Wells Fargo Reports: Existing Home Sales Rise Again in October

Existing home sales rose 1.5 percent in October to a 5.26 million rate from an upwardly-revised 5.18 million unit pace in September. In typical cyclical fashion, listed inventories fell 2.6 percent to 2.22 million units.

Existing Home Sales Rise for Second-Straight Month

  •  Sales activity in the resale market continued to strengthen in October, increasing to its highest level this year. Distressed sales remained low in October, garnering just 9 percent of total sales. Despite fewer bargain homes in the market, all-cash transactions rose 3 percentage points to 27 percent in October. The share of first-time home buyers remained stuck at 29 percent for the fourth month in a row.

Mortgage Purchase Applications Firming

  •  Mortgage applications for the purchase of a home rose for the second-straight week in November following a string of weak readings in mid- to late October. For the week ending November 14, purchase applications hit its highest level since June. Normalization in lending standards and further strengthening in the labor market will be key drivers to an even more robust housing market in 2015.

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Komatsu America Introduces the PC210LCi-10 Hydraulic Excavator

Meet the world’s first intelligent Machine Control excavator

Komatsu America introduces the PC210LCi-10 intelligent Machine Control excavator to the North American market. The PC210LCi-10 features Komatsu’s unique machine control and guidance technologies, built upon the successful foundation of the standard Komatsu PC210LC-10 excavator. Thanks to the exclusive control function, the PC210LCi-10 goes beyond simple guidance to semi-automatically limit over-excavation and trace a target surface. From rough digging to finish grading, the PC210LCi-10 excavator offers improved efficiency and accuracy over traditional methods.

PC210LCi-10_1

“The PC210LCi-10 represents a huge leap forward by bringing automation features to excavators,” said Jason Anetsberger, Product Manager of Intelligent Machine Control. “Thanks to the exclusive semi-automatic control function, customers will unearth their productivity and operators can focus on moving material while the machine semi-automatically protects the target surface.” Anetsberger added, “The efficiency improvement, greater value and operation simplicity of the PC210LCi-10 mirror what has been proven with Komatsu’s established intelligent Machine Control dozer products: experienced and inexperienced operators alike will realize the benefits.”

With an operating weight of 52,036 pounds and a net horsepower of 158 hp the PC210LCi-10 is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D107E-2 engine and is EPA Tier 4 Interim and EU Stage 3B emissions certified. 

Innovative: Automatic Real Time Digging Control

The bucket of the world’s first intelligent Machine Control excavator is semi-automatically limited from digging beyond the target surface. The control function also semi-automatically follows the design surface allowing for accurate finish grading, with real-time bucket edge positioning in relation to the machine and the job surface.

Integrated: Standard Factory Installed Integrated Machine Control System

Factory installed, Komatsu’s fully integrated intelligent Machine Control system includes GNSS antennas, stroke-sensing hydraulic cylinders for the boom, arm and bucket plus an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), for precise real time bucket edge positioning. Status is instantly displayed on the full color, multi-function 12.1” control box monitor, eliminating the wait time associated with conventional sensors.

PC210LCi-10_2

Intelligent: Enhancements for Optimized Performance

The Komatsu PC210LCi-10 allows the operator to focus on moving material efficiently, aided by the intelligent Machine Control technologies. The touch screen control box monitor makes grading easy and accurate with a facing angle compass, a light bar and audio guidance. Information such as real-time “as-built” status, a magnified fine grading view or a 3D-view may be displayed simultaneously.

PC210LCi-10_3

Customer peace-of-mind is standard

Both the base machine and intelligent Machine Control technologies are fully supported by specially trained distributor-based Technology Solutions Experts. Every customer who purchases a PC210LCi-10 has the support of Komatsu intelligent Machine Control certified personnel.

Komatsu remains focused on lowering the customer’s ownership costs by engineering machines with increased fuel efficiency and productivity. To further reduce owning and operating costs, Komatsu CARE® complimentary scheduled maintenance is standard on all PC210LCi-10 excavators for three (3) years or 2,000 hours (whichever occurs first). Services are performed by factory-certified technicians using only Komatsu genuine parts and fluids.

The PC210LCi-10 is equipped with KOMTRAX® remote monitoring technology, which sends machine operating information to a secure website or smart phone application utilizing wireless technology. Data such as fuel level, operating hours, location, cautions and maintenance alerts are relayed to the web application for analysis. The KOMTRAX® fleet monitoring system helps increase machine availability, reduces the risk of machine theft, allows for remote diagnosis by the distributor, and provides a wealth of other information to drive business efficiency and productivity.

Komatsu product engineers said that the machine can help improve productivity significantly while reducing costs. The intelligent machine controls can virtually eliminate the need for correcting “over dig” a time consuming and material-wasting process that results from removing too much material

According to some of the comments that were made, the intelligent machine control will make a good operator great and new operators become better quicker.

EarthCam: Official Construction Time-Lapse Available for SF-Oakland Bay Bridge Anniversary

This is a spectacular time-lapse viewing of the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It’s five years, 42,000 hours condensed into minutes.

EarthCam’s Time-Lapse Documents San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction

WHAT: Today marks 78 years since the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic. During the Bay Bridge East Span Replacement from 2008-2013, EarthCam documented more than 42,000 hours of construction and archived nearly 2 million images.

WHY: On November 12, 1936, the first cars drove over the bridge and now nearly 250,000 vehicles cross it every day. During the East Span Replacement project, workers constructed a safer, more durable structure. Watch five years of work on the $6.4 billion bridge come together in four minutes with EarthCam’s official time-lapse!

HOW: See five years of construction and nearly two million images of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project with EarthCam’s time-lapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDUIYZKlknk.

EarthCam’s Time-Lapse Documents San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction

WHAT: Today marks 78 years since the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic. During the Bay Bridge East Span Replacement from 2008-2013, EarthCam documented more than 42,000 hours of construction and archived nearly 2 million images.

WHY: On November 12, 1936, the first cars drove over the bridge and now nearly 250,000 vehicles cross it every day. During the East Span Replacement project, workers constructed a safer, more durable structure. Watch five years of work on the $6.4 billion bridge come together in four minutes with EarthCam’s official time-lapse!

HOW: See five years of construction and nearly two million images of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project with EarthCam’s time-lapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDUIYZKlknk.

Connect with EarthCam!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/earthcaminc

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/earthcam

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/earthcam

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/earthcam

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/earthcaminc

BuzzFeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/earthcam

ABOUT EARTHCAM

EarthCam is the global leader in delivering webcam content, technology and services. Founded in 1996, EarthCam provides live streaming video and time-lapse construction cameras for corporate and government clients in major cities around the world. EarthCam’s revolutionary gigapixel camera systems deliver superior billion pixel clarity for monitoring and archiving the world’s most important projects and events. Most recently, EarthCam launched ConstructionCamTV, a new 24-hour “TV channel” devoted to live construction cameras and educational time-lapse movies. In 2013, EarthCam’s technology documented more than $120,000,000,000 of construction work.

Projects documented by EarthCam include: National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Barclays Center, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Washington Monument Restoration, New NY Bridge, Panama Canal Expansion, Smithsonian Institution Restoration, Brickell City Centre, Minnesota Vikings Stadium, Disneyland, Los Angeles International Airport, Denver Station, George W. Bush Presidential Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Louvre in Abu Dhabi, Levi’s Stadium and National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Learn more about EarthCam’s innovative solutions at www.earthcam.net.

Connect with EarthCam!

 

ARTBA Reports: Another Big Election Winner: Transportation Funding Initiatives

Nearly 70% Approved by Voters Across the Nation, ARTBA Report Shows  

Voters across the nation again demonstrated they strongly support increased investment in transportation improvements, approving 60 of 90 (67 percent) transportation-related initiatives that were on the November ballot, according to a report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (ARTBA-TIAC).

The measures will provide nearly $21 billion in additional in revenue for transportation projects, the ARTBA-TIAC’s post-election analysis finds.

“These election results show, once again, the public wants our government to invest in our mobility and safety and are willing to pay for it,” ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane said.  “It doesn’t make a difference whether it is a Republican- or Democratic-leaning state.   The newly-elected Congress and the White House must take note and do their job and permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund.  Transportation funding cannot remain frozen in the ice of political inertia and partisanship.  The states rely on federal funds for, on average, 52 percent of their highway and bridge capital investments.”

Texans approved the largest state funding initiative, redirecting nearly $1.2 billion in oil and gas revenues from the state’s rainy day fund for transportation.  Voters in Maryland (81 percent) and Wisconsin (80 percent) overwhelmingly approved measures to ensure that transportation-related revenues are used exclusively for their intended purpose, and not diverted to non-transportation programs.  With support of 60 percent of voters, Rhode Island voters also approved a statewide $35 million bond proposal.  A Louisiana proposal to approve creation of a state constitutional amendment establishing a state infrastructure bank was defeated.

Of the county and local initiatives:

  • 20 of the 32 measures (63 percent) to increase a gasoline or general sales tax for transportation investment were approved.
  • 13 of the 14 measures (93 percent) to issue local bonds for transportation investment were approved.
  • 23 of the 35 measures (66 percent) to increase property taxes for transportation investment were approved.

Historically, voters have approved ballot measures to increase transportation revenues, including 86 percent of initiatives in 2013, 68 percent in 2012, 55 percent in 2011, 61 percent in 2010, 78 percent in 2008, 63 percent in 2007, 77 percent in 2006, 83 percent in 2005, and 76 percent in 2004.  In sum, over the past 10 years, voters have approved an average of 72 percent of the measures.

TIAC, which was launched by ARTBA in March, is an online educational platform that features detailed case studies of recent transportation funding campaigns—both successful and unsuccessful—mounted in numerous states.  It includes television, radio and print ads, polling, an overview of state and local funding and finance mechanisms, and an ongoing blog detailing new developments across the nation.

Established in 1902 and headquartered today in the Nation’s Capital, ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry.

AEM President Slater on 2014 Elections

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Dennis Slater, AEM President

Dennis Slater, AEM President

Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), made the following statement following statement following the results of the 2014 midterm elections:

Yesterday evening, voters across America made it clear that they think Washington is broken, and they expect our elected leaders to come together to fix it.

Americans have grown tired of the gridlock and partisan bickering that has plagued Capitol Hill in recent years. With tonight’s election, they have sent a clear signal that they want action on the problems facing this nation. It is far past time for our lawmakers to put aside partisan differences and work together toward crafting constructive solutions. The new leadership in the U.S. Senate must now demonstrate they can move America forward.

That means no more threats of government shutdowns or risking defaulting on our national debt, and an end to pointless show votes that serve no purpose but to energize each party’s ideological core at the expense of productive legislating.

Equipment manufacturers and the broader business community share voters’ frustration. The good news is that there is ample opportunity for President Obama and Congress to work together on commonsense solutions. Those efforts should begin without delay; there’s no excuse for Congress to waste the next two months by failing to deal with issues that demand their attention now.

An immediate order of business for Congress should be responsibly fixing the Highway Trust Fund by restoring the gas tax to its 1993 buying power while oil prices are at recent record lows. Congress can continue to boost access to affordable energy by approving construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

They can rally around commonsense legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for the long term and give American manufacturers the tools they need to compete in the global marketplace and support jobs in the United States. Lawmakers should give President Obama improved authority to negotiate trade deals and move toward swiftly approving pending trade deals with our European and Asian partners.

And there is both ample room and great need for Congress to find a bipartisan solution to fixing a tax system that has become so complex and burdensome that it is now a barrier to job creation.

The 114th Congress faces a choice: They can repair their broken bond with voters, or they can continue down their current path and risk turning their relationship with voters into something more toxic.

On behalf of the equipment manufacturing industry, I sincerely hope that President Obama, Speaker Boehner and our Senate leaders opt for progress over provocation.