and vendors coming and going all day. Oil and gas drilling sites are often large and full of expensive tooling and equipment, which is why some of their managers are starting to track their non-powered equipment, says Allen.
Many people view telematics at this stage in its evolution as merely a way to keep tabs on trucks, equipment and maintenance. But the most value and the next step in telematics is to disseminate and integrate the information to your whole business, says Josh DeCock, product management director, Pedigree Technologies.
“Changing your business is the hardest thing to do, but it’s also the most impactful,” DeCock says. “The companies that are going to the next level are those that push data into every department they have – maybe people who have never seen the telematics data. If you can save these employees time, they’re interested.”
Bidding and estimating people can sharpen their quotes with accurate equipment cost information and save time by not having to slog through paper records from the shop.
And eliminating the need for office staff to record employee hours and other personnel information can significantly cut labor costs. “Having that allows your data to flow to the back-end system so that no one has to manually type in that data – that’s some of the low-hanging fruit where you can get a lot of ROI,” says Majapuro.
Collaboration and consultation
While there are certainly many plug-and-play telematics systems on the market today, more advanced users are looking for broader functionality, and collaboration with their vendors, Allen says.
“In the contractor world, most companies go into it with the idea of just tracking assets and maximizing equipment life and getting maintenance information,” says Allen. “There is more they can do; they just don’t know it. One of the things we’ve done is align our resources to our customers’ business objectives. We help them achieve their objectives by making sure they’re looking at the right reports or dashboards or even measuring specific ROI items collectively together to help them become power users of the system.”
Formal consultations occur at least quarterly, says Allen. More frequent contact may be recommended proactively, depending on circumstances. “You keep your customers happy by helping them maximize the information they’re getting to better their business, to get a stronger ROI or a better experience for their end customers. We have to become service providers as well as technology platforms.”
The nuts and bolts of telematics technology is not super-sophisticated. Basic machine sensors or humans input information, and the software disseminates the information via the cloud or the web to whoever needs it. But there are a handful of advanced technologies that may become incorporated into telematics in the future, and these hold even more promise.
Cameras are already being used in some mining applications that analyze a driver’s face to detect head and eye movements and automatically alert managers about over-tired employees. Collision avoidance technology and the same collision avoidance systems being used in autonomous and semi-autonomous passenger cars could be easily integrated into an off-road telematics system.
For the near term, however, there are many advantages from vendors creating better dashboards that help to interpret the data and provide more actionable data, says Majapuro. “That will be a big step forward.”
DeCock adds that the full adoption of universal telematics data standards will also help drive adoption. While acknowledging the progress being made with the Association of Equipment Management Professionals Telematics Standard 2.0, the industry’s codes are not as uniform as they could be. “That would make life for the contractors much easier,” he says. “But that dream or vision is still being found.”
Source:: Equipment world
The design, which includes formed boom plates, also minimizes boom deflection for better control and accuracy when placing loads, the company says.
The boom has a maximum lift capacity of 9,000 pounds, max forward reach of 30 feet and max lift height of 44 feet, 6 inches.
Pettibone has nearly doubled boom overlap from previous models, which makes for smoother operation and less force on wear pads. A bottom-mounted external extend cylinder also reduces the load on the wear pad in half. All of this serves to extend the machine’s service life, and the location of the cylinder makes service access easier to internal boom components, the company says. Service is further simplified by fasten-less wear pads and a single extension chain instead of having to balance dual chains.
Cylinder cushioning has been added to smooth out extension and retraction to prevent hard, jarring stops that cause wear and tear and loads to spill. The telehandler’s single lift cylinder also improves sight lines. It features twin non-tensioned hydraulic lines for tilt and auxiliary plumbing.
The telehandler runs on a 74-horsepower Cummins QSF 3.8 Tier 4 final diesel engine, which is mounted on a side pod to improve service access and curbside visibility and to provide ground clearance of 18 inches. A 117-horsepower model is optional.
The company says the 944X is built for rough terrain, featuring four-wheel drive and limited-slip front axle differential. The Dana Powershift transmission offers three speeds, forward and reverse. Turning radius is 14 feet, 1 inch.
The cab features enhanced climate control, flat bolt-in glass and a split-door design. The rear window opens, and lockable storage is provided beneath the ergonomic seat. A USB accessory plug has been added. The components are water resistant, so they can be washed easily. The cab also features an ergonomic pedal, joystick and steering wheel. A new analog/LCD gauge cluster is standard, and a 7-inch digital display with backup camera is optional.
The telehandler’s fuel and hydraulic tanks are built of damage-resistant steel. The 30-gallon fuel tank has a lockable fuel-fill. Other features include non-tensioned boom hoses, split-system electrical circuit panels, a 12-volt accessory plug in the engine bay, and heavy-duty bright LED lighting. A sling hook for additional load security and a variety of attachments are available as options.
Source:: Equipment world
The camera mounts on your Bobcat loader tailgate protected by a sturdy metal housing.
There’s no way around the fact that skid steers have a big blind spot directly to their rear line of sight. Side mirrors help, but Bobcat has come up with an additional solution—a retrofit rear camera kit.
Designed and developed specifically for compact loaders, the Bobcat Rear Camera Kit includes a 4.3-inch LCD color monitor with an LED backlit screen, wiring harness, mounts and a tailgate mounted camera. The camera’s view gives you a 118-degree horizontal viewing angle and an 89-degree vertical angle.
The screen in the cab features an anti-glare, scratch resistant surface for visibility in all conditions.
The camera is activated whenever the ignition is turned on and runs continuously as the loader runs in forward and reverse. A heavy-duty metal housing and a rubber backlit keypad protects components from hazards. Internal heaters keep snow, condensation and ice from obscuring the view in temperatures as low as minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 185-degrees.
The kit takes about two hours to install and is compatible with any Bobcat M-series or newer loaders.
Source:: Equipment world
After three decades and key contributions, service manager Guy Tanney retires from Runnion Equipment
Service manager Guy Tanney is retiring after three decades with Runnion Equipment.
After 30 years with Runnion Equipment Company – and plenty of key accomplishments along the way – Guy Tanney is retiring as the company’s longtime, well-known service manager.
“Guy has been a key part of our management team and will be greatly missed,” says Michael Prochot, President at Runnion Equipment. “He is knowledgeable, energetic and always ready to take on any challenge.”
Tanney joined Runnion in 1987 as a mechanic and nine years later was promoted to service manager. Tanney’s accomplishments include developing Runnion’s internal crane inspection guidelines. And in another key role, he supervised the hiring of technicians through the Runnion mentorship program.
“Fortunately, Guy has assured us a smooth transition because he’s personally hired and trained almost all of our technicians,” says Prochot.
Tom Ludwick will replace Tanney as service manager. Ludwick joined Runnion in 2001 as a journeyman mechanic with 20 years of general mechanic and body shop experience.
Runnion Equipment has been selling and servicing boom trucks throughout northern Illinois, northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin since 1975, the company says.
Manufacturers include National Crane, Manitex, Palfinger, Prentice, Tadano, Dur-A-Lift, Boscaro, Heiden, Kinshofer, and Trail King.
For more information, visit runnionequipment.com.
Source:: Equipment world
The University of Nevada, Reno’s Earthquake Engineering Laboratory runs seismic tests on six different bridge connections for Accelerated Bridge Construction.
The University of Nevada, Reno’s Earthquake Engineering Laboratory recently conducted multiple earthquake simulation tests on a 70-ton, two-span, 70-foot-long bridge with six different types of bridge connections to see which connection would hold up best to a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, according to a university press release. The goal was to prove the connections were ready to be part of Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques to help provide earthquake safeguards.
Saiid Saiidi, professor in civil and environmental engineering at the university and director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Bridges and Infrastructure.
Each connection had already been tested on its own — four were designed to be undamaged, and two were designed to serve as a fuse and absorb the forces of the earthquake by breaking.
“The individual connection tests had given us very good results for each connection,” said Saiid Saiidi, principal investigator of the project, professor in civil and environmental engineering at the university and director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Bridges and Infrastructure, according to the university. “And for the first time, our study combined these connections in a single bridge which endured realistically strong earthquakes. We knew going into this that our individual positive tests did not inherently mean that all of the connections would work together, making this a necessary test.”
The study was part of the Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center’s (ABC-UTC) project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ABC-UTC’s mission is to develop earthquake resistant precast bridge components and systems, and transform research data into seismic design guidelines to expand the use of ABC methods in seismic zones. The research team consisted of Saiidi, College of Engineering doctoral fellows, doctoral candidates, and graduate and undergraduate assistants.
“Along with avoiding collapse, the outcome of our study showed that all of the six connections performed as expected,” Saiidi continued. “It will be a few months before we can evaluate data from the 280 sensors that we had in the bridge to get more insight about the connections — including transducers, accelerometers, potentiometers, string potentiometers, and strain gauges all to record the forces the connections experienced — but we are now confident to recommend these connections for application in real bridges. I was very pleased with what we learned. Not only do we have a better understanding of how the connections work together, but we have the data now to see how they react under extreme, off-the-charts conditions meaning we can prepare for more than what is expected.”
In addition to creating the project’s base guidelines and practices, the team also helps transition the collective knowledge of the overall project and its seismic studies into an educational environment by developing course modules on earthquake engineering techniques.
“There are many aspects of bridge construction and safety that ABC-UTC is researching, such as ease of construction and durability of joints,” Saiidi told the news agency. “The University of Nevada, Reno is part of the seismic performance portion of ABC-UTC-Seismic, which is the most critical aspect when it comes to bridge connections.”
Source:: Equipment world
For its civic contributions, Terracon Consultants, Inc., of Olathe, Kansas has won first place in the 2018 “Helping Hand Awards” sponsored by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association‘s foundation.
The annual awards “recognize extraordinary programs—outside the scope of normal business operations—that demonstrably benefit and help improve the quality of life in the community where the company is based or conducts business,” the organization says.
HCSS, based in Sugar Land, Texas, won second place.
The awards were presented May 15 at an ARTBA Transportation Development Foundation event in Washington, D.C.
Terracon employee-owners give back
Through the Terracon Foundation, the company’s employee-owners give back to the communities they serve by delivering safe, quality facilities and infrastructure projects that support strong, vibrant communities, ARTBA says.
“Terracon encourages employees to submit requests for one-year grants for local organizations aligned with its company’s mission of ‘using the earth’s resources at a rate in which they are naturally replenished while not compromising the ability of future generations to use them.’ Each year, the company participates in hundreds of philanthropic and civic events near its 140 local offices across the nation,” the press release says.
Since it began in 2008, the Terracon Foundation has awarded more than $1.6 million to community organizations, universities, natural disaster victims and dependents of employees.
In 2017 alone, the group provided nearly $300,000 in grants to many worthy causes from Society of Women Engineers to Girl Scouts to universities and schools, the press release says.
HCSS of Sugar Land, Texas garners high honor, too
“In August 2017, a large, slow-moving hurricane made landfall southwest of Houston. Hurricane Harvey became a Category 4 storm in just 40 hours, landing near Rockport and Fulton, bringing with it wind gusts of more than 130 miles per hour,” ARTBA says.
“HCSS, a construction software company, was spared from flooding. However, 25 company employees in the Fort Bend County community were not so lucky. More than 200,000 residents were impacted, with 6,824 homes damaged in the county.”
About 20 percent of the county’s land area was flooded, requiring nearly 10,000 emergency rescues and resulting in three deaths.
“Homes across the county took on multiple inches of floodwater, ruining all possessions inside. Unlike most storms, which make landfall and quickly move inland and away from the coast, Harvey stalled over the Gulf Coast for several days, producing catastrophic and deadly flash flooding.
“Cedar Bayou in Houston recorded a new North American record of 51.88 inches of rainfall in less than 48 hours, and more than one-third of Houston was underwater.
“Nearly 40,000 people were forced out of their homes and into shelters. All told, the storm damaged 203,000 homes, destroyed 12,700, caused more than $125 billion in damage and had affected 13 million people from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky as moved its way through to the eastern U.S. The storm also claimed 88 lives,”
During the storm, HCSS continued normal business operations as much as possible, with many employees working from home in order to continue meeting the “24/7” customer service needs of customers from around the country, ARTBA says.
“But several employees had in mind to do much more than just proceed as normal.
“HCSS coordinated cleanup efforts in the community, spending $27,000 on supplies. It also provided a staging area for those supplies and others donated by customers, coordinated 1,200 volunteers who donated 20,000 hours to clean up 250 homes, and housed Christian Aid Ministries workers who came to Texas to help with cleanup.
“Employees and customers also raised nearly $150,000 via a “Go Fund Me” campaign to help other employees impacted by the storm.”
Established in 1985, the ARTBA Foundation is a nonprofit designed to “promote research, education and public awareness” about the impacts of transportation investment.
Source:: Equipment world
Anyone who’s ever hopped inside a skid steer knows what nimble machines they can be. And chances are you’ve seen at least one or two videos floating around the internet of these compact loaders performing tricks on two wheels. The operator in the video below has decided to put both his skill and the skid steer’s nimble qualities to the test by attempting to log roll a pipe to cross a 72-foot spanse on parallel beams.
The stunt comes from China’s state-sponsored television outlet CCTV and leans a bit heavily into the dramatics, as you might expect. There’s little reason to fear for the operator however, as he and the loader are suspended by heavy duty support cables from above. The cables are put to the test by the way. The operator’s first attempt fails and as the pipe falls to the floor below, the cables hold strong, leaving the loader dangling gently in the air.
The operator’s next attempt is a success. So what do you think? Impressive? Easy? Let us know in the comments.
Heavy machinery becomes agile acrobat: Man drives a loader over 22-meter parallel bars while balancing on top of a rotating cylinder. #CCTV #ImpossibleChallenge
Posted by CCTV on Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Source:: Equipment world
Spectra Precision LT52G Point and Crossline laser.
For those of you fortunate enough to score an indoor job this summer, Trimble introduced a new Spectra Precision green beam laser line. Green laser beams are easier to see than red beams and well suited for interior conditions with strong ambient light.
The Spectra Precision LT52G is both a five-beam laser pointer and a horizontal and vertical crossline laser. With it you can lay out walls, do horizontal and vertical leveling and 90-degree squaring. The other tool in the lineup, the Spectra Precision LT58G, gives you a horizontal plane intersected by two vertical planes spaced 90 degrees apart. This provides reference points for a variety of interior layout tasks. Both lasers come with mounting accessories and a hard carrying case.
The tools’ automatic self-leveling lets you set up and get to work fast. If some clumsy drywall dude happens to bump your laser, it gives you an “out of level” warning. If somebody on your crew drops your laser from a height of up to one meter, you should fire them, but according to the company a drop from that height won’t hurt the device.
The same tools are also available as red-beam lasers at a lower price when visibility conditions are not a factor.
Source:: Equipment world
McCann Industries is expanding its territory as the exclusive dealer for Case equipment to include four more counties in Indiana: LaPorte, Marshall, St. Joseph and Stark.
The company says that all equipment sales, parts and service will be provided by McCann throughout this area from its location in Schererville, Indiana at 1133 Indianapolis Boulevard.
Kevin Walford is the account rep for new counties added by McCann Industries to its Indiana territory.
Kevin Wolford has recently joined McCann as account manager for these counties.
“We are honored that Case has expanded our Indiana territory and very happy that Kevin will be representing us in the area,” says Jim McCann, president and CEO at McCann Industries.
“With 17 years of heavy equipment sales experience in the territory, Kevin’s knowledge and expertise will be extremely valuable as we get to know our new customers.”
Before joining McCann, Wolford was a sales representative for a heavy equipment dealer in Indiana.
In addition to offering the full line of Case construction equipment at its Schererville location, the company says, McCann stocks an extensive inventory of parts for quick deliveries and provides on-site service for routine maintenance and emergency repairs.
An extensive rental fleet is available. Certified technicians work with any brand or model of heavy equipment.
McCann’s roots go back to ’67 in Illinois
The company roots trace back to when Jim McCann’s father, the late Richard “Dick” McCann, founded McCann Construction Specialities Company in 1967 in Villa Park, Illinois.
Over the next 30 years, Dick McCann led the expansion of the company to represent manufacturers of construction products and light equipment. McCann Power & Equipment was established in 1995 with the acquisition of three Case Construction Equipment dealerships in Illinois and Indiana.
Five years later, the two companies merged to become McCann Industries Inc., providing a full range of equipment, contractor supplies and services for the construction industry.
McCann Industries locations include seven throughout the Chicago area. Equipment manufacturers include Case, Takeuchi, Wacker Neuson, ICS, Allen Engineering, Sullair and Husqvarna.
Source:: Equipment world
Higher gas prices won’t keep near-record number of Americans from Memorial Day travel; delays could triple
More than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years, according to AAA.
Delays on major roads could be up to three times longer than normal, with the busiest days being Thursday and Friday (May 24-25) as commuters mix with holiday travelers.
“The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” says Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway.”
To compile this forecast, AAA turned to INRIX, a global transportation company that specializes in connected car services and transportation analytics.
AAA forecasts these statistics for the holiday weekend:
- Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 36.6 million – will hit the road this Memorial Day, which is t 4.7 percent more than last year.
- Planes: 1 million people will travel by air, a 6.8 percent increase and the fifth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
- Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 2.4 percent to 1.8 million passengers.
INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25, especially in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.
Several major U.S. metros could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip, while New Yorkers could see three times the delay, AAA says.
“Ranked the most congested country in the world, U.S. drivers are all too familiar with sitting in traffic,” says Graham Cookson, chief economist and bead of research for INRIX.
“Drivers should expect congestion across a greater number of days than in previous years, with the getaway period starting on Wednesday, May 23. Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commute times in major cities altogether – traveling late morning or early afternoon – or plan alternative routes.”
Higher gas prices not deterring travelers
The 88 percent of travelers choosing to drive will pay the most expensive Memorial Day gas prices since 2014. Gas prices averaged $2.72 in April, an increase of 33 cents from last year, due to expensive crude oil, record gasoline demand and shrinking global supply.
However, these higher prices are not keeping holiday travelers home, with automobile travel expected to increase for the fourth straight year.
Before heading out on a road trip this Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more.
To see the complete AAA/IHS Markit 2018 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast, click here.
Source:: Equipment world