Monthly Archives: July 2017

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.

Small construction companies should aggressively market their projects

The success of any business lies upon the fact that how aggressive you are in reaching out to the mass and sell your products to them. For start-ups it is crucial that they spend a lot of their time, money and energy in aggressively marketing their brand and to try to set up an image that will last for long in the minds of people. A start-up company has to face a lot of challenges from all corners while building a brand. They may not get enough resources who can do the job for them. There may be monetary constraints that they have to experience every now and then but they still have to carry on with it. Hurdles are part of any business and it is not with small business units who faces this but also the larger ones but they know how to tackle it with the help of their experience and for new companies they are in the learning mode so they may feel the heat more than the older ones.

Construction industry is quite a competitive and volatile industry where there are many players vying to stay afloat and making it big in the business. So if you are a small unit and are not restricting yourself to petty works, then you should take the approach which many big construction companies did when they were young in the industry. They marketed their work aggressively. They wanted people to know them through their work and have made use of all applications to create a space in people’s mind. This is what you got to do if you want to make a brand of your tiny company. Just talk about your work to people in the industry. Tell them what you are and what you are capable of doing. Show them the projects you have completed and the time you took to get it done. These important facts really matter a lot for a small unit to get more work and eventually turn into a giant.

Reach out to big companies:-

Big construction companies need you to complete their work. They give contracts to small construction companies and contractors. You should reach out to these giant companies who take up big projects and then look out for small companies to complete them. Take your company’s portfolio to them. Make a smart presentation that they can’t deny you the offer to work with them. This will give you the exposure to work in a big project and you can add that up in your portfolio. Once you get associated with a big project you will not have issues getting other projects. It is just that you have to prove your worth to them.

Make use of social media platform:-

With the help of social media you can reach out to a lot of people at the same time. They will know you for your work if you can effectively make use of this platform. Getting small work will never be a problem but you can aim for bigger projects if you can market your company well on social media.

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How to operate a loader

Loaders are one of the most essential and important heavy construction equipment that the construction workers simply cannot do without, in the current construction scenario. However, operating the loader, or in fact any other heavy construction equipment, is not an easy task. You need to make sure that you know the steps properly, so that the loader doesn’t tip over or change directions all of a sudden.

Start with choosing the right size and power of the loader. There are different kinds of the loaders. You can choose a skid loader or a wheel loader or the other kinds of loaders, as per your requirement. Once you have done so, you need to follow these steps.

  • Read the user manual:

 

The first step is to read the user manual of the loader carefully. There you will be guided about the different switches, levers and other tools. Take your seat and carefully identify the switches. Before you start, you must fasten your seat belt properly, so that you do not fall from the loader.

  • Understand the controls:

 

There are two steering handles in almost all the loaders. They are located on the sides of the arm rest of both sides of the loader. There is also a diagram for the buttons that clearly state how the loader runs and before you start the machine, you need to look at the loader carefully.

  • Start the loader:

 

To start the loader, usually you are given a key that is almost similar to that of a car. Some loaders are also started by a clearly visible start button. Nowadays, the newer loaders come with a keypad, where you will have to enter the starting code and the machine will start.

  • Unlock the controls:

 

Usually the control system is locked and hence, as you start the machine or loader, you need to unlock the control system. A toggle switch does the job and when it is turned off, a red lamp is ignited and when it is switched on, it turns green.

  • Moving the bucket:

 

Usually the bucket is controlled by the left steering handle. It must be made assured that the joystick is moved only to the right or left side or to the front and back. Diagonal movement may cause the machine to act differently; rather than moving the bucket. Many loaders use pedals to run the machine and control the buckets. While moving the vehicle, you must always lift the bucket high enough to see the front clearly.

  • Controlling the right handle:

 

The right handle controls how the bucket is operated to load and unload the debris. Moving the right handle to the left will raise the bucket and moving it to the right will unload or dump the material in the bucket.

Now that you have understood how the loaders can be operated, it is a must that you stop the loader right in front of the pile of material that you want to load or unload. Once you are done, park the machine properly, so that it doesn’t obstruct the area. Always move the vehicle in slow speed.

Construction sector is not an industry for everyone to sustain

There is a notion amongst a good number of people that if you are a part of the construction industry or if you own a construction company then you do not have to worry for the rest of your life as you are associated with a business that will always take care of all your financial needs. However, the fact is absolutely contrary to the notion and people who are linked with this kind of job indeed have a hard time to sustain and they got to thrive hard for any small project that they can manage to get.

As far as the big construction houses are concerned, they may not be worried about getting small projects but they have their own problems which may be more difficult to surpass. Since they have big projects they are involved with big clients that they can’t afford to lose and they have to complete their work come what may within the given deadline. In case, they fail to do so, it simply tarnishes their reputation as a reliable construction company. A big construction company can afford to lose anything other than their goodwill.

Should be sharp and ready to deliver at all levels:-

In order to make it big in the construction domain, you need to be very sharp and quick in taking decisions that might not give you more time. If you take time thinking, you may just lose the deal as there are many who are waiting to take projects. Therefore whenever you see an opportunity on your way try to grab it with both hands after considering if you will be able to complete it in the destines timeframe without compromising the quality of the work.

Keeping too many projects can be risky:-

Chew what you can swallow. Taking too many projects can be very dangerous to the prospect of your company and has high potential to stain the reputation of your company. You should take a moment to think if you would be able to handle more than one job at a time and if you have those competent workers who can manage to take care of multiple projects at a time. Alternatively, you should have a detailed knowledge of the existing projects which will help you to take better decisions and therefore not jeopardizing the prospect of your company.

Having a sound financial backing is important:-

While you are in the process of completing a project, you should also keep in mind that you will be requiring lot of money to take the job towards completion. If you do not have money then you may find yourself in deep trouble. Therefore while you are on with your work, also keep a note on your finances. Do not empty your treasure box as it may take time for the client to pay you back.

People who can make proper strategies and can follow it religiously are the ones who are able to sustain in this industry.

Switching construction companies too often can become a concern

There must be very few people who work for a company for a long time. No wonder they are absolutely content with the company they are working for are also getting promotions in due course of time which makes them stick to the same organization. But there are many out there who believe that switching companies is more rewarding than staying with one company for a long time. In a way they are correct because every time you change your organization you get a hike in your package which is much more than the annual appraisal but you should not do it more often or else you stand the risk of being calling yourself unstable.

If you have worked for more than 4 companies in a span of 5 years it shows that you are not serious about your work and you leave your current organization because the next one is offering you more. At one stage you will find short of companies in your line of business and they also will not be ready to hire you as you have a track record of switching over more frequently and your loyalty will be questioned.

People who are connected to construction companies get good hike when they leave their current company and join the new one. They can do this as long as they feel that they are underpaid but once they start getting the pay that is standard to the position they are in they should refrain from skip hop and jumping companies. As a matter of fact, the new guys should not focus on their package but should learn their work well. Develop your skill so that when you approach the next company you have some skills to display. The new company will not pay you more for nothing and if you have failed to learn or develop your skill then you will not find any new company hiring you.

You do not learn much if you switch too often:-

If you are a person who switches job too often it is presumed that you have not learnt much about the business and therefore you may not be a worthy employee. Spending a year or two in a construction company will only teach you few things of the business. In order to really develop your knowledge you got to move across the spectrum and take the initiative to work in all the genres. That will give you the experience and will simultaneously develop your skill. If possible also try to take a promotion. Moving to the next level is very important because that will allow you to learn something more that you have not been doing so far.

You may look greedy:-

We all work for money but there has to be some amount of passion attached to your work. You just can’t work only for money. That just can’t be the only driving force that kept you associated with the construction business. If you however see money to be the only driving force then the company you approach will see you as a greedy chap who can move again if offered a better package. That will become harmful in the long run.

Heavy Equipment Adventures

Working with a construction company is no less than an adventure. Each day you will experience a new thing in your job. You will come across instances where you do not know how to act or react. However, you learn to deal with things slowly and steadily. For an operator, who has to work on different kinds of heavy equipment gets to learn a lot of things from he does. He finds his life to be more adventurous than anybody else who is a part of the industry. He has to work on uneven paths, at times need to dig deep inside the ground and do not find anybody else other than himself and when it comes to operate in a forest, it then becomes more adventurous for him. Dealing with different types of situations is a part of his work and he needs to ensure that he does the job diligently so that he does not end it up in an accident.

Well it was all about the real operator. Now there is something where a person who belongs to a different industry can also try his hands on heavy equipment and get the feel of an operator. All of us at some point of time in our childhood dreamt of playing with these big machines but it was told to us that this is not a child’s play and we should keep ourselves away from it. But that was a thing of past. There are heavy equipment adventures camps where a person who wants to enjoy the thrill that an operator usually does while operating a machine can get into one such camp and drive the machine. It is somewhat similar to heavy equipment amusement park but certainly not the same. It is claimed to be more adventurous than what a person can experience in an amusement park.

Take your friends along:-

You can plan out a weekend with your friends to a heavy equipment adventure site. You can speak about what kind of activities you want to do that requires involvement of your pals. The concerned authorities at the site will tailor made the activity for you as per your choice and will ensure that you along with your friends have a blast and enjoy your day to the fullest. The support guys will provide you with tasks and will instruct you as to how you can go about with it. These instructions will be given to all your friends who have to complete the task in a given timeframe. This can be quite challenging for people who have never done this before and may find it to be quite thrilling.

Perfect for corporate team building:-

Corporate companies can gift a day of leisure to their hard working employees in one such heavy equipment adventure site. Here the people of a company who perhaps work in different departments and do not even know each other will come together and work as a team to finish a task. This can be a good learning for the employees who will get to know people from other departments and will develop a rapport.

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What are different hybrid heavy construction equipment?

When we adopt different technologies to make a single product that has added features in it, we can call it a hybrid product. We have so many hybrid products around us. It is just that we do not call it by that name. When we add new features, we in one way or the other add new technologies so that it can support those features. In a nutshell, it is the culmination or absorption of more than technology into making of a product. In the construction business, we have a mixture of hybrid heavy construction equipments as well as the conventional ones. It is evident that the hybrid heavy construction equipment are slightly on the expensive side and therefore not many can afford to buy them. However, it has been observed that construction companies are slowly and steadily adopting hybrid heavy equipment into their arsenal and it will not take long for them to completely replace the conventional machines with the hybrid ones.

Heavy equipment that are a combination of new features is the blue-eyed candy of every construction company. Construction companies in today’s time want machines that not only deliver the work in time but also conserve energy. This means that by using hybrid machines, the construction companies will be saving a ton through means of less energy consumption with optimal productivity. Therefore hybrid construction equipment are also defined as machines that have the capacity to collect, store and release energy during times of production. The look of the machine also changes and they do not look like the conventional ones. They are been designed with a whole new approach and that what makes them distinctive from the rest. Right from excavator to a graders and backhoe loaders, you can get a whole range of heavy equipment in the hybrid form.

Komatsu HB215LC-1 hydraulic excavator:-

This particular machine employs regenerative braking to store the energy of a decelerating upper structure. It uses an electric swing motor which when is put out of power it works as a generator and helps the upper structure to stop. The conventional ones uses hydraulic swing and do not have electric motor swing. The Komatsu hybrid excavator is regenerative heavy equipment. The electricity produced is forwarded to a capacitor. The power is stored in the capacitor which can be later used to power the swing of the machine or can drive the machine’s generator.

CAT Hybrid heavy equipment:-

This piece of machine uses the regenerative braking to preserve energy hydraulically. Therefore, when the machine uses the hydraulic swing motor and when the swing lever is released, the machine begins to slow down the upper structure and the swing motor is ceased to be driven by the pump. In this case, the motor is driven by the machine’s swing inertia making it act as a pump.

Hybrid machines not only save energy but also reduces carbon footprint. This indeed helps the ecosystem from getting more polluted. Construction sector is known to be a major contributor in polluting our environment and with the inception of hybrid machines this problem can be definitely tackled.

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Using drones to monitor your work

If you are a person who generally has a big business and finds it extremely difficult to focus on the progress of work then it is time for you to bring in new technologies that will enable you to check the progress of your work without even having to visit the place. You can monitor the progress of the work remotely from a distance place and can still give instructions to your sub-ordinates on how you want to the work to continue and this is perhaps the most viable solution that you can have in the present scenario. Industries such as construction needs regular monitoring to be done and if one fails to check the development of work then the result can turn out to be disastrous. A construction business owner can never allow any of his projects to turn into a disaster or else his entire reputation that he has developed over the years will get ruined in no time. The owner of the construction business needs to be very careful about it.

As we are heading towards future we are bringing in technology that can help us to easy our work and allow us to continue generating profits by putting less effort. Hence to monitor the development of a project all your need to do is install drones at the site which will take live pictures and will send it to you. So you can buy few drones for business use and leave them to fly at various construction sites. It will not just give you the glimpse of the projects but will also give you a clearer picture of how the workers are working on the site. If there is any sort of complacency at the site that will also be known to you. You do not need someone to report the reasons towards the delay in the completion of the project. You can very well find that on your own.

Use drones with high resolution cameras:-

If you decide to buy drones you first have to understand the various types of drones available in the market for commercial purpose. Remember, you can’t buy all types of drones as some are prohibited by law. Hence you need to be sure which one you can buy and which you can’t. This is very simple to know. You can do the research on the internet and explore on the different kinds of drones that you can buy for commercial use. Thereafter, you should buy drones that have high resolution cameras. It makes no sense to buy drones with no good cameras. Cameras with low resolution will not give you a clear picture of what is happening on the site. It may turn out to be a waste of money.

Monitor the work while you are on vacation:-

You do not have to cancel your vacation just because you are the only person responsible to check the progress of work. The drones will do the monitoring part and will send you the data. All you need in an internet connection in the place you go for vacation. Check out the growth of work from there without hampering your personal commitments.

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