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Equipment Leasing and Finance Industry Confidence Increases Again in March

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the March 2019 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $1 trillion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market increased in March for the second consecutive month to 60.4, up from the February index of 56.7.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Harry Kaplun, President, Specialty Finance, Frost Bank, said, “This year will continue to be prosperous as economic indicators are predicting. Business growth is spurred by low interest rates, favorable tax rates, and expansion-oriented investment.”

March 2019 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 60.4, an increase from 56.7 in February.

•   When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 20% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 10% in February. 70% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, a decrease from 83.3% the previous month. 10% believe business conditions will worsen, up from 6.7% who believed so the previous month.

•   23.3% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (CapEx) will increase over the next four months, an increase from 13.3% in February. 70% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, a decrease from 83.3% the previous month. 6.7% believe demand will decline, up from 3.3% who believed so in February.

•   13.3% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 20.7% in February. 86.7% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 79.3% last month. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from last month.

•   When asked, 46.7% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, an increase from 26.7% in February. 46.7% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 56.7% last month. 6.7% expect to hire fewer employees, down from 16.7% last month.

•   36.7% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” 63.3% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” and none evaluate it as “poor,” all unchanged for the second consecutive month.

•   6.7% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, down from 13.3% in February. 80% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 70% the previous month. 13.3% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, a decrease from 16.7% in February.

•   In March, 33.3% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 20% last month. 66.7% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 80% in February. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.


FROM NAPA: Use of Shingles in Asphalt Pavements Guide Updated

Use of Shingles in Asphalt Pavements Guide Updated

Latest guidance covers shingle processing, mixture design, and production considerations,
as well as discussions of the economics and sustainability of RAS

Across the United States, about four out of every five homes have asphalt shingle roofs. Annually, as those roofs are replaced and maintained, about 12 tons of waste shingles are generated, and another 1.2 million tons of manufacturing waste shingles are generated during the production of new shingles.

However, this asphalt-rich material does not have to end up in landfills. The asphalt binder, aggregates, and fibers in waste shingles can be successfully put to use in new roads, parking lots, and other asphalt pavements. In fact, in 2017 asphalt mix producers used nearly a million tons of waste shingles in new asphalt pavements.

To aid in the further use of waste asphalt shingles in asphalt pavements, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) has released an updated version of Guidelines for the Use of Reclaimed Asphalt Shingles in Asphalt Pavements (Information Series Publication 136), updating guidelines originally issued in 2009.

The publication covers sourcing of waste roofing shingles, inspection for contaminants, shingle processing, mixture design guidance, binder adjustments, and production and construction considerations. It also includes information on the sustainability and economic benefits of recycling asphalt shingles.

“When properly used, waste asphalt roofing shingles can help manage the cost of asphalt pavement mixtures, as well as keep a useful material out of landfills,” said NAPA Senior Director of Pavement Engineering & Innovation, J. Richard Willis, Ph.D. “This revised publication includes new research finds and best practices that can help in ensuring mixes with reclaimed asphalt shingles are designed and produced properly.”

Guidelines for the Use of Reclaimed Asphalt Shingles in Asphalt Pavements, Second Edition (IS 136), compliments the previously published Best Practices for RAP and RAS Management (QIP 129). Both books are available as PDF downloads through the NAPA Online Store, http://store.asphaltpavement.org.

About the National Asphalt Pavement Association

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,100 companies as members, was founded in 1955.

AEM Announces: The World’s Largest Heavy Metal Show in 2020:

The World’s Largest Heavy Metal Show in 2020:

Mark Your Calendar to Attend CONEXPO-CON/AGG

3 Steps to Get Ready Now


CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 is one year out, but it’s not too early to make plans for North America’s largest construction trade show for the asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, lifting, mining, utilities and related industries.

“The show is shaping up to be one of the best ever; attendees and exhibitors will not be disappointed!” said Mary Erholtz, CONEXPO-CON/AGG chair, and vice president marketing for Superior Industries. “AEM and our show committees of industry leaders are working to deliver an outstanding event focused on the latest innovations, technologies and best practices to succeed in our changing world.”

At CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, big iron and tech will share the stage in Las Vegas, USA on March 10-14, 2020, with more new products, thousands of equipment and technology headliners, and hundreds of industry-driven education sessions. Plus, the Tech Experience returns with two locations.

Take these 3 steps now to punch your ticket to success for your business and career.

  1. Sign up for show alerts to be the first to learn the latest show information – visit http://www.conexpoconagg.com/show-alerts.
  2. Be the first in line to purchase show tickets (Registration opens July 23). Register early to save time and money and get the best hotel rates and availability.
  3. Stay in the know “365” with the show’s online news and trends articles, monthly CONEXPO Radio podcasts and the new CONEXPO Connect digital platform for contractors and off-road equipment buyers.

“Our company has been attending CONEXPO-CON/AGG for three decades now and plans to continue due to the amount of knowledge we gain. CONEXPO-CON/AGG has provided us the resources needed to create greater efficiencies and synergies within our own company,” said Chris Lane of Ronald Lane Inc.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG co-locates with IFPE, the International Fluid Power Exhibition for the fluid power, power transmission, and motion control industries. Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is a show owner and producer.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2020 will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and nearby Festival Grounds. The show connected campus will feature multiple registration areas and hotel and intra-show shuttles.  

“The show is a critical piece to our workforce development efforts. We send somewhere between 30 and 40 company representatives to Las Vegas to see what’s new and bring relevant information back to our company. It’s a great way to build our team,” said Jarrad Whissell of Whissell Contracting Ltd.

View introductory show video here. Learn more at www.conexpoconagg.com.


Michigan Governor’s statement on ‘hidden roads tax’ costing drivers $646/yr

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – On Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement after the national transportation research group TRIP found that the average Michigan driver spends $646 per year on car repairs, which is up from $562 in previous reports.

“Every driver in Michigan is already paying a hidden tax on our roads, and the cost just went up.

If we don’t raise the $2.5 billion we need to actually fix our roads the right way, with the right materials, the cost will continue to go up year after year. Patching potholes and ignoring the problem isn’t working. Instead, it’s hurting our families and businesses and holding our economy back.

I’ve offered a real plan to raise the revenue we need to fix the damn roads and ensure we can attract businesses and talent to our state, and I’m ready to work with everyone who’s ready to solve these problems.”


Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  The Department of Agriculture (DOA) holds a “listening session” this week to take public comments to implement new programs to regulate hemp production, which is now legal in the US, its status changed in the 2018 Farm Bill.  Hemp can draw a giggle because it is related to marijuana plants.  Hemp contains a very low concentration of THC – the stuff that causes munchies and extremely deep insights at 2:00 AM into Elizabethan poetry, usually forgotten a few hours later.  Hemp has THC at 0.3% or less vs. maryjane (marijuana) 15-40% (dry weight basis).  Hemp is valuable for industrial purposes, a primary resource for paper, clothing, building materials, biofuel, food products, oils and more.  DOA will have oversight over upcoming, new state and tribal hemp farms.  DOA’s question to the public: How do we best make this new agri-industry work?
*  Remember the proposed Colusa-Sutter (CoSu) – 500-kilovolt transmission line project in California?  It’s canceled.  The line would have connected the California-Oregon Transmission Project (COTP) to transmission facilities on the west side of the Sacramento Valley.  Why?  “The cost estimate increased, and the value and the need of the proposed line diminished” for SMUD, that’s the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.  At the start, SMUD said that the line would create a new transmission path and needed capacity, improve local and regional reliability, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help meet renewable energy demands and improve import/export capabilities.  That big picture has changed and SMUD writes that it will now focus on local, regional and in-state renewable and reliability projects, as well as “incremental transmission infrastructure.”
*  Last week I noted DOE’s $51.5 million funding opportunity for freight vehicles.  As anyone who signs up for DOE’s press releases knows, DOE announces, almost daily, the availability of tens of millions of R&D dollars for a generation, efficiency, storage, carbon, transportation, metallurgy, hydrogen.  And that’s just one agency.  In reality, the US has a Green New Deal, which isn’t really new, of course, having started when DOE was established 42 years ago in 1977.  Did you ever wonder: What’s happened to those billions of R&D dollars?  Or more accurately, what’s happened because of those R&D dollars?  All R&D doesn’t directly “pay off,” of course.  But what are the major R&D outcomes that have transformed, at scale, the electric and transport economic sectors?  The biggest energy news this past week?  That the US is producing more oil and refined products than Saudi Arabia or Russia.  Now that’s transformative.  But not at all in line with decades of taxpayer-funded DOE research…
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