Going mobile to manage equipment

There is no doubt that equipment is one of the largest cost centres for most contractors. With often hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars worth of bulldozers, cranes, excavators, graders, skidders, and so on, construction companies have been driven in recent years to manage this major capital expense more efficiently.

Making the initial financial investment in equipment is just the beginning of what must be a well managed operation in order to be optimally profitable.

Contractors must make sure that equipment is on a jobsite when needed and ensure it doesn’t sit idle when it could be used elsewhere.

Equipment operators must be trained so that they use the piece properly and efficiently and comply with environmental and safety regulations. To maximize the value of equipment, contractors must ensure it’s maintained, making preventative maintenance an essential priority to prevent costly problems and downtime.

Furthermore, equipment management can be an important profit center for a contractor that carefully tracks usage and cost of ownership and bills costs to jobs as appropriate.

Linking it all together
Correctly managing equipment can be extremely complex and can significantly impact a company’s bottom line. There are many software solutions that help simplify the equipment management process but a solution that provides seamless workflow between estimating, job costing, financials, and project management empowers a contractor to truly maximize equipment investments.

A complete construction management solution can handle the entire project lifecycle, allow contractors to manage equipment and utilization, and define and track maintenance schedules and procedures, while tracking the cost of ownership.

Contractors can leverage the value of a complete solution to gain control over the capital intensive aspect of their business, as well as minimize the costs associated with equipment and keep their equipment active at jobsites. With a true picture of costs against budget, they can also manage their equipment as a company profit centre.

The value of mobility
With recent advances in mobile technology, equipment and project managers, and other appropriate team members, can increase their operational efficiencies by having access to real-time data while working on the jobsite. The arrival of the iPad has made informed, on-the-jobsite decisions easier and more convenient than ever. The device is not only easy enough for a computer novice to use, it also offers the sophistication needed for contractors to access detailed data no matter if the person is working in the office, at a jobsite, at an equipment storage facility or on the road.

This mobility and real-time access can be a true asset in turning equipment into a profit center. With a complete construction management software solution and mobile application, contractors can easily pull or enter data using an iPad to, for example, record equipment location and utilization information to the appropriate project and cost code.

And, with one central location for all the related data (such as receipts, warranties, insurance certificates, repair bills, and pictures), the accounting department can apply cost of ownership to each piece of equipment through accounts payable, journal entries, and payroll, using cost codes to breakdown each expense.

The mobility aspect of a complete, all-in-one software solution also enables contractors to minimize costs associated with equipment repairs and keep their equipment active at their jobsites. Having real-time information on the condition of the equipment, a maintenance schedule, alerts notifying when service is required, and more, can help project managers and equipment managers make sure that important maintenance is done in a timely and cost-effective manner.

A powerful combination
Contractors that leverage the combined power of a complete construction management software solution with mobile access from an iPad, will reduce downtime, prevent costly repairs, maximize the profit of every project, and improve the financial stability of their business.

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New Deal Improves Labour Mobility For Apprentices

Premier Hancock signs labour mobility agreement-in-principle with Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil
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Marc MacNeil, a third year pipe fitter apprentice from Nova Scotia said the new agreement will help to eliminate barriers and make it easier for apprentices to achieve certification. “This is great news. I know a lot of people apprenticing who aren’t being recognized for their qualifications even though they’ve completed their program. It’s been tough for them to find an employer to take them on, and some have had to retake courses or work additional hours to get their journeyman status.”

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Sonic Drilling Technology Nominated For A Fourth Award

Ray Roussy
Ray Roussy

The Northern Ontario Institute of Technology (NOIT) has nominated Ray Roussy, developer of modern day sonic drilling technology and the president of the Sonic Drill Corporation (SDC) and Sonic Drilling Ltd., for an Ontario Premier's award.

Roussy is an alumni of NOIT where he was first introduced to mechanical engineering before continuing onto Lakehead University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree in 1974. Today, 40 years later, Roussy holds dozens of patents involving sonic drilling technology and is solely responsible for the successful commercialization of it when others failed to make it work. If Roussy wins the Ontario Premier's award, it will be the fourth award since 2008 for his technology. Previous awards include:

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  • 2008 – Best New Drilling Technology award from the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (Canada)

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Industry News

Canada's Construction Workforce Reaches All-Time High

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Equipment Management & Maintenance

Kennametal Presents RoadRazor II: The New Shape Of Road Construction Productivity

Road Razor II from Kennametal.
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Kip Moore Debuts Video Honoring Men And Women Of The Construction Industry

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“These folks come out to my shows after working long shifts, 50-60 hour weeks, and I never forget that,” says Moore. “They take extreme pride in the work they do. It inspires me to put on the best show I can every night, and I wanted to thank them and honor their work and commitment with something they can relate to. The lyrics for ‘On the Case’ were written to do that.”

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Terex Minerals Processing Systems Launches The Large Capacity MJ47 Primary Jaw Module

The Terex MJ47 Jaw Crusher
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Compaction

Caterpillar releases 826K Landfill Compactor

The Cat 826 Landfill Compactor has set the design standard for this demanding application since 1978, and with the introduction of the K Series model, that design is further advanced in terms of operator comfort and safety, ease of operation, durability, reliability, low-cost operation, and productivity. Two Cat C15 ACERT™ engine options are available, meeting U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV emission standards or U.S. EPA Tier 3/EU Stage IIIA equivalent emission standards. It delivers 405 net horsepower (302 kW) to the 826K's drive train, which uses a 2F/2R planetary power-shift transmission, lock-up torque converter, and heavy-duty planetary axles that can accommodate three new wheel-and- tip configurations. With an operating weight of 90,207 pounds (40 917 kg), coupled with massive structures that remain solid through a number of rebuilds, the 826K is built for rugged durability.

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Attachments

Turning Up The Volume: Rotating Shear and Game-Changing Serrated Blades

Operating just south of Dallas out of Waxahachie, Texas, hlh&r Metals is a scrap metal recycler that deals mainly in ferrous, with a focus on heavy-melt materials. The company provides containerized collection service to scrap yards and industrial sites located within an 80-mile radius from their yard, using dumpsters and a fleet of roll-off trucks, along with roll-off and end-dump trailers. Materials are brought to the yard, sorted, cleaned, processed and blended for local steel mills and foundries who buy 100 percent of the company’s inventory each month. Hlh&r also buys a significant amount of “nuisance-grade” scrap (rebar-containing materials sourced mainly from crushing and demolition projects).

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Portable Power

Cold Weather Generator Operation

A generator equipped with a snow hood being loaded for delivery.
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Diesel generators are notoriously problematic during cold weather. Not only does diesel fuel become unstable in cold temperatures but when the engine block and heads are cold, they absorb the heat of the compression required to ignite diesel fuel.

When generators used for standby or continuous power will be operated at 32°F (0°C) or below – especially for extended periods of time – operators must take precautions to ensure the generator will start reliably, get to the desired load quickly, and continue to run without incident and unnecessary stress and wear on the engine.

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Equipment Management & Maintenance

10 Tire Tips To Avoid Costly Downtime

Downtime can cost significant money. While there are some instances of downtime that are unavoidable, there are measures you can take with your equipment that can help avoid those associated costs.

Proper tire maintenance, even at its most basic level, will have a dramatic effect on avoiding downtime. Basic tire maintenance and monitoring is easy, and there is no time like the present to start following important maintenance tips to ensure that tires operate at peak levels throughout any season. The following 10 areas for immediate improvement regarding tire performance apply to mining but many are equally important in construction. While an in-depth tire management and maintenance program will reap significant benefits, just paying attention to these basic areas will help provide more productive, longerlasting tires and avoid costly downtime.

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