Archive for the 'Construction Digest' Category

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Volvo Rents ‘Digging’ Its Way Into Cleveland

Anchored by a forecasted growth of the equipment rental industry, as well as an increase in local construction spending, Volvo Rents is looking to grab a bigger piece of the construction equipment rental pie that is currently up for grabs.

A worldwide provider of small-to-medium sized construction equipment, Volvo Rents recently opened a new rental center at 16000 Brookpark Road in Cleveland.

The new store is Volvo Rents’ fifth in the state of Ohio – joining existing locations in Columbus, Dayton, Hamilton and Zanesville – and will service the Cleveland Metropolitan area, including Shaker Heights, Painesville, Lorain, Strongsville and Elyria, among others.

“As the recession abates, the construction equipment rental industry is projected to be one of the fastest growing industries in North America, as more people are choosing to rent rather than commit to capital expenditures,” said Mike Crouch, Vice President of Business Development for Volvo Rents. “Our strong brand recognition, coupled with the growing demand for construction equipment rental, allows us to look to the future with great enthusiasm.”

According to the latest data released by the American Rental Association (ARA), overall North American equipment rental industry revenue is expected to increase at least 6.9 percent in 2012 to total $33.5 billion at year-end. The five-year forecast calls for continued annual growth in rental revenue to reach a total of $53.1 billion by 2016.

Another forecast by McGraw Hill Construction says the growth of construction spending in the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area alone is projected to total nearly $4.8 billion by the end of 2016.

In addition to Volvo Rents’ expanding line of Volvo compact equipment – such as backhoe and skid steer loaders, compact wheel loaders, compact excavators and compaction equipment – the rental center carries a comprehensive line of essential equipment and tools for the construction, commercial, industrial and homeowner markets. The focus is on daily, weekly and monthly rentals.

“We believe there is tremendous opportunity in the market, and specifically in the state of Ohio,” said Volvo Rents’ Midwest Division Manager Larry Kirkpatrick. “It just seems like dollars are moving through Cleveland, people are willing to invest here for growth.”

The new store in will be open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., with 24-hour service available every day of the week.

For more information, visit

Chicago Honored With Environmental Leadership Award

DOT Commissioner Klein to Accept Award for Innovative North Michigan Ave. Pavement

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) has recognized the autumn 2011 repaving of North Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, as an outstanding example of breaking new ground in developing environmentally responsible pavements. Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gabe Klein will accept the NAPA Environmental Leadership Award on behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel on July 17 during the NAPA Midyear Meeting.

Faced with a tight budget, a short construction timeline, and a crumbling roadway, CDOT knew it needed to do something different to ensure that The Magnificent Mile continued to live up to its name. Working with engineering and materials testing firm S.T.A.T.E. Testing LLC, CDOT devised a stone-matrix asphalt (SMA) pavement mix that made use of recycled asphalt shingles (RAS), reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), and ground tire rubber (GTR). SMA pavements are built to hold up to heavy traffic, but including this level and combination of recycled materials in an SMA was a truly innovative idea that ended up creating a stronger pavement at a lower cost.

“Most people aren’t aware that the roads they drive on are increasingly being made with resource-responsible materials. Chicago deserves the Environmental Leadership Award for the way it put innovative thinking into practice on Michigan Avenue,” said Mike Acott, president of NAPA. “Innovative engineering and creative thinking, as CDOT has demonstrated, help ensure that taxpayers get reliable roads at a cost-effective price and with a lower environmental impact.”

In all, the repaving job used rubber from 2,200 tires, discarded shingles from about 130 houses, and 24 truckloads of reclaimed asphalt pavement. According to an analysis using the Project Emissions Estimator software developed at Michigan Technological University, the use of RAP and RAS reduced carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 24 percent for the project compared to having used all-virgin materials.

NAPA is holding its 2012 Midyear Meeting at The Drake Hotel on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, July 16–18. On Tuesday, July 17, the meeting will include a general session discussing the Magnificent Green Mile project with presentations from CDOT, S.T.A.T.E. Testing, and Arrow Road Construction. Afterwards, the Environmental Leadership Award will be presented.

About The Environmental Leadership Award

The NAPA Enviornmental Leadership Award recognizes individuals, asphalt producers, contractors, researchers, road-owning agencies, non-profit organizations, and private pavement owners who demonstrate groundbreaking ideas that lead to environmentally advanced asphalt pavements. The inaugural award is being presented on July 17, 2017. 

Slowdown in Traditional Trenchless Work Prompts Contractor to Explore Geothermal

NEBCON says vertical drilling had somewhat of a learning curve because the deep penetration of earth’s crust brought unique situations to the surface. The company had to adjust many aspects of the drilling process such as mud mixings and the clearing of cuttings from the hole.`

Growth in ground source heat pump systems holds promise for steady work; additional income

by Randy Happel

It’s a situation that all too many installation contractors throughout the country have likely experienced firsthand. The most dramatic economic downturn the nation has seen since the Great Depression left the construction industry in peril, and the vast majority of contractors struggling. But Rick Schmitt refused to go down without a fight.

Schmitt founded NEBCON in January of 1998, at the height of the fiber explosion and was able to weather that storm as well by making some adjustments, exploring new services and expanding his company’s expertise after the bottom dropped out of the fiber installation market in the early 2000s. As a result of his receptivity to trying new things and a great sense of determination and resilience, NEBCON has enjoyed steady growth over the years and currently has 14 employees. Schmitt is proud of the track record established by NEBCON for putting quality ahead of quantity and just taking things one step at a time.

In 2009 — less than a decade after the fiber bust — Schmitt found himself in a similar predicament and facing a similar set of challenges.

Vermeer recommended NEBCON try the D20x22FX Series II flex-angle drill, a model that Vermeer developed specifically for installing ground source heat pump systems. The drill has a lot of things going for it that other conventional well drills don’t with different angles, especially the ability to drill horizontally, vertically, or for that matter, any angle in between.

“After the economy went haywire, we experienced a downturn of work in our current market with the types of installations we had been doing in our area, so I started studying about ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems,” Schmitt says. “We looked at several other markets and did a lot of research before settling in on ground source heat pump loop installations or what is commonly referred to as geothermal. There seemed to be a lot going on with it — a lot of momentum — and I felt there was tremendous opportunity and promising potential for growth.”

Schmitt turned to HVAC contractors, ground source heat pump suppliers and equipment manufacturers to gather information about the market. He discovered there were many similarities with ground source heat pump installations and the experience in horizontal directional drilling (HDD) honed by NEBCON during the company’s proud 13-year history.

NEBCON is well-pleased with the performance of the D20x22FX Series II drill and the capabilities it offers with the flex-angle design.

“With so many people looking at the green thing in the world, a lot of people see it [GSHP] as the right thing to do,” Schmitt says. “The more consumers learn about it, the more receptive they are to making the additional investment in this renewable form of heating and cooling. Ultimately, I think the catalyst that will make this thing explode will be the realization that although the systems may cost more to install initially, over the long haul, they eventually pay for themselves.”

Ground Source Heat Pumps
Ground source heat pumping is a process by which heat is moved into and out of the earth for the purpose of heating and cooling a building or dwelling, as well as providing hot water.

NEBCON says vertical drilling had somewhat of a learning curve because the deep penetration of earth’s crust brought unique situations to the surface. The company had to adjust many aspects of the drilling process such as mud mixings and the clearing of cuttings from the hole.

A typical ground source heat pump system features a heat pump, air distribution system (ducts, etc.), a hot water system and a series of long plastic pipes (loops) buried underground either vertically or horizontally. The heating and cooling needs of the structure dictate the cumulative amount of loop in the ground. The loops are filled with environmentally safe antifreeze and connected to the heat pump located inside the structure.

During the heating cycle, the system automatically pulls heat from the ground via the fluid in the loops and circulates it through the heat pump, which concentrates the heat and distributes it throughout the structure via duct work. At the same time, the antifreeze continuously cycles back through the loops, where it reheats, and the process repeats itself.

In hot weather when air conditioning is needed, the system reverses itself. Heat is extracted from the structure and is directed to the water heater or back into the ground where it can be stored for reuse during cold-weather months.

Simply put, in the winter months, the ground source heat pump moves heat from the ground into the building. During the summer months, the system moves heat from the building to either the water heater or back into the ground. The system uses renewable energy because the earth becomes a natural sink for storing heat to be used by the geothermal system. It is up to five times more efficient to move heat than it is to create it with a conventional system that uses fossil fuels, such as natural gas or oil.

Investing In the Right Equipment
After completing all the research, educating his staff and getting drill operators proper training and certification, Schmitt turned to Vermeer for help with identifying equipment that would be best suited for the types of ground source heat pump geothermal installations NEBCON intended to pursue. Initially Schmitt felt most confident focusing on residential systems — both horizontal and vertical type installs — and his Vermeer dealer had an answer.

“We’ve used Vermeer equipment for several years and have been very pleased with their dealer and factory support,” Schmitt says. “Our sales rep suggested we try the D20x22FX Series II flex-angle drill, a model that Vermeer developed specifically for installing ground source heat pump systems. The drill has a lot of things going for it that other conventional well drills don’t with different angles, especially the ability to drill horizontally, vertically, or for that matter, any angle in between. We also saw an opportunity with the flex-angle drill that other equipment doesn’t cover specific to retrofits.”

The flex-angle design of the D20x22FX Series II drill allows the operator to keep the drill positioned in relatively close proximity and drill out at different angles to achieve the necessary loop separation.

NEBCON starting installing geothermal systems in the spring of 2010 and currently has logged more than 30 successful installs. According to Schmitt, the D20x22FX Series II flex-angle drill has worked well; especially for entering the house to connect the loop system to the heat pump located within the confines of the home.

“We can drill out from a 90-degree and then go to a 60-, a 45- or a 30-degree angle without having to reposition the drill. The ability to lessen the footprint is a huge advantage, especially in tight, confined spaces that we often encounter in yards and such when installing residential systems,” says Schmitt.

The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) requires vertical installations have a 15-foot separation between loops. Schmitt explains that to accomplish this using traditional well drilling equipment would require the drill rig to be physically repositioned and moved 15 feet to begin the next bore. But the flex-angle design of the D20x22FX Series II drill allows the operator to keep the drill positioned in relatively close proximity and drill out at different angles to achieve the necessary loop separation.

“We just move the machine a little bit, actually no more than 6 feet, and we can still achieve the 15-foot separation within 20 feet down and then continue drilling out,” Schmitt says. “This is a feature that is very, very useful. The ability to change angles with minimal movement of the drill allows us to install several loops within close proximity of each other and keep our footprint much tighter. We don’t have to tear up nearly as much yard, which is a huge asset.”

Continuous Learning Curve — Every Install Unique
Despite having more than a couple dozen installs under their belt, NEBCON continues to hone their ground source heat pump installation skills and learning new techniques is definitely an ongoing process. Among the most interesting has been adjusting to the difference in vertical installations versus horizontal.

“Vertical drilling certainly had a learning curve,” Schmitt says. “You go through a lot of different layers of the earth’s crust and that brings a lot of different situations. We learned to adjust many aspects of the drilling process; things such as mud mixings, how to effectively clear cuttings from the hole and adjusting to the many different types of material that could be encountered. Learning to become a good vertical driller will likely be an ongoing process and probably not something that anyone can learn in less than a year.”

With regard to installation specifics and drill plans, Schmitt explains that the HVAC contractors they work with leave it up to NEBCON to handle the details. Among the things Schmitt and his crew must consider in advance of starting a new install are things like the location where the bore will penetrate the house, specifics regarding the location of the loop system, or in the case of vertical, the physical location of the bore, materials and fabrication and actually connecting the system to the heat pump and making it operational.

“For the most part, we try to penetrate the foundation through the floor and come up close to the new geothermal heat pump,” Schmitt says. “This provides for a much cleaner installation. We also choose the loop placement, a decision that requires knowing the intricate details of the existing septic system (if applicable), and any utilities — gas, water, sewer and such — along with consideration for the terrain, including hills, slopes, low lying areas and property lines of course.”

With the site plan completed, Schmitt will then draw up the drill plan, including specifying drill positioning to minimize footprint, drilling angles, tooling most effective in navigating specific and anticipated soil conditions, the type and size of loop material to be installed, estimates for time necessary to complete the installation and anticipate any adjustments that may be required along the way.

To this point, Schmitt is well-pleased with the performance of the D20x22FX Series II drill and the capabilities it offers with the flex-angle design.

“As with any new piece of equipment, we had a few bugs to work out initially,” Schmitt says, “but we are very happy with how the drill has performed. The auto rod loader is great because we don’t have to handle every rod like a conventional well driller has to. And the ability to go horizontal, vertical or any angle in between eliminates the need for another machine. It has done everything we expected, and in true Vermeer fashion, has been reliable. It’s been there to run every day we’ve needed it.”

NEBCON Future Looks Bright
Schmitt is delighted with the expansion of services inclusion of ground source heat pump installations and remains optimistic about the future.

“Adding ground geothermal systems installation to our menu of offerings have expanded our business and allowed us to provide a greater breadth of services to a whole new market,” he says. “Doing so has helped to flatten the peaks and valleys of our workload and also created a more consistent stream of revenue and income for us.”

And the future for this renewable form of heating and cooling looks bright.

“I think there’s a lot of growth yet to come for ground source heat pumps, especially since we seem to be lagging a bit behind some surrounding states,” Schmitt says. “There are a lot of contractors that are avoiding geothermal systems loop installations because they are scared of it I suppose. We hope to bring them some education from what we’ve learned and possibly open up a lot of avenues for our peers to explore along the way. We plan to get more aggressive with marketing and expect the acceptance and growth to follow.”

This article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Construction Digest

Terex Welcomes Ward Equipment LLC As A New Full Line Compact Equipment Distributor

Ward Equipment LLC headquartered in Greensburg, Ind. now offers the full line of Terex® compact construction equipment, which includes 45 unique product models including Terex compact track loaders, wheel loaders, excavators, skid steers and loader backhoes. Ward Equipment provides equipment and attachment sales, parts, service and transportation solutions, as well as preventative maintenance programs, equipment repairs and a paint and body shop.

“We are pleased to welcome Ward Equipment as our newest Terex compact equipment distributor,” said Dean Barley, vice president and general manager, Terex Construction Americas and Global Aftermarket. “Coming up on their 20th anniversary in business, they have a reputation for providing quality service within the construction industry, and they offer the unique expertise and understanding of the buyer’s perspective that only comes with that kind of experience. Working with Terex allows Ward Equipment to continue to meet and exceed its customers’ expectations and equipment needs.”

Ward Equipment was formed in 1993 as a father-son venture by Robert and Travis Ward. According to Travis Ward, the company’s success quickly grew via “word of mouth,” allowing them to continually upgrade their equipment fleet and employ well-experienced staff to keep up with growing demand.

“We place great emphasis on product knowledge and training, and we are always focused on improving the overall buying experience for our customers,” adds Travis Ward. “We are very confident that our nearly two decades of experience will give us the ability to continue to thrive with our new Terex business venture. As a legacy ASV dealer, we have always had an eye on Terex. They have impressed us by manufacturing a highly reliable, efficient and competitively priced product line. As an experienced equipment dealer, nothing feels better than knowing our customers will receive great value from their investment.”

In addition to offering a full line of Terex compact equipment products and services, qualified Ward Equipment customers can take advantage of financing options through Terex Financial Services™. Terex Financial Services offers a range of finance and leasing solutions, structured to accommodate customers’ cash flow and budgets. The Terex Financial Services team is equipped to assist in all areas of asset management, from the analysis of future equipment values through the disposal of used equipment.

“Customer satisfaction has always been our number one priority,” continues Ward. “We see a bright future in the construction industry as we continue to fight our way out of this dark economy. The current shortage of quality used equipment makes now the right time to prepare for the future. This means providing the right tools and equipment to the men and women within our industry and community. Providing the right equipment solutions can be the key to success in tough economic times. We feel that taking on the Terex line ensures a bright future for our customers and for Ward Equipment.”

Ward Equipment LLC is located at 1220 N. Liberty Circle, Greensburg, Indiana 47240. For more information, call (877) 477-6953 or visit them online at


City of Springfield, Illinois, Adds Terex® HyPower™ Trucks to Equipment Fleet

Terex Utilities is pleased to announce that DUECO, an authorized Terex Utilities distributor in 13 states headquartered in Waukesha, Wis., has sold four trucks equipped with the Terex® HyPower™ Hybrid System to the City of Springfield, Ill. The sale includes three Terex HRX55 Hi-Ranger overcenter, material handling aerial devices and one Terex TL50 Hi-Ranger telescopic, material handling aerial device. The Terex HyPower Hybrid System is designed to save fuel, reduce noise and increase efficiency, especially suited for the utility industry.

The HRX55 units have been in service since June, 2011, and have been used in electric distribution applications. The TL50 was recently delivered to Springfield and will be used in substation work. The new Terex HyPower trucks replace older units in the city’s fleet of utility trucks and are part of Springfield’s alternative energy initiative.

The Terex HyPower Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid PTO system which uses stored energy from the system’s rechargeable batteries to power the non-propulsion functions of the vehicle. The Terex system is designed to reduce, or even eliminate, the use of fuel for the work done while the vehicle is sitting still. By using plug-in electric hybrid technology to operate the boom and accessories, the Terex HyPower system reduces a whole range of pollution produced from diesel fuel and eliminates the noise from an idling engine normally used to run the hydraulic system.

The HyPower system recharges from the electrical grid using a standard 110V—15 AMP outlet. The system is simple and can be retrofitted onto existing vehicles, as well as durable enough to outlive its first vehicle and be used on another.

For more information about the Terex HyPower Hybrid System, please visit: For more information on the full line of Terex Utilities products or to find the nearest Terex Utilities equipment distributor, visit