Tag Archive for 'dealers'

252 AEDF Technicians Certified Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic Since Early March

The AED Foundation Works with Schools and Dealers to come up with innovative testing solutions while social distancing is in place.

While much of the nation has been put on pause due to the COVID-19 outbreak, The AED Foundation (AEDF) has been innovating new online testing opportunities to ensure technicians are still able to get certified. The AED Foundation’s Certified Technician Program holds technicians to an industry-recognized standard that helps them gain the skillset and qualifications to succeed in their careers. Since the beginning of March, 252 technicians have become certified.   

To make this number possible, The AED Foundation has resourcefully implemented online proctoring during this time, ensuring that students and technicians do not have to put their education plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an excellent accomplishment for dealers, schools and The Foundation to develop a timely solution allowing test-taking to continue. Online testing proves to be valuable to dealers to keep their technicians educated during this time. Thanks to this innovative testing solution and the flexibility of dealers and schools, online testing can ensure integrity that meets The Foundation’s standards. Online testing has not only offered a solution but allows ease for students and instructors as remote testing with proctoring is available 24/7.   

While many schools and dealerships, including Anderson Equipment Company, implemented online testing, some found other solutions to test students through the pandemic safely. Many of the CAT ThinkBIG programs, which represent approximately 1/3 of AEDF accredited college programs, divided students into small groups to comply with social distancing guidelines. These groups were sent to multiple CAT dealership buildings within the area to provide proctored tests without compromising students’ safety.   

This solution demonstrates that The AED Foundation is always willing to do what it takes to help students and technicians succeed. The Foundation’s Vision 2024 goal strongly focuses on certifying more technicians to combat the industry workforce shortage. Jason Blake, COO and Executive Vice President of the Foundation stated: “The efforts of The AED Foundation’s accredited colleges and dealers to implement new testing solutions during this time displays a commitment to education and workforce development within the industry that will build a bright future of skilled technicians.”   

The AED Foundation is proud of the accredited school programs and dealers they have been able to assist in achieving this high number of certified technicians despite the challenges the past few months have presented. The Foundation will continue to look for ways to improve students’ and technicians ’ experiences and accommodate them through whatever difficulties may arise.  

Work Hard and the Money Follows

DeNucci Constructors LLC Meets the Challenges of Rapid Growth

By Richard Rybka

Take care of your biggest asset – your employees and customers.”

This statement by Paul DeNucci demonstrates his understanding that empathy is critically important to success in contracting. He has followed this mantra for the past 28 years. Equally important to his business philosophy are the words that has kept his company solvent and prosperous: “Work hard and the money follows.”

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Since 1992, DeNucci has taken his company from a start-up to a highly competitive, multi-functional construction company in a tough market. It took more than a sound business philosophy to move through the ever-changing landscape of construction. Learning the company’s history and transitions will reveal the motivating factors that made his business a true success story.

Starting Out With Chains and Hubs

In 1992, DeNucci founded his company in Austin, Texas. That was back in the day when “technology” was a non-existent term in the construction business. For a site work contractor, that meant slow and tedious tasks for layout, grade staking, blue tops, and as-builts. A tripod-mounted construction level and a grade rod were the most innovative tools available for construction survey work.

Today, DeNucci Constructors LLC is a major player in the Austin construction industry. His company is licensed both as a commercial general building contractor and as a utilities construction company, providing services to public government entities and private customers. DeNucci’s typical mix of construction contracts includes residential subdivisions, assisted living facilities, sanitary and storm sewer systems, urban street improvements, and recreational parks. 

Rapid Growth Spurs Change

As of April 2019, Austin, Texas, is the fastest growing major metropolitan area in the United States. This growth spurt extends well beyond the city center area into five surrounding counties.

A contractor operating in this economic environment faces two challenges – increased competition and pricing pressure. DeNucci was determined to continue the growth of his company in this fast-changing market. Not quite sure of how the future of his company would unfold, he maintained an open mind and an expansive perspective.

“We were always looking for technology and other innovation to help give us an edge and increase production,” DeNucci said. Willingness to explore new options was and continues to be what keeps his company moving into the future. It also gave him the advantage he needed to stay ahead of the competition. 

Expediting the Transition to Technology

Coming from the old school way of doing things, DeNucci admits that he was a “hard sell” when it came to adopting GPS technology. 

He tried integrating GPS into his workflows, but was not having much luck with the first system he purchased. Looking for a better solution, he met John Favret in June 2015. Favret is Senior Machine Control Sales Specialist, based at GeoShack’s store in Austin.

The Austin location is one of 21 stores in eight U.S. states and has the resources to provide a total solution to its customers – the most advance technology products, highly competent sales consultants, and unlimited support.

Favret demoed Topcon’s HiPer V base and rover system to DeNucci, his son, Ryan, and General Superintendent Josh Walenta. With Pocket 3D software on the field controller, it is a perfect solution for layout, grade staking, and collecting as-built information. Quickly seeing how Topcon’s GPS system out-performed his existing system, he made the switch. He noticed a huge improvement in managing his subdivision projects. 

Within a few months, DeNucci became eager to explore machine control systems. He asked Favret to install a Topcon 3D-MC2 on a Caterpillar D8 Dozer. Shortly thereafter, another system was installed on a Caterpillar 140 M3 Motor Grader. 

DeNucci purchased his first Topcon 3D-MCMAX dozer system in August 2017. That was just the beginning. Today, the company owns three 3D-MCMAX-equipped dozers, one 3D-MC2 dozer, two 3D-MC motor graders, and two sets of Hiper V base and rover systems. 

A Typical DeNucci Project

Santa Rita Ranch, a premier master-planned community, is located in Williamson County, Texas. Upon completion of total build-out, the project will include approximately 6,500 homes located in nine distinct villages and more than 200 acres of commercial and multifamily development.

The site work, grading, and excavation required for the project includes construction of numerous water quality ponds, drainage structures, water and wastewater systems, lift stations, curb and gutter, HMAC paving, dry utilities, sidewalks, signage, and other amenities.

DeNucci explained how this complex project showcases the use of Topcon GPS systems for every phase of the massive development:

“Our Topcon equipment has allowed us to localize and seamlessly move from section to section within the subdivision, locate erosion controls and other items of work with our rovers, complete our rough cutting and lot grading operations with our 950 and D10 dozers with machine control followed by our motor graders with their machine control to complete the road base operations and final grading before the final HMAC installation.”

A Word from the Man in the Field

Josh Walenta has been with DeNucci for 13 years and experienced first-hand the growth and changes that have taken place. Walenta is the man who oversees the day-to-day field operations.

Before the company started using machine control systems, they depended on surveyors to set grade stakes and blue tops. Earthmoving and grade work depended on the schedules of others. Equipment and operators were often delayed from making progress on a job while they waited for layout information.

Walenta says the most significant advantages to machine control systems are speed and cost savings. “No waiting on anybody, no scheduling,” he explained. Once others set control points, there is no need for outside consultants.

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Field checking, when necessary, is done with a Topcon HiPer V rover and Pocket 3D software. “Most of the time if there’s a question or problem you can check in on something with an existing elevation, like a manhole or an inlet, and figure out what’s going on – instead of waiting on someone or building it and having to come back and fix it later,” Walenta remarked.

When a Dealer Becomes Part of the Team

All the technology in the world cannot achieve its full potential without knowledgeable support from the supplier. It’s not just about selling a product and answering support phone calls. It’s about seamless integration of technology with the user.

John Favret received the highest compliment that a sales consultant can expect to receive from a customer. “John is an invaluable part of our team and his service after the sell is unmatched in our industry”, said DeNucci. 

GeoShack, Topcon, and Favret give DeNucci the advantage he needs to not just stay competitive, but to thrive in one of the toughest markets. It also gives DeNucci confidence in an ally that can help him control his company’s destiny. 

DeNucci claims an optimistic future for his company: “We look forward to continuing to grow with the Topcon products and utilize the ever-changing technology as they continue to innovate.”

For more information about GeoShack, Topcon GPS products, and Topcon machine control systems, go twww.geoshack.com

This feature appeared in the March 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

Reasons to Buy Heavy Equipment from Dealers Instead of at Auction

Volvo rolls out new offer for ActiveCare Direct — free for one year on all eligible new machine purchases

Originally debuted at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 with a limited-time enrollment offer, is now available free for one year on new purchases of a wide range of Volvo Construction Equipment models. With ActiveCare Direct, Volvo provides customers with 24/7/365 active machine monitoring, as well as monthly fleet utilization reports to allow customers to spend more time making informed fleet management decisions and less time sorting through data and alarm codes. When a machine requires attention, Volvo alerts the local dealer so they can respond quickly — and the customer’s operation continues to run smoothly.

“Improving machine uptime for our customers is our top priority,” said Jim Bretz, director, uptime and connected services at Volvo Construction Equipment. “Telematics is a powerful tool with a high profit potential for customers, yet many aren’t using it to its full potential due to lack of time or resources. That’s why we’ve decided to offer ActiveCare Direct for free to customers — to demonstrate how effective it is at increasing uptime and saving money on fuel and costly repairs. It also saves valuable time for fleet managers or owners who don’t have the time to dig through and decipher mountains of data. Providing telematics monitoring as a service to customers is the way the industry should be moving.”

Visit volvoce.com/ActiveCareDirect for more details.

Avoid Telematics Data Overload