Holt Cat® Celebrates Grand Opening Of Little Elm Store, TX

6A53CC47-3003-4829-9854-CA6B5ECD57A6HOLT CAT®(holtcat.com), the Caterpillar® Equipment and Engine dealer for South, Central, North and Northeast Texas, celebrated the grand opening today of a $14 million, 61,000 square-foot full-service facility at 27600 East University Drive in Little Elm, Texas.

The new Denton County store extends HOLT CAT’s presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to nine locations.

“Little Elm is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas and investments in construction and infrastructure here are driving an ever-increasing demand for Cat® heavy equipment and services,” said Dave Harris, HOLT CAT president and chief operating officer.

“With this new HOLT CAT location, customers can be confident of always having the right machine for the job, backed by knowledgeable advice and expert service delivered by the best-trained technicians in the industry.”

HOLT CAT leaders including CEO Peter M. Holt were joined by customers and state and local dignitaries at the event, including state Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound.)

Nelson predicted the new store would deliver important benefits to the region:

“It’s wonderful to see HOLT CAT expand their presence in North Texas to Little Elm, she said. “This investment will not only bring jobs and economic development to our community, but also help to immensely support this area’s rapid growth.”

Army Sergeant First Class Dana Bowman, a retired U.S. Army paratrooper who is a double-amputee and a leading wounded warrior advocate, performed a skydiving show at the event. HOLT employs more than 350 veterans, approximately 17 percent of its workforce, and is dedicated to actively expanding job opportunities for men and women who have served in the armed forces.

The new Little Elm store features a comprehensive range of offerings to serve a variety of customer needs across the construction, industrial, oil & gas and paving industries: everything from Cat machine sales, rentals, parts and service, to comprehensive rebuild capabilities and custom product fabrication. For a full description of services and store hours, visit Holt Cat Little Elm.

About HOLT CAT®

HOLT CAT® sells, rents and services Caterpillar machines, engines, generator sets and trucks in a 118-county Texas territory spanning from the Red River to the Rio Grande. HOLT offers total machine and engine rebuild capabilities, sells used equipment around the world and fabricates its own line of land clearing equipment and HOLT Spray King® water tankers. HOLT is the dealer for Link-Belt Cranes in the Eastern half of Texas as well as the El Paso area. They are the dealer for AGCO/Challenger and Claas farm equipment for the Eastern half of Texas and portions of Arkansas and Missouri.

The Holt name has been associated with heavy equipment and Caterpillar for more than 100 years. Peter M. Holt, Chief Executive Officer of HOLT CAT, is the great-grandson of Benjamin Holt, who in 1904 developed the first successful track-type tractor which he named the “Caterpillar.” HOLT CAT has come to be synonymous with quality, integrity and commitment to customer service. The HOLT CAT team is committed to providing rock solid stability with superior products and services to heavy equipment and engine users from Brownsville to Texarkana, Texas.

Technical Announcement:
Appalachian Basin Energy Resources — A New Look at an Old Basin

USGSNew Geological Compilation Available for Resource Studies and Land-Use Planning

Appalachian coal and petroleum resources are still available in sufficient quantities to contribute significantly to fulfilling the nation’s energy needs, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Appalachian basin, which includes the Appalachian coalfields and the Marcellus Shale, covers parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

“The study we conducted is a modern, in-depth collection of reports, cross sections and maps that describe the geology of the Appalachian basin and its fossil fuel resources,” said USGS scientist Leslie Ruppert, the study’s lead editor.

Petroleum resources, including oil and natural gas, remain significant in the Appalachian basin. Although both conventional oil and gas continue to be produced in the Appalachian basin, most new wells in the region are drilled in shale reservoirs, such as the famous Marcellus and Utica Shale, to produce natural gas.

The Appalachian basin contains significant coalbed methane and high-quality, thick, bituminous coal resources although the resource is deeper and thinner than the coal that has already been mined.

Although this volume is not a quantitative assessment of all notable geologic and fossil fuel localities in the Appalachian basin, the selected study areas and topics presented in the chapters pertain to large segments of the basin and a wide range of stratigraphic intervals. This updated geologic framework is especially important given the significance of shale gas in the basin.

This volume discusses the locations of coal and petroleum accumulations, the stratigraphic and structural framework, and the geochemical characteristics of the coal beds and petroleum in the basin, as well as the results of recent USGS assessments of coal, oil and gas resources in the basin.

Many of the maps and accompanying data supporting the reports in this volume are available from chapter I.1 as downloadable geographic information system (GIS) data files about the characteristics of selected coal beds and oil and gas fields, locations of oil and gas wells, coal production, coal chemistry, total petroleum system (TPS) boundaries and bedrock geology. Log ASCII Standard (LAS) files for geophysical (gamma ray) wireline well logs are included in other chapters.

USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas and coal resources of onshore lands and offshore state waters. This study of the Appalachian basin will underpin energy resource assessments and may be found online. To find out more about USGS energy assessments and other energy research, please visit the USGS Energy Resources Program website, sign up for our Newsletter, and follow us on Twitter.

http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=4163

Charlie Luck Takes Over As Chairman of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

image001Charles Luck IV, president and CEO of Luck Companies, Richmond, Va., is the 2015 Chairman of the Board of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA). His election came during the NSSGA Board of Directors’ meeting at the association’s annual convention in Baltimore.

“Charlie’s insights into what the aggregates industry faces each day, coupled with his values based leadership, will take NSSGA to the next level,” said NSSGA President and CEO Michael W. Johnson. “He is well-prepared to lead and execute our Rocks Build America strategic plan and will advance our association as the leading voice of the industry.”

Charlie Luck IVIn his acceptance address to the NSSGA Annual Membership meeting, Luck urged all to think about how the aggregates industry impacts America. “Let’s never forget that we are building the future infrastructure of our country that enables a quality of life that many other countries can only wish to have,” he said.

He also called on the entire aggregates industry to be a part of the effort and to make a difference. “When all of us are engaged and committed, NSSGA is doing well. When NSSGA is doing well, we are building a better future for this country.”

Luck also outlined a key priority for 2015: a Board Evolution Initiative. “We have a best-in-class strategy, now how do we get a best-in-class board structure?” he asked.

The plan calls for a task force to provide recommendations on a new board structure and rule changes to align the governance of NSSGA with the Rocks Build America strategic plan. “The goal is to have representation in every state with highly qualified and highly committed leaders to ensure the long-term health of NSSGA and the aggregates industry,” Luck said.

Luck considers himself the guardian of a family legacy, built on the founding principles of honesty, integrity and reliability. A 1983 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, Luck is an active member in several professional and trade associations as well as numerous community organizations.

He oversees a growing corporation that employs approximately 800 and has locations in the mid-Atlantic and northeast through its four distinct business units: Luck Stone; Luck Stone Center, Har-Tru Sports and Luck Development Partners. One of Luck’s goals is to ensure the future growth and development of employees and the corporation, while maintaining the company’s leadership role in the aggregates industry.

In April 2011, Luck was honored as the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business Executive of the Year. He is active in civic affairs in Va., and currently serves as a board member for a number of organizations including: the Virginia Foundation for Independent Schools; Virginia Military Institute’s Jackson Hope-Fund; and the Virginia Business Council.

Founded in 1923 and having thrived under the leadership of three generations of the Luck family, Luck Companies has embraced creativity, commitment, leadership and integrity as its core values, and strives to build a culture centered on the success of others. Luck Companies inspires its associates, customers, partners and communities to positively impact their lives and the lives of those around them through Values Based Leadership. Luck Companies believes the best path to exemplary personal and business performance is through making a difference in the lives of others around the world. To learn more about Luck Companies, please visit luckcompanies.com.

NSSGA is the leading voice and advocate for the aggregates industry. Its members – stone, sand and gravel producers and the equipment manufacturers and service providers who support them – produce the essential raw materials found in homes, buildings, roads, bridges and public works projects and represent more than 90 percent of the crushed stone and 70 percent of the sand and gravel mined annually in the United States. Production of aggregates in the U.S. in 2014 totaled 2.17 billion metric tons at a value of $20.3 billion. The aggregates industry employs approximately 100,000 highly-skilled men and women.

Silica/Asphalt Milling Machine Partnership Celebrated at World of Asphalt

UnknownGroup marks successful 10-year effort to ensure worker safety; New best practices guidance from NIOSH and field guide from NAPA/CPWR released

With a variety of new equipment and innovations as a backdrop, members of the Silica/Asphalt Milling Machine Partnership were recognized during World of Asphalt 2015. The ceremony last week marked the successful completion of the partnership’s efforts to develop and validate engineering controls for silica dust in asphalt milling operations.

The Silica/Asphalt Milling Machine Partnership — which is made up of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), milling-machine manufacturers, labor, academia, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) — has worked over the past decade to design, test, and implement engineering controls for milling machines that effectively reduce potential silica exposure below OSHA’s new proposed permissible exposure limit (PEL).

During the ceremony, Dr. Christine Branche, Director of the Office of Construction Safety and Health at NIOSH, spoke on the devastating effects of crystalline silica exposure and highlighted the recent release of an asphalt milling best practices document to ensure milling machine worker safety. “Some 1.7 million U.S. workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in a variety of occupations, including road and highway workers,” Branche said. “It is incurable, but completely preventable.” Also released was a field guide developed by NAPA and CPWR — The Center for Construction Research and Training covering best practices for milling operations.

“Thanks to this constructive partnership between industry, equipment manufacturers, labor, and regulators, engineering controls that ensure worker protection during roadway milling operations will soon be standard equipment on milling machines,” said NAPA President Mike Acott. “It shows the sort of progress that can be made when government, labor, and industry work together, in a voluntary fashion, to address real-world issues.”

Copies of the NIOSH guide, “Best Practice Engineering Control Guidelines to Control Worker Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica during Asphalt Pavement Milling,” can be downloaded from http://go.usa.gov/3cseQ. The CPWR/NAPA “Field Guide for Controlling Silica Dust Exposure on Asphalt Paving Milling Machines,” can be downloaded from http://goaspha.lt/1DxPbLr.

The World of Asphalt ceremony also included comments from NAPA Chairman Michael Cote, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer at Lane Construction Corp.; Donald “Chip” Booth, Safety and Health Director at the International Union of Operating Engineers; Scott Schneider, Occupational Safety and Health Division Director at the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America; and James H. Bevill, Chief Engineer of Cold Planers at Roadtec Inc.

About The National Asphalt Pavement Association

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts nearly 1,100 companies as members, was founded in 1955.

U.S. Department of Transportation Urges Drivers to Stay Alert While Driving Near Nation’s Highway Work Zones

UnknownThe U.S. Department of Transportation today kicked off National Work Zone Awareness Week as construction season approaches. Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau joined state and federal officials at the Washington Boulevard Bridge over Columbia Pike in Arlington, Va., to urge drivers to stay alert when driving near highway workers. They were joined by workers and families affected by work zone crashes.

This year’s theme, “Expect the Unexpected,” emphasizes the need for drivers to constantly be prepared for changes such as reduced speed limits; narrowed, shifted or closed lanes; and people who may be working on or near the road.  In 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 579 fatalities in work zones, a small decrease from 617 fatalities the previous year.

“As the temperatures climb, thousands of highway workers nationwide are heading back to work to improve America’s roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “To keep them safe, we owe them our full attention when driving through work zones, so please avoid distractions like cellphones and obey posted speed limits.”

National Work Zone Awareness Week, sponsored by federal, state and local transportation officials at the beginning of construction season each spring, raises awareness of safety measures taken on roads all over the country. Typically, work zone crashes occur when drivers fail to obey posted speed limits, fail to adapt to changing road conditions, or use cellphones while driving.

FHWA works with state and local transportation officials to promote improvements in work zone planning and design, increased law enforcement near work zones, enhanced worker training and heightened awareness among drivers. Since 2005, FHWA has awarded nearly $33 million in grants to promote work zone safety training and the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.

In 2013, speed was a factor in 23 percent of fatal work zone crashes. Two out of three victims in work zone crashes in 2013 were drivers and passengers of vehicles.

During the ceremony, Nadeau paid tribute to the 132 Virginia Department of Transportation employees who died in highway work zones since 1928.

“When driving through work zones, be respectful of highway workers and their workplace by slowing down,” said Deputy Administrator Nadeau. “Following the rules of the roadway makes it easier to expect the unexpected.”

Like the FHWA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) works with other USDOT agencies to reduce work zone crashes through grants to states and research on driver behavior. FMCSA has made work zone safety a national priority in its commercial vehicle safety plans, and partners with the International Association of Chiefs of Police in its “Drive to Save Lives” campaign to encourage all law enforcement to stop trucks and buses when they are seen operating unsafely.

“In 2013, large trucks and buses were involved in 186 work zone crashes that resulted in fatalities,” said FMCSA Chief Counsel Scott Darling. “Tragedies like these can be avoided by paying attention, slowing down, carefully obeying signs and the direction of flagmen, maintaining a safe distance between vehicles, avoiding distractions and always keeping safety the number one priority.”

For more information on this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm