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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Equipment Management & Maintenance

Buying machine tires: where rubber meets the bottom line

Top: Scrap yards, transfer stations and recycling facilities offer no shortage of hazards that can shorten the life of your tires. Bottom: Working on an unimproved surface, traction and floatation may be more important than durability.
Top: Scrap yards, transfer stations and recycling facilities offer no shortage of hazards that can shorten the life of your tires. Bottom: Working on an unimproved surface, traction and floatation may be more important than durability.

Tire replacement is the largest single operating expense for skid steer fleets, and a significant maintenance cost for most of the mobile equipment in scrap yards, transfer stations and recycling facilities. Putting new rubber on skid steer loaders, telehandlers and forklifts can be expensive – and even more so for larger machines such as wheel loaders and wheeled excavators and material handlers.

It makes sense then, as a recycler, to be sure you’re choosing the right tires to get the best return on your investment. Choices include numerous makes and models of pneumatic tires, solid rubber tires and foam-filled tires. Increasingly, for many users a solid rubber tire solution is a popular way to go. But according to David Fleischhauer of Camoplast Solideal, global manufacturers of tires and tracks for off-the road mobility solutions, there are a number of factors to consider before buying.

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Komatsum Introduces the New D155AXi-8 Intelligent Machine Control Crawler Dozer

Komatsu America Corp., has introduced the new D155AXi-8, Komatsu’s first intelligent machine control crawler dozer in this size class, and the newest addition to the next generation of machine control and dozer technology.

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A.R.E. Accessories Offers Commercial Duty Tonneau Cover and Truck Cap Options For 2015 Chevrolet Colorado And 2015 GMC Canyon

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PCL’s Anibal Valente Assumes Role of CCA Chair

Anibal Valente - Chair of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA)
Anibal Valente - Chair of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA)

The PCL family of companies has announced that Anibal Valente, vice president, Corporate, has assumed the role of chair of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) for one year effective March 26, 2015.

“It is such an honour to sit as chair of the Canadian Construction Association,” said Valente. “It is a privilege to serve the construction industry and I am very proud and humbled to be appointed to this important position. I look forward to the year ahead.”This is the first time a PCL Construction leader has been appointed chair of the association. In March 2014 Valente was named CCA General Contractor of the Year in recognition of his service as chair of several construction industry associations, including the Saskatchewan Construction Association, and the British Columbia Construction Association.

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Heavy Equipment Guide
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Stellar Industries Introduces New T-Boom Style Hydraulic Cranes

Stellar Industries, Inc. has announced its new line of hydraulic cranes, called the TC Series. The TC Series offers a combination of compact European design with an American approach to sensible crane control. The TC Series is a tall mast telescopic crane commonly referred to as a “T-Boom” crane. This design offers ultimate compactness to take up minimal bed space, yet offers up to 18.6 feet of hydraulic reach to maximize the load radius of the larger models.

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Cat M Series Compact Wheel Loaders Offer Operators Adjustable Control Response for Efficient Work

The new Cat M Series Compact Wheel Loaders—906M, 907M and 908M—feature Caterpillar's exclusive Optimized Z-bar loader linkage, which combines aggressive digging power with parallel lift. These models use a 75-gross horsepower engine with an electronically controlled hydrostatic drive system that meets US EPA Tier 4 Final / EU Stage IIIB emission standards. Electro-Hydraulic controls allow for engineering enhancements for the drive system, implement controls, auxiliary hydraulic system and loader linkage. A range of work tools and couplers are available, ensuring optimum versatility and productivity. Valuable options including a high-speed configuration, ride control system and high-flow hydraulics make the M Series Compact Wheel Loaders even more productive in landscaping, agricultural, industrial, snow removal and general construction applications.

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PCL Wins Two Canadian Construction Association Awards

The PCL family of companies has announced it has been recognized with two Canadian Construction Association Awards in response to continued dedication in the fields of innovation and the environment.

The 2014 CCA Excellence in Innovation Award was given for a method of pressure testing on concrete formwork developed by PCL’s Calgary district on the Airport Trail Tunnel project. This innovation allows staff to monitor pressures and communicate data to the pouring crew and record data for quality-control purposes, all in real time while optimizing the pour rate to help achieve a critical schedule. Maintaining proper formwork pressure is important because it increases on-site safety and accuracy of material specifications and tolerances, and it eliminates the need for costly rework or repairs.

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Volvo Trucks Strengthens Uptime Services with Monitoring of I-Shift Transmission

Volvo Remote Diagnostics, the telematics-based proactive diagnostic and repair planning service, will begin monitoring critical fault codes in Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmissions beginning in April.
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Advancing its commitment to maximizing customer uptime, Volvo Trucks has announced that beginning in April its Volvo Remote Diagnostics service will be expanded to monitor critical fault codes on the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission. Other developments related to uptime that Volvo is highlighting at the 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, include dealer investments in parts and service and the recent opening of the Uptime Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Dressta To Launch New Hydrostatic Compact Dozers

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