Monthly Archives: December 2015

Low oil prices affecting heavy equipment industry

Oil prices have a huge impact on the construction industry as well as on the heavy equipment industry. In the last few years, we have seen the oil price were at its peak and were expecting it to come down. Not only the big industrialists but also the common man was getting badly bruised by the increase in the oil price. But how far the reductions in the oil price will help the heavy equipment companies has become the topic of concern. To put it in other words, does the reduction in oil price really make the business profitable for the heavy equipment industry or is it otherwise. Well, it can have a 2 way effect on the heavy equipment manufacturing companies.

Since for the last many years, oil prices were not ready to come down, which is why heavy equipment manufacturing companies were unanimously were of the opinion to manufacture equipment that will consume less fuel and will be high on productivity. This means that the machines which consume more fuel will slowly and steadily go extinct. Simultaneously, the new technology machine will also cost more to the buyers. This has put the heavy equipment manufacturing companies in a win-win situation as they can make good profits by selling low fuel consumption machines to big construction houses and can make good money out of it. Their plan was solid and also seemed to be fool proof as no one had anticipated that the oil prices can also take a dip in the near future.

Now when the price has come down, the construction houses are not showing much interest in buying machines that consumes less fuel. They are of the belief that since the oil prices are down, it is profitable to buy machines that eats more fuel as they will not cost them a fortune, use it for some years and then if there is an increase in the oil price which they expect would be in a gradual way, they will start looking for buyers. Small time contractors or small construction companies will not mind in buying those used machines at a lower rate. Therefore, the big companies will get their work done and when they see the oil prices are rising, they will get rid of those machines and then probably buy the ones that consumes less fuel.

If things go according to the construction companies wishes, they will be the one who will make the most out of it. However, things may not be as merrier as there is a possibility that the heavy equipment companies may stop manufacturing equipment that consumes more fuel which means the construction companies may have no option other than to buy those expensive machines. In other words, fall in oil prices will not have any positive impact in their company’s balance sheet. It is pretty obvious that the heavy equipment industry will not take a financial hit to please the construction companies and therefore will stick to producing machines with low fuel consumption.

How to protect heavy equipment during winter

Heavy equipment has to go through a lot of hardships and unlike humans it does not complain. Well, it does break down when it is unable to take any further but it has a very high level of endurance which makes it the most important component of the construction industry. However, it also becomes futile in front of extreme weather and rough terrain. Be it the hot summer or the wet monsoon or the harsh winter, it is expected to perform throughout the year but there is always a chance of it breaking down if the weather becomes extreme. More so in the winter, when the weather outside is frozen and the inside of the machine needs to be hot. Most of the times, it cranks up and does not start. It is therefore that the heavy equipment owners have to take extra care when it comes to their heavy equipment operating in chilled winter season.

Check if the engine is well lubricated:-

Most of the parts of the machine need to be well lubricated in order to function without any hick-ups. Hence, the operator needs to keep a very close watch and check time to time if the machine is well lubricated and special care needs to be taken with the engine of the machine. The engine oil should be changed on a regular basis and especially during winters, it should be changed once in a month. Due to the frozen climate outside, the oil becomes thick and it does not act as a good lubricator then. This may also affect the health of other parts of the machine which will eventually lead to complete replacement of that part. It absolutely makes no sense to invest money on buying new parts when you can easily change the engine oil at regular intervals.

Clean the fuel tank:-

Cleaning the fuel tank may sound to be trivial but is very crucial when it comes to the overall health of the heavy equipment. You need to clean the fuel tank cap and ensure that the cap is doing well. The fuel should be clean and should not contain any sediment or water. The presence of these components can become a big problem pertaining to fuel injection system failures.

Ensure that the batteries are in good health:-

It is perhaps the batteries that are the affected the most with the beginning of the winter. In order to ensure that the batteries are doing well, the operator should check the battery electrolyte and make sure that it is up to the full indicator and also above the plates. Another trivial but important part is to clean the top of the battery. There happens to be a lot of dirt on the top of the stuff and that can result in energy drain. You can make use of baking soda and terminal bush to clean any corrosion that exists around the posts. If you see that the heavy equipment will not be used during the winters and will be needed some other time, you can just remove the batteries and keep them in a storeroom so that it avoids any direct contact with the outside freezing weather.

Make use of Social Networking websites to grow your heavy equipment business

Any form of business is directly connected with technology and successful business entrepreneurs make full use of the latest technology to grow their business. They find it to be one of the simplest and quickest ways to reach millions in just seconds which is not possible through any other mode. Running a successful business is an art and not everyone can master that art. The person need to be foresighted and should understand the importance of technology and how it can impact its business. One form of technology that is making rounds these days is social networking. These days everyone has an account in some or the other social networking website and through that they try to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones. However, this mode is also been acknowledged as one of the crucial method of spreading the news of your business. In order for people to know the kind of work you are into, you can make use of a social networking website that is popularly used by many and can create your business profile out there.

It has proven to be a great stuff for beginners who are not a known figure in their line of business. It is difficult to win the trust of your clients when you are new to a business. They have doubts like if you can complete the work in the given time frame, if you have the required resources to get the job done and many such questions that a newbie finds it hard to deal with. People who are from the construction industry or the ones who deals with selling of heavy equipment find social networking websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat etc. as a wonderful tool to connect with people; many known and some unknown.

Once you are registered member of any social networking website you talk about your business to your friends and people whom you know. You keep posting articles about your work or your achievements which is read by people who can be your friends or your friend’s friend. The sole purpose is to reach to as many people as you can by posting a single post. If you are selling heavy equipment you can talk about your website in your profile and also put the picture of your company’s logo as the profile picture. You can make use of Snapchat to send pictures or videos to all your friends or to people specific.

Having a website of your company is good but social networking sites make it easy for you to connect to people who are not known to you and who do not know anything about you. They may see your company’s logo for the first time on some of your friend’s profile who must have liked your profile picture or any video posted by you. This is how they get to know about you and may go to your website to know more about you. This will eventually help you to develop your business in the long run.

Small dirt moving equipment

Being into the construction industry, it is very important that you have a mixture of small, medium and large heavy equipment. You never know when you need to enter a zone that for some reason does not give access to large or medium sized machines and therefore you need the smaller one to do the job for you. Being small does not imply that they are any less efficient as far as the productivity of the machine is concerned. It is just that they can more efficiently do the work in the area where large machines just can’t enter. You can find a smaller version in every type of heavy equipment making things far more comfortable for the guy who has taken up the work.

Excavators can be one of the most efficient dirt moving heavy equipment and almost all the construction equipment manufacturing companies produce small sized excavators. They prove to be really helpful in places that have narrow entry point and you need to send the machine through the small passage and get the dirt out. Prices of such excavators depend upon the name of the brands and he features available in the machine. However, they are pretty within the reach of any small construction company and just in case if they too find it a little expensive then always have the option to rent it from its owner. Unlike other heavy equipment, excavators have tracks and do not work on tires.

Backhoe loaders are another sect of machines that fall in the bracket of dirt moving equipment and the smaller version of such machines can really do wonders in a construction site. Small backhoe loaders are also used by companies that can’t afford to buy the bigger version. They can easily do their work without having to spend a fortune on buying expensive machines. Unlike excavators, backhoe loaders are mounted on tires and not on tracks. They have the capability to work both with the shovel and the bucket at the same time. The shovel is attached to the front of the machine and the bucket is at the rear. Many construction companies find backhoe loaders as more compatible machines for jobs that have small space to operate.

Bulldozers can also be a good option when it comes to small dirt moving equipment. They are not only used to flatten the roads but are also used to pick huge piles of dirt and port it from one place to another. They are quite heavy machines and are considered to be the best machine for this job. They have those blades attached in the front using which they dig the mud and pull the dirt out. The blades are usually controlled with the help of hydraulic pistons.

These are probably few dirt moving equipment that are used extensively in construction sites and are also high in demand. One can buy them directly from the company or can even contact the dealer. Do check if you can get any discount before you go for the purchase.



Cold Weather Diesel Fuel Tips

It becomes very tough to get your heavy equipment started during winters. Imagine you have a big project in hand and the work has already started somewhere during the mid of the year and it is going in full swing. Just then, the chilling winter arrives and the machine just does not want to start. It is no less than a nightmare and the worst part is that it is happening for real. It is just the cold weather that can create all sorts of problem in your machine. But if you think that you can deal with it then let’s put it in this way. The problem is just the tip of the iceberg. When it gets colder and starts snowing, things become worse. Because it is then that you do not get mechanics to fix the problem and if you are a guy who does not know how to fix issues, then you are in deep trouble. We all know that heavy equipment run on diesel and diesel has the characteristic to become thick during winters. It turns into a gel like substance losing its liquid form. This becomes the cause of all the trouble. You need to equip yourself with alternatives that you can use to keep the machine on move.

Let us first talk about what happens to diesel fuel during cold weathers and what can be done to ensure that the machine works when it is expected to.

There are ideally two types of concern that we should prepare ourselves to deal with. The first one is gelling and the second is water contamination. Under “Gelling”, the fuel (diesel) turns into a gel-like substance and is not able to flow through the fuel filter. As a result of this, the engine may run irregularly. Often there are more chances of the engine getting turned off during the mid of work. There are also chances of the engine not starting at all. In order to avoid this problem, it is advised to use Diesel One fuel. This kind of fuel has shown positive results in preventing the fuel from turning into wax. Thus, it has been highly effective in keeping the engine intact and has also increased the efficiency of the machine during the winters.

Water Contamination is another problem that hits diesel run heavy equipment hard. Water when it comes in contact with the fuel has the potency to contaminate it in no time. During winter, it becomes very simply for water to get mixed with the fuel thus contaminate the fuel and breaks down the equipment. Water also has the capacity to freeze in fuel at a temperature of below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the supply line of the fuel is freezes, it evidently does not allow the fuel to pass and leads to issues. Just in case, it fails to freeze, then it will definitely become a place for microbial contamination and will have the potency to destroy the important parts of the machine. What can be done to avoid such a situation is using engine block heaters. They are used to keep the engine hot while it’s working. It keeps the engine hot for the next day. So the driver has to unplug the heater and then start off his work.



What does LGP (low ground pressure) stand for?

Heavy equipment are very heavy and can cause serious damage to the ground if they do not have proper low ground pressure. This is a subject that many people using heavy equipment may not be aware of. It is only because that this subject doesn’t affect their work in any way. However, people who have studied heavy equipment as their subject may know how important low ground pressure is to keep the ground away from much pressure from the heavy equipment. The equipment if do not possess low ground pressure can significantly damage the soil which can be dangerous especially for farmers because they will then slowly and steadily lose the quality of the soil. It may be also possible that the soil may become infertile. Therefore, it becomes very important to reduce the ground pressure from heavy equipment and the keep the quality of the soil intact.

What can be done to reduce the ground pressure from heavy equipment? Well, one of the most important parts that can be done to reduce the ground pressure is replacing the steel tracks with hard plastic tracks. That will significantly bring down the pressure to a larger extent thereby keeping the quality of the soil undamaged. There are few companies that produce such plastic plates that can be used as ground tracks for heavy equipment. Nylatrack plates are one such plate produced by “Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products” that comparatively brings down the weight of the machine. It is said that they are 80% less weighty that the steel plates thus exerting less pressure on the ground. Similarly, there are many more such plastic plates manufacturing companies that play a mighty role in today’s modern engineering and also keeping the ground pressure low.

Another benefit of using plastic tracks is they can easily work on soft grounds which is difficult for heavy equipment with steel plates to do. They can also work on pavements which again may not be so simple for heavy equipment with steel tracks. Exerting low ground pressure will have almost no side effects on the ground. Other than replacing the steel plates with plastic plates, there is one more way to lower the ground pressure. Just by reducing the noise, one can also reduce the ground pressure. The equipment vibrations are soaked up by the plastic plates which only happen if the tracks are flexible in nature. By installing plastic tracks, the tracks of the machine become quite flexible which in turn absorb the vibration coming out of the tracks and thus the noise of the undercarriage goes silent. This means that there is less stress on the drive chain that happens predominantly because the plastic track plates absorb the bending force.

The plastic track plates manufactured by companies are immune to oils and seawater which makes it a machine that can work in extreme conditions. Since it has plastic plates, it is very unlikely that the soil will stick with the plates. This will prevent any sort of damage to the ground.

Rental equipment for sale

Quite often when you feel that the heavy equipment you were putting on rent is no longer liked by people and they are not accepting that machine on their jobsite, it is better that you sell it off after making few repairs on it. There is a possibility that technology installed on the heavy equipment has become outdated and people are looking for more up to date equipment that has its relevance in the construction industry. No one would like to pay any amount of money on something that has very less relevance to his work. He would rather want to go for updated items something that can help him to complete his work in less time and is also low on fuel consumption. In a situation like this, it will be wise to just sell the heavy equipment that you have been renting for a long time.

There are few important aspects that one needs to take into consideration before you put the machine on sale.

Give a new look by painting the machine:-

When you are up for selling an item, you can only sell it if it sounds appealing to the buyer. The buyer may not be able to know the intricacies of the machine just by having a look. But the impression he may take could be either positive or negative. Now if you clean up your machine, get it painted and repair the dents, the chances of it getting sold become high. The first impression that they will have is that you have taken good care of your machine and it will most likely not give them any issues after buying it from you. This positive impression will go a great deal and even if he feels that the equipment does not have a couple of features which other machines are giving, he may still go for your equipment/machinery. So the entire point in getting the machine painted is that you set such an impression on the buyer from where he should not have much reason to refuse the purchase.

Repair the internal parts and replace faulty parts:-

Selling heavy equipment that was once put on rent can be bit difficult. It is a no brainer that people who have the machine on rent must have used it the way they wanted and the overall health of the machine may not be in good order. Therefore, it is crucial that you first take help of an expert technician and repair the internal parts of the machine. If the technician finds any faulty part that needs to replaced, then do that immediately. No one likes to buy equipment that will not work for a long time no matter how cheap you sell it to him. They will always expect something better to come out of used equipment.

Ensure that you do not overprice the equipment:-

Selling the heavy equipment at its right price should be your focus. You should think about making lot of money but anything decent enough should be your motto. Hence, keep the price that you feel is considerable and is not overpricing it.

Gifts that can be given to heavy equipment operator during Christmas

The month of December has arrived and so is the month of Christmas. The start of this month brings a lot of joy and ecstasy. The entire environment is filled with happiness and almost everybody is the mood to enjoy the festival. The construction industry which remains completely involved in work during the entire year may see some respite in this particular month. They probably can ask for some leave from work as most of the construction sites remain closed. Many go out for vacation as they all plan their vacation almost a month in advance. So if everybody is on leave, you better keep the busy business close for few days and let all enjoy and get absorbed in the sweet mystic fervor of Christmas.

When it is Christmas time, it is the heavy equipment operator that enjoys a lot. They can expect a lot of gift from the construction company as well as from the heavy equipment manufacturing company. Having said that, it does not that the other people who are associated with the construction industry do not get anything, it is just that the operators benefit a lot amongst the rest. The gifts that they get ranges from t-shirt, jackets that can protect them from cold weather, sunglasses and also at times they are gifted with a bonus check.

Ideally, most of the big construction companies do provide their employees with bonuses during this period. This is a taken as a goodwill gesture and also appreciated a lot by the employees. Everybody needs a bit of extra cash during this festival and what better time to get it other than during Christmas. Heavy equipment operators are given hooded sweatshirt that they can wear as a casual dress at any point in time. They can wear it while they are at work or at home.

People love to wear trendy clothes and they like to look good. So when they get such trendy stuffs from the company they are working with, they just can’t ask for more. They feel very delighted by this gesture and at times it even works to retain an employee who has every plan to quit the job. Off-late, it has been used as an extremely useful tool to hold back employees who for some reason are not happy with the company or the way things are going in his department. Though measures need to be taken to fix the issues, however giving gift to an employee really makes him feel special and he gets the message that the company needs him. He starts feeling wanted and that enthusiasm is more than enough to stop him from quitting the company.

Water bottles can also be given to heavy equipment operators as they need it the most after working endlessly in the scorching heat. Winters may be a bit different for them and summers do take a toll on them as they often feel dehydrated. They can’t manage to get down every now and then to drink water and therefore gifting those water bottles also make sense.

Volvo Articulated Trucks vs. Caterpillar Articulated Trucks

Trucks play a very important role in both the construction and mining industries. They do not get directly involved in any of the activities but both the sectors can’t even move an inch further without the help of trucks. They are the ones which is responsible to ferry important items from one place to another. Be it heavy equipment to sand or bags of cement, they are all transported using these trucks. It can also be referred as the lifeline of both the sectors. It is also extensively used to ferry huge piles of debris from the construction site to the dump-yard. As you can’t think to function without heavy equipment, in the same fashion you can’t think to begin or complete your job without putting the trucks to any use.

There are specifically two companies that are renowned for manufacturing articulated trucks. The first one is Volvo and the second is Caterpillar. Though caterpillar is known for making premium heavy equipment, they are also into manufacturing articulated trucks. We will talk in brief about the specifications of trucks manufactured by both the companies.

Starting with Volvo A40D, this truck has been in the news for all the right reasons. The company has marketed it well and it seems to be doing pretty well with the buyers. The spec for this truck is as follows.

The gross and the net power of Volvo A40D is 426 and 420 hp respectively with a displacement of 732.3 cu in. The total fuel capacity of this truck is around 126.8 gallon. The hydraulic system fluid capacity, cooling system fluid capacity, engine oil capacity and the transmission fluid capacity is 66 gal, 30.9 gal, 13.2 gal and 12.8 gal respectively. The operating voltage of the machine is 24 V and the alternator supplied amperage is 55 amps. The maximum speed that it can take is 34.8 mph and the total number of forward and reverse gears it has is 6 and 2 respectively.

The total weight of the truck when empty is 31270 kg and when it’s full the weight is 68270 kg. The weight of the front axle when loaded is 19170 kg and 16300 kg when empty. The weight of the rear axle when empty is 14970 kg and when loaded it is 49100 kg. The overall length, width and height of the truck is 37 ft in, 10.7 ft in and 12.3 ft in respectively.

Talking about the CAT articulated truck; we would be speaking about the much known CAT 740 articulated dump truck.

The gross and net power of the truck is 464 hp and 445 hp respectively with a displacement of 927.6 cu in. The total fuel capacity of the truck is 147.9 gal. The hydraulic system, cooling system and engine oil capacity is 61.6 gal, 21.1 gal and 10 gal respectively. The maximum speed of the truck is 34 mph and the total number forward and reverse gears are 7 and 2 respectively. The total weight of the truck when loaded is 70840kg and when empty it is 32840kg. All the other features of this truck is pretty alike the Volvo A40D with very minimum deviations.

Overall the customer will not be at loss by going for either of the truck as both will be highly prolific for him.

How to prevent your heavy equipment getting stolen

Thieves always have one thing in mind. Steal a highly priced stuff and sell it at a lower price. It will still leave them with a bounty. It really does not matter much if the item they want to steal is the car parked at your backyard or the heavy equipment that is lying at your construction site. For them, it is good money lying unprotected and definitely a chance to earn a lot of money in a comparatively shorter span. They know for sure how highly priced heavy equipment are and therefore if you have left your machine unprotected, it is definitely a cause of worry. If you feel that keeping the equipment in the construction site will keep it away from the eyes of the thieves, then you have completely mistaken them. You will never know what they have set your machine as their next target and one fine day you will get to see the equipment missing from the site.

It is better to be safe than sorry for not doing the right thing at the right time and therefore it is important that you keep your heavy equipment protected. Thieves will never let you know when they are planning to steal your machine and therefore installing a camera or keeping some sort of security will deter them to take this step. Efforts that you should take to keep your machine safe are stated below.

Install cameras at major points in the construction site:-

Installing cameras at all the important points can work a great deal in keeping the thieves at bay. It has been noticed that thieves do not want to get inside the compounds that has cameras all around the place. Trying to steal a machine from a place that has lot of cameras has more chance for them to get caught and therefore they kind of like to play it safe.

Deploy security men to protect your machine:-

Alongside installing cameras you can also deploy security men at the site who will keep a constant check. It will be too much of a risk to try any misadventure when you have the security guys available at the site. They would rather not dare to drive away a big machine especially when there are people around and guarding the place. This would act a big deterrent to the ones who enter the site with the intention to steal the equipment.

Give a suitable indicator to all your machines:-

If you have a lot of machines with you, it becomes difficult for you to identify which equipment is yours and which one you have taken on rent (if at all you have taken any machine on rent). What needs to be done is tag the machines with numbers or codes engraved in it. The numbers should be visible to everybody which if stolen will not be easy to sell in the black market. The thieves will also not want to make the selling part difficult and hence will not lay their hands on machines that have those numbers or codes.