Tag Archive for 'equipment'

Chicago Hosts the 2020 Associated Equipment Distributors Summit

The city of Chicago is known for many things: Ditka and Da Bears, the Cubs, Second City, and the best deep dish pizza in the country among other things. But for one week in January, for any company involved in the distribution, rental and support of equipment used in construction, mining, forestry, power generation, agriculture and industrial applications, it was known as the home of the Associated Equipment Distributors’ (AED) 2020 Summit.

AED President and CEO Brian P. McGuire interviews former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Chicago, the AED Summit took place January 14th through the 16th, and educated, informed and entertained all that attended. AED President and CEO Brian P. McGuire – along with 2019 AED Chairman Michael Brennan, 2020 Chairman Ron Barlet, and the entire staff of AED – were on hand to welcome everyone. General sessions set the stage in the mornings, offering AED updates and riveting speakers. Concurrent breakout sessions throughout the days presented the opportunity for Professional Dealer Education. Hospitality suites in the hotel made available manufactures, venders, and suppliers of equipment and services to dealers and allowed for quality one-on-one time and discussions away from the crowds at the Summit. The CONDEX exhibit area provided equipment dealers a prime opportunity to discover new products and services to enhance their dealerships. All three days ended with a special event such as the AED Foundation’s Fundraising Gala and live auction, a Summit Reception sponsored by Ritchie Bros., and a closing dinner and dessert reception featuring a Conversation with Chris Christie.

AED President and CEO Brian P. McGuire welcomes everyone to the 2020 AED Summit

A View of the Future

The first General Session on Tuesday featured a panel discussion offering a Customer View of the Industry Future. Steve Sandherr, Associated General Contractors of America, served as moderator and the panel was comprised of Dirk Elsperman of the Tarlton Corporation, Bob Lanham from Williams Brothers Construction Company, and Brian Herold of Power Construction Co., LLC. Each panel member offered a contractor’s perspective of renting vs. owning, using local dealers or the big rental houses, the use of telematics, and more. 

Brian P. McGuire, Steve Sandherr, Bob Lanham, Dirk Elsperman, and Brian Herold

Of particular interest to the dealers in the audience was the question of how a dealer/equipment salesman can be more effective and useful to a contractor. All of the panelists felt that bashing the equipment a contractor is currently using and the dealer they are currently buying or renting from is the wrong approach. Dealers should know what equipment makes up a contractor’s fleet and how can they and their equipment can make a contractor more effective and competitive. Also, how can a dealer help a sub-contractor – who is such an important part of a contractor’s business – be of better service to the general contractor and the job they are working on together.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Wednesday morning’s speaker was Kris Paronto, a former U.S. Army Ranger, known for his heroic actions while part of the CIA annex security team during the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stephens, and the CIA compound in Benghazi. Paronto’s in-depth story of what happened that night was fascinating, and his message of surrounding yourself with people you can count on and the need to keep pushing on until you have reached your goal was taken to heart. Thursday morning’s speaker was Dr. Arthur C. Brooks. Dr. Brooks spoke of the importance of being happy in one’s life, not just successful, and offered tips to achieve this happiness.

The CONDEX exhibit area provided equipment dealers an opportunity to discover new products and services to enhance their dealerships.

Topics for Everyone

The many General Sessions offered throughout the Summit touched on a wide range of topics including:

  • Playing the Long Game in the Fourth Quarter of Your Career
  • Unlocking Additional Revenue: How to Capitalize on Equipment Rentals
  • Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Firing a Customer
  • Key Metrics to Monitor for Maximum Revenue Impact
  • The Five Pivotal Conversations that Advance and Close Sales
  • Forecasting for 2020: An Economic Outlook
  • Analyzing Your Service Department for Peak Profitability Performance 
  • Differentiating Your Company from the Competition
Diane Benck, of West Side Tractor Sales, received the P.E. MacAllister Democracy Award

The mission of the AED Foundation’s Fundraising Gala was to tackle the technician shortage and ensure a more predictable and stable future for technician availability. The event was a huge success and raised over $250,000 for the Foundation.

Dr. Arthur C. Brooks with Brian P. McGuire

In addition to all of these many events, throughout the Summit, awards were handed out in recognition of the service and achievements of several AED members. These included:

Kris Paronto and AED’s Sandy Reynolds
  • The Foundation Partner Award – Liebherr Construction Equipment Company
  • The Foundation Champion Award – LBX Company
  • Lester J. Heath, III Award – Steve Johnson of the AED Foundation
  • 2019 Technicians of the Year Awards –
    • Canada: Clayton Kennon, SMS Equipment
    • Great Lakes: Randy Ciolkosz, Miller-Bradford & Risberg, Inc.
    • Midwest: David R. DeGood, Bobcat Enterprises, Inc.
    • Northeast: Steve French, Rock & Recycling Equipment, LLC
    • Rocky Mountain: Loren O’Connor, Sunstate Equipment Co., LLC
    • South Central: Dalton Koelzer, Vermeer Texas-Louisiana
    • Southeast: Jeremy Scott Ford, Ascendum Machinery
    • West: Jake Dugger, Coastline Equipment
  • Paul D. (Bud) Hermann Emerging Leaders Award – Jonathan Campbell, Wheeler Machinery
  • Morton R. Hunter, Sr. Distinguished Industry/Association Contribution Award – Jim Behrenwald, AIS
  • The Chairman’s Award – Michael Vazquez, MECO Miami
  • P.E. MacAllister Democracy Award – Diane Benck, West Side Tractor Sales
Members of the Berry Companies enjoyed the AED Foundation Fundraising Gala

To conclude the incredibly successful event, 2020 AED Chairman Ron Barlet gave his inaugural speech and followed by former Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who offered his opinions on various industry topics. 

Michael Brennan, Jim Behrenwald, Ron Barlet, and Michael Vazquez
2019 AED Chairman Michael Brennan, 2020 AED Chairman Ron Barlet, and AED President and CEO Brian P. McGuire
The Summit Reception sponsored by Ritchie Bros. was a huge success.

This article originally appeared in the March issue of Construction Equipment Distribution.

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

Turner Construction Teaches Educators About the Industry Through Externship Program

By Jessica Hoover

Last summer, the Rutherford Works Teacher Externship Program paired educators from five middle schools in Rutherford County with five companies in the fields of construction, advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, and supply chain management. The program is a partnership between the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and Rutherford County Schools. 

“The goal of the program is to help expose educators – so teachers, counselors, administrators – to the world of work,” said Beth Duffield, Senior Vice President for Education and Workforce Development for Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. “Most educators don’t have extensive work experience outside the classroom. We want them to become familiar with our employers and some of the challenges that our employers are having in finding a qualified workforce. Ultimately, we want the educators to utilize what they learn from the employers in the classroom to help students learn about careers in the related industry.”

A Multi-Faceted Program

On the first day of the program, all 22 educators from the five schools gathered at the Chamber of Commerce for orientation.

“During our first day with the educators, we give them a deep dive into all things high school,” Duffield said. “We teach them about graduation requirements, early post-secondary opportunities and work-based learning experiences so they are able to talk about what’s next with their eighth graders. We also review all the programs that the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce facilitates with our schools.”

After orientation the teachers are divided into five groups, with each group going to Turner Construction Company, Ingram Content Group, Magneti Marelli (Calsonic), Nissan Group of North America or TriStar StoneCrest. Each company developed its own two-week program independently. 

Turner was the only company in the construction industry. Turner hosted five educators from Christiana Middle School over the course of the two-week program.

Turner’s program involved the educators job shadowing the project engineer, superintendents, safety manager and project manager for the Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital Tower and Operating Room Expansion in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

“Our educators got the opportunity to see the logistics that go into an expansion project at a functioning hospital,” said Paul Lawson, Project Executive for Turner Construction Company. “They took part in daily huddles, scheduling meetings, pricing reviews, submittal reviews and construction activity notice meetings held with the hospital’s engineering and maintenance staff. I think many of them found it eye-opening to see the level of coordination that goes into the work we do.”

“The teachers that worked with Turner last summer learned about safety and quality and teamwork,” Duffield said. “They were exposed to as much hands-on, real-world work as possible.”

Reaching Students Through Educators

The Rutherford Works Teacher Externship Program gives educators real-world experience in STEM-related fields so they can advise students on their educational and career goals. The program aims to increase the number of individuals with both soft and technical skills needed to fill the growing number of jobs in the construction, advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, and supply chain management industries.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to reach students through these educators,” Lawson said. “We understand that middle school is pretty early to be thinking about a career, but we think it’s beneficial to create awareness of our industry early on, so that when students do start thinking more seriously about a future career, there’s already some familiarity there. … Each teacher who participates in this program could potentially reach 60-plus students per year. By drawing on their firsthand experience through the program, they can help students understand what’s interesting and fulfilling about our work, as well as how skills like math and science can be beneficial in the engineering and construction industries.”

After the two weeks is over, Duffield said that each group of educators identified a problem that they wanted to solve within their school and developed a school-wide implementation plan for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. Turner’s five educators from Christiana Middle School implemented career and lifestyle exploration throughout all grade levels, along with monthly advocacy projects. They also created a parent pathway night so students and parents could make connections with companies.

“The teachers who took part in the program this year told us that it was very illuminating to see the behind-the-scenes planning and coordination that is involved in our projects and that students seemed to be genuinely interested in hearing about their experiences,” Lawson said. “Because these students are in middle school, we won’t know for years if any of them end up pursuing careers in construction, but our hope is that through this program and similar initiatives, we’ll begin developing our construction workforce of the future.”

The 2020 Teacher Externship Program will be held from June 8-19, and participating teachers will be paid $20 an hour for the two weeks of the program.

This feature appeared in the February 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

Catching Up to Keep Up

By Greg Sitek

By now you’ve had a chance to face the fact that we are well into the new year 2020, which is also the start of a new decade, the second in this the 21st Century. One of the many things that has change in recent times is the speed at which thing evolve or change. Many people look at the construction industry and think that it is slow to change. Although it may appear to be it isn’t.

Granted, much within the industry doesn’t change — the equipment used doesn’t “look” like it has changed but equipment owners and operators know that it has. Construction equipment is more efficient and more productive; requires less maintenance; is more comfortable in all kinds of weather and all kinds of climates; it has machine controls to assist the operator; some can be operated remotely, and the list goes on.

Typical hand held construction tools have changed evolving from the once standard corded tools to battery powered versions that deliver as much if not more productivity without the hazard of electric cords stretched a jobsite. Lighting has improved radically not only on the mobile equipment but also on the hand-held and on the jobsite. 

If you think about it, there has been a lot of change with the equipment, tools, safety devices, lighting, signs, communications, data and information collection and distribution, design and engineering and management.

Along with these changes have come an endless list of acronyms. If nothing else, our world has gone acronym crazy. Some of them have become a part of our jargon and we know instantly what they while others take time to figure out and still others need someone to explain them to us.

BIM is one of the acronyms that has become more common. What is BIM? Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process that begins with the creation of an intelligent 3D model and enables document management, coordination and simulation during the entire lifecycle of a project (plan, design, build, operation and maintenance). (Autodesk.com)

What is BIM used for? BIM is used to design and document building and infrastructure designs. Every detail of a building is modeled in BIM. The model can be used for analysis to explore design options and to create visualizations that help stakeholders understand what the building will look like before it’s built. The model is then used to generate the design documentation for construction. (Autodesk.com)

What is the process of BIM? The process of BIM supports the creation of intelligent data that can be used throughout the lifecycle of a building or infrastructure project. (Autodesk.com)

Another acronym that has become popular is IoT — The Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Wikipedia

We ran a few article on IoT in the ACP magazines and on this website. The most recent, Construction Enters the IoT Age, was posted on December 15, 2019 (http://www.site-kconstructionzone.com/?p=17582). According to market research firm, IDC, worldwide IoT spending will surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022. It’s already disrupting many industries – from gathering sensory data on agricultural crops, trucking routes or the state of consumer appliances, to monitoring patient heart rates in healthcare. Construction has joined this IoT revolution. A study released by Dodge Data and Analytics, in partnership with Triax Technologies, found that nearly three-quarters of contractors surveyed believe IoT will help them control occupational risks, and about half expect it to reduce risks to the public, as well as financial risks and those related to property damage and construction defects.

Another article, The Future of Construction from DEWALT — Introducing the New Age of Jobsite Connectivity, was posted on May 31, 2017 (http://www.site-kconstructionzone.com/?p=14373). This article looks at the use of IoT to help contractors with asset management on the job. 

What’s next? How about, PBA – Project Business Automation. Project Business Automation (PBA) defines a new software category that integrates the fragmented project application landscape into one system, allowing information to flow freely throughout the enterprise, which means radically better and timelier insight and business management capabilities.

Project Business Automation is changing how project business gets done. It takes companies from a disparate and cumbersome collection of manual processes and business applications to a unified, holistic approach to their business. It takes a revolutionary look at the project business and enable entirely new capabilities that drive substantial improvements in efficiency, visibility, and control that ultimately lead to better project outcomes. ( http://www.adeaca.com/    )

Watch for articles on PBA in future issues of the ACP magazines. Meanwhile, to get caught up and/or keep current with changes in the industry take in some of the 203 educational session at the upcoming CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, March 7-10, LasVegas NE.

This editorial appeared in the 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

3 Secrets to Hiring Top Construction Talent

Attend the education session “Top 10 Secrets to Successful Hiring” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG.


Top talent looks for career opportunities differently than they did a few years ago. This is largely attributable to technology. People have more access to information about job openings. There is also an increased level of employer transparency.

Websites like Indeed and Glassdoor have become quite influential. If you have a company with more than 100 employees, you’ll have an online presence whether you want one or not. Regardless of the size of your company, your online reputation has to be positive, which requires ongoing management. Some construction firms still don’t recognize this fact.

It’s also important to recognize the fact that traditional job postings aren’t as effective as they used to be. Studies have shown that job candidates often abandon the application process if it takes more than a few minutes. Part of that is because most postings are written from the employer’s point of view as opposed to the candidate’s, and we’re all moving at lightning speed today. The other part is that many employers fail to respond to job applicants in a timely fashion. As a result, people have been conditioned to distrust the traditional job posting and application process. Also, top performers no longer need to search job postings because industry connections contact them on a regular basis about solid career opportunities.

Construction firms can still attract top talent to their companies. They just need the right mindset and hiring process that accommodates today’s changes in candidate behavior.

We have assembled a list of top secrets to hiring top talent in the construction industry. Here’s a look at a few of them.


Think about all of the planning and effort you put into client acquisition and retention. The same should be done for your employees. This takes commitment and consistency in doing the right things, such as proper outreach and follow-up, maintaining a strong brand and company culture, and creating career paths your employees and candidates can see. Finally, treat candidates exactly like prospective clients during your interview process.


It’s not enough to just put up a job posting or help wanted sign when you have a position to fill. Construction companies should be constantly building their talent pipeline.

To build a pipeline of future candidates for general labor or trades positions, it’s important to establish relationships with local high schools, technical schools and colleges. It’s also helpful to participate in workforce development programs in your area. In non-union areas, it is wise to consider an apprenticeship program.

With respect to office and management positions, there is competition for top talent. The first thing companies should do is “mine” the contacts of their employees. For example, ask your estimators to identify who they know to be good estimators. Collect their information and enter it into an applicant tracking system, or something simpler such as a Microsoft Outlook database or Excel spreadsheet.

After the list is developed, create some sort of communication mechanism, such as a quarterly company newsletter you can email to prospective employees. Let these people know what is going on with your company and the great projects you are working on. The goal is to keep it newsworthy while also creating some excitement around your company and culture.

Another good tactic is to connect with people on social media. For construction companies, Instagram and LinkedIn seem to be the most effective. A company Facebook page is also worth considering. Establish company pages that are regularly updated with newsworthy, engaging posts. Again, this takes commitment. But once you build up a community, you can start to post job openings that generate interest from top talent.

One other good tactic is to connect with your vendors, suppliers and consultants. They likely know people with the expertise you seek and can help you spread the word when you are looking for top talent.


When I speak to construction company leaders, I usually tell them to ditch the traditional job description. Most are fraught with “hiring bias” and prevent companies from attracting the best candidates for a given job.

For example, we had a client who was looking for a staff accountant to handle accounts payable, as well as prepare union payroll and reporting. The person writing the job description wanted to ask for at least three years of accounting experience, as well as an accounting degree from a top university. I immediately saw a disconnect.

I talked with the client about the most important performance outcomes of this position. The client cited the ability to meet deadlines, accurately enter information into the system, create accurate reports, and obtain the necessary approvals in a timely fashion. None of those essential performance outcomes really required three years of accounting experience, much less an accounting degree. So why did we want to limit our candidate pool to that? We could be missing out on some very detail-oriented people with great clerical and time-management skills.

I always advise clients to make a list of the top five or six performance outcomes a new hire must deliver in order to be successful. This is a road map to not only making a good hire, but attracting top performers to your company in the first place.


Be sure to attend my session at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, North America’s largest construction trade show. It’s being held March 10-14 in Las Vegas. Visit CONEXPO/CON-AGG for more information.

Caterpillar Celebrates 90 Years on the New York Stock Exchange

Caterpillar Celebrates 90 Years on the New York Stock Exchange

Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby will ring the opening bell today on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to mark the 90th anniversary of the company’s listing on the NYSE, which is considered the world’s foremost securities marketplace. Of the approximately 2,200 companies listed on the NYSE, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) is among only three percent that have been consecutively listed for 90 years or more. 

“I am proud of our entire Caterpillar team. Every day, they create solutions to help our customers build a better world,” Umpleby said.

“Our team’s relentless focus on executing our strategy for profitable growth, including the advanced technologies that we are showcasing at the NYSE today, has given the company a strong balance sheet and the ability to return a significant part of our free cash flow to shareholders. Since 2017, we have repurchased about $7.1 billion in stock and paid about $3.5 billion in dividends.”

As part of the celebration, Caterpillar today is giving Wall Street traders the opportunity to handle an Advanced Construction Excavator Simulator System. Through a panel of video monitors and remote-control technology, traders will have the chance to take a turn at the excavator’s controls and attempt to dig virtual trenches, footings and more. There will also be a variety of Cat machines on display in front of the NYSE including a wheel loader, wheeled excavator, industrial loader and compact loader, all of which have played a part in Caterpillar’s historical success.

Listing on the NYSE is a globally recognized signal of corporate strength and leadership, reserved for companies that meet the NYSE’s stringent requirements for income, market capitalization, cash flow and ethical practice. 

Caterpillar Inc. – 90 Years on the New York Stock Exchange

  • An investor buying one share of Caterpillar Tractor Company at $56.25 in 1929 would have an investment worth about $70,000* today, accounting for share price growth, stock splits and dividends over the past 90 years. (*As calculated at close on December 2, 2019)
  • Caterpillar’s total shareholder return has sustained an annual compounded growth rate of 8 percent since the company listed in 1929.
  • On December 2, 1929, the first listing day, 1,882,240 shares were outstanding, and 400 shares of Caterpillar stock were traded. On December 2, 2019, there were more than 550 million shares outstanding, and about 3 million shares traded. 
  • Caterpillar was founded in 1925 and had its initial public offering in 1925 listed on the Pacific Stock Exchange (now NYSE Arca, Inc.). Our primary exchange listing on the NYSE began on December 2, 1929.

About Caterpillar:
For more than 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2018 sales and revenues of $54.722 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three primary segments – Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation – and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. For more information, visit caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS Certain statements in this press release relate to future events and expectations and are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “believe,” “estimate,” “will be,” “will,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “forecast,” “target,” “guide,” “project,” “intend,” “could,” “should” or other similar words or expressions often identify forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our outlook, projections, forecasts or trend descriptions. These statements do not guarantee future performance and speak only as of the date they are made, and we do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.

Caterpillar’s actual results may differ materially from those described or implied in our forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) global and regional economic conditions and economic conditions in the industries we serve; (ii) commodity price changes, material price increases, fluctuations in demand for our products or significant shortages of material; (iii) government monetary or fiscal policies; (iv) political and economic risks, commercial instability and events beyond our control in the countries in which we operate; (v) international trade policies and their impact on demand for our products and our competitive position, including the imposition of new tariffs or changes in existing tariff rates; (vi) our ability to develop, produce and market quality products that meet our customers’ needs; (vii) the impact of the highly competitive environment in which we operate on our sales and pricing; (viii) information technology security threats and computer crime; (ix) inventory management decisions and sourcing practices of our dealers and our OEM customers; (x) a failure to realize, or a delay in realizing, all of the anticipated benefits of our acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; (xi) union disputes or other employee relations issues; (xii) adverse effects of unexpected events including natural disasters; (xiii) disruptions or volatility in global financial markets limiting our sources of liquidity or the liquidity of our customers, dealers and suppliers; (xiv) failure to maintain our credit ratings and potential resulting increases to our cost of borrowing and adverse effects on our cost of funds, liquidity, competitive position and access to capital markets; (xv) our Financial Products segment’s risks associated with the financial services industry; (xvi) changes in interest rates or market liquidity conditions; (xvii) an increase in delinquencies, repossessions or net losses of Cat Financial’s customers; (xviii) currency fluctuations; (xix) our or Cat Financial’s compliance with financial and other restrictive covenants in debt agreements; (xx) increased pension plan funding obligations; (xxi) alleged or actual violations of trade or anti-corruption laws and regulations; (xxii) additional tax expense or exposure, including the impact of U.S. tax reform; (xxiii) significant legal proceedings, claims, lawsuits or government investigations; (xxiv) new regulations or changes in financial services regulations; (xxv) compliance with environmental laws and regulations; and (xxvi) other factors described in more detail in Caterpillar’s Forms 10-Q, 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.