Tag Archive for 'construction'

DEWALT Launches New 20V MAX* Brushless High Torque Impact Wrenches

image001image003Three new impact wrenches are ideal for automotive, heavy equipment, and utility install/repair work

DEWALT introduces three new 20V MAX* Brushless High Torque Impact Wrenches. The impact wrenches are available in 1/2 Inch (DCF899) hog ring or detent pin anvils, 3/4 Inch (DCF898) hog ring with retention pin hole anvil and a 7/16 Inch (DCF897) quick release chuck specifically designed for utility applications.

These high-torque impact wrenches feature efficient, brushless motors and with the 5Ah 20V MAX* XR lithium ion battery pack they deliver the power, speed, and extreme runtime required by the professional.  The 1/2 Inch (DCF899) hog ring or detent pin anvil impact wrench delivers 700 ft-lbs of max torque and 1200 ft-lbs of max breakaway torque.

With 3 speeds for application-specific control these impact wrenches offer the convenience of cordless technology and save time by eliminating cords and hoses of electric and pneumatic impact wrenches.  At 8.9 inches long and just 7lbs each, the impact wrenches get into tight spaces easily and are comfortable to use over extended periods of time on the worksite. These impact wrenches feature LED work lights and provide the durability to stand up to jobsite environments.

Whether it’s automotive, farm, or heavy machinery repair, concrete fastening, road or bridge crews, or elevator and iron workers – on the job, power and portability allow for productivity.  The DCF899, DCF897, and DCF898 20V MAX* Brushless High Torque Impact Wrenches are designed for professionals and built Guaranteed Tough® by DEWALT.  For specific sku, pricing and availability, see the chart below.

Catalog # Description
DCF899P2 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench Kit w. Detent Anvil (5.0Ah)
DCF899P1 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench Kit w. Detent Anvil (Single 5.0Ah Pack)
DCF899B 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench w. Detent Anvil (Bare)**
DCF899HP2 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench Kit w. Hog Ring Anvil (5.0Ah)
DCF899HB 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench w. Hog Ring Anvil (Bare)**
DCF898P2 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 7/16″ Impact Wrench Kit w. QR Chuck (5.0Ah)
DCF898B 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 7/16″ Impact Wrench w. QR Chuck (Bare)**
DCF897P2 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 3/4″ Impact Wrench Kit w. Hog Ring with Retention Pin Anvil (5.0Ah)
DCF897B 20v MAX* XR Brushless High Torque 3/4″ Impact Wrench w. Hog Ring with Retention Pin Anvil (Bare)**


*Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18.

**Bare tool (battery and charger sold separately).



ABC Reports: Construction Materials Prices Remain Tame in April

CEU2“April marks only the second time that price increases have been so suppressed over such a prolonged period.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

PPI_April15Prices for inputs to construction industries fell by 0.1 percent in April, ending a two month streak during which material prices expanded by greater than 0.4 percent. Prices have now fallen in six of the previous eight months and input prices are also down on a year-over-year basis, falling 4 percent since April 2014. This represents the greatest year-over-year decline since October 2009 and year-over-year input prices have now declined for 5 straight months after expanding in each of the previous 60 months. Prices for inputs to nonresidential construction showed a similar decline, falling 0.1 percent for the month and 5.1 percent year-over-year. Crude petroleum prices expanded for only the second time in the previous ten months, growing by 13.1 percent, the largest month-over-month increase since November 2011.

“Construction input prices have now fallen by greater three percent on a yearly-basis in each of the year’s first four months,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “This is only the second time that price increases have been so suppressed over such a prolonged period and the first since the middle of the financial crisis in the second and third quarter of 2009. That said, the underlying dynamics of this period of downward trending prices are fundamentally different than those experienced in 2009.

“Two major factors contributed to April’s falling prices,” said Basu. “The strong U.S. dollar, which has expanded by over ten percent against the currencies of the United States’ primary trading partners, has neutralized any underlying inflationary pressures. The other key factor in the subdued price growth is lower energy prices. Consider that prices for crude petroleum, natural gas, and crude energy materials are all over 40 percent lower than in April 2014.

“The U.S. economy continues to disappoint as the expectation had been that the U.S. economy would significantly outperform the balance of the advanced world’s economy this year,” said Basu. “While there is still a chance that that could happen, several sectors of the economy continue to underperform, none worse than retail. Data released yesterday indicate that sales remain flat despite improved weather.

“One of the byproducts of a slow economic start has been a weakening dollar,” said Basu. “Most forecasters had predicted that the U.S. dollar would march toward parity with the Euro. That hasn’t happened and as of this morning, one euro buys $1.14. A weakening dollar is consistent with rising input prices, and should lead to renewed price growth in the near future. For now, however, the impact of previous increases in the value of the dollar are dominating price dynamics.”

Only four of the key materials prices increased in April.

  • Softwood lumber prices expanded 2.6 percent but are 4.7 percent lower than one year ago.
  • Crude petroleum prices expanded 13.1 percent in April but are down 50.4 percent from the same time last year.
  • Crude energy materials prices gained 1.7 percent in April but are 42.2 percent lower year-over-year.
  • Concrete products prices grew 1.3 percent in April and are up 5.1 percent on a yearly basis.

Seven of the 11 key construction inputs did not expand for the month.

  • Fabricated structural metal product prices dropped 0.5 percent lower for the month but have expanded 0.8 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Natural gas prices fell 11.8 percent in April and are down 47.9 percent from the same time one year ago.
  • Prices for plumbing fixtures fell 0.1 percent in April, but are up 1.5 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding fell 2.5 percent for the month and are down 1.9 percent on a year-ago basis.
  • Iron and steel prices fell 2 percent in April and are down 14.5 percent from the same time last year.
  • Steel mill products prices fell 3.4 percent for the month and are 8.7 percent lower than one year ago.
  • Nonferrous wire and cable prices fell 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and shed 2.8 percent on a yearly basis.

To view the previous PPI report, click here

Call for Nominations: 2015 ARTBA Women Leaders in Transportation Design & Construction Awards

d9cdad69-e8aa-4830-b455-58392c53ea55***Deadline Aug. 21, Winners Recognized in Philadelphia Sept. 28***  

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) Women Leaders in Transportation Design and Construction (WLTDC) Council is now accepting nominations for its annual awards program, which honors the “extraordinary efforts of individuals, companies and public agencies that have demonstrated leadership and dedication to innovation in the transportation construction field as well as the promotion of women leaders within the industry.”

Awards are given in three categories:

  • The Ethel S. Birchland Lifetime Achievement Award: Named after ARTBA’s executive director from the mid-1920s, this award is given to at least one woman who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and long-term service in the industry’s public or private sectors.
  • The Glass Hammer Award: Honors at least one company in the transportation construction industry that has innovative programs and activities directed at successfully promoting women leaders within their organization.
  • Future Industry Spotlight Award: Recognizes two women students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies at a U.S. college or university who have achieved outstanding academic records and demonstrated extraordinary leadership skills within and outside of the academic environment.

ARTBA membership is not required.  Nomination forms are available under the “Awards & Scholarships” section of www.artbatdf.org, and must be received by Aug. 21.  Contact ARTBA’s Kashae Williams at 202-289-4434 or kwilliams@artba.org with any questions.

Winners will be recognized at a special awards luncheon during ARTBA’s National Convention, to be held September 27-29 in Philadelphia.

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Bounces Back with the Broader Economy

CEU2“Ongoing demand for labor and April’s reasonably strong employment gains suggest that many employers continue to search for additional staffing.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Employment_5.8The U.S. construction industry added 45,000 jobs in April according to the May 8 Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate. March’s estimate was revised downward from -1,000 to -9,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 12,400 jobs in April, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors leading the way with 20,200 new jobs. Nonresidential building employment plummeted for the month, losing 7,800 jobs. The residential sector bounced back in April, adding 23,600 jobs.

“While the broader jobs report proved better than expected, April was the best month for construction employment since January 2014,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Though it may have been expected to see solid job creation performance reflected in today’s report, it is still a relief to obtain a nice piece of data. Economic data regarding retail sales, industrial production, and other elements of economic life have largely been disappointing to date and the March jobs report fell in line with that series of uninspired results. Data regarding unemployment claims strongly suggested that employers viewed the recent bout of economic weakness as temporary. The lack of new lay-off activity indicates an ongoing demand for labor and April’s reasonably strong employment gains suggest that many employers continue to search for additional staffing.

“After losing 9,000 jobs in March, the 45,000 jobs gain posted in April exceed all expectations,” said Basu. “Construction spending should expand in the coming months as projects that were delayed during winter come to fruition.”

The national unemployment rate inched down to 5.4 percent in April. While shedding a tenth of a percent is nothing remarkable in its own right, the falling unemployment rate looks significantly better when you consider that the labor force added 166,000 new workers in April. The labor force participation rate inched up to 62.8 percent in April. The construction unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in April, a 2 percent decrease from March. The falling construction unemployment rate suggests that construction activity may finally be rebounding from the winter lull.

“The lone underperforming segment in April was mining and logging, which lost 15,000 net jobs,” said Basu. “The sector has now lost jobs in each of the year’s first four months after gaining jobs in every month of 2014. Mining and logging has lost more jobs during the first quarter of this year (-48,000) than it added in all of 2014 (+42,000), a direct result of the plummeting oil prices.

“While the loss of mining and logging jobs isn’t necessarily a good thing for the economy, it has likely had a beneficial effect on construction employment,” said Basu. “Displaced mining and logging workers are likely finding employment in the construction industry, which has experienced sharp regional labor shortages in the past few years. This may be the cause of the 2 percentage point decrease in the construction unemployment rate.”

Construction employment for the month and the past year breaks down as follows:

  • Nonresidential building construction employment fell by 7,800 jobs for the month but is up by 16,600 jobs or 2.4 percent since April 2014.
  • Residential building construction employment expanded by 2,800 jobs in April and is up by 41,200 jobs or 6.3 percent on an annual basis.
  • Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 20,200 jobs for the month and employment in that category is up by 76,400 jobs or 3.5 percent from the same time one year ago.
  • Residential specialty trade contractors added 20,800 net new jobs in April and has added 102,400 jobs or 6.8 percent since April 2014.
  • The heavy and civil engineering construction segment added 8,400 jobs in April and employment is up by 33,100 positions or 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.

To view the previous employment report, click here

ARTBA Reports: State Analysis Shows Gas Tax Supporters
 Not Hurt at Ballot Box

d9cdad69-e8aa-4830-b455-58392c53ea55Voting for a gas tax increase to fund transportation investments has not hurt Republicans or Democrats at the ballot box, a new political analysis shows. c2a12953-6ea4-4a4f-9879-ef3b7f2d1285

Ninety-five percent of all Republican state legislators who voted to increase their state gas tax to fund transportation improvements in 2013 and 2014 and ran for re-election last November won their races.  That was a one percent higher winning percentage than that racked up by all state Republican legislators who voted against a gas tax increase during the prior two years.

On the Democratic side, 88 percent of state legislators who voted in favor of a state gas tax increase and ran last year were re-elected, as were 86 percent who voted “no.”

“This analysis shows two things members of Congress need to know,” American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Pete Ruane says.  “First, a bipartisan majority can be found to increase transportation investment if the leadership of both parties actually lead—rather than play politics—and give their colleagues a chance to vote.   Second, if legislators are honest with their constituents and clearly explain why a gas tax increase is necessary and important and what benefits their constituents will derive from it, they have little reason to fear the ballot box over a gas tax vote.”

Seven state legislatures passed a gas tax increase or its equivalent during the last election cycle, according to the analysis by ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center:  Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, Wyoming and New Hampshire.

Three of the states passing increases had a Republican governor and GOP control of both the House and Senate—Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wyoming.  Three had Democratic governors with party control of both legislative chambers—Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont.  New Hampshire had a Democrat as governor and a split party state legislature.

Republicans helped pass gas tax increases with 216 votes in six states, 34 percent of Republican state legislators in office at the time of the vote and 36 percent of Republican state legislators who cast a vote.  No Republican legislators supported the increases in Maryland and only one legislator supported the increase in Massachusetts.  All but eight who supported gas tax bills and ran for re-election won.

The analysis shows 384 Republicans voted against the gas tax measures in the seven states.  Of the 305 who ran for re-election, 19 lost.

Democratic state legislators cast 673 votes in favor of a gas tax increase, 82 percent of Democrats in office at the time of the vote and 87 percent of Democratic state legislators who cast a vote.  Of the 546 who ran for re-election, 68 lost.  Democrats cast 101 votes against a gas tax increase.  Of the 83 who ran for re-election, 12 lost.

A total 1,385 state legislators cast votes on gas tax measures, the analysis found.  Of those voting, 191 were registered as signing the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) state pledge “to oppose (and vote against/veto) any efforts to increase taxes”—180 Republicans and 11 Democrats.  Thirteen percent of the signees ignored the ATR and supported increased revenue for transportation improvements, the analysis found.  Only one legislator who defied the ATR and sought re-election was not returned to office.

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