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.

Wells Fargo Reports: New Home Sales Decline Following a Strong First Quarter

New home sales fell 11.4 percent in April but sales were revised up for the prior three months. Even with the drop, sales remain up solidly on a year-to-date basis and homebuilders continue to report strong demand.

New Home Sales Are Stronger Than They Seem

New homes sales fell 11.4 percent to a 569,000 unit pace. April’s 750 11.4 percent drop in new home sales was much larger than expected but presents less of a change than the headlines suggest. April’s decline was 600 largely due to seasonal influences. Warmer than usual weather pulled the spring selling season forward into the first quarter, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Sales were revised significantly higher for each of 450 the three previous months and remain comfortably above their year-ago pace. On a year-to-date basis through April, new home sales are running 300 11.3 percent ahead of the first four months of 2016. Moreover, new home sales have been stronger than their year-ago level every month this year, 150 including April following its big drop.

Sales fell in all four regions during April, with the largest drop occurring in 0 the supply constrained West, where sales plummeted 26.3 percent. Sales also fell 13.1 percent in the Midwest, 7.5 percent in the Northeast and 4 percent in the South, which accounts for the largest proportion of new 600 home sales. But even after those declines, sales through the first four months of this year remain above their year ago pace in all four regions. New home sales in the Midwest through April are up 450 25.6 percent from the first four months of last year and sales in the Northeast are up 14.8 percent. Those two regions were the parts of the country most impacted by this year’s unseasonably mild winter weather.

Mild weather was less of influence in the South and West, where new home sales through the first four months are up 10.1 percent and 7.0 percent year 150 over year, respectively. Supply constraints are a far bigger issue in these rapidly growing regions. While mild weather has generally allowed for more construction in the South and West, builders are running up against 0 shortages of developed lots and having increasing difficulty finding skilled construction workers.

The overall inventory of homes available for sale rose from 4.9 months in March to 5.7 months in April. The increase, however, was almost entirely due to April’s drop in sales. The number of homes available for sale rose by just 4,000 in April to 268,000 and most of that increase was in homes where construction had not yet been started. The number of competed homes available for sale was unchanged at a relatively low 59,000. Builders Remain Optimistic

Our optimistic take is backed up by the most recent homebuilders’ survey, which reported that builder optimism rose in May. Homebuilders have shrunk their businesses to fit today’s more modest overall sales pace. For many builders they are seeing all the business they can handle right now. With inventories low, they are also enjoying more pricing power.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Association of Home Builders and Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Securities Fargo Securities

IFPE Announces 2020 Show Chair — David Price of HydraForce Inc. Heads Show Management Committee

David Price, Global Marketing Manager of HydraForce Inc., has been named 2020 IFPE chair and will lead the show’s management committee, a volunteer group of industry

David Price

executives responsible for overall show planning.

IFPE, the International Fluid Power Exposition is held every three years and focuses on the latest innovations, product advances and expert insights for the fluid power, power transmission and motion control industries.

The next IFPE is set for March 10-14, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, in Las Vegas, USA, co-located with CONEXPO-CON/AGG, one of the world’s largest gatherings for the construction industries.

“Technology and innovation will continue to drive the integration of fluid power with other technologies for power transmission and motion control applications,” said Eric Lanke, President & CEO of the National Fluid Power Association, IFPE co-owner. “IFPE provides a dynamic global resource for industry professionals to keep up with the latest advances and interact with the fluid power community.”

“David has been an active and enthusiastic participant in IFPE planning and contributed greatly to the show’s success,” said John Rozum, IFPE show director. “We are very pleased to welcome him as 2020 chair.”

Price began his career serving nine years in the United States Navy where he held numerous positions in the electronics systems management and training fields. He joined HydraForce in 2008 and has been instrumental in growing its brand image around the world. Price has served on past IFPE Management Committees as well as chairing its Marketing Committee.

“I look forward to this new role and working with the very talented members of the IFPE managing committee to oversee another successful exhibition that provides real value to the exhibitors, attendees and the entire industry,” said Price.

Visit www.ifpe.com for the latest information on attending and exhibiting.

ARTBA Reports: Federal Highway Administration Backtracks on Obama-Era “Greenhouse Gas” Tracking Measure

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) May 19 decision to suspend a controversial Obama Administration proposal requiring the tracking of “greenhouse gas” (GHG) emissions from transportation improvements will help save taxpayer dollars and prevent those projects from additional unnecessary delays, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says.

The proposal was part of larger performance measures required under the July 2012 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) surface transportation law. ARTBA had previously argued the measure exceeded “both the authority of the FHWA and the intent of MAP-21.”

The association first raised objections to the measure back in August 2016 comments, noting that neither Congress nor the administration sought emission measurements in the MAP-21 performance management process, and that such a proposal was subsequently not included in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act reauthorization law passed in December 2015.

ARTBA then followed up the comments by meeting with House and Senate staff, as well as Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials, to express its concerns.  The association also convened a group of nearly 40 trade associations on a letter to FHWA stating, “The simple fact is that MAP-21 was approved with broad bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate and the inclusion of an unrelated GHG proposal violates this bipartisan spirit.  It is hard to see this proposal as anything other than a maneuver to achieve a policy objective the prior administration failed to advance in the appropriate legislative arena.”

On a related note, ARTBA also warned the agency not to exceed its authority three years ago, when it urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) not to jeopardize the broad bipartisan congressional support for MAP-21 by including extraneous issues—such as climate change— in the law’s implementation. Specifically, a 2013 ARTBA task force cautioned:

“Focus on the goals enumerated in the law. The authors of MAP-21 had the opportunity to include a host of external goals such as livability, reduction of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of reliance on foreign oil, adaptation to the effects of climate change, public health, housing, land-use patterns and air quality in the planning and performance process….the U.S. Department of Transportation should focus on implementing the goals and standards as spelled out in MAP-21.”
Established in 1902 and headquartered by Capitol Hill, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, the courts and news media.

Caterpillar Introduces Cat® Rp12000 E Portable Generators In Us And Canada

 

Caterpillar is expanding the Cat® RP Series portable generators line with the introduction of the RP12000 E. The new generator fills out the top of the series, delivering 12kW of running power and new features to meet the specific needs of the “pro-sumer” – emergency home back-up, DIY enthusiasts and contractors.

The RP Series initially launched in North America in September 2016 with four standard models, ranging from 3.6 to 7.5 kW. The series is the first prime product designed, engineered and supported by Caterpillar specifically for consumers. The generators are now available in the US and Canada via over 550 Cat Home & Outdoor Power sales locations, which include regional and local retailers, traditional Cat dealers and online retailers (currently Electric Generators Direct and Amazon).

Like the other products in the series, the RP12000 E was designed by Caterpillar engineering teams based in Illinois and the United Kingdom. The team focused on delivering the key design elements customers value most – power output and quality, ease of use, run-time, low noise, overall value and durability – in addition to a collection of premium features to set it apart from other generators in its class.

Long Lasting Power

The RP12000 E has a new, larger frame to house a larger, powerful 670cc V-Twin engine. The engine has a fully pressurized oil system and delivers up to 15kW of surge power, making it suitable for powering more equipment and heavy loads. The all-copper generator delivers a clean power with less than 5 percent total harmonic distortion, which is suitable for sensitive electronics and tools. Engineers also included a low-idle mode option, which optimizes fuel consumption and noise levels and reduces engine wear. With runtimes over 11 hours (at 50% load), customers will be able to work an entire day without needing to refuel.

In addition to the low idle mode, engineers designed a custom muffler and positioned the extra-large steel fuel tank on top of the engine (versus the side like most competitive models) to further minimize noise levels. The design also prevents damage from vibration.

Ease of Use

Like other models in the series, the RP12000 E was designed for simple, safe, fuss-free operation. It includes a lighted, single side-operators station, enabling the user to start and operate the generator without having to walk around or move it. The panel houses 9 receptacles including a 50A 240V outlet, which is unique to this model and required for many heavy-duty tools. The RP12000 E also includes a removable lifting eye and handle, and is designed with a balanced center of gravity, which test users noted makes it surprisingly easy to push and pull around. The whole unit is deftly packed into a compact, visually appealing frame – easy to store and a show piece on any showroom floor.

Durability

The RP 12000 E is constructed of solid 32mm steel, which is treated and coated to prevent corrosion and rust. The large metal wheels include integrated bearings for long life and high-quality solid rubber tires. The RP12000 E comes with a 2-year warranty (extended to 3 years when the product is registered), which includes parts and service for the entire warranty term, and all RP Series products are backed by Caterpillar’s 24/7 customer support.

Caterpillar continues to expand its Home & Outdoor Power distribution channels and product portfolio and anticipates additional product launches in 2017. For more information on the RP Series, including where to buy, visit: http://www.cat.com/homeandoutdoorpowerhttp://www.cat.com/12kw.