Monthly Archives: July 2017

Regular washing of heavy equipment lengthens its life span

Heavy equipment catch a lot of dirt after going through arduous activities on a jobsite. It also becomes the reason of its early wear and tear. Normally, heavy equipment are meant for rough use but need also should be taken to clean it up after use so that it evades any early wear and tear. Most contractors have to do away with their machines as they were not able to maintain it well. They however felt that they were not given top notch machines which led the machine to become a scrap before time. But the fact is somewhat different. It has been witnessed that contractors let their heavy equipment to others who use it as per their own whims and fancies and never ever bother about servicing it, washing the machine is a farfetched idea. Faulty machines have hardly been the cause of its early wear and tear.

Wash your machine after every 15 days:-

Washing heavy equipment depends completely on the way it has been used. If the machine is used on marshy lands, then it should be washed almost every day or else there are high chances that the machine will not last for long. However, if it is used in a normal construction jobsite where it does not attract lot of dirt at a single point in time, then giving it to wash every fortnight will be a good idea. People ideally wash their equipment at the time of servicing it which is not at all an ideal thing to do. Servicing the equipment is different from washing it regularly. Servicing the machine includes washing, oiling, changing the engine oil and stuff. You conduct this activity once in a month or may be once in two months. But if the washing part is ignored, then the quality of the machine will take a backseat.

It saves money on replacing faulty parts:-

Washing the heavy equipment regularly cleans the dirt it has gathered for the last many days. If the dirt remains accumulated for weeks, it causes direct impact to the vital parts of the machine and eventually making that particular part obsolete. Any vital part of heavy equipment is highly expensive and if you have to replace it, you are taking out money from your business to fund the replacement. This would have been absolutely unnecessary had things been taken into control at the right time. Regular washing will clean off the dirt and will keep the vital parts of the machine in good order. This will eventually save money which otherwise would be spent on buying replacements.

Will not break down in middle of a project:-

Breaking down of heavy equipment in the middle of a project is nothing less than a nightmare from contractors. This is perhaps the last thing they would ever want to happen with them. Regular washing of machine lengthens the life span and thus one can be assured that this machine will not stop working as he always ensures that it is in good condition.

Highway Construction Safety

Safety on a construction site is perhaps the most neglected part and stress should be put on the company to ensure that they follow the safety parameters at all times. When we talk about safety on construction site, we restrict ourselves to the safety of the employees and workers who work on the jobsite. But when we talk about safety on highway construction, it should not restrict us to the safety of the employees but should extend it to the safety of the people around the site. When you are working on the highway, you have vehicles moving on the road and it becomes the responsibility of the construction company to ensure that the vehicles passing by move safely and do not become a victim of an accident. The fact however suggests something else. It has been noted that a number of accidents and casualties that happen on the highways are because of not following the highways safety parameters. Though efforts are been made to reduce such incidents but the figures are alarming.

Need to have adequate signals:-

Most of the accidents that happen on the highway are due to inadequate availability of signals. The workers are busy doing their work and there is no one to give signals to the vehicles. For instance, when the construction work is happening on the end of a curve, it is crucial that the workers put some sort of impediments to slow down the vehicles or else they might not even see the construction happening because of the steep curve. For a second, they fall in the blind spot from where they can’t even anticipate anything happening on the other side of the curve. So when the vehicles are at full speed and they do not see any signals, they are bound to dash and that may cause severe casualty. In situation like this, the construction company should ensure that the workers deploy men who constantly provide signals to the vehicles alerting them of the work happening on the other side of the curve.

Workers manning the flow of vehicles:-

While the construction on the highway is in its full swing, the workers should man the flow of vehicles. They can close one part of the highway temporarily and ask drivers to use diversions. You only need few men who can control the traffic and show the diversion route. You can also put big blocks of impediments to block the way and use arrow signs to give appropriate signals to the drivers. There should be proper arrangement in place to control the movement on vehicles while the construction on the highway is in full swing. One must ensure that in no terms the vehicles should be passing close to the construction area.

Workers should be vigilant to oncoming traffic:-

It is crucial for the workers to remain vigilant at all times to oncoming traffic. They should make sure that none of the vehicles should pass close to them. During moments of high traffic, proper arrangement should be made to make sure that the vehicles move from a distance from the workers causing no accidents and eventually no casualties.

Sell heavy equipment on an online portal

Making lives simpler has always been the goal of technology makers. So the guy who brings in new tech savvy stuffs in our lives does it primarily to make things simpler for us. We at the same time have also accepted it as a part of our lives. Right from cell phone to computers, we are surrounded by tech savvy equipment right from the beginning of the day to the end of it. Similarly, our businesses also revolve around equipment that have a touch of technology in it. Technology has gone to such an extent that even buying and selling of commodities does happen without one seeing or feeling the actual product. All they do is check out the items on an online portal and then decide if they want to buy it. They pay for the product online and then it is shipped to them on their address.

Online trading is not only restricted to items that are of less value. Items that are expensive are even sold in this portal. Items such as heavy equipment are sold using this platform and it has a lot of shown positive results. People in today’s time are so busy that they lack the time to visit a store to buy machines. All they will do is check some pictures of the machine and read the description well. If it fits their requirement, they will go for it. This has become a perfect avenue for those who sell heavy equipment. There are companies who manage to buy machines at a lesser price from auctions and then sell it online. They see a huge margin of profit as they get to buy good machines at a much reasonable price and then sell it at the market price on the online platform.

Creating an account with an eminent portal is important:-

When you sell heavy equipment on an online portal, it is crucial that you select the most eminent and known website to list the machine. Do not go for portals that not many have heard of just because they charge you less for selling the item. All you need is viewership and if you list the item in a portal that not many visits the chances of the item getting sold becomes low. This will definitely not serve your purpose and you will have to eventually end up listing it in the portal that has a little high selling cost. There are some portals who even refunds the listing fee if at all the item fails to sell.

List heavy equipment and be descriptive:-

Once you have registered yourself, the next step is to list the heavy equipment. Put a quote that’s acceptable to everyone. Do not quote a price of the machine that sounds to be exponentially high. This will drive away people from your listing. Also put actual pictures of the heavy equipment and write about the machine. The model number, the engine make and other important details should be mentioned without fail. Once that’s done, you have to check your listing daily and see the number of people visited your listing. It does not take long for one to sell the equipment online.

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336F L excavator – CAT’s new fleet of excavators

Construction companies in US have been long waiting for the new excavator that they have heard so much about from CAT. Their long wait is now over as they have come up with the 336F L excavator in the large series. This machine is not only capable of excavating but can be used for many other purposes. It is actually multi-functional heavy equipment that has the capability of demolishing structures like a bulldozer can also be used for grading purposes and can take care of loading debris. Normally the items that we expect from a track loader is what you get from this heavy equipment. The only major difference is that it is an expert when it comes to excavating and excavating companies would not want to go with any other machine if they are given this as an option. It consumes less fuel as compared to other machines which therefore brings it in the category of green heavy equipment.

The specification of 336F L excavator can amaze a person who has slightest of knowledge about heavy equipment. The operating weight of the excavator is around 80,500 lbs which bring it in the category of large sized heavy equipment. The make of the engine is C9.3 ACERT with a net power of 303 horse power. Talking about the hydraulics, the total flow of main pumps, implement and swing is 151 gpm and the maximum relief valve pressure is 5076 psi. The minimum and maximum width of the bucket is 30 inch to 72 inch. This means that it can be installed with a bucket that has a lot of capacity to gather stuffs and then load it in a truck. This is where it can give tough competition to a track loader or a backhoe loader because you can’t install this big bucket in a loader. So if you are excavating and are worried about the loading part of the mud then you can get it done with the same machine and do not have to deploy a new one.

Moving towards the performance of the machine, the total length of the stick that is used for dimensions is around 12 feet and 10 inches. The maximum the machine can go is 26 feet and 10 inches. The maximum depth of vertical wall is 20feet and 8 inches and the reach at ground level is around 38 feet and 5 inches. This is perhaps phenomenal as it has the capacity to go real deep inside the ground. The height of the dump is 24 feet and 7 inches. The force of the arm is 31810 lbs and bucket digging force is 42380 lbs. The undercarriage of the machine is simply exceptional. The total track show width is 34 inch with a maximum travel speed of 3 mile per hour and maximum drawbar pull of 66139 lbs.

The price of the 336F L excavator is slightly on the upper range which is mainly due to the top range performance that it can provide.

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A lien on the construction can lead to serious problems

You take up a big project, complete the work on time but forget to pay your contractors their dues. This can lead you to some serious problems in the future. If you do not pay your contractor for their work, they have every right to place a lien on the construction project and you will then find it difficult to get a completion certificate. More to this, banks will not entertain you when it comes to refinancing or for that matter any sort of financial assistance. Banks do not get into projects that have issues. They want projects whose title are clear and have no issues whatsoever. It can cause several other issues to the constructor when it comes to selling the apartments in a condominium which he has constructed for residential purpose. If the title on the property is not clear, he will find it absolutely difficult to sell it to the public.

The construction company has to ensure that he clears the dues of the contractors should also ensure that the contractors are also paying to the sub-contractors because if they are not paid then they can also adopt the same methodology and create issues for the company. The sub-contractor can also place a lien on the project and can put a halt to the sale proceeds. It has been seen that liens are ideally placed as a last resort when contractors do not see any other option to get their money they go for placing liens. Once a lien is placed on any construction project, it gets recorded in the credit rating of the company. This means that credit rating of the company gets hampered which eventually affects the overall goodwill of the company. Construction companies do not want to play with their goodwill and therefore they do not want to take any potential risk by not paying their creditors or contractors.

Further to this, a dip in their credit rating can also cause problems to them when it comes to getting loans from banks. Construction companies with poor credit rating do not easily get loans and if at all they manage to get it from any financial institution then the interest rates will be really high. This in turn will have a negative impact on their business. They will never want such things to happen and therefore should try everything to avoid getting a lien on their project.

There have been several instances where construction companies have paid the contractors but they in turn have failed to pay other concerned parties to the project. This can be a big pain for the project owner because here he may not know all the parties who are associated with the contract and then all of a sudden you get to know that someone has placed a lien as they are not being paid. However, you check your records and see that you have paid all the parties involved in the transaction on time. You can file a complaint and state that you are clear in paying everybody and can disclose the records in front of the concerned authority. But this is unquestionably a big pain and in order to avoid this, you should pick contractors of good reputation.

How to effectively market your construction business

For a business to grow, it is important that people know about it and only when they know about the brand they will buy the product or use the services of the brand. In a nutshell any company who wants to grow its business needs to first create a brand for itself so that people are aware of its product and services and then sell it to them. Reaching to the end user and keeping them in loop of your existence is also knows as marketing and every company has to form a strategy to market their brand. Now some company takes an aggressive approach and some go soft while marketing their product. It is believed that companies that market their products aggressively are the one who have hunger in their belly. They want to grow quickly and the ones who are slow on marketing their products are perhaps happy with how things are moving. They might take an aggressive approach later as they may feel the opportunity is not right for that time and will wait till they see things moving their way.

A business where day in and day out there are new competitors joining in and each of them are struggling hard to make their name in the market it makes the overall environment to be more challenging. The construction industry in one such industry where you will come across many companies who have just started their business and are marketing their company quite aggressively. People with experience in this form of a business know how the industry works and what they got to do to make their business a success.

Be in the news:-

For people to know about you and your company, you got to be in the news for the right reason. You have to come up with excellent ideas and should also be able to present that to whosoever is interested to know about it. People in the construction business circle should know about you. For this, you need a website where you can put up your business plans and talk more often on how you can accomplish your targets. Your website should reflect the personality you possess. People going through your website should know that you dream big and also have the courage to fulfill it. This is one way to market your company. You may show your aggressiveness here which will go to a lot of people. You can also release circulars every week where you’ll talk about the industry as a whole and how your business is reacting to the current situation.

Be active on social media:-

We have a craze of social media these days. For every small things that we do, we try to put that out on social media. We do this to get some attention and as far as the construction business is concerned, it makes sense to be ultra active on social media. It is perhaps one of the many platforms that will take your identity to a lot of people by paying a nominal fee.

The ups and downs of the construction industry

If you are in some form of business you will always come across suggestions from veterans of the industry that you should save more during the ups and be conservative during the downs. It simply implies that when you are having a good time in your business you should try to preserve capital for the bad times and this rule is applicable for all the industry and every kind of business. This makes more sense in a volatile sector like construction. In the construction industry, you can’t ever guess when the downtime will begin.

As long as you have projects in hand and you are getting paid for it, it is all good for you but when things turn ugly, it does a huge impact on the overall industry and particularly to businesses. At times the industry as a whole is at its peak but due to some unforeseen situations, you do not get paid for your work. Now you can come across this situation no matter how well the industry is performing. It is absolutely not relevant to the performance of the industry. This can turn into a crunch situation where you need money desperately to carry out business activities on a different location.

Preserve capital by not overspending:-

We in our daily lives tend to spend to stuffs that we do not need much. In other words, we can still carry ourselves quite elegantly without the presence of a particular commodity. But since we have enough money to buy the stuff, we go for it. Something similar to this also happens in the construction business. If we have made good profits from the last few projects, we start to contemplate to expand our business for which we think of buying heavy equipment, hire more labor, increase the marketing team etc. This in turn will increase the operating cost exponentially which in no way is healthy for a growing business. On the other hand, one must try to preserve the capital that he has earned and invest it when he feels necessary. You can buy your business related products when you have enough need for it or else it will be just waste of money.

Take calculative risk:-

Business is all about taking risk at the right juncture. Industry experts say that the more risk you take the more is the chances for you to get better returns. Well, it should be put in this way. The more calculated risk you take, the better is the chance to earn good returns. Just because we all want to earn money in no time, does not mean that we should begin taking risk without giving a second thought to it. This can lead us to a bigger mess and is certainly not advisable. Before you take a big leap, understand what you are doing and what could be the repercussions. Understand both the pros and cons of your decision and please before you act and not after your act. It makes no sense to cry over spilled milk.

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Team work is an important component in the construction business

When you are running a huge business that has many genres and departments you can make it a success only when you have people who work as a team. Running a big business is not a joke and it takes lot of wit and cautiousness when it comes to taking important decisions. You do not know if the decision that you have taken will be beneficial for you or will it harm the prospect of the business but you still have to take a call. This is when you depend on your team and believes that if you take a call to go ahead on a project you have your entire team to back you up and will face all hardships together. There are several instances where it has been proven that a single man can’t make all the difference. He may become a good leader if he believes in bringing the change but he definitely needs his team to follow him and show excellent team work.

Construction industry like all other industries firmly believes in team work. You have plenty of departments if you are attached to a big project and the success of the project lies on how cordially the entire team can perform. The team has to display great team work and they all have to follow what their leader says and got to complete the task on time. This also shows how important of the role of a team leader is while handling a big project. Right from the heavy equipment operators to its mechanics and the construction workers, they all have to work in tandem with each other. When we talk about team work it does not mean that there is no place for any dispute within the team.

Disputes do arise but it is the responsibility of the group leader or his seniors to address the issue then and there and try to get it sorted. It is quite natural for the employees to expect quick remedy of their problems rather than having to deal with the issue for months. This is why the management in a construction company needs to ensure that they address the issue without any delays. The morale of the workers should not be brought down by any means and if their well-being is taken care then that will play a mighty role in increasing support from the team members.

Rewards and recognitions should be quite usual. It should not take time for the superiors or people from the management to acknowledge the efforts and hard work of the employees. Employees from all departments should be awarded for their good work and a tradition should be made where employees from various departments come under one roof to collect their awards. In this way they will also know people from other departments. This will explore their options of learning new things by engaging with people from different teams. These little things play a big role in ensuring that there is a cordial environment and people continue to work as a team.

Small construction companies benefit more by taking small contracts

Owners of small construction companies often feel that they will make more money if they manage to get to work for big projects. However, that is not the fact. When you get involved in big projects you also need to deploy more labor, more heavy equipment and need to ensure that you have enough capital in hand to fund the project. You also have to go through a lot of hassles which is basically involved in bigger projects. At the end of the day you earn good money but if you co-relate it with the effort you have taken and the capital you have invested, you may have a feeling that is this really worth? Having said this, it does not at all imply for any small construction company to not to engage in bigger projects but while they do so they need to make sure that they reap the maximum from it and not give away the resources that they have.

Small projects require less investment:-

If you take up a small project, it inevitably requires less investment. Therefore you will also find people who will be ready to invest in your project. Though the amount of profit will not be enormous but it will be pretty decent to suffice your business and personal needs. You also do not have to buy latest heavy equipment and can work with machines that are bit old. You can buy such machines at a cheaper price or can even take them on rent where you pay a nominal rental value and use the most of it. The capital that you invest in a project is also less. You do not have to manage a large labor force for which you need not employ an admin team and if at all you need to have an admin team they can be less in numbers. This means that do not have to shell a bomb to pay them their wages.

Easy to get:-

There is a mad rat race to acquire big projects and you will find most of the big construction companies out there trying to beat one another. It is very difficult for a small construction company to get into the race and try to bag the project. You need strong connections to get there and you got to be really quick in making those connections. On the contrary small projects are not as difficult to bag as bigger projects are. No doubt that you will face stiff competition there but you will still be counted. Moreover, you can get into a project by working as a partner with the other company. You have ample of options to keep your business ticking.

Takes less time to complete:-

Unlike big projects, smaller ones take less time to complete and therefore it gives you the opportunity to move on to the next one. Without losing much time you start hunting for the next work. A project that takes more time increases the operating cost of the company too and therefore the magnitude of impact of the operating cost is lesser in smaller projects.

 

Learning the technicalities of heavy equipment is not a tough business

It is human tendency to feel a bit excited or apprehensive to learn something new or do something that they have never done before. It is perhaps we get so accustomed to our comfort zone that we prefer to stay there. It is however important to get over your comfort zone and take some new learning in life. The same approach is also applicable in the heavy equipment and construction business. A construction worker if given the chance to learn a bit about heavy equipment, he/she should grab that opportunity with both hands and try to learn it till its core. There is nothing to be afraid about the subject. People usually have the apprehension that heavy equipment is a complex subject and it will take a lot of time to know the ins and outs of it. Well, it is no matter little complex as compared to what he has been doing but as is gets going with that form of work, he will start finding it comfortable and will no longer find it a difficult thing to chew.

Practice will make you an expert:-

An expert in a subject does not become an expert without constantly working on it. In order to learn things and master it he has to devote his time and energy, be focused on what he is doing and slowly and steadily he inches towards becoming an expert. It is no way an overnight activity and certainly can’t be achieved without being attentive to your work. In order to learn and master the intricacies of heavy equipment you need to incorporate all the attributes that is required to become an expert. You got to practice what you have been doing and ask questions to your mentor when you get stuck. After having worked for a month or so you will realize that you have started knowing much of it than you have ever imagined.

Believing that you can do it:-

Self-belief is very important when you start doing something new in life. Learning the technicalities of heavy equipment can be a little difficult but you should have the belief that you can do it. That is the confidence that every person who is interested to do something in life should have. When you believe in yourself you can get rid of the most complex situation in life and this is what you need to have during your On Job Training. Not just when you are learning heavy equipment but during every challenge that you encounter in your life that you need to sustain this self-belief.

Get a good mentor:_

You need a good mentor who can guide and help you learn the difficult part of the business. Learning the technicalities can only become difficult if you fail to ask the right question to your mentor. While you are working and are stuck at something, walk up to him and throw your question. He will help you come to a solution. This is one of the best ways to learn things quickly. The moment you come across an issue, put it in front of the mentor and learn the workaround.