AEM Applauds House Vote to Reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement in support of the bipartisan passage of H.R. 4863, which reauthorizes the U.S. Export-Import Bank: 

Dennis Slater, AEM President


“Exports are imperative to equipment manufacturers and to a robust U.S. economy,” said Dennis Slater, President of AEM. “With about 30 percent of equipment made in the U.S. destined for export, it’s important to our industry to help facilitate trade and ensure a level playing field in the global marketplace. The Ex-Im Bank helps do that by securing credit and export assistance for equipment manufacturers so that they can export more of their products globally. We now urge the U.S. Senate keep the momentum going by swiftly voting in favor of the Ex-Im Bank’s reauthorization. By doing so, they will help keep our industry vibrant and the support our industry’s 1.3 million men and women.”  
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 235-184 in favor of the bill. The Export-Import Bank is especially important to small and medium-sized businesses, which account for nearly 90 percent of the Bank’s transactions. The bill also renames the bank to the “Export Finance Agency.”  

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry supports 1.3 million jobs in the U.S. Equipment manufacturers also contribute $159 billion to the U.S. economy. AEM is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019.
Visit www.aem.org/advocacy for more information.   

Kenworth W990 Begins Transport of U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree After Harvesting Ceremony in New Mexico — Ho Ho HO

The 55th U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree – a 60-foot Blue Spruce from New Mexico’s Carson National Forest – has started its way to Washington, D.C., following its Nov. 6 harvesting near Red River, New Mexico.

The Carson National Forest Service nominated 12 trees as candidates for the special honor, with representatives from the Architect of the Capitol selecting the 2019 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The special Blue Spruce, which will be displayed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., is the perfect representation of the Carson National Forest, according to Ricardo Martinez, Carson National Forest deputy district ranger.

“The tree selected is beautiful and perfectly symmetrical – it’s what you look for in a Christmas tree,” said Martinez. “The Carson National Forest is a special place, and the Blue Spruce that will be on display during the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour en route to Washington D.C., will help put New Mexico and its forests in the national spotlight. We’re proud to send this beautiful tree to the Capitol.” 

On hand and ready for the load was a Kenworth W990, along with members from Artesia, New Mexico-based Wilbanks Trucking Services, this year’s designated hauler of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The company’s representatives at the tree harvesting ceremony featured Shane Phipps, safety director; and Josh Rice, terminal facility and crane manager at Wilbanks Trucking Service location in Hobbs, New Mexico, along with several other employees. The company specializes in heavy haul and crane services, and provided the cranes and crane operators for the tree harvesting.

The Kenworth W990 transporting the tree features a distinctive graphics package that showcases the New Mexico state flag, along with Ship Rock, a 7,177 foot-high mountain rock that resembles a 19th century clipper ship. On the door and sleeper, the U.S. Capitol Building is shown with a Christmas tree, with the wording: “From the Land of Enchantment to Enchanting the Nation” written above the graphics.

Once the tree was lifted and set on the 82-foot trailer, Rice, who supervised the crane operation, drove the Kenworth W990 to Red River just a mile away from the harvest site. Rice is one of three Wilbanks Trucking Services employees who will drive the W990 and deliver the tree to Washington D.C. 

“It’s hard to put into words what it means to me to be a part of such a special delivery,” said Rice. “I look forward to participating in the tree tour and sharing the experience with the other drivers who help transport the tree.”

Once in Red River, the tree was fitted with a special 40-gallon water bladder to keep it hydrated during the transport. Final preparations were then made for the cross-country haul. 

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Phipps. “We’re proud to be responsible for transporting the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and participate in community events along the path to the Capitol. We look forward to seeing the tree standing tall at the lighting ceremony.”

Featuring a 76-inch mid-rood sleeper, the W990 was spec’d with the PACCAR Powertrain – a PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 455-hp and 1,650 lb-ft of torque, 12-speed automated transmission, and 40K tandem rear axle. The truck was also specified with the Limited Edition interior, premium GT703 seats and audio system, Kenworth Nav+HD, predictive cruise control, 1800W inverter, 180-degree swivel passenger seat, and Kenworth TruckTech+®  remote diagnostics. 

The tour officially commenced on Nov. 11 when the tree departed Red River to begin its journey 2,000 miles to the east. Along the way, the tree will stop at 30 community events. The tour’s first stop was at Alta Vista Elementary and Intermediate School in Questa, New Mexico, where the tree was the main event for a parade.

The tour will end Nov. 24 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, before being delivered to the U.S. Capitol in late November. In early December, a special tree lighting ceremony will be hosted by the Architect of the Capitol, in conjunction with the U.S. Speaker of the House. 

For more information, including a complete tour schedule, visit the 2019 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree web site – www.capitolchristmastree.com. Choose Outdoors, a non-profit organization that works with the Forest Service on promoting outdoor recreation and public access to federal lands for recreation, assists with coordinating the annual tour.

4 Steps Before Deciding What Works Best for You

Editor’s Note: When a new technology is introduced to the market, you can’t help but think, “will this give me a competitive advantage?” Unfortunately, the answer won’t come from the sales person or tech expert you’re contacting.  Only you can determine whether a technology is the right solution for the challenges you face.

Tauhira Ali, senior manager of construction technology at Milwaukee Tool is speaking about this very situation at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in March. She says that your competitive advantage does lie within construction technology, but there are certain steps you have to take in order to tap into this advantage. If you would like more information about Tauhira or her session, please feel free to reach out.

Attend the education session “Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Construction Technology” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Register now

It happens more and more now. A new technology is introduced to the market and you think, “Will this give me a competitive advantage?” The answer won’t come from a salesperson, tech expert or trade magazine. Only you can determine whether a technology is the right solution for the challenges you face. Here are some steps to take before investing resources in technology that you think will give you a competitive advantage.

1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM

“Before you can solve a problem, you need to identify it,” says Tauhira Ali, Senior Manager of Construction Technology at Milwaukee Tool. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your  current workflow and how will this change in the future? How do your processes compare with the competitive environment you’re working in?

Chances are that your challenge doesn’t exist in a silo so don’t keep your problem-solving effort in one either. Is it a process challenge? Equipment management? Productivity? Safety? Ali suggests empowering employees to better understand innovation and share their insights.  In that way you are more likely to find solutions that employees want to work with. “Focus on people and tasks. Know who you are and what you need,” she says.

2. INVESTIGATE

After you’ve identified the problem, start investigating. Technology solutions are rarely bought off the shelf these days. You need to get educated on products and solutions. Fortunately, there are many sources of information on the Internet including articles, podcasts, videos. “Find the leading suppliers in your market and invite them to help you solve your particular problem. Be vocal about what you want,” Ali says. “You are the customer, explain your needs. Tell them what your deal breakers are. While you are learning from them, they are learning from you.”  

Construction technology startup companies received $1.05 billion in investment from venture capitalists in the first half of 2018, a record high. Startups and well established companies can introduce you to something you are unaware of such as wearables to improve safety or the latest in drone technology. Convey your high standards and insist the provider you work with share or exceed that standard.

3. FIND THE OPPORTUNITY

Assess the benefits of any solution suggested. Does it fit within your existing processes? Does it offer a more efficient process? What gains will you see and when? Can you test it on a small scale before implementing something more robust? Again, know who you are and establish a process that works.

Investment in technology can bring unforeseen advantages. It can make talent recruitment easier, bringing in skilled people who use data to assist with in-house and on-site decision making. The best people are attracted to companies that are innovating and outpacing their competitors. They see growth opportunities for their careers. Ali previously created technology solutions and assessed business viability for products and platforms in the automotive and aerospace industries before joining Milwaukee Tool. “The construction industry is so ripe for innovation today and in the future of how we build,” she says.

4. PREPARE TO IMPLEMENT

Clean your house. New technology will work better within a strong foundation. That means documented processes, streamlined tasks, proven methods, and vision. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just clearly communicate how work is done and why. Define what success looks like so your progress can be measured. Be flexible. Pivot when necessary.

Market trend reports can help in assessing competition but don’t forget the value of peer groups who are not competitors. “Face-to-face communication at association meetings and trade conferences is always valuable,” says Ali.

DEWALT Enhances Three Original 60V MAX* FLEXVOLT® Tools

DEWALT’s most powerful line just got better with Circular Saw, Grinder, and Reciprocating Saw upgrades

At the 2019 Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA®) tradeshow, DEWALT announces upgrades to three products that were part of the original DEWALT FLEXVOLT® System, debuted in 2016. The new 60V MAX* FLEXVOLT® 7-1/4 IN. Circular Saw (DCS578)60V MAX* FLEXVOLT® 4-1/2 – 6 IN. Grinder (DCG418), and 60V MAX* FLEXVOLT® Reciprocating Saw (DCS389) each offer increased power versus their predecessors.

The upgrades to these three tools mean that the Circular Saw (DCS578) is up to 47% more powerful than its predecessor**, the DCS575. The Grinder (DCG418) is up to 30% more powerful than its predecessor, the DCG414**. And the Reciprocating Saw (DCS389) is up to 19% more powerful than its predecessor, the DCS388**. Each of these tools achieves this increase in performance via new motors, new software, and new controls. In addition, each of these tools will be available as a kit with a 9.0Ah*** battery. The original FLEXVOLT tools were kitted with a 6.0Ah** battery.

When 60V MAX* tools and the FLEXVOLT Battery System debuted in 2016, they revolutionized power tools, featuring the world’s first batteries that automatically changed voltage when the user changes tools. Still today, with 20 tools now in this premium line, the 60V MAX* System continues to provide tools that offer the power of corded with the freedom of cordless. Upgrades to these three tools continue the legacy of efficiency in heavy applications, with added power and long runtime. In other words, three of “our most powerful tools just got better”.

Available where DEWALT products are sold in spring 2020, the three new tools will retail bare tool (without a battery), and P kitted with one 9.0Ah** battery. More information on FLEXVOLT and all other DEWALT products can be found at DEWALT.com.

With respect to 60V MAX* – Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 60 volts. Nominal voltage is 54.

With respect to 20V MAX* – Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18.

**When using the DCB609 battery vs. using when using the DCB606 battery.

***Amp hours are measured in 20V MAX* mode.

STAFDA is a registered trademark of Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association, which has not endorsed or approved these products.

About DEWALT

DEWALT is obsessed with how users work in the real world and is relentlessly pursuing total jobsite solutions. By incorporating its latest technology and industry innovations, DEWALT is leading the charge for the jobsite of the future. DEWALT products. GUARANTEED TOUGH®. For more information, visit www.dewalt.com 

Why Recruit Veterans

Beyond Workforce Development, Workforce Solutions

by Julie Davis,

Association of Equipment Manufacturers Director of Work Force Development.

Are you tired yet of pulling from the same employment pool? If the answer is yes, then you are ready to explore the new world of veteran recruitment. If you think that you’ve tried it, it doesn’t work for you or there is no one to recruit in your area, then you simply aren’t up to date. 

Why recruit Veterans?

Many companies find veterans to be more productive employees with lower turnover rates when compared to their nonveteran counterparts. Additionally, their past military background can give veterans distinctive capabilities and perspectives that can add insight and diversity to your team’s problem solving. Employers can also qualify for up to $10,000 in federal tax credits per veteran. 

There are multiple state and federal organizations that exist to connect employers with veterans. Many of them work with veterans before they leave active duty to ensure they have skills that can plug immediately into the workforce. Furthermore, just because you may not have a military base located near you is no longer a reason to exclude veterans from your search. Organizations looking to place veterans into employment include working to get veterans back to their home states if that is what they are looking for. Taking a few extra steps could mean providing a veteran the opportunity to truly come home.

Veteran Retainment

Approximately 40 percent of veterans leave their first job out of the military within a year of being hired. The transition can be challenging but there is some common sense, yet very real ways that you can position your company to retain your veterans. 

First, define what your motivation is to hire veterans. Then identify what skills, attitudes and experience would benefit your organization the most. (If you are not sure, simply find your best current employee in that position and identify their skills, attitudes and experiences.) 

Decide what a successful veteran hiring program for your organization looks like. Are you looking for just one or is this going to become a regular program? 

Identify the service branches, ranks and occupational specialties you might like to target. Don’t know? That’s okay because there’s multiple ways to connect. You could reach out to your state or local Veteran’ office and talk with someone or here are some great website you can connect with:

Understand the basics
https://content.iospress.com/articles/work/wor01987
(A brief introduction to military workplace culture)  
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_termsLingo.asp 
(Common Terms) 

Difference between the branches 
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/mil_structure.asp

Difference between officer and enlisted ranks 
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_rank.asp

Civilian to Military Occupation Translator
https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/civilian-to-military-translator.aspx?frd=true

While building your veteran’s program, don’t forget to tap into your secret weapon – any veterans you are currently employing. Get their thoughts about skills and areas of service that might be a good fit. Don’t forget to ask them what about working for your organization might appeal to a veteran. After all, they have stayed with you! 

There are multiple employment organizations that will connect you with veterans. A few of my favorite include:

Hero’s MAKE America (Provides 10 weeks accelerated skills training for manufacturing)http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Initiatives/Military-and-Veterans/Heroes-MAKE-America/Heroes-MAKE-America.aspx 

Hire a Hero
https://www.hireheroesusa.org/hire-a-veteran/ 

Bradley-Morris, Inc. (Specifically for Skilled Technicians)
https://www.bradley-morris.com/military-recruiting-firms/field-service-technician/

Orian Talent
https://www.oriontalent.com/military-job-seekers/enlisted-technicians/

Lastly, don’t forget that to retain your veteran, you may want to consider having some supports in place to make their transition smooth. Connect them to existing veterans in your workplace, let them know about opportunities for professional growth and advancement, and consider engaging current veterans in creating the program to ensure its effectiveness. 

Veterans who are coming out of service where they have worked with heavy equipment may be a perfect fit for the construction, agriculture, mining, utility or forestry industry sectors. Don’t let taking a few extra steps keep you from your next best hire.