Tag Archive for 'AEM'

Goodbye Snow, Hello Spring

By Greg Sitek

RMG aNo snow today or for the immediate future. That means spring has sprung and orange cones should start blooming everywhere. That means the sounds of construction equipment should be filling the air replacing the sounds of snowplows and salt spreaders – at lease in a majority of the country.

Are you ready? More importantly, are your employees and machines ready?

Spring is a good time to refresh everyone’s understanding and knowledge of safety on the jobsite, around the equipment and while operating the equipment. Most equipment manufacturers have machine-specific safety information available. This is a good time to make sure that this information is available. If not, contact your local equipment dealer or the manufacturer and get copies. Hand it out to the concerned or involved employees. Don’t depend on them picking it up on their own.

If you need generic safety materials The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has a library of safety manuals covering virtually all the equipment you use. They also have a selection of videos both of which are available in languages other than English. You can visit AEM online at: www.aem.org and click on the store button or scan: (Insert aem safety qr scan code). The equipment manufacturers who produce the equipment have developed the AEM safety material.

So much for the personnel, after you make certain that they are properly dressed and supplied with the required safety for the job. Let’s talk about the equipment.

Most equipment owners have been spending the winter months repairing, updating and getting their equipment ready for the job. Even so there is always the final check before a piece of equipment is loaded on a trailer headed for the job.

Two things come to mind that are often forgotten: the first is making certain that the operator’s manual is onboard; the second is that the ground engaging tools have been serviced and are ready for the first job.

Since I have your attention, let’s add and another item to the list… the prestart check list. You know, the walk-around inspection list.

It’s difficult to remember what every button, switch, lever, light, warning buzzer means. It’s easy to forget where something is, especially if you change machines with any regularity. Beside the operator’s manual is loaded with useful information, hints and even tips that can help you do the job better. It’s good to have it on hand for quick and easy reference JUST IN CASE.

What about the ground engaging tools? For years there has been an argument about what is the most important part of a piece of equipment – the machine itself, the engine, the electrical system, the hydraulic system, the operator’s station.

The correct answer is the “tool.” Without it the machine has nothing to do. And the tool depends on its ground-engaging component for its effectiveness whether it’s teeth, blade or piercing tool. Dull, worn teeth, blade or leading edge on a bucket hinder a machine’s ability to do its job. Dull worn ground engaging tools minimize a machine’s productivity and maximize its fuel consumption – a perfect combination for lower productivity and less profit.

Pre-start checklists are almost always provided by the machine manufacturer in the operator’s manual or service manual. Some equipment owners, based on experience, develop their own inspection routines. If you’re looking for information relative to equipment maintenance and management you should visit the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) by visiting: www.aemp.org

In any organization or on any construction projects the two most important components are the personnel and the equipment. Take care of both…

This articled appeared as an editorial in the April 2105 issues of the 13 ACP publications.

 

Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act

On April 16, 2014 the following statement from Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater regarding the introduction of the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act  in Congress:

AEM congratulates Congressmen Jim Renacci, Bill Pascrell, Reid Ribble and Dan Lipinski for putting forth a substantive and politically courageous proposal to fix the Highway Trust Fund. Their legislation deserves serious consideration in the Ways and Means Committee.

While the proposal is not perfect, it is a serious effort to give certainty to America’s transportation infrastructure and impose accountability on Congress to force lawmakers to develop a long-term solution to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent.

This is a bipartisan effort to end the stalemate on Capitol Hill over highway spending. Because Congress has been unable to generate a sustainable stream of revenue to make up for the annual shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund, America’s infrastructure has been chronically underfunded. The proposed Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Act seeks to break the cycle of patchwork efforts to short up the trust fund a few months at a time.

In essence, this legislation would force Congress to act. It would make the Highway Trust Fund solvent in the short-run and bring together a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress to figure out a way to finance America’s surface transportation for the future. And if those efforts fail, this plan provides a path forward to ensure the Highway Trust Fund is made whole in the future

AEM Reports:U.S. Construction Equipment Exports Drop 13 Percent in 2014

AEM_logo_wo_cmykExports of U.S.-made construction equipment ended 2014 with a 13.2-percent drop compared to 2013, with a total $17.26 billion shipped to global markets.

U.S. exports fell to all world regions for 2014. Business to Europe, South America and Australia/Oceania was the hardest hit, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), citing U.S. Department of Commerce data it uses in global markets reports for members.

Exports by World Region

Year-end 2014 U.S. construction equipment exports by major world regions compared to year-end 2013:

  • Canada dropped 2 percent, for a total $6.66 billion
  • South America declined 28.3 percent, for a total $2.57 billion
  • Asia decreased 7.1 percent, for a total $1.98 billion
  • Europe dropped 22.6 percent, for a total $1.98 billion
  • Central America fell 11.4 percent, for a total $1.95 billion
  • Africa decreased 5.2 percent to $1.23 billion
  • Australia/Oceania fell 32.4 percent to $889.5 million

Exports by Top 10 Countries

The top countries buying the most U.S.-made construction machinery during 2014 (by dollar volume) were:

  • Canada – $6.66 billion, down 2 percent
  • Mexico – $1.59 billion, down 11.3 percent
  • Australia – $808.3 million, down 34.9 percent
  • Brazil – $720.5 million, down 19 percent
  • South Africa – $669.5 million, down 1 percent
  • Chile – $617.4 million, down 38.2 percent
  • Belgium – $461.3 million, down 25.2 percent
  • Peru – $460.4 million, down 27.8 percent
  • China – $367.8 million, down 3.1 percent
  • Saudi Arabia – $326.9 million, up 10.7 percent

Market Analysis Overview

The fourth quarter of 2014 marked the eighth consecutive quarter that U.S. construction equipment exports experienced year-over-year declines.

While exports have been decreasing steadily since the second quarter of 2012, imports have been trending higher. The fast growth in the post-recession export figures (2009-2012) was a strong driver for domestic manufacturers, though it appears the domestic market has become one of the more robust growth engines for the industry.

The recent declines in total construction equipment exports, which were in line with regional development, have been partly due to:

  • A retrenching from accelerated spending earlier in the economic recovery
  • A strengthening dollar against the Japanese Yen
  • Declines in commodity prices, particularly oil, copper and coal

From a global perspective, the U.S. market remains strong, though somewhat affected by the oil price declines.

In the global markets:

  • South America, and specifically the Brazilian market, remain challenging
  • China also experienced a sluggish demand, despite government stimuli
  • Europe’s market remained uneven with growth in the United Kingdom
  • The Russian market declined significantly
  • The strong decrease in exports to Belgium can be attributed to the overall European market, as Belgium remains a through-put nation

More Economic Resources

AEM’s Construction Equipment Global Markets report (and select other reports) are available to the public online (www.aem.org) through the AEM store (www.safetymaterials.org). AEM members may access the report via the AEM website/Market Intelligence section.

Custom detailing exports by 10 Digit HS code to various countries worldwide, as well as an overview of export market opportunities by product, are available on request. For more information, contact AEM’s Benjamin Duyck, director of market intelligence (bduyck@aem.org).

Construction_022415

 

It’s Time To FixTheTrustFund NOW

The Following was recently received from Dennis Slater, President at Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), regarding the highway trust fund. The included links are active; I encourage you to use them. It is time to fix the Trust Fund.

headerDear Greg,

The clock is ticking, and we need your help. In less than 100 days the highway trust fund runs out of money, and unless Congress acts, construction and manufacturing jobs would be put at risk due to another artificial crisis in Washington.

Take action now and tell Congress that it’s time to act.

America’s roads and bridges are crumbling and badly in need of repair. Unfortunately, the Highway Trust Fund, the only federal program that supports these investments, is running out of money. Instead of borrowing money from China to build roads right here in the United States, it’s time for Congress to give Americans the long-term solution we need.

We need your help. Click here to tell your member of Congress that there isn’t any time left to waste – it’s time to #FixTheTrustFund NOW…

Sincerely,

Dennis Slater

 

AEM statement on Obama’s Keystone veto

Dennis Slater, AEM President

Dennis Slater, AEM President

Statement from Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater following President Obama’s Keystone Pipeline veto:

I was disappointed – but not surprised – to learn that President Obama has vetoed legislation that would have begun long-overdue construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. By any measure, the Keystone Pipeline is good – good for the economy and good for the equipment manufacturing industry. It’s also the safer option for the environment, compared to alternatives.

At this point, Keystone has been relentlessly studied and scrutinized by the government and outside groups. And the evidence is in: Keystone would not pose a meaningful threat to the environment, and it would promise to create thousands of jobs in construction and manufacturing. The alternative to constructing this vital piece of U.S. energy infrastructure is the continued transportation of crude oil by rail. As we’ve seen recently in West Virginia, this is a volatile and potentially hazardous solution that further diminishes our national rail capacity

I urge Congress to redouble its efforts to pursue construction of the Keystone Pipeline and for President Obama to end his obstruction of this commonsense project.

From NBC:

Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill
President Barack Obama has officially vetoed a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, marking his third rejection of congressionally approved legislation during his six years in office.

The president notified the Senate of the veto on Tuesday afternoon.

The veto, which was long expected, came the same day that the GOP-dominated Congress formally submitted the bill to Obama, although it was passed by both chambers of Congress before the week-long Presidents Day recess.

The White House has said that the president opposes the bill because it would cut short an ongoing review process of the project by the State Department. Obama has also expressed some skepticism about how many jobs the pipeline would create.

Congress could override the veto if two-thirds of both the House and the Senate vote to do so, but lawmakers aren’t expected to reach that threshold.

Republicans have accused the president of bowing to pressure from environmental activists who oppose the project. These advocates say the pipeline could cause spills and argue that it would increase the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.