Tag Archive for 'Association of Equipment Manufacturers'

ASCE Reports on Gas Tax Increase, Highway Trust Fund Shortfall, Important Bill Stall

Our transportation infrastructure has become a major issue as current funding faces a serious shortfall. More than halfway through the year and most road repairs are still waiting to be started let alone completed. If the country faces another winter like the one that just passed, we’ll need tanks or half-tracks to navigate the pot-hole dominated transportation infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as well as other associations, such as American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), are growing more concerned as Congress continues to battle over possible solutions to this problem.

Over the years a number of solutions have been proposed and all have been rejected because party politics are more important than user needs. ASCE has posted a number of statements on this situartion.

{08d819bc-1d22-4dd2-80f4-4bea43d54eb4}_ASCE_GovernmentRelations_WashingtonBipartisan Senate Duo Calls for Gas Tax Increase

U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bob Corker (R-TN) released a plan on Wednesday to raise the federal fuels tax and index it to inflation. Their proposal would increase the gasoline and diesel fuel tax (currently at 18.4 cents and 24.4 cents per-gallon, respectively) by 6 cents per gallon in each of the next two years, for a total rise of 12 cents, and index that tax to inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The plan would also include a tax relief offset to minimize the fiscal strain placed on consumers and businesses from any future rate hike. ASCE Executive Director Patrick Natale, P.E., applauded the announcement, calling it, “an encouraging step to improve our economy and raise the grades on the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure.” It is estimated that the proposal would raise enough revenue to fund federal surface transportation programs at current levels, and provide for a very slight increase in the out years because of indexing.

Late last year, ASCE supported legislation introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), H.R. 3636, the “UPDATE Act of 2013,” which would increase the fuels tax by 15 cents per gallon over the course of three years and also index it for inflation. This Congress marks the first time, in a long time, that both the House and Senate have openly discussed, and had members endorse, increases in the federal gas tax. Prospects of this Congress actually enacting such a measure remain unclear, though the best chance may be in the interim legislative period known as the “lame duck” session which begins after the November election and could stretch until the end of December. ASCE will continue to urge Congress to enact legislation that provides a significant, long-term sustainable funding source for surface transportation programs and projects.

New Report Looks for Solutions to the Highway Trust Fund Shortfall

On Wednesday, joining a chorus of advocates looking to move on the Highway Trust Fund, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) released a new report looking for solutions.

In the paper, CRFB calls for a long-term solution, which brings highway spending and revenue in line. Short of that, they also suggest that transferring money into the Trust Fund from general revenue would be acceptable if and only if that transfer is fully paid for with other spending cuts or revenue increases. The paper includes a huge number of potential options to help close the Highway Trust Fund shortfall that help add to the policy debate on Capitol Hill.

Read the report

Senate Debate on Combined Transportation, Science Appropriations Bill Stalls

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate pulled three fiscal year (FY) appropriations bills – Commerce, Justice and Science; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Agriculture – from the floor because there was not agreement on how to proceed with votes over amendments. The Senate had originally planned to debate the bills into next week with hope of speedy passage. The U.S. House of Representatives has already held votes on Commerce, Justice and Science, and Transportation, but has not yet passed Agriculture.

On Transportation, the House approved legislation to fund the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) at a slightly lower amount than is contained in the Senate bill. Both the House and Senate provide $40.3 billion for highways, and the House provides $600 million less for transit, $450 million less for TIGER grants, $130 million less for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and $200 million less for Amtrak.

The Commerce, Justice and Science section provides a total of $51.2 billion in proposed discretionary budget authority for programs at the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This is a decrease of $398 million below the fiscal year 2014 level and is funded at the same amount as the bill that cleared the House, although the two chambers’ versions differ in details. Specifically, the Senate bill provides:

• $7.2 billion for NSF, an increase of $83 million over fiscal year 2014. The House version provides $7.4 billion.
• $900 million for NIST, $50 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The House version contains $856 million for NIST.
• $17.9 for NASA, $254 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The House version also funds NASA $17.9 billion.

Should the Senate quickly resume debate and adopt these appropriations bills and should the House approve Agriculture, there exists sufficient time before the August recess for both chambers to remedy any differences and enact legislation on-time before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1. However, if recent history is any indicator, it is more likely that an appropriations patch, or “continuing resolution”, of some short-term length will be required this fall.

ASCE has been urging Congress to agree on a fix for the Highway Trust Fund which is facing insolvency in the next couple of months. Appropriations bills and current enacted funding levels will be inadequate to prevent a funding crisis if there is not enough money in the trust fund to provide project reimbursements. That is why ASCE is urging the public to act now and tell their Members of Congress to “Fix the Trust Fund“.

Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. to Host I Make America Nationwide Harley Tour

KPI-JCIKolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens) will host a stop on the I Make America Harley Tour, a national campaign designed to promote pro-manufacturing policies to create more jobs in the U.S. and keep the economy competitive with other countries.

HarleyThe I Make America Harley Tour, sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), is taking a custom-painted Harley Davidson on the open road in a uniquely-designed truck with glass sides. It will stop at Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens), located at 700 W. 21st St. in Yankton, on June 9, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A short program will be offered to employees and local officials at 10:30 a.m.

“We strongly believe in AEM’s efforts to keep the focus on growing American manufacturing jobs, building America’s infrastructure and getting the economy back on track. As an industry leader, we feel that it is our duty to help lead the way toward greater investment in our transportation system,” said Jeff May, president of Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc., KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens’ South Dakota manufacturing facility.

“Better roads and better bridges mean more business and more jobs for all Americans. This is a crucial time for Americans to push for a transportation bill, and it is critical that we unite with others in our industry and make it clear that a multi-year, federal highway bill is absolutely vital in continuing America’s prosperity. We will continue to work with AEM and all of our industry partners to keep the focus on these critical issues that affect manufacturers in very real ways.

“I Make America was created to be a force for positive change in the equipment manufacturing industry,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “Economic conditions in America remain a challenge and we need our government to partner with us to advance pro-manufacturing policies that address those challenges. I Make America is our platform to spread awareness and maximize our voice in Washington, D.C.”

According to AEM, about one in six private sector jobs in the U.S. depend on the manufacturing base. Congress can help to create business conditions that will grow the economy and U.S. manufacturing jobs by encouraging infrastructure investment and increasing American exports for our economy to keep pace with other countries.

Everyone who signs up with I Make America through Oct. 3 has a chance to win the 2014 Harley-Davidson Road King, featuring a custom I Make America paint job.  You do not need to be at the event to enter. Simply visit www.IMakeAmerica.com for a chance to win the Harley and become an I Make America supporter.

For more information about KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, visit www.kpijci.com

More than 1M Workers Expected To “Stand-Down” For Fall Safety

US Labor Secretary and head of OSHA kick off initiative with press teleconference call today, June 2, at 1 pm EDT

Tens of thousands of employers and more than 1 million workers across the country are joining the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from June 2 – 6 in safety stand-downs to focus on saving lives and preventing fatalities from falls in the construction industry. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and nearly 300 workers lost their lives in falls during 2012. Lack of fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA violation, proving that these deaths are preventable when employers provide the right safety equipment and properly train workers how to use it. As a part of the Stand-Down, companies and workers will voluntarily stop work to host safety events focusing on how to prevent these fatalities.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels will be kicked off this week-long series of events at 1 p.m. EDT June 2, during a press teleconference.

Safety first, says AEM as it actively supports National Fall Prevention Stand-Down

Safety is a priority focus for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and its member companies, and AEM is actively supporting the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down being held June 2-6. The campaign promotes greater awareness among construction industry employers and workers about the seriousness of fall hazards.

Resources the industry can use for the stand-down can be found on the special National Safety Stand-Down section of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website. Educational and training tools include booklets, fact sheets, posters and wallet cards.

AEM is a member of the Construction Sector Council of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), an initiative of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The stand-down is part of OSHA’s ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, launched in 2012 and developed in partnership with NIOSH and NORA.

In 2013, nearly 2,500 employers and over 50,000 workers took part in regional stand-downs that were held across the U.S. This year, the goal is to involve 25,000 employers and 500,000 workers.

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, accounting for 269 of 775 total fatalities in 2012, according to OSHA.

AEM is active in many organizations, coalitions and programs advancing safety, and AEM also produces an extensive series of safety manuals, videos and related safety training materials that promote safety awareness in cost-effective, easy-to-follow formats.

Drawing from the combined experience of manufacturers dedicated to safe equipment operation, these materials describe basic, job-oriented hazards and safety procedures. For more information, visit the AEM website at http://shop.aem.org. Some safety materials are offered in downloadable files or in DVD format. AEM members receive discounts on select materials.

IPAF Supports OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down For Fall Prevention

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) fully supports the program and strongly encourages all of its member companies to participate in this awareness event.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for over a third of all construction fatalities recorded in 2012. The majority of those deaths were preventable.

The Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary pause during the workday to allow dedicated time for employers and employees to focus on recognizing hazards and preventing falls. The time can include toolbox or tailgate talks, safety presentations, or discussions on specific topics like ladder safety, scaffolding safety and the proper use of aerial platforms. The meeting provides information to workers about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations. The program is a part of OSHA’s fall prevention campaign to plan, provide and train – three simple steps to prevent falls. This should be included as part of a Stand-Down discussion.

IPAF’s North American web site www.awpt.org offers many tools that can be used at a Safety Stand-Down. Under the “Publications & Films” tab, you can find many free downloadable documents. Of specific importance for this Stand-Down, you will find: (1) Best practice of personal fall protection systems for use with AWPs (2) Video “Only dummies don’t wear harness on booms” (3) Best practice on creating workplace risk assessments.

Falls are preventable incidents that you can address when you plan, provide and train. Take this opportunity and join many others in this National Safety Stand-Down. Don’t wait, sign up today, plan your event and improve safety on your work site.

Learn more about the Safety Stand-Down on OSHA web site www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/index.html. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the week of June 2-6, 2014.

AEM Commends Administration for Surface Transportation Bill Proposal, As U.S. Badly Needs Multi-year Legislation

AEMCorpLogoThe Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is glad to see the Obama Administration proposing reauthorization for a multi-year surface transportation bill and engaging in the vitally important conversation about the future of America’s serious need for greatly improved infrastructure.

Rick Patek, AEM Chair and Group President, Aggregate and Mining, Astec Industries Inc., made this statement:
 
“Overall, we are glad to see today’s proposal, and are particularly pleased to see that the Administration has included a funding plan for this multi-year reauthorization.  It’s moving in a good direction, but our concern, as with all such proposals, is that it does not provide the desperately needed, long-term stable financing solution the country demands.  It would, however, expand broadband capacity and streamline project delivery, both of which are critical.

“To plan and make appropriate capital investments in the modernized transportation system that’s needed to maintain America’s leadership in the global economy, we must have a financing plan that takes us far into the future, much beyond a four-year period. Congress needs to act before the Highway Trust Fund is unable to meet its obligations. We encourage everyone – House, Senate, Administration – to keep this process moving forward and work hard together to craft the long-term solution we must have.”

CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2014 attract nearly 130,000, set new exhibit & education records

CONEXPOCONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2014 took center stage in Las Vegas March 4-8 with tremendous energy and serious buyers. Total registration of 129,364 soared past the last edition of the shows as they achieved the second-highest attendance in their history. The shows also set new records for exhibit space, number of exhibitors and education tickets sold.

The co-located CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE, at the Las Vegas (USA) Convention Center, delivered a global showcase of the newest product innovations and technologies for the construction, construction materials and fluid power/power transmission/motion control industries with more than 1,000 new products and services on display.

Attendees also took advantage of the shows’ strong industry education programs and the unparalleled opportunity to connect with industry peers, take the pulse of what’s happening and learn what the future holds.

“The enthusiasm and traffic on the show floor was just incredible. Exhibitors cited the high quality of attendees; they told us these were serious buyers and reported robust sales to existing as well as new customers that exceeded their expectations,” stated Megan Tanel, CONEXPO-CONAGG show director.

Quality Attendance, International Scope

The Show maintained the growing international scope of the shows with international registrations totaling more than 31,000, or an increase of nine percent from the most recent events.  The number of countries represented increased to 170 from 159 in 2011, and the number of international attendees matched the record 24 percent of total attendance set in 2011.  International attendance drew heavily from Latin America, China, Canada, and Europe.

More than 75 percent of show visitors were in managerial roles (with 36 percent of these with the top titles of president/owner and vice president/general manager/chief financial officer).

Both shows set new records for exhibit space and number of exhibitors, CONEXPO-CON/AGG with more than 2.35 million net square feet of exhibit space and more than 2,000 exhibitors, and IFPE with more than 161,000 net square feet and 400 exhibitors.

A record 41,000 education ticket sales were sold to the shows’ education programs, underscoring their relevance to helping attendees succeed in today’s business environment.

“CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2014 reflected the feeling of momentum building in the industry. We are industry-run shows with industry needs put first; these show numbers are a testament to the value attendees, exhibitors, and other stakeholders derive from their participation,” stated Melissa Magestro, IFPE show director.

Global Industry Gathering Place

Among the show visitors were Acting U.S Deputy Secretary of Commerce Patrick D. Gallagher, Acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez and former U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, who served as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2007 to 2011.

The shows were chosen for the prestigious U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) International Buyer Program, which helps facilitate global attendance. More than 50 official international attendee delegations were organized by DOC as well as show industry partners.

More than 95 allied associations and groups were official supporting organizations, coming from the U.S., Canada and 16 other countries worldwide.

Several national industry associations held their annual conventions or high-level board meetings at the shows; they joined hundreds of other industry and company meetings, from large events to smaller committees and other groups, all taking advantage of the shows to meet and share knowledge and learn from one another.

Education and Exhibits

The education program covered 120 sessions over 10 targeted tracks. The IFPE Technical Conference anchored IFPE 2014 education, joined by half-day “college-level courses” and a new Fluid Power Seminar series, from Hydraulics & Pneumatics magazine.

The 2014 Show featured a new Demolition & Recycling exhibit pavilion from the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA) and the Technology & Construction Solutions pavilion from the Associated General Contractors of America.

IFPE featured exhibit pavilions from the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) and for sensors manufacturers and product suppliers.

Reinforcing the global scope of the shows were eight international exhibit pavilions: CONEXPO-CON/AGG with China, Ireland, Korea, Spain and United Kingdom, and IFPE with China, Italy and Taiwan.

Show safety and education/training events at the shows included:

  • NRMCA International Truck Mixer Driver Championship, from the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • Lift Safety Zone, from NCCCO National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators and IPAF International Powered Access Federation
  • Crane Operator Rodeo from Maximum Capacity Media

Industry recognition and networking events and programs also amplified the show experience:

  • Innovation Awards program (from Diesel Progress magazine and global powertrain specialist ZF Friedrichshafen)
  • Young Leaders event (from Construction Equipment magazine)
  • Quality of Life industry recognition campaign (from Dexter + Chaney)
  • 5K Run/Walk benefiting the non-profit Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (from Maximum Capacity Media)

Night at the Race Track hospitality event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway