Tag Archive for 'equipment management'

Somethings Never Change…

By Greg Sitek

In construction one of the key components in being successful is completing a project on time or ahead of schedule. Another is completing the project at or under budget. There are many factors that can and do impact both the productivity and cost of a project but a lot depends on the equipment.

If the equipment is dependable and reliable; if the equipment doesn’t perform at it was designed to it’s difficult to be productive and operating costs are up. Throw in a major failure and costs can skyrocket and productivity plummet. 

One critical production machine being down can throw a job behind in every sense and every way.

There is insurance that can prevent this from happening or at least minimize the potential for such a catastrophe happening – good equipment management and good equipment maintenance program.

Equipment, all equipment has always demanded maintenance and management. If the equipment isn’t properly maintained, i.e. following the maintenance programs and procedures as outlined in the owner/operator manuals or online programs provided by the machine’s manufacturer. 

The routine daily inspections and procedures need to be done by your operation either by the equipment operator or company maintenance staff. Periodic or interval maintenance requirements can be fulfilled either by your operation or through contractual arrangements with your equipment dealer. 

To make certain that you are going to get the most out of the equipment make certain that the machine operators and maintenance staff are properly trained, use the correct tools and equipment to do the inspections, repairs and maintenance and use wear-products, i.e. filters, lubricants, belts, hoses, replacements parts, etc. recommended by the manufacturer.

Cutting corners with any of these “components” won’t save you money long term. Quite the contrary, usually it will end up costing much more than you could possibly have saved.

Manage the use and application of the equipment. Establish and follow, religiously, inspections, routine maintenance, wear-part replacement and periodic maintenance as prescribed by the manufacturer. Don’t put off a scheduled maintenance/inspection because you need the machine on the project. Don’t tempt fate. If you need the machine and a routine inspection or maintenance procedure comes up, shut the machine down or bring it in and follow the schedule.   

Use all the available maintenance aids you can to make the job easier, more efficient, more exact. Things like oil and/or fluid analysis provide excellent data on the internal conditions of your equipment.

Use maintenance software programs to help with the scheduling and recordkeeping. Good records are essential to good management and maintenance practices. 

Use your equipment in applications for which it was designed, engineered and manufactured. A piece of equipment that’s too big for an application doesn’t mean you get the job done fasted. 

Intelligent Sizing Drives Success

We’d all love it if we could justify owning and operating the biggest equipment – just to have it in case certain jobs come up that may require that added capacity. But it’s not practical in terms of owning and operating costs, and zoning in on equipment size ranges that best complement your work will make the most sense for your business in the long run.

(Source CASE News: (https://www.casece.com/northamerica/enus/resources/articles/measuring-up-factors-for-sizing-equipment-from-backhoes-to-bulldozers))

What size equipment is right for you?

Determining what size of equipment is best for you depends on many factors. Primarily, it’s the application or exact task you require the machine to do. It also depends on what you expect as a return on investment. Generally, larger and more complex machines have higher purchase and operating costs, and have to be billed out at a higher rate. Smaller machines are more affordable to own and run, but they don’t command the large dollar-per-hour fees their big cousins do.

Equipment sizes vary according to volume demands. Often, the machine’s physical weight and dimensions affect the capacity more than engine horsepower or hydraulic pressure. Transportation is another prime issue when it comes to deciding on the right-sized piece of equipment. Having to purchase or arrange for large-capacity hauling between worksites can be an additional overhead that doesn’t pay back. (Source Warren CAT.com)(https://www.warrencat.com/news/construction-equipment-size-guide/))

It’s March and for most of the country time to start getting the equipment ready for the surge of work and from all indicators, this is going to be a busy construction season across the country. If you have questions about maintenance programs, equipment applications, training for operators and/or maintenance staff contact your local dealers. They are a good and reliable source for virtually all equipment related questions. 

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

Fleet Management Technology for Mid-Size Contractors

The Art of Fuel Efficiency

Fuel Efficiency Fuel Efficiency2 Fuel Efficiency3

AEMP’s 5th Annual Fall Asset Management Symposium Scheduled for November in Nashville


The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP), the premier organization for asset management professionals of off-road fleets, will present its annual Asset Management Symposium Nov. 1-2 in Nashville, Tenn. AEMP members and other qualified industry professionals will share their expertise on current fleet-asset issues and management tactics, all based on the symposium’s theme “Making Yellow Safe, Green and Profitable”. Additional details, including the conference schedule and cost and registration info can be found at http://aemp.org/education/meetings/2011_ams.html.

This year’s event marks the 5th anniversary of the symposium and will feature keynote speaker Pat Quinn, President of the American Trucking Association, and co-founder of U.S. Xpress. The symposium’s sessions will focus on AEMP’s executive tract, providing insight to fleet owners, managers and other executive-level members.

Opening day events will begin with a welcome from AEMP’s President and CSO Stan Orr, CAE, and continue on with seminars. A diverse range of topics will be featured, highlighting areas from financial and telematics information to hazardous material safety.

Philip C. LaGatta, Director of Construction and Forestry Sales for John Deere Financial in the U.S. and Canada, along with Neil Ariano, Sales Manager for John Deere Corporate Accounts, will speak on “Financial Options for the Equipment Industry”. This session will help attendees understand decisions affecting the financial impact of equipment purchases. Attendees can expect to learn about the role of IRS and FASB, as well as common types of depreciation. Lagatta and Ariano will also explore the tax considerations when acquiring new equipment, and will help attendees learn how to weigh which acquisition method – cash, loan, lease or rent – is the best option for their fleet.

Financial planning and cost savings will also be addressed in a session titled “Where’s The Money?” presented by Peter Causer, Vice President of National Accounts and David Nus, Customer Solutions Director for Global Mining, Quarry and Aggregates, both of Volvo Construction Company. Their seminar will outline practical cost reduction strategies by analyzing examples of how small steps like operator training and utilization can affect the bottom line.

Additionally, updates on AEMP’s Green Fleet Initiatives, Telematics Standard and AEMP University will be presented. According to Orr, “There has been some exciting progress for our initiatives already this year. We’ve achieved some significant milestones, from the official launch of AEMP University to certifying our very first Green Fleet Company. We’re really looking forward to sharing what’s on the horizon at the symposium.”

Following the first day’s seminars, AEMP will host an evening reception and dinner, at which time Quinn will deliver the keynote address. Quinn has spent his entire career in the transportation industry, beginning by focusing on transportation law at a firm where he was a partner. He then moved into the equipment and manufacturing side, serving in various roles before founding U.S. Xpress with Max L. Fuller in 1985. Under the direction of Quinn and Fuller, U.S. Xpress grew to annual revenues of $1 billion and is now the third largest privately owned truckload carrier in the nation. Their approach has always been to be early adopters of technology to grow their company and enhance their level of service to their customers. Quinn will share some of his experiences and lessons learned in his keynote address.

Quinn will contribute again to the second day of the symposium with a seminar offering practical tips on integrating telematics in fleet operations. He will touch on the challenges faced by the trucking industry when it first implemented its own telematics system and will speak to how his and other companies were able to overcome these obstacles to successfully implement the standard. Additionally, he will offer specific tips for implementing a telematics standard in order to maximize efficiency and make better fleet management decisions. The Symposium’s second day will also feature seminar topics on leveraging partner agreements and repair/replace decisions.

Guy Gordon, CEM, Director of Asset Management for Insituform Technologies, Inc. and current AEMP President-elect will present on “Life Cycle Analysis – Applications for Upper-level Management” within the construction and fleet management industry. Gordon has more than 25 years of experience in equipment management. In his current position, he is responsible for all asset management activity including equipment, transportation and fabrication operations.

In addition to seminars, discussions, and peer-to-peer networking, attendees will also have the opportunity to take advantage of AEMP’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Through the PDI, participants will be able to attend classes relevant to AEMP’s professional certifications: Certified Equipment Manager (CEM), Equipment Manager Specialist (EMS) or Certified Equipment Support Professional (CESP). Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 1 and last throughout the day, wrapping at 5:20 p.m. The PDI will resume on Nov. 2, again at 8:30 a.m. and finish with the final competency class ending at 5:45 p.m. Each class will cover one of the 17 core competencies identified by AEMP as necessary for a successful career in equipment management. Though strongly encouraged, attending the PDI is not a prerequisite to take the exam.

Those wishing to take a certification exam must submit the appropriate application, and purchase and study the Career Equipment Fleet Manager Manual. Application deadline for this year’s event is Oct. 14, and reduced-cost, early bird registration ends Sept. 1. Exams will be administered on Nov. 3 from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

In addition to the symposium and PDI, AEMP committee meetings will be held on Nov. 2 from 1:35-6:00 p.m., while both committee and board meetings are scheduled on Nov. 3, from 8:00 a.m. to noon. These meeting are open to all symposium attendees; those interested in becoming active committee or board members are encouraged to attend.

Registration for the 2011 Fall Asset Management Symposium is now open. Contact Vice-President of Education, Jim Phillips, at 970-384-0510, ext. 202 or email jim@aemp.org, or visit http://aemp.org/education/meetings/2011_ams.html for more information or register online. Those looking for more information on AEMP’s PDI and certification opportunities, or wishing to apply for the certification program may also contact Phillips.

Welcome to Site-K Construction Zone

Why start a blog? A good reason is because you believe you have information that is worth sharing with others and blogging provides a way of sharing that information.

For the past 40 years I have been writing articles related to various facets of the construction industry and would like to continue doing this. Until recently I was attached to a publishing company and a family of regional magazines that have been serving the construction industry for over a hundred years. (…the magazines, not me.) The other day I was stunned, no, I was shocked when I was told that my position as Editorial Director and National Editor of these magazines was eliminated; that my services were no longer required.

Since this incident, I have had numerous phone calls asking me if the e-mails they received regarding my sudden leaving were true; that after 30 plus years I had decided to pursue other interests outside heavy construction; that I had decided to retire; that I had decided to do something else…

Everyone I talked to was as shocked as I was when they heard about my unexpected separation. All these people knew that I had no intentions of retiring, quitting, hanging up my mouse or pursuing outside interests.

Let ME set the record straight.

The decision for me to leave the ACPs was not mine nor was I asked if I was interested in taking an early retirement. I was not given a retirement package or an option to consider one but rather the standard company severance package.

My purpose in writing this is simply to let you know that I am not riding off into the sunset in pursuit of a different career or the development of other outside interests.

Hey, with all the new body parts I’ve had installed it would be foolish to let them sit idle and rust…

In the very near future I plan on launching a web site dedicated to the equipment management side of the construction market and also to its “Greening.” The two go hand in hand to a large degree.

My objectives will be to provide readers with industry news, current information on the latest in construction equipment, attachments, tools, applications and also how to change construction equipment from yellow to “Green” without changing colors…

Until then, I am going to use this blog to continue doing what I have been doing for so many years, sharing information.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it and how much it means to me.

Greg Sitek
Cell: 205 331-0318
E-mail: greg.sitek@comcast.net