Archive for the 'National' Category

GOV. EDWARDS AND LOUISIANA MACHINERY EXECUTIVE TROY MATHERNE ANNOUNCE 60-JOB EXPANSION AT NEW IBERIA FACILITY

Company’s Power Systems headquarters at Port of Iberia will retain 130 existing jobs

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and General Product Support Manager Troy Matherne of Louisiana Machinery Company announced the company will add 60 jobs and expand its New Iberia operations. Known as Louisiana Cat, the company rebuilds and services engines and related equipment for marine, oil and gas, industrial and utility companies at the Port of Iberia.
Louisiana Cat’s expansion calls for the addition of 60 new direct jobs over the next five years, with the jobs carrying an average annual salary of $60,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 28 new indirect jobs, for a total of 88 new jobs in Iberia Parish, Acadiana and the surrounding regions. A total of 130 existing jobs at the Iberia Parish company will be retained.

“Service companies are vital to our energy industry in Louisiana, and Louisiana Cat does important work for customers across coastal Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “This expansion is a signal that better times are ahead in our oilfield communities. The 60 new jobs added to an already strong company in Iberia Parish will be a welcome addition for the local economy there. I congratulate the regional and local groups that worked with the State of Louisiana to put this project together.”

To make the expansion possible, an 8-inch natural gas pipeline to the port area will be installed by Atmos Energy at a cost of $1.2 million. The pipeline lateral is being funded through a partnership of state, local and private partners.

“Our state-of-the-art, engine-rebuild facility and dynamometer test cell will enhance Louisiana Cat’s worldwide support for customers working in the oil and gas, marine, industrial and electric power industries,” Matherne said. “We are extremely excited with the efforts of multiple agencies that have come together to provide funding of this new gas line. The financial support and clearance for additional natural gas infrastructure enables us to complete this important expansion project.”

To secure the project, Louisiana Economic Development will contribute $450,000 toward the cost of the pipeline through an Economic Development Award Program payment. The performance-based award from LED is contingent on Louisiana Cat meeting required hiring and payroll benchmarks; the company would have to reimburse the state if fails to meet and retain its requirements. Louisiana Cat, the port and Iberia Parish government each will contribute $250,000 toward the cost of the pipeline installation. The company also plans to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs Program.

“This expansion project will bring many new jobs and opportunities to our parish,” Iberia Parish Council Chairwoman Natalie Broussard said. “It will open the door for future economic growth with the possibilities of even more jobs and increased revenues for our community. In this day and age of economic struggles, this is great news for Iberia Parish.”

“Louisiana Economic Development was instrumental in making this important project happen,” Port of Iberia Executive Director Craig Romero said. “The expansion project at Louisiana Cat will be good for our local economy, and the addition of the new natural gas line will have the added benefit of increasing opportunities for other companies here at the port.”

About Louisiana Machinery
Louisiana Machinery Company, doing business as Louisiana Cat, has provided products, parts and service of the highest quality to its customers in Louisiana for more than 80 years, and is one of the oldest Caterpillar dealers in the U.S. The company sells the complete line of Caterpillar construction, material handling and forestry equipment statewide and rents equipment through its Louisiana Rents locations. Louisiana Cat’s Power Systems Division designs and builds customized diesel and natural gas engine packages for marine, petroleum, industrial and electric power needs, both onshore and offshore. Louisiana Cat parts and service support programs help customers maximize their uptime and minimize their cost of operations. For more information, visit www.louisianacat.com.

TRIP Reports: Kansas Motorists Lose $2.7 Billion Per Year On Roads That Are Rough, Congested & Lack Some Safety Features

Kansas Motorists Lose $2.7 Billion Per Year On Roads That Are Rough, Congested & Lack Some Safety Features – As Much As $1,600 In Some Areas. Kansas’ Ability To Repair And Improve Transportation System Hampered By $2.4 Billion Transfer Of Highway Funds To State General Fund From 2011 To 2017.

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Kansas motorists a total of $2.7 billion statewide annually – as much as $1,600 in some urban areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. The ability of the Kansas Department of Transportation to repair and improve the state’s transportation system has been hampered by the transfer of $2.4 billion in state highway funds to state general funds between FY2011 and FY2017, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization. Governor Sam Brownback’s FY 2018/FY 2019 budget proposal would increase transfers of state highway funds to state general funds and other state agencies to $3.4 billion from FY 2011 to FY 2019.

The TRIP report, Kansas Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Kansas, more than one-third of major, locally and state-maintained urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition and nine percent of Kansas’s locally and state-maintained bridges are structurally deficient. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. Kansas’ rural roads have a traffic fatality rate four-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads.

Driving on Kansas roads costs the state’s driver $2.7 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which the lack of adequate roadway safety features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Johnson/Wyandotte County, Topeka and Wichita urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

The TRIP report finds that 37 percent of Kansas’ major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition and 26 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Thirteen percent of the state’s major urban roads are in fair condition and the remaining 24 percent are rated in good condition. Driving on rough roads costs Kansas drivers an additional $1 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. The report found that deferring maintenance on roads and highways can greatly increase long-term repair costs, with each dollar of deferred maintenance on roads and bridges being found to cost an additional $4 to $5 in needed future repairs.

“The economic vitality of our state depends on Kansas commerce, which in turn relies on safe and well-maintained roads and bridges,” said Rodney George, senior vice president of The Benning State Bank. “Our customers, many of which are farmers who need to get their products to market, depend on good roads every day. The financial stress of an underfunded infrastructure program impacts many more businesses and people than just road and bridge construction companies. Kansas citizens deserve a well-funded and sustainable roads program.”

Traffic congestion throughout the state is worsening, costing the state’s drivers $1 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

Nine percent of Kansas’ bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.

Traffic crashes in Kansas claimed the lives of 1,881 people between 2011 and 2015, an average of 376 fatalities per year. Kansas’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is the same as the national average.

“Our Chamber members and Johnson County voters recognize the importance of a quality, well-maintained, comprehensive transportation network of highways, roads and bridges throughout the state of Kansas,” said Tracey Osborne, president of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce. “They understand that the speed, reliability, capacity and overall effectiveness of the state’s transportation system are crucial not only for quality of life for our residents, but also for job creation, economic development, and business retention and expansion in Kansas. We are all concerned with delays in previously approved projects as well as significant curtailment of regular maintenance of highways and bridges throughout the state as a result of the diversion of funds from the Kansas Highway Fund and the deterioration of the quality of our highways and bridges. This work will only become more expensive with time, costing us more the longer it is put off; thus, we strongly support protecting existing transportation funding sources at the state level and a federal multi-year funding plan for the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure.”

The efficiency and condition of Kansas’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $395 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Kansas, mostly by truck. Eighty-two percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Kansas are carried by trucks and another 12 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

“The condition of Kansas’s transportation system will worsen in the future as additional monies are diverted away from the highway fund, leading to even higher costs for drivers,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “In order to promote economic growth, foster quality of life and get drivers safety and efficiently to their destination, Kansas will need to make transportation funding a top priority.”

Executive Summary

KANSAS TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

 Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Kansas

 

$2.7 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Kansas motorists a total of $2.7 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
Johnson/Wyandotte Counties – $1,596

Topeka – $1,453

Wichita – $1,597

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Drivers in the state’s largest urban areas incur annual costs as a result of driving on deficient roads as follows: Johnson/Wyandotte Counties – $1,596; Topeka – $1,453; Wichita – $1,597.
 

 

$2.4 billion

$3.4 billion

The ability of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to repair and improve the state’s transportation system has been hampered by the transfer of $2.4 billion in state highway funds to state general funds and other state agencies between fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2017. Governor Sam Brownback’s FY 2018/FY 2019 budget proposal would increase transfers of state highway funds to state general funds and other state agencies to $3.4 billion from FY 2011 to FY 2019.
 

14%

15%

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Kansas increased by 14 percent from 2000 to 2016 –from 28.1 billion VMT in 2000 to 32.1 billion VMT in 2016. By 2030, vehicle travel in Kansas is projected to increase by another 15 percent.
4 1/2 X The fatality rate on Kansas’ rural roads is approximately four-and-a-half times greater than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state (2.24 fatalities per 100 million VMT vs. 0.50).
 

37%

Thirty-seven percent of Kansas’ major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Eight percent are in fair condition and the remaining 56 percent are in good condition.
$1 = $4 to $5 Every $1 of deferred maintenance on roads and bridges has been found to cost an additional $4 to $5 in needed future repairs.
 

9%

Nine percent of Kansas’ bridges are structurally deficient, meaning they have significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge.
Johnson/Wyandotte Counties – 39 hours

Topeka – 16 hours

Wichita – 35 hours

Mounting congestion robs drivers of time and fuel. Annual time wasted in congestion for drivers in the state’s largest urban areas is as follows: Johnson/Wyandotte Counties – 39 hours, Topeka – 16 hours, Wichita- 35 hours.
 

$1.00 = $5.20

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Executive Summary

The rate of economic growth in Kansas, which is greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, has a significant impact on quality of life in the Sunflower State. Yet, the ability of Kansans to reap the quality of life and economic benefits of a well-maintained, safe and efficient transportation system is threatened by the continued diversion of state highway funds to the state’s general fund.

An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. Reduced accessibility and mobility – as a result of traffic congestion, a lack of adequate capacity, or deteriorated roads, highways, bridges and transit facilities – diminishes a region’s quality of life by reducing economic productivity and limiting opportunities for economic, health or social transactions and activities.

With an economy based largely on manufacturing, agriculture and natural resource extraction, the quality of Kansas’ transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation numbers in Kansas as the state addresses modernizing and maintaining its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit.

COST TO KANSAS MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Kansas motorists a total of $2.7 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Kansas motorists a total of $1 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Traffic crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor costs Kansas motorists a total of $730 million each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Kansas motorists a total of $1 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • The chart below details the average cost per driver in the state’s largest urban areas and statewide.

POPULATION, TRAVEL AND ECONOMIC TRENDS IN KANSAS

The rate of population and economic growth results in increased demands on a state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system. 

  • Kansas’ population reached approximately 2.9 million residents in 2016, an eight percent increase since 2000. Kansas had approximately 2 million licensed drivers in 2015.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Kansas increased by 14 percent from 2000 to 2016 –from 28.1 billion VMT in 2000 to 32.1 billion VMT in 2016. From 2013 to 2016, VMT in the state increased by six percent.
  • From 2000 to 2015, Kansas’ gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 23 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 27 percent during this time.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Kansas is projected to increase by another 15 percent.

KANSAS ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 37 percent of major roads and highways in Kansas having pavement surfaces in poor or mediocre condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorists in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.  Deferring maintenance on roads and highways can greatly increase long-term repair costs.

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), based on data submitted annually by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • Pavement data for Interstate highways and other principal arterials is collected for all system mileage, whereas pavement data for minor arterial and all collector roads and highways is based on sampling portions of roadways as prescribed by FHWA to insure that the data collected is adequate to provide an accurate assessment of pavement conditions on these roads and highways.
  • Thirteen percent of Kansas’ major locally and state-maintained roads and highways have pavements in poor condition and 24 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Eight percent of the state’s major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 56 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Thirty-seven percent of Kansas’ major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition and 26 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Thirteen percent of the state’s major urban roads are in fair condition and the remaining 24 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Nine percent of Kansas’ locally and state-maintained rural roads and highways have pavements in poor condition and 23 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Seven percent of the state’s rural roads are in fair condition and the remaining 62 percent are rated in good condition.
  • The chart below details the share of pavement in poor, mediocre, fair and good condition in the state’s largest urban areas.

  • Roads rated in mediocre to poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, these roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Kansas motorists a total of $1 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Long-term repair costs increase significantly when road and bridge maintenance is deferred, as road and bridge deterioration accelerates later in the service life of a transportation facility and requires more costly repairs. A report on maintaining pavements found that every $1 of deferred maintenance on roads and bridges costs an additional $4 to $5 in needed future repairs.

KANSAS BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Nine percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Kansas show significant deterioration. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Nine percent of Kansas’ bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles. 
  • The chart below details the share of structurally deficient bridges in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, Topeka and Wichita and statewide.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN KANSAS

Improving safety features on Kansas’ roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • A total of 1,881 people were killed in Kansas traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, an average of 376 fatalities per year.
  • Kansas’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2015 was the same as the national average of 1.13.
  • The fatality rate on Kansas’ non-interstate rural roads in 2015 was approximately four-and-a-half times greater than on all other roads in the state (2.24 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.50).
  • The chart below details the average number of people killed in traffic crashes from 2013 to 2015 in the state’s largest urban areas, as well as the cost per motorist of traffic crashes.

  • Traffic crashes in Kansas imposed a total of $2.2 billion in economic costs in 2015. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $730 million in economic costs in 2015.
  • According to a 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, the economic costs of traffic crashes includes work and household productivity losses, property damage, medical costs, rehabilitation costs, legal and court costs, congestion costs and emergency services.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over 20 years.

KANSAS TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Kansas, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • Based on Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates, the value of lost time and wasted fuel in Kansas is approximately $1 billion per year
  • The chart below details the number of hours lost to congestion by the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas, as well as the annual cost of traffic congestion per driver in the form of lost time and wasted fuel

 

  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN KANSAS

Investment in Kansas’ roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. The continued transfer of state highway funds to the state general fund threatens the state’s ability to provide a well-maintained, safe and efficient transportation system. The five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source. The nation faces a significant shortfall in needed funding for road, highway and bridge improvements.

  • The ability of the Kansas Department of Transportation to repair and improve the state’s transportation system has been hampered by the transfer of $2.4 billion in state highway funds to state general funds and other state agencies between fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2017.

 

  • Governor Sam Brownback’s FY 2018/FY 2019 budget proposal would increase transfers of state highway funds to state general funds to $3.4 billion from FY 2011 to FY 2019.
  • $700 million of the $2.4 billion transferred out of the state’s highway fund between FY 2011 and FY 2017 and $200 million out of the additional $1 billion of state highway funds proposed to be transferred in the Governor’s FY 2018/FY 2019 budget proposal, are part of the state’s Transportation Works for Kansas (T-Works) program.
  • Signed into law in December 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), provides modest increases in federal highway and transit spending, allows states greater long-term funding certainty and streamlines the federal project approval process. But the FAST Act does not provide adequate funding to meet the nation’s need for highway and transit improvements and does not include a long-term and sustainable funding source.
  • The five-year, $305 billion FAST Act will provide a boost of approximately 15 percent in national highway funding and 18 percent in national transit funding over the duration of the program, which expires in 2020.
  • According to the 2015 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance report submitted by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to Congress, the nation faces an $836 billion backlog in needed repairs and improvements to the nation’s roads, highways and bridges.
  • The USDOT report found that the nation’s current $105 billion investment in roads, highways and bridges by all levels of government should be increased by 35 percent to $142.5 billion annually to improve the conditions of roads, highways and bridges, relieve traffic congestion and improve traffic safety.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN KANSAS

The efficiency of Kansas’ transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $395 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Kansas, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty-two percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Kansas are carried by trucks and another 12 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

 

 

 

John Deere Adds Industry-Leading 20,000-Hour Warranty on 944K Hybrid Wheel Loader Power Electronic Components

On the heels of its most successful CONEXPO-CON/AGG ever, John Deere is now offering a 96-month (eight-year)/20,000-hour power electronic components warranty on the 944K hybrid wheel loader. The warranty is retroactive to existing machines in the field and provided on new 944K loaders through October 31, 2018.

“We continue to build confidence in our hybrid technology and the high-design life of machine components,” said Jason Daly, director, customer and product support, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “As our hybrid experience continues to grow, we feel strongly that this 20,000-hour warranty allows a customer the opportunity to go through a 15,000-hour rebuild/re-life without the expense of worrying about power electronic components.”

The warranty includes a 96-month (eight-year) or 20,000-hour (whichever comes first) non-prorated assurance on wheel motors, generators, power inverters and brake retarders. Certain customer conditions must be met to maintain warranty coverage. This includes component rotation between 15,000 and 18,000 hours; drive voltage cables replacement between 15,000 and 18,000 hours; and an annual dealer machine inspection.

The 536 horsepower 944K hybrid wheel loader features an EPA Interim Tier 4 engine (IT4), and it can provide significant fuel savings over 9-yard3 loaders with conventional drivetrains*. The production-class wheel loader’s brushless AC generators and motors, water-cooled brake resistors and solid-state power electronics deliver reliable, long-term performance to quarry and large-load applications.

For additional information, visit http://www.deere.com/Quarry or contact your local dealer.

*Actual fuel consumption rates and savings will vary with machine application, utilization, operator and model of competitive unit.

Dodge Data & Analytics Reports: March Construction Starts Climb 5 Percent

 

Public Works Lifted by Two Large Pipeline Projects; Multifamily Housing, Offices, Airport Terminals Also Advance

New construction starts in March increased 5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $743.7 billion, marking the third straight monthly gain, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.  The total construction growth in March was led by the nonbuilding construction sector, and particularly by public works which featured the start of two large pipeline projects – the $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline in Ohio and Michigan, and the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 propane and natural gas liquids pipeline in Pennsylvania.  Residential building in March registered moderate growth, helped by a rebound for multifamily housing after a subdued February.  Nonresidential building in March held steady with its February pace, as strong activity for office buildings and airport terminals offset a steep drop for manufacturing plants.  Through the first three months of 2017, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $160.1 billion, down 3% from the same period a year ago (which included heightened activity for manufacturing plants and electric utilities/gas plants).  If the often volatile manufacturing plant and electric utility/gas plant categories are excluded, total construction starts during the first three months of 2017 would be up 8% relative to last year.

The March data produced a reading of 157 for the Dodge Index (2000=100), compared to 149 in February and 147 in January. After sliding to a weak 129 in December, the Dodge Index over the next three months bounced back 22%.  On a quarterly basis, the Dodge Index averaged 151 during this year’s January-March period, up 9% compared to the 139 average for the fourth quarter of 2016.  “The pattern for construction starts in early 2017, with three straight monthly gains, is the reverse of the three straight monthly declines that closed out 2016,” noted Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics.

“While the construction start statistics will frequently show an up-and-down pattern, whether month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter, the improved activity in this year’s first quarter provides evidence that the construction expansion is still proceeding,” Murray continued.  “This year’s first quarter has seen nonresidential building and public works rebound from the loss of momentum each experienced towards the end of 2016, helped respectively by the strong activity so far in 2017 for new airport terminal projects and new pipeline projects.  Nonresidential building in 2017 should be able to stay on its upward track, supported by further growth for such institutional project types as school construction.  As for public works, it’s also expected to show improvement over the course of 2017, although its prospects are less certain given its connection to legislative developments at the federal level.  This includes how Congress will deal with the continuing resolution for fiscal 2017 appropriations scheduled to expire at the end of April, and whether a new federal infrastructure program will get passed this year.”

Nonbuilding construction in March jumped 16% to $195.7 billion (annual rate), following its 35% hike in February.  The public works sector surged 33%, reflecting an 82% increase in March for the miscellaneous public works category that includes such diverse project types as site work, pipelines, mass transit, and outdoor sports stadiums.  The $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline was included as a construction start in March, and is located mostly in Ohio and Michigan with smaller portions in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Also reported as a March start was the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 Pipeline, located mostly in Pennsylvania with smaller portions in West Virginia and Ohio, which will transport propane and other natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale natural gas fields in southwestern Pennsylvania to a processing and distribution facility near Philadelphia.  The start of a $300 million stadium in Washington DC for the DC United soccer team also contributed to the substantial March increase for miscellaneous public works.  Highway and bridge construction in March edged up 1%, essentially holding at the improved volume achieved with its 38% jump in February.  Large highway and bridge projects entered as March construction starts were a $399 million bridge replacement in the Pensacola FL area, the $266 million Sixth Street Viaduct replacement in Los Angeles CA, and a $192 million highway expansion project in San Antonio TX.  River/harbor development in March advanced 32% from its lackluster February amount, while sewer construction was unchanged and water supply construction slipped 2%.  The electric utility/gas plant category in March retreated 54%, although it did include as construction starts a $300 million wind farm in Ohio and a $175 million solar farm in Virginia.

Residential building, at $310.8 billion (annual rate), grew 4% in March.  Multifamily housing provided the upward push, rebounding 26% after a 23% setback in February.  There were six multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in March, led by a $200 million apartment building in Washington DC and a $150 million apartment building in New York NY.  Through the first three months of 2017, the top five metropolitan areas in terms of the dollar amount of multifamily starts were the following – New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Washington DC, Chicago IL, and Atlanta GA.  During this period, the New York NY metropolitan area accounted for 18% of the national multifamily total, up slightly from the 17% share for full year 2016 but down from the 25% share for full year 2015.  Single family housing in March receded 3%, which followed modest improvement reported during the previous five months.  By region, single family housing in March showed this pattern – the Midwest, down 9%; the West and South Central, each down 3%; and the South Atlantic, down 2%; while the Northeast ran counter with a 3% gain.

Nonresidential building in March, at $237.2 billion (annual rate), was essentially unchanged from its February pace.  The institutional side of the nonresidential building market grew 3% in March, with much of the support coming from an 83% surge for the transportation terminal category.  Large airport terminals that were reported as March starts included two at Los Angeles International Airport – the $1.9 billion Delta relocation to Terminals 2 and 3 and the $961 million Midfield Satellite Concourse North (phase 1).  Also entered as a March start was the $110 million Terminal 2 modernization at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  Through the first three months of 2017, the dollar amount of new airport terminal projects was $9.0 billion (including the $3.4 billion Central Terminal Building at New York’s LaGuardia Airport), easily topping the $3.7 billion in new airport terminal starts for full year 2016.  Healthcare facilities in March increased 13%, aided by the start of these large projects – the $265 million Methodist University Hospital in Memphis TN and the $230 million North Alabama Medical Center in Florence AL.  Also strengthening in March were religious buildings, up 9%; and public buildings (courthouses and detention centers), up 4%.  On the negative side, educational facilities in March dropped 14% after February’s 11% gain, although March did include these noteworthy projects as construction starts – a $289 million research institute building in Seattle WA, a $170 million library and classroom facility at Temple University in Philadelphia PA, and a $138 million science building renovation at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville VA.  Also retreating in March was the amusement and recreational category, which fell 29%.

The commercial side of the nonresidential building market increased 7% in March, showing improvement after a 10% drop in February.  Office construction climbed 41%, lifted by the start of five projects valued each in excess of $100 million.  These were led by the $525 million East Campus Building 2 at the U.S. Army installation at Fort Meade MD, the $289 million LG corporate headquarters in Englewood Cliffs NJ, and a $228 million office building in Seattle WA.  Commercial garages also advanced in March, rising 12%.  In contrast, March witnessed declines for hotels, down 7%; stores and shopping centers, down 8%; and warehouses, down 14%.  The manufacturing plant category in March plunged 65%, after being lifted in February by the start of a $985 million refinery modernization in Richmond CA.

The 3% decline for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the first three months of 2017 relative to last year was due to a varied pattern by major sector.  Nonbuilding construction dropped 17% year-to-date, with electric utilities/gas plants down 72% while public works climbed 20% (reflecting the start of several large pipeline projects in early 2017).  Residential building slipped a modest 1% year-to-date, with multifamily housing down 18% while single family housing grew 9%.  Nonresidential building registered a 7% gain year-to-date, with institutional building up 35%, commercial building down 9%, and manufacturing building down 44%.  By geography, total construction starts in the first three months of 2017 showed reduced activity relative to last year in two regions – the South Central, down 26%; and the Northeast, down 3%.  Total construction gains year-to-date were reported in the West, up 1%; the South Atlantic, up 11%; and the Midwest, up 12%.

Further perspective comes from looking at twelve-month moving totals, in this case the twelve months ending March 2017 versus the twelve months ending March 2016.  On this basis, total construction starts were up 2%.  By major sector, nonbuilding construction decreased 8%, with electric utilities/gas plants down 40% while public works increased 6%.  Residential building rose 3%, as a 4% drop for multifamily housing was outweighed by a 7% gain for single family housing.  Nonresidential building advanced 7%, with institutional building up 14%, commercial building up 7%, and manufacturing building down 26%.

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Construction Costs Rise for Sixth Consecutive Month in April, IHS Markit Says

Strength was evident in material and equipment categories, though weak in labor markets

Construction costs rose in April on price strength in materials and equipment, according to IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) and the Procurement Executives Group (PEG). The headline IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index registered 57.0 in April, the sixth consecutive month of rising prices, and up from the 53.9 reading in March.

The materials/equipment price index came in at 60.1, the first time since February 2013 that this sub-index went above 60. Ten of the 12 categories tracked in the materials sub-index showed rising prices; transformers and electrical equipment registered flat pricing.

Carbon steel pipe had the largest increase in the materials/equipment index this month when compared to March as higher steel input costs and better demand prospects pushed steel pipe prices higher.

“Higher steel input costs and better demand prospects are pushing steel pipe prices higher and will cause prices to escalate further over the next several months. Pipe imports have increased in response to rising demand and they will continue to trend upward and maintain a sizeable share of the market,” said Amanda Eglinton, senior economist at IHS Markit.

The current subcontractor labor index fell in April, coming in marginally below the neutral mark at 49.7. Regionally, U.S. Northeast had rising labor costs, while U.S. Midwest, South and West had flat pricing. Canada pulled the overall index down; in the Western region, prices were flat while in the Eastern regions labor costs fell.

The six-month headline expectations index recorded another month of increasing prices. The index moved up from 67.2 in March to 69.3 this month. The materials/equipment index stayed positive at 72.8, higher than the 70.6 recorded in March. Eight consecutive months of rising prices affirm widespread expectations of future higher costs. Expectations of future price increases were broad-based, with index figures for almost every component coming in well above neutral. Sub-contractor labor price expectations came in at 60.9 in April, higher than the 59.3 recorded in March. Labor costs are expected rise in all regions of the United States. They are expected to remain unchanged in Eastern Canada and to rise in Western Canada.

In the survey comments, respondents have noted shortages for some subcontractor labor categories. Participants continue to express cautious optimism for 2017, with the proposal activity index positive for nine months.

To learn more about the new IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index or to obtain the latest published insight, please click here.

About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)

IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.  Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.