Tag Archive for 'construction industry'

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Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

In its Sixth Assessment Cycle, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is producing three Special Reports: Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, Global Warming of 1.5°C and Climate Change and Land as well as the main Working Group Assessment Reports. This session will start with reports focusing on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.  Much of this session will be devoted to open discussion with participants regarding oceans and climate and the Working Group II Assessment Report, including topics such as what literature does IPCC assess, how were authors selected and how does IPCC review process work, as well as ocean knowledge gaps highlighted in previous reports and emerging knowledge of climate change impacts and risks for ocean ecosystems and human communities.   I will be attending this Symposium.  Advise if you need a correspondent or someone to work with your team reporting on this complex set of issues.

  •  My how time flies!  Last week EPA proposed withdrawing four proposed rules dealing with groundwater and pesticides and plant genetics.  But don’t worry too much about public safety and environmental decline.  There’s a lot of cobwebs here.  Two rules were proposed in 1994.  Uh, that’s 24 years ago.  Bill Clinton was President.  One proposed rule did have more recent action, at least partially – in 2001, just 17 years ago, you remember, about the same year as that space odyssey.  The most recent rule? 1999, dealing with pesticide registration requirements; left in the dust as other laws changed, leaving the proposals, yes, still proposals, stranded by the regulatory roadside.  I wonder if the typewriters still work that were used to draft those rules?  I do need a new ribbon for my Selectric…  Imagine all the things that don’t happen as people wait and wait and wait for answers, direction, approvals…
  • Last week was the deadline for a DOE request for comments on the development of a Solid State Power Substation (SSPS) Roadmap.  An SSPS is defined as “the strategic integration of high voltage power electronic converters in substations to provide enhanced capabilities and support the evolution of the grid.” SSPS technology can overcome some of the current limitations within substations by enabling control of real and reactive power flows, management of voltage transients and harmonic content, and the ability to increase the flexibility, resiliency, and security of the electric power system.  Deployment of SSPS technology within substations can enable better asset utilization, increasing system efficiency, enhancing security and resilience, and easing the integration of distributed energy resources and microgrids.  This is important stuff, note the reference to distributed energy, or microgrids –  two big issues as renewable and storage technologies (e.g., electric vehicles) work to get mainstreamed
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Are You Tuned In? CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio Podcasts Top 110,000 Downloads

Are You Tuned In?
CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio Podcasts Top 110,000 Downloads
Listen to Learn the Latest Construction Trends & Technologies

 Interest in staying ahead of the latest construction industry trends and technologies has propelled CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio podcast downloads to more than 110,000 since its launch prior to the 2017 exposition.

With an average of 1,200 downloads per episode, the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio podcast is in the top 25 percent of all podcasts, according to Libsyn podcast hosting service. Downloads have come from 184 countries.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio podcasts feature discussions with world-class experts exploring innovations in the construction industry and the opportunities they create.

Topics cover construction, technology, occupational health and safety, regulations, and education, with tips and trends to help construction professionals optimize their businesses and job sites. Guests include original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs), tech companies, academia and leading industry organizations.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio is brought to you by Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

“Our audience has grown rapidly, and reaching over 110,000 downloads reinforces how much interest there is in the construction technology space and in exploring innovations that will change the industry in the next 20 years,” said Nicole Hallada, AEM vice president marketing, and communications. “I’m excited at the opportunity this medium brings for busy professionals to conveniently access cutting-edge information that helps them succeed.”

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio host is Peggy Smedley, an internationally known and award-winning author, radio/TV host, and speaker who focuses on educating businesses and consumers on the latest technological advances that are shaping our everyday lives.

“I’m a firm advocate in all things construction technology and the response to our interviews have been phenomenal; people want that reassurance that they’re headed in the right direction and as the host of CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio, I believe it’s doing just that,” said Smedley.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio currently airs two new episodes each month. Listeners can choose episodes via the CONEXPO-CON/AGG website or through their mobile devices (apps include iTunes, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play).

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio is complemented by AEM’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 industry-trends articles.


CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the international gathering place every three years for the construction industries, spotlighting the latest technologies, products and best practices. The next show is set for March 10-14, 2020 in Las Vegas USA.

AEM is the Milwaukee-based international trade group representing the off-road equipment manufacturing industry. AEM’s world-class exhibitions include CONEXPO-CON/AGG and ICUEE-The Demo Expo.

Changes in Volvo CE dealer network reflect the company’s strategy to meet customers’ needs

– Volvo Construction Equipment has made several changes to its dealer network over the last year, adding new dealers, and in some cases, expanding veteran dealers’ territories.

– The moves reflect the company’s strategy to outperform the competition in three key areas: providing the highest uptime values in the industry, offering unique solutions to customer business challenges and raising the lifecycle value of its machines.

Volvo Construction Equipment’s (Volvo CE) North American dealer network has seen a number of changes over the last year. Dealerships have changed hands, territories have expanded and new players have emerged on the scene to sell the company’s premium equipment and offer its services. The moves all help deliver customer value in three key areas: uptime, unique customer solutions and machine lifecycle value.

The new dealers that have become part of the Volvo CE network are all seasoned, veteran companies with extensive histories in their regions. They know their markets and customers well and are uniquely capable of helping Volvo CE achieve its strategic goals. Several of the dealers have shown prior success in selling Mack and Volvo Trucks, for example, while others have long been tied to Volvo CE, but are now offering sales of its equipment.

The new dealers include:
Housby Heavy Equipment, in Iowa

Wise Heavy Equipment, in Nebraska

TranSource Truck & Equipment, in South Dakota

Hawaii Truck Parts, Sales and Services, in Hawaii

Alta Equipment Company, expanding territory to Illinois

Stephen Roy, president of Volvo CE North America, said the company’s strategy is a result of extensive market research to learn just what customers want and need from the industry, and that these dealers are well-positioned to deliver on the company’s goals.

“When I came on board as president in 2017, I immediately set out to hear from customers across the Americas,” he explained. “Customers need more uptime from their machines. They also need more consulting from our experts to come up with unique solutions to their business problems. And they want higher residual values from their equipment partners. With these updates to our dealer network, we are positioning Volvo CE to compete — and win — the market in these areas.”

The times they are a-changing
The dealer network updates come at a crucial time for the industry when innovation and new technologies are set to permanently alter the sector. The new dealers have all pledged to align their strategic priorities with the company, embracing the focus on uptime, unique customer solutions and maintaining machine lifecycle values. They have joined the entire Volvo CE dealer network in undergoing intense training with Volvo CE and a variety of third-party experts to become equipped for these strategic goals, as well as the changing marketplace.

To win in uptime, for example, dealers need to become experts in areas such as telematics and predictive analytics. Dealers of the future could have “uptime managers” or other roles that support the industry’s shift toward outcome-based business models (such as generating efficiencies and ensuring all downtime is planned). Dealers will shift toward offering construction companies services that are more consultative, helping them manage costs, fleets, human resources, new technology and more.

Volvo CE dealers are already thinking this way. A significant portion of them are already highly engaged with ActiveCare Direct, and as new dealers come on board, they too will become experts in using the industry-unique telematics and remote monitoring system to increase uptime for their customers on their job sites. A recent, notable example is Flagler Construction Equipment’s use of the program on more than 70 machines for Florida’s I-4 Ultimate megaproject.

“We have ActiveCare Direct on all of the excavators being used on the project. It’s very important to us,” explained Tommy Ball, senior vice president of Flagler. “Volvo monitors ActiveCare and we also actively monitor it through our field service support center in Orlando. It really works out great for us — not only does it save us time, it saves the customer downtime.”

Similarly, Volvo CE is working with its entire dealer network on programs that offer unique solutions and boost machine lifecycle values, both of which the company will soon be announcing to the public. Until then, the focus remains on enhancing the capabilities of the company’s dealer network, with an eye toward helping them become the dealers of the future.

“It’s quite an exciting time to be a part of Volvo CE, and particularly to become one of our dealers,” Roy explained. “We aim to be a company that is easy to do business with, and that means making it easy to partner with us, but also it means that we have to equip our dealers for the future. New innovations, new ways to provide services and new market dynamics are all on the horizon, and Volvo CE is ensuring that our dealers will take the lead.”

Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

One important presentation at the conference next month is referenced as “getting the big picture right,” getting climate change indicators, rates and scope in focus to accurately assess climate and human conditions with the right global models.  Seafood demand from growing populations, changing consumption patterns and related costs determine the viability of fisheries and aquaculture.  Obviously, the research on these interactions is essential for understanding cause, effect, and consequences.  There’s not much wiggle room.  Researchers and policymakers have to get it right!  I’ll be attending the climate conference; advise if you need a correspondent or a temporary team member to complement your coverage of this critical, and fascinating, symposium.
*  EPA published notice of its proposed rule – “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” – in the Federal Register last week.  EPA writes that much of the science that informs regulatory actions is developed outside the Agency and, therefore, “it is the charge of regulators to ensure that key findings are valid and credible.”  Over 100 comments have been filed already, although just three are listed, one from the Natural Resources Defense Council which writes that “It is impossible to overstate the danger that this proposed rule poses to Americans.”  Whoa!  And undoubtedly true if NRDC says so!  If you’re in the news business you know it is often difficult to get “published” research reports cited by federal agencies.  Frequently, agencies reply that you have to contact the researcher directly, who, of course, may reply, or not.  Or you get diverted to a high-priced “journal,” available only to subscribers.  So taxpayers pay the researchers for the research, pay for the agency using the research, pay for the costs imposed by the research, but can’t get the research.  What’s right with that picture?
*  Sound like your city? “High volumes of visitors accessing popular visitor destinations during peak times is (sic) causing gridlock, visitor conflicts, crowding, emergency response delays, and resource trampling. Concentrated volumes and mixture of traffic create critical visitor safety issues, severe crowding and congestion, impacts on the road systems, and challenges to the park’s operational efficiency and sustainability.”  Outside Wrigley Field on free bat day?  Nope, that text describes transportation challenges within the 49,052 acres Acadia National Park in Maine.  The Department of Interior has a draft transportation plan and EIS for the park available for review.  Everybody’s gotta drive, of course, and the preferred fix is to establish a “reservation system for the Ocean Drive corridor, Cadillac Mountain Road, and the Jordan Pond North Lot during peak use season (approximately mid-May to mid-October).”  For a while, all other parking lots in the park would continue to be managed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Comments are due by June 30, 2018.
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Red Wing Shoes Wall of Honor Recognizes Eric Neece, Wind Turbine Technician


Eric NeeceWind Turbine Technician and former Oil Worker

Perryton, Texas

History made, history repeated.


“This story starts with my father. He was a living example of someone who puts in a hard day’s work. He stood tall in the eyes of his son, the first man I ever knew who could fill a pair of Red Wing boots.

Back in the 80s, Dad worked as a drilling consultant on Parker Oil rig 201 in western Oklahoma. It was one of the world’s largest land rigs at the time. But the oil eventually dried up at that location, and the rig moved somewhere else.

I also learned the oil trade. After I got good at guiding a tool thousands of feet into the ground, I took my skills and saw the world. I worked jobs in Canada, England, Vietnam, Africa, Qatar and all across the USA. Also like my father, I did it all in Red Wings — 2231s for me, because they offer great traction and are good in the mud, rain and snow. I got a lot of wear out of every pair.

Twenty years into it, I got called to a rig in western Wyoming to help with pumping cement down a well to create a permanent hole to work from. I’d done this procedure many times. But for this job, we were going to use a new reverse-circulating method. If it worked, we would set a new world record for the deepest hole ever cemented this way.

When I stepped on that rig, it didn’t take long to hit me. The name and paint job were different, but sure enough: number 201. This was the same rig my father worked on years ago in Oklahoma. Dad was no longer with us, but I know he was watching. And I made extra sure we set the world record to make him proud.

At the last industry downturn, I got reassigned at my company and started climbing wind turbines. I needed a boot that weighed less and had more stability, so I retired my 2231s and wore Red Wing 6674s.

I’m up 300 feet on a typical day. This is a challenge in itself, and it’s even harder when you have a fear of heights like me. But I do okay by never looking down and staying focused on the work. And I think of my daughter, who faces a lifelong health issue with incredible courage and grit. If she can handle what’s on her plate, I think, then I can do this. And I do.”

For more information visit: http://www.redwingshoes.com

For more information on the Red Wing Shoes Wall of Honor visit:

Red Wing Shoe Company Unveils Wall of Honor in Tribute to Skilled Laborers