Sany unveils SY16C and SY35U compact excavators
With three new machines in its booth, including two new compact excavators, Sany America is poised to deliver on the full faith of the Sany Corporation, says new CEO Mike Rhoda.
“Sany is now the 5th largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world, so that’s a lot of horsepower,” Rhoada said to a packed press event on Thursday.
With 40 dealers across all product lines, including cranes, the company is “well on its way to covering North America,” Rhoda says.
The SY16C and the SY35U compact excavators are the first compact pieces Sany has brought to North America. With an operating weight of 3,858 pounds and a maximum dig depth of 7 feet 8 inches, the short-tail-swing SY16C has a bucket breakout force of 8,333 pounds.
The zero-tail swing SY35U weighs 8,333 pounds, with a maximum dig depth of 10 feet 2 inches, and the enclosed cab has standard air conditioning. Both models have a hydraulically controlled dozer blade and load-sensing hydraulics boost fuel economy.
“Approximately 25 percent of all compact excavators sold here are in the 3- and 4-ton size class, so the SY35U hits a sweet spot,” says Eric Teague, vice president and general manager, with Sany America’s earthmoving division.
In addition to the compact excavators, Sany unveiled its SCC8100TBXL telescopic boom crawler crane.
In the included video, Teague details the zero-tail-swing SY35U.
VIDEOS: Michigan DOT debunks transportation myths with ‘Reality Check’ series
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is using a series of videos and information sheets to debunk a few transportation myths.
The series, dubbed “Reality Check” examines what the agency calls “common transportation misconceptions” and offers explanations on why those ideas are false.
“There are many myths and rumors about transportation in Michigan, often repeated, that either aren’t quite true or are flat-out wrong,” says State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Getting these cleared up is an important step to having a logical and open discussion about the real problems facing Michigan’s transportation infrastructure.”
MDOT’s first two reality checks focus on transportation funding and on salting the roads. Check out the included videos to see the agency’s take on these topics, then read more about transportation funding here and deicing here.
The DOT plans to address more transportation myths throughout the year, tackling topics such as sign replacements, roundabout safety, truck weights, road-building standards and the effects of gas prices on fuel tax revenues.
Watch the agency debunk those myths this year at michigan.gov/realitycheck.
What your agency needs to know about how this year’s cold and snow might affect spring weather
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring weather. Sure, I love winter sports and playing in the snow with my kids, but this winter has been particularly rough with extreme winter weather. It has certainly done a number on our roads, too.
Related: Michigan DOT, local agencies could receive $100 million for highway damage caused by winter storms
The potholes that come out of the freeze-thaw cycles (or what seems like arctic freeze then thawing to still below freezing weather) this year seem more like giant holes or craters in some areas.
Pothole patching is a given, but according to Schneider Electric, the long and snowy winter may affect weather this coming spring.
With the chill and snow lingering until April or May, severe weather across the U.S., and wet weather in the Southeast, it’s important to plan ahead for a possibly volatile spring.
Jeff Johnson, Schneider Electric’s Chief Science Officer, will host a free webinar on March 18 at 11 a.m. CDT to offer guidance on how to be best prepared to handle the weather challenges during the upcoming spring.
The company says it plans to cover the following topics:
Lingering chill and snow,
Severe weather across the U.S.,
Wet conditions in the Southeast,
Anticipated temperatures, and
To register for the webinar, click here.
Ritchie Bros. Las Vegas auction coinciding with ConExpo-Con/Agg brings in $60 million-plus
Coinciding with ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 last week, the every-three-year concrete/aggregate equipment show, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers broke several of its side records with its auctions on March 6 and 7 that brought in more than $60 million in gross auction proceeds, had more than 4,750 registered bidders, more than 450 sellers and 900 total buyers, at its permanent auction site in Nevada.
Ritchie Bros. says the two-day unreserved public auction broke several site records for online sales, including more than $19 million in online gross auction proceeds, 2,900 online registered bidders and more than 400 online buyers.
More than 2,350 equipment items, including motor graders, hydraulic excavators, backhoes and skid steer loaders, were sold in the auction, with every item sold without minimum bids or reserve prices, according to Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.
At the time of this posting, the company’s next unreserved public auction in Las Vegas was slated for June 6.
Auction Quick Facts for March 6-7, Las Vegas:
Total Gross Auction Proceeds (in-person and online): US $60+ million (*new Las Vegas, NV permanent auction site record)
Amount sold online: $19+ million (*new Las Vegas permanent auction site record)
Unique registered bidders (total): 4,750+ (*new Las Vegas permanent auction site record)
Unique registered online bidders: 2,900+ (*new Las Vegas permanent auction site record)
Online buyers: 400+
Total number of lots sold: 2,350+
Total number of sellers: 450+ (*new Las Vegas permanent auction site record)
Source: Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Manitou previews MHT 1490 telescopic handler at ConExpo-Con/Agg
Manitou showcased a prototype of its MHT 1490 high-capacity telescopic handler at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 in Las Vegas.
A 176-horsepower Tier 4 Final Mercedes engine with four cylinders powers the telehandler and is equipped with an exhaust gas recycling (EGR) valve and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) that requires diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). A hydrostatic transmission coupled to a gearbox delivers speeds up to nearly 25 mph.
The 42,990-pound machine has a lift capacity of up to 19,850 pounds; a lift height of up to 46 feet; a turning radius of 13 feet, 2 inches; and a width of 8 feet, 3 inches.
The cab includes a longitudinal stability indicator, frame leveling, a load status regulator to improve safety during handling and a Joystick Switch & Move (JSM) single lever control for stability.
The telehandler features a chassis reinforcement designed to handle heavy loads, a triplex chain boom that keeps all machine components inside the telescopic tube to avoid damage, automatic rear axle locking to increase stability and an attachment fitting system that allows the operator to quickly add an attachment to the machine.
Proportional valves make the machine easy to level, according to the company. The valves can correct leaning of 6.5 degrees on the stabilizer or 8 degrees on the tires.
The Bearded Editors of Construction
For those of you who were at ConExpo-Con/Agg last week, you know how busy this show has been. I’m sure many of you have seeing the editors running – literally – from one press event to another trying to cram in booth visits in between writing up show coverage.
But after a day of walking about 10 miles (Yes, we tracked it!) during the show and “getting up at the ‘butt crack’ of dawn” (as one manufacturer rep who held a 7 a.m. press conference referred to it), several construction industry editors let loose to go see the bearded wonders of ZZ Top.
Here are some embarrassing images to show that editors have fun, too! (Although, we did find ourselves pointing out all the grammatical mistakes on signs on our way the show.) Do you like how we tried to copy ZZ Top’s signature style with a long beard and sunglasses?
If you have any fun images from the show (keep them clean, please) that you want to share, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know where they were taken.
Transportation Talk: Can We Stop a ‘Painful’ Transportation Situation?
We’re in trouble – big trouble – and it’s going to be hard to find a way out. It’s not news to anyone in the transportation construction industry that the nation’s Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is in peril. So far, we’ve put on Band-Aids to scrape by and keep things functioning. But this isn’t just a scratch. We’re hemorrhaging, and if we don’t use a “tourniquet,” the nation’s infrastructure system is going to bleed to death. That tourniquet is a new source of revenue.
Related: VIDEO: ARTBA President Pete Ruane urges ConExpo-Con/Agg attendees to tell Congress to fix Highway Trust Fund
Fixing the HTF without any new revenue would require the equivalent of Congress passing and the president signing a 2013-level Murray-Ryan budget deal every year just to maintain current highway and transit program investments, says Pete Ruane, president of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), to a Senate panel last month. (The Act is the bipartisan compromise reached by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.) The HTF will not be able to support any investments in new projects after September. A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report found an average of $16.3 billion is needed each year to preserve the current transportation program. By comparison, according to ARTBA, during a two-year period, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 reallocates resources to increase the no-defense discretionary spending cap by about $16 billion per year.
Ruane cautioned the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee that a “painful scenario” is ahead of us. If the HTF shortfall isn’t addressed, he said the more than 12,000 highway bridge and safety capital projects throughout the nation could be lost. (Go to youtube.com/watch?v=ZFYaSxatANI#t=79 to see a video from Ruane.)
In 2015, the HTF highway account will have insufficient revenues to meet its obligations, resulting in steadily accumulating shortfalls, according to the CBO report. Under current law, the HTF cannot incur negative balances and has no authority to borrow additional funds. However, following the rules in the Deficit Control Act of 1985, CBO’s baseline for highway spending incorporates the assumption that obligations incurred by the Highway Trust Fund will be paid in full.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has indicated it needs at least $4 billion in cash balances available in the highway account and at least $1 billion in the transit account to meet obligations as they are due, the CBO report notes. This means, according to the CBO’s baseline projections, the highway account may have to delay some of its payments until the latter part of 2014.
The inadequate revenue is like watching our nation’s infrastructure bleed out. As the nation continues in a slow economic recovery, we need to ensure the HTF remains solvent.
To avoid this “painful” scenario, please talk to your Congressman or Congresswomen and let him or her know not only does your job depends on this, but also the nation’s health.
The Last Word
By Tina Grady Barbaccia
The Roadologist Blog
For more blogs from Better Roads, visit betterroads.com.
I wasn’t sure at first what kind of reaction I would get to the “‘Booth babes’ and the S.T.E.A.M. professions” blog post I recently wrote (betterroads.com/booth-babes-and-the-s-t-e-a-m-professions), but it has really generated reader dialogue. In fact, I’ve been able to post several reader responses, some of which I have shared here. I spent a week at World of Concrete 2014 in Las Vegas in January to learn about the latest technology, see new and updated equipment and talk with manufacturers, contractors and agency transportation professionals, enhance my industry knowledge and build relationships. However, when I was on the tradeshow floor I was a bit disappointed to see that some exhibitors are still hiring “booth babes,” doing a disservice to the Science, Math, Engineering, Art and Design, and Technology (S.T.E.A.M.) professions. (You can read the original post, but I think the reader responses are more entertaining.)
Male reader and well-respected industry figure, “J.A.M.,” said, “I am a middle-aged male, relatively well-known industry professional who appreciates an attractive woman’s figure as much as most men do. But it is almost embarrassing to walk up to a vendor whose products in which you may actually have interest and feel like a voyeur because of the ‘eye candy’ standing around. I for one don’t want to risk the appearance in my colleagues’ eyes of being interested in that aspect of the booth vs. the actual product displayed.” For the rest of his comments, go to betterroads.com/one-reader-responds-to-booth-babes-blog-post.
A female equipment manager shared a story, which I found very amusing. She brought her husband with her – an imposing figure at 6 feet, 7 inches tall – who does not work in the construction industry. When the couple would walk up to booths together, he developed this response for when sales people would automatically walk up to him and ignore her: “That sounds great, but I didn’t understand anything you just said. You need to talk to her! I’m just here to hold the bag.” She said this gave her a nice chuckle and then added, “I guess my husband is kind of my own personal booth babe.” For more reader feedback and stories, go to “The Saga Continues: More readers share stories, opinions on ‘booth babes’” at betterroads.com/the-saga-continues-more-readers-share-stories-opinions-on-booth-babes.
After reading an article about this in Fast Company (fastcompany.com/3025457/leadership-now/8-of-the-strangest-interview-questions-job-candidates-have-asked), I felt like I had just looked at an article out of The Onion, a satirical (but in my opinion, very well-written) take on real news.
These questions asked by potential job candidates showcase bad manners and are just downright odd. One candidate’s mom came along for an interview because she was afraid her shy daughter might forget something important. Another job candidate asked the potential employer to pay him less than a living wage so he could stiff his wife in their divorce. Then there was the interviewee who asked if it was OK if he barked at the dogs in the pet-friendly office to show his dominance. You can’t forget the candidate who asked to eat lunch during the interview, the one who asked if it was OK to grab snacks from the kitchen, the candidate who wanted to know whether the potential boss was single and the job applicant who asked when she would be able to pass a drug test if she had just smoked marijuana. For The Roadologist post on this, go to betterroads.com/8-strange-interview-questions-or-how-not-to-get-hired.
What is the oddest interview question you have been asked by a potential job candidate or a potential employer? What is the most unique question you may have asked a job applicant?
New Road Products
Special ConExpo-Con/Agg coverage. Please see betterroads.com for additional products and press event coverage.
ConExpo-Con/Agg Booth 51021 in Central Hall
Wirtgen is debuting its W 250i cold-milling machine at ConExpo-Con/Agg. The company’s largest cold-milling machine, the W 250i has an extra-large milling drum; a working width of 12 feet, 6 inches; a camera system; a Vacuum Cutter System (VCS); a dual-engine concept; and three milling drum speed options. wirtgenamerica.com
ConExpo-Con/Agg Booth 10016 in North Hall
Komatsu America is showcasing its four intelligent Machine Control (iMC) dozers at ConExpo-Con/Agg. The dozers are designed to seamlessly transition from rough dozing to finish grading, and they feature an integrated sensor package. komatsuamerica.com
ConExpo-Con/Agg Booth 31040 in Central Hall
Leading Edge Attachments (LEA) is featuring six attachments – five buckets and one stump removal tool – at ConExpo-Con/Agg. The company is displaying its High-Cap, Multi-Ripper Bucket that acts as a trencher; Multi-DigNRip Bucket for high-production rip and load applications; new Stag Bucket with “Staggered Tooth” technology; V-Raptor Bucket ripper/bucket combination for excavators and backhoes; Stumpiranha stump removal tool; and Multi-Ripper Talon Bucket narrow bucket with a center rib that can be eliminated. leadingedgeattachments.com
New to Hyundai’s 9A series, the R55-9A and R55W-9A mini excavators feature improvements from previous models, including a certified Tier 4 Final engine upgrade, improved hydraulics, increased operator comfort and added durability. The R55-9A track model and R55W-9A wheeled model have operating weights of 12,460 pounds and 12,240 pounds, respectively. hceamericas.com
Saw Seal’s new Saw Seal Machine cleans and seals multiple joints simultaneously in new concrete pavement. Features include a blade-only contact method that controls cracking as the concrete cures, a HEPA filtration vacuum system that collects dust and silica, a 55-gallon drum that stores dust and silica, a compressed air nozzle that cleans and dries the joint and a Crafco EZ Series II 1500 melter that applies sealant in the finals stage. sawseal.com
The first of its kind, Genie’s telematics-ready connector features a “plug and play” option for Genie boom lifts. Available on Genie S-80 and Z-80 boom lifts, the factory-installed connector offers hour meter reporting, location, machine use and several security features. The connector will be available on S-100, S-120 and ZX-135 models by the end of the first quarter. genielift.com
ConExpo-Con/Agg Booth 65830 in South Hall
Illumagear’s Halo Light Personal Active Safety System, which the company is displaying at ConExpo-Con/Agg, attaches to a hard hat to illuminate 360 degrees of a worker’s task area. Designed to eliminate shadows, the light provides visibility up to 1/4 mile away and offers four light modes: Halo, Hi-Alert, Task and Dim. A tension spring-mounting system connects the system to most hard hats. illumagear.com
Henderson Products has introduced the BrineXtreme, a mobile salt brine solution that produces professional grad salt brine on the go. Designed to provide a concentration that is accurate to 01001 SG, the unit is able to work in temperatures as low as -6 degrees F and can perform pre-storm applications. The unit has a production rate of up to 160 gallons per minute and a 5-cubic-yard capacity. hendersonproducts.com
Neal Manufacturing’s heavy-duty ESSP 550T and 750T trailer-mounted sealcoating machines have electric super sand pump (ESSP) systems that produce up to 100 gallons per minute and a water tank hand-wand holder that prevents the sealer from leaking. The 550T and 750T have capacities of up to 550 gallons and 750 gallons, respectively. Features include 75 feet of reinforced hose, a 6-foot hand wand, a six-nozzle spray bar, 2.5-gallon material fillers, Neal’s Generation III pump heads and more. nealequip.com
Public vs. Private Distinction
Why knowing the allowable timeline to bring a lawsuit is important
The distinction between a public and private work of improvement is an important one for contractors. Public works of improvements are subject to laws that do not affect private projects.
For example, public projects are subject to bonding requirements, prevailing wage requirements and other laws and requirements that do not apply to private jobs. Although it is typically obvious whether a project is public or private, the distinction is not always clear.
In a recent California case – R&R Pipeline, Inc. v. Bond Safeguard Insurance Co. (Jan. 27, 2014) – the court held that a contractor who provided storm drain and sewer work for a golf course subdivision could bring a lawsuit to enforce a subdivision improvement bond because the project was private and not public.
In May 2008, R&R entered into a written contract with Los Valles Company, LP for infrastructure work on land being developed by Los Valles as a golf course and residential community. The project involved an 18-hole golf course designed by Arnold Palmer and 209 residential lots in Los Angeles County near Castaic, California. The project included the construction of improvements such as streets, sidewalks, gutters, storm drains and sewers, which were to be dedicated to the county upon completion.
As part of the project, in December 2006, Los Valles entered into a Public Works Multiple Agreement (Multiple Agreement) with Los Angeles County. The Multiple Agreement required Los Valles to complete the subdivision improvements, including the work contracted for with R&R, to receive a final map. Bond Safeguard issued labor and material payment bonds covering the work. The County was the beneficiary under the bonds, and Los Valles was the principal. The bonds provided that Bond Safeguard would pay for any work or labor performed by R&R under its contract with Los Valles. The work was to be completed by Los Valles to the satisfaction of the County. R&R performed work up to Oct. 1, 2008.
R&R performed its work, and Los Valles breached the contract by failing to pay the sums due. R&R claimed it was owed more than $1.2 million, including $1,085,858.64 under the contract, and an additional $150,000 in restocking charges on materials ordered. In December 2008, R&R filed a lawsuit against Los Valles. On May 17, 2011, R&R first notified Bond Safeguard in writing of its claims. R&R did not give written notice to the county. On July 25, 2011, R&R named Bond Safeguard as a defendant in its lawsuit. None of the subdivision improvements were completed and dedicated or accepted by the county.
The trial court ruled against R&R and in favor of Bond Safeguard. The trial court found the project was a public work of improvement, based on the Multiple Agreement that required Los Valles to construct improvements (sewers, storm drains, and tunnels) according to the County’s approved plans. Since it found the project was a public work, the trial court found R&R failed to give timely notice of its claim to the County or Bond Safeguard and entered judgment for Bond Safeguard. R&R appealed.
The appeals court reviewed the record and found the Multiple Agreement was not a public works contract because the county was not an owner, did not have a contract with R&R was not seeking payment from the county. In addition, R&R’s work was performed on private land, which was never accepted by the county. Further, the project was not described as a public improvement in the Multiple Agreement or payment bond. Finally, the amount of the payment bonds were only about 50 percent of the estimated cost of improvements, while public works projects require bonds that are at least 100 percent of the contract amount.
Since the project was private, R&R was not subject to the notice requirements for public projects and had four years to file suit against Bond Safeguard. As a result, the appeals court reversed the judgment against R&R.
The R&R Pipeline case illustrates one important distinction between public and private projects – the allowable timeline to bring a lawsuit on a labor and material payment bond. Here, the public versus private distinction was critical to R&R being permitted to continue with its lawsuit seeking more than $1.2 million in damages.
In addition to bonding issues, the public versus private distinction has important implications in other areas, including public bidding laws, prevailing wage requirements and public contracting requirements. It is important for contractors to understand the realm in which they are contracting – public or private – and applicable legal requirements so they can best protect their rights.
Attorney Brian Morrow is a partner in Newmeyer & Dillon LLP and a licensed civil engineer specializing in construction law including road and heavy construction.
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