Archive for the 'Events' Category

Third Annual Drone Focus Conference Held in Fargo, ND

 

On May 31, drone users, UAS enthusiasts, and those brand-new to the industry gathered in Fargo, ND for the third-annual Drone Focus Conference. The two-day event brought together hobbyists and professionals to learn, share ideas, and connect.

Agricultural Impact
RDO Equipment Co. welcomed two speakers to Drone Focus, Jason Barton of Agribotix and Nathan Stein of senseFly. Both spoke about UAS in agriculture, with Jason discussing opportunities of implementing precision ag technology, drones included, but also the challenge of technology adaption by farmers.

Nate Dorsey, Agronomist, added insight to Jason’s message, “We find, while most farmers know and use the basics, the majority aren’t aware how capable their machines really are and how much functionality they have. We’re trying to help our customers understand all the technology offered.”

In his presentation, Nathan [Stein] touched on the effects of UAS technology on agronomy, saying, “Agronomy and the way plants grow isn’t going to change. But by fusing agronomy with the information we’re gathering from drones, that’s when good decisions can be made.”

Nate [Dorsey] agreed, explaining the data is key in detecting problems early. “We provide customers, and the agronomists they work with, the data to help make decisions that can prevent problems and yield loss,” he said.

Going Beyond Drones
Jason and Nathan joined a lineup of notable speakers that included U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, U.S. Senator (R-ND) John Hoeven, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

All three leaders had a similar message in the rapid evolution of technology and the industry, and that the future of autonomy is headed beyond drones.

“Autonomous vehicles are coming, faster than the general public understands,” Governor Burgum said. He continued, speaking at length to the power autonomous vehicles would have on the way we design cities and infrastructure, and eliminate one of our cities’ biggest transportation-related headaches – parking.

Secretary Chao discussed the Trump administration’s plans to increase airspace capacity, something that will be needed in the very near future.

“By 2020 the nation’s airspace is estimated to handle 1 billion passengers every year,” she said. The goal of the proposal is to handle this increased capacity, while ensuring safety and timeliness for all travelers.

She also recognized the growth in autonomous vehicles on both land and in the air, saying, “We need the smartest infrastructure possible for manned and unmanned vehicles to share air and road space.”

Senator Hoeven continued to build on the message he delivered at last year’s Drone Focus Conference: North Dakota, particularly Fargo, is a leader in this industry and must continue to be one. Citing all the “firsts” North Dakota has achieved in the industry, he encouraged Fargo to continue its leadership by saying, “Our next ‘new first’ – lets develop it here, right in the Red River Valley.”

Swarming
Bill Edmonson, UAV Product Specialist in Billings, hosted a workshop that demonstrated opportunities with swarming – operating more than one drone simultaneously. This was important message for Drone Focus attendees, who, throughout the event, heard about several areas of opportunity for swarming in areas like agriculture, pipeline, and search and rescue missions.

Swarming offers major advantages, with two, three, or even ten drones working together able to cover more area, and cover it faster, than one. Bill highlighted the RDO Equipment Co. team’s experience in swarming from an event last October – a fully-coordinated, planned mission of ten senseFly eBee drones flying simultaneously.

Continuously Evolving

The first Drone Focus Conference was all about possibilities, while last year presenters began sharing initial experiences. This year, the industry’s maturity was even more evident, with several UAS-specific companies discussing services and expertise, as well as a greater number of seasoned experts sharing their knowledge.

Three of these experts, RDO Equipment Co. customers, participated in a panel discussion. Ryan Otis, Otis Farms and Ryan Rustan, Blattner Energy, are both professionals who have successfully implemented drones into their business, while Joey Schmit of Flight Pros is a provider of UAS technology services.

The panel cited data management as the biggest challenge in the industry. To help manage it and expectations, all agreed that it’s important to first understand the goals of the data, then work back to base a plan on achieving them.

“The info shared by our customers provided great value to attendees,” Kelly Gress, Vice President of the RDO Integrated Controls division, said. “Thank you to Joey, Ryan, and Ryan for taking the time to share their unique insights and experiences with drones in their businesses.”

A final message from the panel was one that came up in other presentations throughout the conference: Drones can’t and won’t ever fully replace traditional methods. They’re a great tool to have in the toolbox but people are still needed to understand them, operate them, and turn the data they produce into actions.

What’s Next
If this year’s event proved one thing it’s that autonomous technology isn’t going away. Drone Focus Conference is already scheduled for 2018; the two-day event will take place May 30 and 31.

For more information on drones for business applications, contact the RDO Integrated Controls team.

Photo credits to: J. Alan Paul Photography and Emerging Prairie

CASE Celebrates Company’s 175th Birthday with Employees, Dignitaries and Case family members

Speakers included U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Kaleb Case – the great grandson of company founder J.I. Case.

CASE Construction Equipment celebrated the CASE brand’s 175th birthday with a rally and luncheon attended by 800+ employees in Racine, Wis., as well as local dignitaries, elected officials and a descendant of the Case family.

The company was founded in 1842 in nearby Rochester, Wis. as the Racine Threshing Machine Works Company. It evolved into one of the world’s most iconic manufacturers of construction and agricultural equipment. Speakers included U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the congressman representing Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district; Richard Tobin, Chief Executive Officer – CNH Industrial; and Kaleb Jerome Case, the great grandson of company founder and Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Hall of Fame member Jerome Increase (J.I.) Case.

“2017 is the 175th anniversary of Jerome Increase Case’s journey to Racine County and the beginning of his—and our—legacy,” said Tobin. “Not every company gets to celebrate 175 years, and it’s worth taking a moment to recognize that this is a company with significant history and deep roots. To our people in the audience, and our colleagues all around Racine and beyond, I want to say thank you for doing your part to continue this momentum.”

Elected officials in attendance also recognized the pride in craftsmanship exhibited by the plant, and the significance of the milestone.

CASE Celebrates Company’s 175th Birthday with Employees, Dignitaries and Case family members

“I’ve been coming here since 1998, and to travel the countryside, and to travel the world, and to see this equipment all around – it gives us such great pride in what you do,” said Speaker Ryan. “Your reputation as the highest-class producer of the greatest machines that the construction industry and the agriculture industry know – thank you for making us proud and congratulations on this fantastic legacy of 175 years.”

The State of Wisconsin also awarded the company with a special citation recognizing its 175 years in business, presented to the company by a bipartisan coalition of Wisconsin lawmakers from the region: Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly Robin Vos, Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca, Senator Van Wanggaard and State Representative Cory Mason. UAW Region 4 Director Ron McIlroy and Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave also recognized the company – and J.I Case descendant Kaleb Jerome Case brought the event to a roaring close with humorous anecdotes from Case family lore.

“J.I.’s passion was power, speed and durability,” said Case. “J.I.’s love of machines prompted him towards manufacturing. I have a copy of the letter he wrote to his wife Lydia. He had just delivered the last of well under a dozen machines and lamented that he would be out of business – no one would need any machines any more. Wow. He should be here today.”

Kaleb Case greets the assembled crowd in Racine

CASE Construction Equipment sells and supports a full line of construction equipment around the world, including the No. 1 backhoe loaders, excavators, motor graders, wheel loaders, vibratory compaction rollers, crawler dozers, skid steers, compact track loaders and rough-terrain forklifts. Through CASE dealers, customers have access to a true professional partner with world-class equipment and aftermarket support, industry-leading warranties and flexible financing. More information is available at www.CaseCE.com.

 

 

AEM & Subsite Electronics Remind Us That June is National Safety Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) has designated June as National Safety Month. The NSC, along with thousands of safety-minded organizations across the country, observe National Safety Month every June to raise awareness of what it takes to “Keep Each Other Safe.” Throughout the month, the NSC will provide materials focused on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.

According to the NSC, preventable deaths are at an all-time high, claiming more than 146,000 lives in 2015. Working together, the NSC and concerned organizations will launch a comprehensive public education campaign aimed at reducing the needless deaths. Throughout the month, safety topics will cover fall safety, fatigue, safety in an active shooter situation, ergonomics and road safety for workers.

While topics don’t cover safety in the underground construction industry specifically,” said Jeri Lamerton, Marketing Manager for Subsite® Electronics, a Charles Machine Works Company, “we fully support the NSC’s efforts to help “Keep Each Other Safe. Our company is a pioneer in technology designed to help keep workers safe, and we applaud any efforts to spread a safety message, no matter what industry.”

Visit http://www.nsc.org for more information about National Safety Month. For more information on utility locators and other Underground Awareness products from Subsite® Electronics, visit www.subsite.com 

Think Safety 365, says AEM in support of National Safety Month

 Nearly 13,000 American workers are injured each day and preventable injuries overall are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

June is National Safety Month, and AEM is proud to partner with the National Safety Council (where the above numbers came from) in this endeavor to help workers, families and communities stay safe.

“The message of safety is one we should never get complacent about. We need to wake up every day, 365 days a year, with a commitment to being safety conscious,” said James Vos, AEM safety materials manager.

AEM offers a free download of its Equipment Safety Infographic poster with colorful and informative messages to help spread the safety message in break rooms, on the shop floor, in the classrooms or anywhere important safety information needs to be shared.

Five Tips to Reinforce Safety

AEM supports and encourages industry participation in safety outreach efforts and is active in many organizations, coalitions and programs advancing safety.

“In the routine of day-to-day and deadlines, events such as National Safety Month are a reminder and opportunity to elevate and emphasize the safety message,” said Vos.

Worker safety has always been a priority for machinery makers and AEM. The Association outlines five basic tips to help workers focus on safety:

  • Take advantage of safety training that is available.
  • Be alert and know the work area and the equipment.
  • Follow the rules of safe equipment preparation and start-up, operation and maintenance.
  • Set an example: for your well-being and the protection of others, encourage fellow workers to act safely.
  • Put it in personal terms: think what is important to you that makes you want to stay safe.

AEM produces an extensive array of safety products, including safety manuals and videos, with major equipment types covering aerial, agriculture, compact/portable, earthmoving, forestry, lifting, road paving and utility excavation applications.

Find the complete line of AEM safety materials at safetymaterials.org.

Visit the National Safety Council online for June National Safety Month information.

Deere & Company announced plans to acquire the Wirtgen Group, a global leader in road construction equipment

Summary:

Deere . Deere & Company’s announcement is available at www.JohnDeere.com. A conference call for investors regarding the transaction was held at 10 AM ET on June 1, 2017. When an archived version of the conference call or additional news is available it will be posted on this site.

Information from the Deere & Company News Release:

  • “The acquisition of the Wirtgen Group aligns with our long-term strategy to expand in both of John Deere’s global growth businesses of agriculture and construction,” said Samuel R. Allen, Deere & Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Wirtgen’s superb reputation, strong customer relationships and demonstrated financial performance are attractive as we expand the reach of John Deere construction equipment to more customers, markets, and geographies.”
  • Headquartered in Germany, the Wirtgen Group has five premium brands across the entire road construction sector spanning milling, processing, mixing, paving, compaction and rehabilitation. Wirtgen’s highly complementary product portfolio enhances Deere’s existing construction equipment offering and establishes Deere as an industry leader in global road construction. The Wirtgen Group has a global footprint with approximately 8,000 employees and sells products in more than 100 countries through a large network of company-owned and independent dealers.
  • Max Guinn, President of Deere’s Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division, said, “This transaction enhances our global distribution options in construction equipment and enhances our capabilities in emerging markets. Spending on road construction and transportation projects has grown at a faster rate than the overall construction industry and tends to be less cyclical. There is recognition globally that infrastructure improvements must be a priority and roads and highways are among the most critical in need of repair and replacement.”
  • Deere plans to maintain the Wirtgen Group’s existing brands, management, manufacturing footprint, employees and distribution network. The combined business is expected to benefit from sharing best practices in distribution, manufacturing and technology as well as in scale and efficiency of operations.
  • Stefan Wirtgen, managing director at Wirtgen, said, “The Wirtgen Group has a legacy of technology and innovation with market-leading products and a strong focus on the customer. As we looked to the future, we specifically chose Deere as the buyer because of our long-held respect for the organization and our full confidence that Deere is dedicated to the ongoing success of The Wirtgen Group and our employees worldwide.”
  • Jürgen Wirtgen, managing director at Wirtgen, added, “Our company’s strength and success comes from dedicated employees who are focused on helping customers succeed in the road construction industry. We believe this transaction allows the company to be successful well into the future – independent of our family ownership.”
  • The transaction has been approved by Deere’s Board of Directors. The purchase is subject to regulatory approval in several jurisdictions as well as certain other customary closing conditions. The companies said they expect to close on the transaction in the first quarter of Deere’s 2018 fiscal year.
  • The WIRTGEN GROUP (www.wirtgen-group.com) is an internationally operating group of companies in the construction machinery sector incorporating the traditional product brands: WIRTGEN, VÖGELE, HAMM, KLEEMANN, BENNINGHOVEN, and CIBER. As a technological leader, The Wirtgen Group offers its customers mobile machine solutions for road construction and road rehabilitation and plants for mining and processing minerals or recycling material and for the production of asphalt.
  • Deere & Company (JohnDeere.com) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity.

ARTBA Foundation Announces Financial Assistance to 11 Children of Fallen Highway Workers

Eleven children of highway workers who were killed on the job will receive college financial assistance for the 2017-18 school year from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation’s (ARTBA-TDF) “Lanford Family Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship” fund.

The scholarship program was established in 1999 with a gift from two Roanoke, Virginia, highway contractors and their companies—Stan Lanford (1999 ARTBA chairman) of Lanford Brothers, and Jack Lanford (1991 ARTBA chairman), with Adams Construction Company. About 100 highway workers are killed annually in roadway construction and maintenance accidents, and thousands more are seriously injured.
Over the past 17 years, more than 130 scholarships have been given to students from 25 states to pursue college and technical training. The 2017 class includes:

Caitlyn Rains, Proctor, Ark.
Caitlyn’s father, James Rains, was killed in 2013 while working in a night construction zone for APAC Tennessee. Caitlyn plans to study physical therapy at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
Misty McNeil, Kountze, Texas & Amy McNeil Graves, Lumberton, Texas
Misty and Amy’s father, Jeffrey McNeil, was killed in 2005 while working for the Texas Department of Transportation. Misty plans to study radiologic technology at Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont. Amy is studying nursing at Lamar State College in Orange.
Kaitlyn Henry, Dennison, Ohio
Kaitlyn’s dad, Gary Henry, was struck by a construction vehicle and killed in 2013 while working on a state highway construction project on Interstate 270 near Columbus, Ohio. Kaitlyn will be a senior at Ohio University and is an intervention specialist major.
Andrea Pair, Spiro, Okla.
Andrea’s father, Shannon Pair, was struck and killed while working for Time Striping Inc., in 1998. Andrea will be a senior at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. She studies biochemistry.
Victoria Markle, Port Charlotte, Fla.
Victoria’s father, John Markle, was struck and killed on Florida’s I-75 in March 2016 while working for Ajax Paving Industries. Victoria will be a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers where she studies journalism.
Cirar Butler, Gunnison, Miss.
Cirar’s father, Henry Butler, Jr., was killed while driving a Mississippi Department of Transportation work truck during highway repairs in 2014. Cirar will be a sophomore at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, and studies physical therapy.
Kristen Jares, West, Texas
Kristen’s father, Gregory Jares, was killed in 2001 while working for the Texas Department of Transportation. Kristen will be a sophomore at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton where she studies exercise physiology.
Standra Jones, Jr., Gaston, S.C.
Stan’s father, Standra Jones, worked for the South Carolina Department of Transportation. In 2007, he was struck and killed while taking down work zone traffic controls on I-26 in Lexington County. Stan will be a junior at Clemson University and majors in engineering.
Willie Blevins, Commerce, Ga.
Willie’s mother, Kathy Blevins, worked for the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation. She had just finished painting turn-lane lines when her vehicle was struck and she was killed in 2004. Willie will be a junior studying pre-veterinarian at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.
Emily Jones, Billings, Mont.
Emily’s father, Richard Jones, was killed in a car accident in 2013 while working for Direct Traffic Control. Emily will be a senior at Montana State University and majors in criminal justice.

The ARTBA-TDF is interested in receiving contact leads on students who could benefit from the scholarship program. Please share them with ARTBA’s Eileen Houlihan at ehoulihan@artba.org or 202.289.4434.

For more than 30 years, the ARTBA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity, has worked to “promote research, education and public awareness” about the impacts of transportation investment. The Foundation supports an array of initiatives, including educational scholarships, awards, professional development academies, a transportation project safety certification program, roadway work zone safety and training programs, special economic reports and an exhibition on transportation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.