Tag Archives: construction

Work with your team rather than putting pressure for non-performance

We have often encountered a situation wherein we are reprimanded for the non-performance of the entire team. Especially if you are the person who is in charge of the team and if your team is not able to perform as per the expectation of the company, you get to hear the nasty stuff from your boss. Well, we do not like to fall in such a situation but things always do not work as we want it to. Now let’s take this situation as an instance. You have a boss who is not at all grumpy and always loves to stay in a pleasant mood. He gets to know that your team is not doing well and therefore summons you. To your surprise you see him not yelling at you but trying to know what could be the possible reason for the team’s non-performance. He tries to set up an environment where you feel like discussing things with him and finally coming to a conclusion on how to deal with things.

Well this is how things should be when you are the owner of a mighty construction company. In order to get things done, you should keep your mind calm and try to see things from an angle that others do not. You will get to know the cause of the problem only when you sit for a discussion with the person who heads the department. When you see all the departments doing well other than one, it suggests that there is inevitable some problem associated with that team and you got to get to the bottom of the issue. Unless you unearth the problem, you may find things not going well in that department and soon you may see issues pervading to other departments as well.

Understand their grievances before you react:-

We normally have the tendency of over-reacting before we know what has led to a problem. The moment we see things have not worked as we want them to, the first thing we do is over-react on the situation and then once we calm down, we hear the problem. Well, what we should be doing is the opposite. Listening is an art and when you are running a big construction company, you should be master this art first. Listen to the problem first before you react to it. Understand the position of your fellow workers and try to make things simple for them. Do not exert pressure to get any work done from them. That will be a temporary solution but issues will brew up soon and then it may be out of your control.

Change in plan of action may work:-

One of the most suitable methods to deal with the issue of nonperformance is to change the action plan. Do things a bit differently and it may work for you. Not everything happens the way you want them to but changing your way to get the work done might help.

Option to become a heavy equipment operator freelancer

When you are the best in performing an activity that has good demand in the market you will never find yourself short of opportunities. You will be loved in your organization for your good work and will always remain a valued employee. Now this is what we all want to become at the end of the day. A person who will be known for his wonderful piece of work and respected for his job is probably the dream of many. On the basis of your experience and your performance you get rise in your pay. Your performance is assessed at the end of each year and then you are given some points. On this basis of those points you are given a raise in your package. For people who want to earn more as they feel that they have the capacity to work harder, they always have an option to become a freelancer. A freelancer is the one who is responsible for his job and is also his own boss. He does not have anybody to fire him (other than the person for whom he is working).

Heavy equipment operator who has loads of experience in the construction industry working with all sorts of machines can have a great future becoming a freelancer. As long as he knows what he is doing and how to get it done he has every chance to earn handsomely being a part of the construction industry. So if you are a person who has spent almost all his life working on heavy equipment, try to move to the next level and become heavy equipment operator. Finding projects will not be a problem if at all you are known to people in your business circle. You only have to pervade the message that you also work as a freelancer and you will see people coming to you with projects.

Set up a website:-

If you have already thought of become a freelancer the best way to start is by creating your website. You may dealt all your life with machines but now you also have to work a bit on tech savvy stuffs. This will take you closer to become a full scale freelancer. Once you become a full scale/fulltime freelancer you do not have to stick to your salaried job. You can let that go and simply focus on your business. However, to make that a reality you have to start with your website. Fill in everything that you know about yourself. The companies that you have worked with and the kinds of machines that you have operated should be stated in the website. People should know about your qualities which will help you to get work from them.

You can work as a freelancer with your current employer:-

When you decide to become a freelancer, it does not mean that you no longer can work with your current employer. It only means that you will not be salaried and will be paid as per the terms of the contract which may be more than what you usually get. However, you have to put in more hours of work in that case. You will still find that to be satisfying and enjoyable.

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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.

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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Contingency fund to be maintained to tackle poor market conditions

Things are not always rosy for any industry and they all have to go through some rough patches at different phases. You try to pull out the details of an industry for the last two decades and which is doing phenomenally well now. You will be astonished to see that it has gone through several bad phases in those 2 decades and this reveals many things. First is not every industry generates profits at all times and when it experiences the bad phase, it has the potential to wipe off many companies that are associated with it. The second is the most important point and it talks about how to overcome the bad phase systematically. Now focusing on the construction segment, it is also considered to be an industry that has generated profits in huge figures and the profit numbers have been drawing more people linking up with this industry.

As we say people come and go but the one who manage to stay can become a successful business owner. As a matter of fact, staying in this industry is a bit difficult as people have mended their ways after making some money and mostly losing everything they had. So what ideally important is to stay afloat during turbulent times and you can do that only if you have managed to set up contingency fund for your business.

Normally, we set up such contingency fund to take care of any emergency in our personal lives. Knowing that the future is unknown, these funds are said to be maintained at all times irrespective how eager you are to buy a luxury for yourself. Contingency funds are never meant to fulfill your luxurious needs and people need to understand this before it gets too late for them. In the same context, contingency funds are quite important when it comes to tackling an emergency.

Keep increasing your contingency fund:-

At the beginning of the construction business, you must have allocated a certain amount towards the contingency fund. But as you move ahead in life and simultaneously in your business you need to ensure that you keep increasing the amount and save more in your kitty. While you grow your business, the risk factor also increases manifolds and therefore it becomes a must to keep increasing the money in your emergency kitty.

Do not use contingency fund to meet business requirements:-

Contingency funds are not meant to meet your business requirements like buying heavy equipment or paying wages to your employees. It is there to take care of difficult times only. You have to make sure that you avail sufficient amount to meet other expenses. However, when the business is not doing well and you are cash crunched and need to pay the bank loan perhaps that is the moment when you should take out money from the kitty. You can consider the situation where you do not have work in hand and you got to pay your dues to different institutions as an emergency one and can make use of your kitty to meet those needs.

Operators find it comfortable to work on technologically advanced excavators

In order to speed up the work, you have to give your employees the latest equipment so that they are comfortable using them and can deliver in no time. You can’t use an age old machine and expect your men to complete the work in a stipulated time frame. They just will not be able to do that even if they want to. Same goes in the case of excavators. You can’t expect the operators to excavate a huge portion of land in just few days by giving them an excavator that is perhaps decade old. There is a possibility that the operator may not know its functions properly and might take time to get his hands on the machine or may just not want to work on it. So when you are looking to get a work done in a designated time frame you also need to ensure that you give your operators the equipment that they are comfortable working with.

Heavy equipment manufacturing companies have sensed the pulse of the operators and have therefore manufactured various types of machines that are technologically advanced. These types of machines mostly have automated functions which eases the work of the operator and at the same time lessens the chance of any accidents happening on the jobsite. Now we have several types of excavators in the mining and construction industry such as dragline excavators, bucket wheel excavators which might have existed for decades but the changes that are brought in is from within. For instance, the engine of the machine has been made better. The levers in the machine have been lessened and with the help of just few levers, the operator can handle most of the work.

It seems that there are no major changes made in the concept of the excavator it is just that the changes are made in the interiors which make things convenient for the end user. When heavy equipment companies manufacture excavators, they have to take into consideration a lot of factors. Factors such as if they are manufacturing the excavators for construction industry or for mining industry because the make of the machine will be different for different industries. The requirement of a mining industry will be obviously different from the construction one. They might want some additional features which is not required in the construction sector or can ask for adding few attachments in the existing excavator.

Ideally, many heavy equipment companies conduct surveys to understand the need of the operators. What they want to be added and how they want it to work. If there are any deficiencies in the existing model, how can they bring some improvement? They manage to take the survey from different companies across many states and then on the basis of the wants of the operators, they try to bring it new features. It is evident that the engineers have a tough time to get most of the features in but they still manage to do so. They eventually understand that in today’s time in order to exist in the industry they have to make as per the needs of the operators.

Operators should learn to fix heavy equipment

Breaking down of heavy equipment in midst of loads of work is nothing less than a nightmare for the construction company. This is perhaps the last thing that they will ever want to happen in their business. Heavy equipment not working due to technical glitch and unavailability of a competent mechanic is a big problem that one can imagine. Dependency on others especially mechanics have proved to be pretty expensive for many construction companies and for which time and again they had to pay a heavy price for it. Therefore one should learn for the mistakes and never let it happen again.

Since the onus of the well-being of the heavy equipment lies mainly on the operator, it is therefore the operator should also take the onus to learn how to fix machines. Many small construction companies who can’t afford to hire a team of mechanics hire operators who have fair deal of knowledge to fix heavy equipment. It makes more sense to pay more to operators with good knowledge of heavy equipment than paying to mechanics who charges a bomb from the companies.

Make use of user manual to learn repairing techniques:-

When there is a minor glitch in the heavy equipment, there is no point to call a mechanic. The operator if he knows how to fix minor glitches can prove to quite a resource to the company. In case, he does not know to fix glitches he can take help from the user manual and understand the basics of the machine first. As a matter of fact, he has to use the user manual to check the various functions and how to use them properly. He can’t experiment as long as he is not aware of the different functions of the machine and therefore his first book of reference will be the user manual. He will also get to learn few basic tricks to repair the machine if there appears to be a minor technical glitch somewhere down in the engine or any other part of the machine. He will find it to be extremely helpful and can manage things on his own rather than having dependency on a mechanic to sort such a simple problem.

Blogs can be helpful:-

Ideally most of the operators are attached to some or the other blog that talks about heavy equipment. Now if they experience any issue with their machine which they are unable to sort, they can simply put forth the issue on the blog and check for people’s responses. One can expect some marvelous workarounds to the issue and applying them can really work for you. So make use of blogs in times when heavy equipment has ceased to work and get some solution from there.

Videos on internet can be a quick solution:-

Watching videos that shows how to fix a problem can prove to be really helpful. There you will watch the guy actually fixing the machine and you will have a better idea to solve your problem. Moreover you do not have to wait for anybody’s reply on solving the issue. You can get a quick solution in no time.

Summer is deadly. Ensure that your employees are hydrated

It becomes difficult to work on a hot summer and under the scorching heat of the sun ready to burn you down. Only the heavy equipment operators who get the privilege to work inside an air-conditioned cabin may get a bit of relief but for other workers, they may not see a solution. They have to work under the hot sun and need to ensure that they keep themselves hydrated at all times. It is common biology. More than 70% of our body is of water and when the balance is disturbed it may cause all sorts of problem to the human body. Now you do not want to fall sick just because you have failed to consume water and forced yourself to work in the hot summer. It is quite certain that your body will not be able to take this and will show signs of breaking down.

Water is an important component that you should have continuously during summer but other than that you should also intake items that helps to keep your body hydrated. There are certain fruits that play a crucial role as far as hydration of your body is concerned. So the employees working in the construction site should make a note to keep some fruits in their bag and eat them whenever they get some time out of work. To name few fruits, watermelon, orange, papaya, grapes are rich in nutrients that keep your body hydrated. Watermelon is considered to be the fruit that can supplement water. So in case you are working at a site that does not give you easy accessibility to water, you can keep some pieces of melons in a box and gulp it whenever you can. You do not have to go far to fetch water and can simply have this to stay hydrated.

When you sweat a lot, you are losing water from your body. Always try to keep your body wet with water. You can carry some ice and place it on a towel. Wrap it well and tie it around your shoulders. You can also use it to wipe the seat from your body. In this way, you not only wipe off the sweat but also hydrate your skin. You can also make use of shakes that contains lot of water and some portion of milk and fruits. You should keep taking sips at regular intervals.

Keeping the construction workers hydrated during summer should be the responsibility of the business owner. They may not provide everybody with fruits but can definitely arrange for sufficient water at all times. The employees should not run from pillar to post just to fill in a bottle of water. You can keep water storage tanks with water purifier attached to it at every convenient point. If the jobsite is big and one needs direction, then there should be signboards showing signs from where the bottles can be filled. Please do not take dehydration lightly as it can even cost a person’s life. So ensure that all your employees are properly hydrates and are therefore equally healthy.

Why do airport runways cost so much to build

To construct an apartment or a townhouse, it requires good amount of investment on the part of the construction company. They also need to be well prepared when it comes to the investment part and can’t just enter in a project without considering the ups and downs and other monetary challenges that the company may experience in the short or in the long run. A lot of heads need to come together to decide the viability of the project and the amount of money that might come as an expenditure on the project. Once they all come to a common consensus they give their nod for the commencement of the project. Well constructing a township is not as expensive as constructing an airport. When you are in the process of building a new airport you got to think of lot many factors that does not play any role while constructing a condominium or for that matter a one unit family.

Constructing airport is a different ballgame altogether. There you got to understand many things and keep into mind every small stuff as you also will be dealing with the safety and security of the passengers. So you just can’t afford to go wrong at any point in time either with the design or with the construction. Moving our focus from the airport to the runway, it is believed that the runways cost more than building an entire airport. The reason is simple. The runways are the major load takers. On a daily basis there are countless of planes that takes off and lands on the runway. Now the weights of the plane are not less than 100,000 pounds and some are even heavier than that. So one can imagine what the runway has to go through on a daily basis. Million pounds of weight taking off and landing over it only suggests the quality of the runway and the kind of material one has to put to construct a runway.

Other than that, it also has to take the wrath of the monsoon and other extreme weathers and still has to continue to perform. You can’t have a runway with potholes. The plane will just not be able to fly and therefore the maintenance is also crucial. You need to put in a lot of concrete materials and can’t think of saving any money in terms of exercising low cost raw materials during the making of the runway. You have to use the best materials and the best does not come at a cheap rate. You also need to be ready to pay the right price for it which eventually makes the entire process of constructing airport runways an expensive affair.

It is not only about expensive raw materials that one puts in to construct a runway. It also involves people who have the required experience to build such a massive project. These guys will undoubtedly demand higher package which also impacts the cost of the construction.

Construction and productivity

Productivity is given a lot of importance and weight in any form of an industry. At the end of the day, it is production that matters the most to everybody. Nevertheless, the importance of quality can’t be brushed aside as it also plays an important role in the making or breaking of any company. We can be in any form of an industry, as long as we are not productive, we do not justify our package. A person who is good in quality but poor in productivity may not stay for long in the company. He may know his work and is also good in it but he is then expected to deliver. If he fails to deliver then his knowledge pertaining to the work will be of no use to the company. There are some sectors which makes profit predominantly on high productivity. This means that if the company fails to generate high productivity, it will eventually fail to generate profits and soon will be the day when it will have to wind up its business.

The construction industry is one such business where productivity and profit goes hand in hand. One can’t draw much distinction between the two. Productivity in this case does not limit itself to making more and more of tall rises and apartments to sell. It also means the day in and day out work. Tall rises and apartments are the end products and is perhaps the result of your daily productivity. So it is the daily productivity that matters the most. There are few things which a construction business owner should always keep in mind to enhance the daily productivity of the business.

Keep the enthusiasm high and maintain it:-

When you keep doing the same thing day after day, you tend to lose the enthusiasm from your work. Your work become quite monotonous and you feel like leaving it and start something new or learn something new. A business owner should be aware of this and should engage its workers with different kinds of work in order to keep the level of enthusiasm high and running. Other than that, there should be refreshment rooms for the employees so that they can go and do some activities that will enhance them as an individual and will make them a better person. They can read books on various subject and definitely books on construction so that they can keep themselves abreast as far as the construction world is concerned. By doing so, the employees will feel refreshed and will work more which will lead to higher productivity.

Monetary incentive is a big encouragement:-

We all work for money and employees in a construction company will work for more hours only if they are compensated with high monetary value. There are many companies who does not provide much recreational activities for its employees but give handsome incentives and bonuses. The employees stick to the company for years as they continue to get good money in terms of incentives and bonuses.