Tag Archive for 'equipment'
In the, Seventh Installment of the Built For It Trials Series, actor and Europe’s reigning Strongest Man, Hafthor “Thor” Bjornsson plays an epic game of tug of war against a Cat D10T Track Type Tractor. The video is set in Iceland, with brutal weather conditions and limited daylight. Will Thor, who stands 6-feet-9-inches tall and weighs 400 pounds be able to defeat the 77-ton machine? Not without the help of 250 fellow Icelanders!
“TUG OF WAR” PITS A LEGENDARY MAN VERSUS A LEGENDARY MACHINE
You’ve seen Cat® machines move mountains. Now, in the latest short film in the Built For It™ Trials, you’re going to see a mountain of a man move a Cat machine.
Shot outside of Reykjavik, Iceland, in brutal weather conditions with limited daylight, the video pits strongman and actor Hafthor “Thor” Bjornsson—whom you may recognize from a popular TV series—against a Cat D10T Dozer in an epic tug of war.
A native of Iceland who won Europe’s 2015 Strongest Man competition, Thor stands 6-feet-9-inches tall, weighs nearly 400 pounds and holds several Guinness World Records for strength. Still, it’s a struggle for him to compete against the 77-ton D10T—until about 250 of his fellow Icelanders and one very determined young girl join him on the rope.
In addition to highlighting Iceland’s strongman culture, which dates back to the time of the Vikings, “Tug of War” showcases Caterpillar’s roots—featuring a machine descended from the track-type tractors that gave the company its name 90 years ago. And it proves we’re serious when we say our products are designed to take on anything, anywhere, anytime.
Watch the video to see the sense of joy and accomplishment Thor and his countrymen and women get from winning the battle against one of the world’s most iconic machines. It’s a reminder that Cat dealers and Cat products always do what it takes to help our customers achieve their own victories.
To watch the video, please click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS9D1VqBcmI
Summer Has Ended
By Greg Sitek
… and so will the most recent (34th) extension of the highway bill
In a Recent American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) newsletter the civil engineering group noted:
Summer comes to an end next week as Congress returns to the Capitol after a five-week recess. Deadlines will be the theme this fall, with the first being the Oct. 1 funding deadline to keep the government open. The second important deadline for ASCE is Oct. 29, when MAP-21, the surface transportation bill, expires. With a D+ cumulative GPA, the topic of America’s infrastructure should be at the top of their to-do lists. Congress has several opportunities to address some of the nation’s infrastructure needs in the coming weeks. Here’s what to watch:
Before the U.S. Senate adjourned for August recess, they passed the DRIVE Act, a six-year surface transportation bill. The DRIVE Act would end the current cycle of short-term program extensions and increase federal funding for surface transportation programs. The U.S. House of Representatives has until a new deadline of October 29 to act to pass their own multi-year bill before the current law expires. ASCE has been focused on communicating with House members on the need to act quickly and pass a long-term bill. You can help by contacting your House members and urging them to #FixTheTrustFund.
- Appropriations for Federal Infrastructure Programs
So far this year, the House has only passed six of 12 annual appropriations bills and the Senate has not yet passed a single one. There is an Oct. 1 deadline to complete this year’s appropriation. Among the major dilemmas holding up the appropriations process are disagreements over the overall funding amounts for the federal government, policy riders that bog down spending bills and fundamental differences on what level to fund federal environmental, healthcare and military programs.
While it’s difficult enough for Congress to fund popular established bipartisan programs like the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving funds (which are facing 23% cuts), newer programs, like the Levee Safety Initiative, have not received any funding since the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA) passed. If these programs do not receive appropriations, then the progress made by creating them becomes stagnant and no real progress is made in addressing the infrastructure the legislation aimed to improve.
And the ARTBA newsletter had the following to say:
On Sept. 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the document they had created. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) is using the 228th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution signing to remind Congress that Article One, Section Eight, makes support for transportation infrastructure investment a core federal government responsibility. It’s time, ARTBA says, for Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund.
“It only took the Founding Fathers 209 days—from a call for action on Feb. 21 to the signing ceremony on Sept. 17—to draft, debate and endorse the U.S. Constitution, one of mankind’s greatest documents,” ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane says. “In contrast, why have our elected leaders taken over 2,000 days since 2008 trying to figure out how to permanently address the Highway Trust Fund revenue problem?”
Ruane says members of Congress should heed and respond to the words of U.S. Constitution signatories Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington and make expanding transportation infrastructure investment a federal priority to support economic growth and improve the nation’s competitiveness.
Hamilton said: “The improvement of the roads would be a measure universally popular. None can be more so. For this purpose a regular plan should be adopted, coextensive with the Union, to be successfully executed, and a fund should be appropriated sufficient… To provide roads and bridges is within the direct purview of the Constitution.”
Madison noted: “Among the means of advancing the public interest, the occasion is a proper one for recalling the attention of Congress to the great importance of establishing throughout the country the roads and canals which can best be executed under the national authority. No objects within the circle of political economy so richly repay the expense bestowed on them.”
Franklin challenged legislators: “And have we not all these taxes too… and our provincial or public taxes besides? And over and above, have we not new roads to make, new bridges to build… and a number of things to do that your fathers have done for you, and which you inherit from them, but which we are obliged to pay for out of our present labor?”
And George Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention, said: “The credit, the saving, and the convenience of this country all require that our great roads leading from one public place to another should be straightened and established by law… To me, these things seem indispensably necessary.”
With election-mania already in motion, gathering momentum with every news cast, what do you think the prospects of a worthwhile highway bill are?
This article appears in the October 2015 issues of the ACP magazines
By Greg Sitek
Note: This editorial appeared in the September 2015 issues of the ACP publications.
… We’ve been managing to keep our highways functional legislatively the same way we do in real life, i.e. scratch and patch. Fill the potholes, mill and resurface with a 2-inch overlay; they’ll last for a year or two, maybe even more.
I’ve been a strong supporter of the Highway Bill for 40 +/- years thinking it was the best solution. And it was 40+ years ago. Today I’m not so sure…
On May 5, 2015, Michigan citizens throughout the State sent a very compelling message to the Governor and to the State Legislature. Regarding Proposal One, a $1 .8 billion per year tax increase to fix our roads, the citizens, by a margin of 80% to 20%, said no thank you. Michigan has 83 counties, and every one of them said no.
Jack Brandenburg State Senator 8th District commented in a recent newsletter: “If I may, I want to go off topic just a bit and talk about taxation, which I often refer to as confiscation. Taxation of citizens’ earnings and the amount of government spending, which has dramatically increased through time, is a debate that has raged on for years and years. Sadly for some, the only way they know how to fix a problem is to increase taxes. They just cannot understand that the citizens are maxed out when it comes to paying taxes. Good people are literally screaming at those serving in elective positions and saying: Live within your means, like we have to’ Bottom line, common sense is the order of the day. The answer is not more taxation. The answer is less spending. We already have an $18 trillion national debt. Debts do not occur because we are taxing too little, they occur because we are spending too much.’ Want to know who said that last sentence? His name was Ronald Reagan.
“I fully agree and understand that we need better roads in Michigan. However, let’s remember that the worst roads are in our urban areas. We have all the population, trucks, cars and industry. Our annual State Budget for this year is in excess of $53 billion. The funding for our roads must be found within that $53 billion. I will not vote for any type of tax increase to repair our roads. I am very confident that the funding can be found inside our current budget.
“Since the failure of Proposal One last May 5, both the State House and the State Senate have passed their own legislative plan to fix the roads. Regarding the plan that came out of the state Senate I voted. No. The plan calls for a tax increase of fifteen cents a gallon for regular and diesel fuel to be phased in over the next 2 ½ years, amounting to a $700 million tax increase per year for the next 15 years.
“Obviously, something needs to be done, but just throwing money at the problem is not the answer. I want to take this opportunity to talk with you about what I and other Conservatives are advocating regarding our road problem.
“First and foremost, it is time to re-prioritize our spending. For far too long, too many other programs, projects and government entities were put at the head of the line before road repair. Now is the time to put road funding at the top of the list. All the other entities that have been fully funded through the years now will have to step back and let roads get their fair share for the next 7 to I O years. Some departments and people will not like this but far tougher things have happened to people in life.
“Second, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan Road Builders (MRB) have sold a lot of people in government on the idea that we need an additional (new money) $1.2 billion per year for at least 10 years to get our roads back in shape. Coincidently, MDOT and MRB have the most to gain from that additional funding. However, in the last two years, they have failed to say what type of roads would be built and where all this money is going to be spent.
“Third, this is a little known fact, but up until four years ago, none of the 6%, sales tax revenue generated at the gas pumps was ever used for road repair. This revenue from the sales tax on gas all went to our general fund, public education and local governments. Michigan was one of only eight states not to use sales tax revenue from gas to repair its roads. Even now this money has to be appropriated for road repair on an annual basis and the percentage can vary. I believe this revenue should be a permanent funding mechanism for our roads, in the full amount.
“Fourth, Representative Pete Lucido from Shelby Township has come up with an interesting idea, which I support. The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) has a S20 billion balance. Lucido ‘s legislation calls for the interest from that $20 billion to be used for road repair. The principal amount would not be touched, only the interest. If you figure an average of 3’% annually, that is a $600 million new revenue stream that we could use for roads, with no additional cost to the taxpayers.”
You have to ask yourself if this doesn’t, in fact, make more sense than raising taxes. Isn’t it time to ask, how much does it cost to administer the highway trust fund? How much better would our roads be if we took the politics out managing them?
“The outlook for nonresidential construction spending remains upbeat, as the positives significantly outweigh the negatives.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.
Nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.5 percent in July and is up 12.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to a Sept. 1 release by the U.S. Census Bureau. This represents the strongest year-over-year percentage growth in spending since April 2008. On a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, nonresidential construction spending totaled $696.1 billion in July, which is the best reading since March 2009. Additionally, June’s estimate was upwardly revised 0.9 percent from $686.9 billion to $692.8 billion.
“A number of forces are at work and are conspiring to help push nonresidential construction spending higher,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Perhaps most importantly, job growth remains robust, helping to drive down office and other vacancy rates, prompting more construction starts. Recreational and business travel spending has been trending higher, helping to support construction in the lodging and amusement categories on a year-over-year basis. A rebounding U.S. auto sector and expanding aerospace industry have also helped to fuel spending. State and local government capital outlays also appear to be recovering and were surprisingly strong during this year’s second quarter. In addition, materials prices have been in general decline, which has helped justify moving forward with construction projects.
“Among the factors suppressing spending growth is an ongoing lack of coherent federal policy regarding the nation’s infrastructure shortfalls and a weak global economy that has limited export growth,” said Basu. “Falling and volatile energy prices also have been making their mark, reducing investment in the category that had most helped support private nonresidential construction during the early years of spending recovery.
“For now, the outlook for nonresidential construction spending remains upbeat, as the positives significantly outweigh the negatives,” said Basu. “Trends in aggregate spending tend to lag the broader economy by roughly a year and the second quarter gross domestic product growth estimate of 3.7 percent is consistent with the notion that the broader economic recovery remains an ongoing one.”
Seven of 16 nonresidential construction sectors experienced spending increases in July on a monthly basis:
- Power-related construction spending grew 2.8 percent for the month, but has declined 11.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Manufacturing-related construction spending grew 4.8 percent in June and is up an astonishing 62.1 percent for the year.
- Office-related construction spending expanded 1.2 percent in July and is up 26.1 percent from the same period one year ago.
- Conservation and development-related construction spending expanded 11.2 percent for the month and is up 15.7 percent on a yearly basis.
- Religious spending grew 5.7 percent for the month and is up 7.3 percent from the same time last year.
- Communication-related construction spending inched 0.1 percent higher for the month and is up 14.2 percent for the year.
- Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending grew 1.6 percent for the month and has expanded 11.3 percent on a 12-month basis.
Spending in nine nonresidential construction subsectors fell in July on a monthly basis:
- Education-related construction spending fell 2.2 percent for the month, but is up 3.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Commercial construction spending fell 1.5 percent in July, but is up 5.5 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Health care-related construction spending fell 0.5 percent for the month, but is up 6.4 percent for the year.
- Lodging-related construction spending fell 0.7 percent on a monthly basis, but is up 40.3 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Spending in the water supply category fell 4.8 percent from June, but is up 4.3 percent on an annual basis.
- Highway and street-related construction spending dipped 0.2 percent lower in July, but is up 9.7 percent compared to the same time last year.
- Amusement and recreation-related construction spending fell 5.3 percent on a monthly basis, but is up 34.3 percent from the same time last year.
- Construction spending in the transportation category fell 0.2 percent on a monthly basis, but has expanded 7.9 percent on an annual basis.
- Public safety-related construction spending fell 2.8 percent on a monthly basis and is down 4.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.
To view the previous spending report, click here.