About the Author

 

Arturo Santiago

Articles by Arturo Santiago

We Have a Winner!

| As it happens every year around this time, I’m beginning to schedule next year’s events that I plan on attending. Every year I go to SWANApalooza, which is in Boston, MA, from February 25–28, 2019. In adding this to my calendar, I’m pleased and honored to have been asked by SWANA to moderate one of ... READ MORE

Women in Construction…Discuss

| Not long ago, I was in a discussion with a colleague about young women with ambition. I was asked about how I advise and encourage my daughter (who is a senior in college) as she prepares to leave the world of academia and is in the process of formulating plans to achieve new goals as ... READ MORE

They Call It “Distributed Modular Gasification”

| Recently I’ve been seeing more and more stories on the news and websites and social media about how the world is drowning in plastic. I’m glad this is on the radar of an increasing number of media outlets so that they can spread the word and educate people on the reality of recycling and how ... READ MORE

Just Recycle the Carbon Dioxide

| The White House Administration recently released part two of its US Climate Assessment in which it details how climate change is affecting our nation more than ever and warns of future catastrophes from coastal flooding to crop failures in the Midwest. Heavy equipment manufacturers have been in the struggle for some time, investing a great ... READ MORE

New options for Cat® 918M Compact Wheel Loader include high-lift loader linkage, fusion coupler, guarding, larger tires

| Caterpillar now offers the 918M compact wheel loader with four new options: high-lift loader linkage, Cat Fusion™ coupler, five-piece guarding package and wider tires. High-lift linkage The new high-lift loader linkage option is designed specifically for applications in waste and recycling, agriculture, and construction that can benefit from increased lift height and increased reach of ... READ MORE

Design Refinements for New Cat® Articulated Trucks Address Operator Safety and Convenience, Enhanced Control, and Powertrain Advances

| Three new Cat® articulated trucks—730, 730 EJ (Ejector), and 735—have been extensively redesigned, enhancing the field-proven features and performance of their C-Series predecessors (730C2, 730C2 EJ, and 735C) with new operator stations—including innovative new controls, transmission-protection features, new hoist-assist system, advanced traction control system, new stability-assist system, and a fuel saving ECO operating mode. In ... READ MORE

It Takes No Skill to Feel a Chill

| I was recently at a press event in the Midwest for heavy equipment. It was cold. The temperatures were in the 30s during the day and in the teens and 20s at night. But there was something else that I understood to be even more chilling, so to speak. The event included a number of ... READ MORE

Is Malaysia the New China?

| When I was a kid, my friends and I used to find empty lots in or around the neighborhood and turn it into a temporary baseball field. Inevitably, the lot would be developed or someone would figure out it was our playground and fence it off. When that happened—when we were “banned”—we simply looked for ... READ MORE

Guess What Today Is

| The nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful has been around for decades. Its current mission is pretty simple. It is to “inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment.” When I hear the words “Keep America Beautiful,” I think of a crying Native American from a television public ... READ MORE

Frightening, But Not Scary

| Every year just after Halloween, I feel the need to explain to people that I don’t like or enjoy anything that scares me. That includes roller coasters, haunted houses, clowns, zombies, zombie clowns, and scary movies. Scary books are included in that list. I especially dislike scary movies. They give me nightmares. Scary movies with ... READ MORE

Trimble Unifies Business Center Software to Provide a Single Version for Survey and Civil Construction

| Complete Office Software Solution Lowers Operational Costs, Increases Productivity for Enterprises LAS VEGAS, November, 2018—Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) announced version 5.0 of Trimble® Business Center, which merges two products, Trimble Business Center and Business Center – HCE, to provide both surveying and civil construction customers with a complete office software solution. Combining both products into one ... READ MORE

Fighting the Good Fight

| It seems like California wildfires regularly dominate the headlines as it seems each new blaze is more destructive and deadly than the last. It’s also becoming more apparent that one of the riskiest jobs in battling these fires is operating a bulldozer. One of the main tools being used to battle these monstrous blazes is ... READ MORE

Number One Bricks

| You know how scientists are always making everyday items out of not so obvious used materials? Well, maybe not “always” now that I’m trying to remember some of those things. But if anyone asks you, “What’s the weirdest thing a scientist has ever made out of a not-so-obvious used material?” you can tell them this: ... READ MORE

Something Good and Something Better

| This week I am in Las Vegas for Trimble Dimensions. That means that I’m going to fill this space with some good news and then a better piece of video for you to enjoy. First, I’ll give you the good news. According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), in the month of October, ... READ MORE

There’s a Will, Here’s the Way

| The European Parliament is the lawmaking branch for the institutions of the European Union (EU). There are currently 751 members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The MEPs recently voted overwhelmingly to approve a complete ban on single-use plastics across the union. According to the BBC, the measure still faces some procedural obstacles, but it is ... READ MORE

It’s Called “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018”

| 99 to 1. That was the nearly unanimous vote in the United States Senate approving America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 which the President signed into law. That amounts to nearly $6 billion for water resource projects and policies that will be administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers. According to CNN, “The America’s ... READ MORE

You May Be At Risk

| Like most boys growing up, one of the chores my brother and I were tasked with was the weekly ritual of “taking out the garbage.” Back then, it would entail toting out black Hefty bags from the garage to the curb. More often than not, my brother and I would forget about garbage day until ... READ MORE

Sit! Good Dog

| Construction sites have been the inspiration for numerous technological advances. The construction site has been the driving force behind telematics, machine control, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles. It apparently is now the “birthing place” for a new breed of robot dogs. Robot dogs scare me. Maybe it’s because ever since I was a little boy, ... READ MORE

This Is No Laughing Matter

| One of my favorite cable TV stations is Comedy Central. Among the shows that I watch is “The Jim Jeffries Show.” I had it on the other day, but I wasn’t really watching because it was the time of day when everyone in my family is getting home from school or just finishing the work ... READ MORE

A New Recycling Learning Curve

| A handful of friends and I usually get together for a weekly Trivia Night at our local watering hole. At our most recent cerebral competition, as we were placing our drink orders, one of our teammates asked for a glass of water without a straw. Immediately, multiple conversations broke out about the banning of plastic ... READ MORE

Buried Alive

| Nearly two years ago in the November/December 2016 issue of Grading and Excavation Contractor, we published an article called, “Safety: Excavation and Trenching Dangers.” In that article is the story of Eric Giguere, a man who was buried alive in a trench collapse. “As Eric Giguere left for work on the morning of October 4, ... READ MORE

It All Adds Up

| I remember when I first started college. At the time, I was so sick of school that I announced proudly and quite emphatically to my parents that I was going to get through college in three and a half years. And I was able to do it. After about six years, I finally used the ... READ MORE

Major League Disappointment

| I’m not sure if this is going to be an accurate analogy, but it sure seemed like the Major League Baseball regular season felt like the struggle to get an infrastructure funding bill passed. Here’s what I mean. The MLB season is 162 games long. Usually, it’s easy to identify the teams headed for the ... READ MORE

Revisiting Right to Repair

| It’s been a while since I’ve discussed “Right to Repair” in this blog. The issue circles around the notion that owners of heavy equipment, those in agriculture who run tractors and combines or those in construction who operate dozers and excavators, should have access to, for lack of a better term, “hack” into their iron ... READ MORE

Wait…What?

| Throw away your plastic bags. They say it’s okay. There’s no need to choose which bin is the appropriate one for them. There’s no need to stockpile them for future use. They say this is now the “new normal.” “They” is the County of Santa Barbara on California’s Central Coast. This is from an article ... READ MORE

180 Dump Trucks

| According to WUNC public radio, Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan says heavy rains from Florence caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill near the North Carolina coast. The breach displaced about 2,000 cubic yards of ash. That’s enough ash to fill about 180 dump trucks. Officials are still trying to figure out ... READ MORE

Wilson!

| If you don’t remember the movie Cast Away, here’s a brief synopsis. Tom Hanks is stranded on an uninhabited tropical island following a plane crash. As he struggles to survive, a Wilson brand volleyball washes ashore. The castaway paints a face on the ball and names it “Wilson.” Wilson becomes a cherished friend. The castaway ... READ MORE

Where Has the Time Gone?

| I remember clearly the 2008 financial crisis. The broadcast industry was one of the first to react by laying off hundreds of reporters, producers, directors, and engineers, many of whom had decades of experience in the business. I was counted among them and lost my job. At least for me, a lot has changed in ... READ MORE

Lights…Camera…MRF Summit!

| One of the more anticipated keynote presentations at this year’s WASTECON in Nashville, TN, was the MRF Summit. The high-powered panel included Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) executive director and CEO, David Biderman; Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) president, Robin Wiener; and the associate director of corporate research and development at ... READ MORE

Ball of Confusion

| I might be overstating it a bit with this title, but I do find the tentative US/Mexico trade deal, or as the White House calls it a “preliminary trade agreement,” somewhat confusing. The Administration says it’s going to submit the agreement that was reached last week to Congress and set up under the Trade Promotion ... READ MORE

Have You Tried the Road Diet?

| The ketogenic diet, or “keto” diet, is popular these days. I think there are still some people who are on the Paleo diet. And I have some big, burly friends who are on the Tom Brady diet (though I honestly don’t know what that entails). I do want to talk about a diet, just not ... READ MORE

Smaller Fish to Fry

| At WASTECON in Nashville, TN, there’s been much discussion of China Sword and the effects it’s had on the waste and recycling industries. More Southeast Asian countries are beginning to impose stricter waste import regulations. The trade war and retaliatory tariffs have now engulfed our industries. These are big problems that need to be dealt ... READ MORE

I Hope It Doesn’t Happen Again

| This week, the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy, collapsed during a storm. At least 25 people were killed when 260 feet of the span came loose and dropped about 150 feet to the ground below. The search for survivors continues. The bridge is on a major highway that connects Italy with France. It was built ... READ MORE

Recent History Says We Can Do This

| Remember the Montreal Protocol? In 1987, nations around the world agreed to ban chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). It had been discovered that CFCs were destroying the ozone layer in the earth’s stratosphere. The ozone, as we know, protects the planet below from ultraviolet radiation. To the general public, banning CFCs meant giving up spray ... READ MORE

Editor’s Comments: Changing Times

| My first on-air reporting job was in 1995 in Flint, MI, at WEYI, the NBC affiliate. The first six months were spent on the overnight shift from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Being the low man on the seniority ladder meant printing out scripts which were on 4-ply paper (for four copies), tape them together, and then run them on a conveyor belt through the teleprompter for the anchors to read. The scripts were hand-typed and the teleprompter was hand-cranked. Our equipment was dated and considered to be antique. ... READ MORE

A WASTECON Like No Other

| I’ve been making a list of the things I’d like to do in Nashville, TN, when I’m there for WASTECON 2018 this month. Of course I’d like to see the Grand Ole Opry. I like to wear black a lot so I want to visit the Johnny Cash Museum. Nelson’s Green Briar Distillery seems to ... READ MORE

Imagine What We Could Do with Cardboard

| One of my favorite comic strips is “Calvin and Hobbes.” And one of my favorite themes from the strip is Calvin using a cardboard box and turning it into a “Transmogrifier,” a machine that could turn him into an eel, a baboon, a giant bug, or a dinosaur. In an attempt to avoid doing his ... READ MORE

A Letter from China

| China’s Ministry of Commerce has, through its World Trade Organization (WTO) Notification and Enquiry Center, responded to comments from several WTO members including the US regarding the impact of National Sword. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) posted the letter from China on its website. The letter begins: “We appreciate the United States’ attention ... READ MORE

Hold the Anchovies

| I like my pizza with extra cheese, mushrooms, and pepperoni. Every now and then I go for a meat lover’s pizza. Once at a birthday party that was held at a winery, they had a wood-fired pizza oven and we baked our own mini pizzas with gourmet cheeses, meats, and vegetables. I love pizza so ... READ MORE

Stuck in the Mud Again

| In response to a question during a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, “We’re going to continue to look at ways to improve the nation’s infrastructure, but in terms of a specific piece of legislation, I’m not aware that that will happen by the end of the year.” No ... READ MORE

GX—Reader Favorites

| Listed below are the top Editor Blogs, Reader Favorite articles, and Grading & Excavation Contractor magazine articles for you to enjoy. This list is curated based on reader views, search traffic, e-mail click-through, and most commented articles. ... READ MORE

Doosan introduces new DL280-5 wheel loader with optional guarding package

| (SUWANEE, Ga. – May 2018) Doosan Infracore North America, LLC, has extended its wheel loader lineup with the new DL280-5 wheel loader. The new DL280-5 is part of the popular category of 3- to 4-cubic-yard wheel loaders. The Doosan® DL280-5 is designed to provide operators with enhanced performance and comfort as well as increased uptime ... READ MORE

Reusable Packaging Association Launches Switch, Save + Sell Campaign Promoting the Value of Reusable Transport Packing in Food Applications

| Tampa, FL (May 2, 2018). The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) launched today a new campaign promoting the value of reusable transport packaging systems for the movement of food from farm, producer, or processor to point of sale. The campaign demonstrates how food distribution can be more efficient, effective, and sustainable in a reusable packaging system, ... READ MORE

John Deere Introduces High-Performance Vibratory Plate Compactors

| Moline, Ill. (April 18, 2018) — John Deere is adding three new plate compactors to its portfolio of over 100 Worksite Pro™ attachments, offering customers more model options to choose from while maintaining the same reliability they’ve come to expect from the manufacturer. Designed for trench, slope and excavation compaction applications, the PC4, PC7 and ... READ MORE

A Finite Amount of Sand

| Did you know that there are basically two types of sand? First, there’s water-swept sand. This is the sand you find near rivers, lakes, and beaches. And there’s wind-swept sand. You’ll find wind-swept sand in deserts. For years, water-swept sand has been used to make concrete because of its grittiness. Wind-swept sand has always been ... READ MORE

Really, Really Small Packages

| For the past year or so, I’ve been keeping loose track of research and development into improving the ways concrete is made. I’ve blogged about researchers at Cardiff University in Wales who were developing self-repairing cement using shape-memory polymers and bacteria. Laura Sanchez—the editor of our sister publication, Water Efficiency—blogged about incorporating fungi into the ... READ MORE

This is Close to Home

| It will take months and, in some cases, years for things to get back to “normal” in the cities of Santa Barbara and Montecito following a devastating wildfire and catastrophic mudslides. The main thoroughfare up the coast, Highway 101, has just been repaired, cleared, and reopened to traffic. The remaining cleanup is going to require ... READ MORE

Haver & Boecker Screening Technology Increases Efficiency for More Uptime

| ST. CATHARINES, Ontario (Dec. 7, 2017) – Haver & Boecker, a leading equipment manufacturer and solutions provider for the aggregates and mining industries, offers efficiency-enhancing screening technology to optimize screening operations. Designed for minimal structural vibration, the Tyler F-Class vibrating screen is ideal for tough applications, such as scalping and classifying ores, minerals, stones, sand ... READ MORE

A Caterpillar’s Metamorphosis—Part 2

| Last week, we started a conversation with Caterpillar’s Bob De Lange, the group president of construction industries, about CAT’s Next Gen excavators and other measures taking place at the company. This week, we cover Caterpillar’s electronic solutions, what the focus will be in 2018, doing business in current and future market conditions, and CAT’s new ... READ MORE

Naming Names

| As a resident of California, I recently had to make a fairly significant change to my weekly gasoline budget due to the state’s new fuel tax (12 cents per gallon for gasoline, 20 cents per gallon for diesel). Vehicle registration fees are scheduled to go up in 2020, $25 to $175 depending on the value ... READ MORE

The Year in Preview

| As we near the end of the calendar year, it’s sometimes tradition for a publication to take stock of major events, issues, or news that have transpired over the past 12 months and reminisce with the “Year in Review.” I’ve been contemplating it for this space, at this time. But I’ve come up with a ... READ MORE

Why Isn’t This the Lead Story Everywhere?

| The other day I was giving a friend a ride home from work and we started (actually I started) talking about the China Waste Ban which is supposed to go into effect at the end of the year. I tried to spell out for her the impact such a ban would have not only on ... READ MORE

Mack Trucks Signs MOU with Lytx

| NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO (Oct. 26, 2017) – Mack Trucks announced today it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lytx, a leading provider of video services that help enhance the safety, efficiency, productivity and profitability of fleets.   Mack is exploring Lytx DriveCam, an in-cab camera system which records internal and external events when ... READ MORE

The Beast of the East

| One of my favorite cable TV channels is the Velocity channel. It airs all kinds of car and truck shows that repair, restore, or modify different kinds of vehicles. I especially enjoy the episodes in which they upgrade a pickup truck or SUV for off-road driving. Ocean City, MD, recently modified a waste collection truck ... READ MORE

This Is Only the Beginning

| When it comes to developing technologies in construction equipment, it seems that soon after I write that a developing innovation is “not far away” or “in the near future,” the moment is suddenly upon us—as it is now with autonomous construction equipment, iron that digs and moves dirt without an operator inside or outside of ... READ MORE

CONSTRUCTION JOBS INCREASE IN 35 STATES AND D.C. BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 2016 AND SEPTEMBER 2017

| Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between September 2016 and September 2017, while 26 states added construction jobs between August and September as some state employment levels were impacted by recent hurricanes, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials ... READ MORE

Who Will Rebuild?

| In my days as a news reporter, I had to learn how to deal with stories that involved the tragic loss of life. I didn’t ignore or refuse to feel or acknowledge what had happened. Quite the opposite: I chose to embrace my empathy and compassion, which helped me identify more closely with the story ... READ MORE

The Numbers Are Staggering

| Hurricane Harvey hit Texas as a category 4 storm in late August and caused approximately $180 billion in damage. The number of people affected from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky is in the neighborhood of 13 million. 39,000 people were forced into shelters after their homes were invaded by flood waters. And the ... READ MORE

A Big Thing in a Small Package

| For years I’ve been fascinated with the progression and evolution of telematics packages in heavy equipment. First in individual pieces of iron, and then to include fleets and job sites. The bigger and more expansive the telematics, the better. Now another telematics device has captured my attention. But this isn’t bigger. This is actually much ... READ MORE

The First Domino Falls

| Here’s something you never think about that I’m going to make you think about. Falling dominoes. I’m talking about those gigantic kinetic displays that show thousands of dominoes standing side by side in a row, in a spiral, in a circle, in a pattern, and even in multi-level structures. You start by pushing one over ... READ MORE

Not Quite Circular but Loopy

| During a recent visit to the Oxnard Del Norte Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Oxnard, CA, I took a selfie and posted it to social media with the caption, “My office for the day.” I ended up getting 50 likes and a few comments. One of the comments is from a cousin of mine (who ... READ MORE

AEM Members Step Up to Support Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

| Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas late last month and caused substantial damage and devastation over the course of a few days, leaving hundreds of thousands fighting to save their flooded homes, flattened communities and waterlogged possessions. The strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, the storm killed more than 60 ... READ MORE

The China Waste Ban: Be Part of the Solution

| The mid-July headline from Reuters read, “China says it won’t take any more foreign garbage.” China informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it would not be accepting any more imported waste such as plastics, paper, slag from steelmaking, ash, etc. In its filing with the WTO, China said, “We found that large amounts of dirty ... READ MORE

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ADDS 28,000 JOBS IN AUGUST AFTER SPENDING DROP IN JULY

| Hiring Levels May Have Been Higher But Most Firms Report Having a Hard Time Finding Qualified Workers; Association Officials Call on Senate to Pass Perkins Bill to Boost Funding for Career and Technical Education   Construction employment increased by 28,000 jobs in August, following a dip in hiring and spending in July, but contractors face ... READ MORE

And the Hybrid Wheel Loader Operator Said…

| It doesn’t have axles. Each wheel has its own electric motor. The hydraulics are electric driven. Its small diesel engine charges the battery energy storage system. 98% of its parts are new and it’s fundamentally a new design. Volvo CE has been field testing the LX1 hybrid wheel loader since the end of last year ... READ MORE

SEVENTY-PERCENT OF CONTRACTORS HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING QUALIFIED CRAFT WORKERS TO HIRE AMID GROWING CONSTRUCTION DEMAND

| Chronic Labor Shortages are Changing the Way Many Firms Operate, Recruit and Compensate Workers, but Long-Term Economic Impacts Could Be Severe Without New Workforce Measures, Officials Caution Seventy percent of construction firms report they are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce, according to the results ... READ MORE

Electricity is in the Air

| The electric revolution in heavy equipment continues to move forward. The latest offering comes from Caterpillar and its new electric drive 988K XE wheel loader. It uses what Cat calls its switched reluctance technology. The wheel loader still has its C18 engine, mechanical drop box, driveline, and axles. In the 988K XE, the engine is ... READ MORE

Infrastructure Coalition Condemns Trump’s Termination of Local Hiring Program

| WASHINGTON — In response to President Trump ending the Local Labor Hiring Pilot Program, an Obama-era initiative designed to create local jobs through federal infrastructure investment, Tate Hausman, co-director of the Millions of Jobs coalition, issued the following statement: “The “You’re Fired” President has just eliminated a program that guarantees good jobs to local workers building infrastructure ... READ MORE

VIDEO: Is Your Fire Expert Prepared?

| Is your fire expert properly educated and qualified according to NFPA 1033? Is he or she prepared to carry out a proper investigation? Can this person defend his or her professional qualifications? If you answered no to any of these questions, it is time to seek additional training for your fire expert on staff, Kirk ... READ MORE

THIRTY-SIX STATES AND D.C. ADD CONSTRUCTION JOBS BETWEEN JULY 2016 & 2017

| Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between July 2016 and July 2017, yet only half the states added construction jobs between June and July amid declining public-sector investments in infrastructure and other construction projects, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. ... READ MORE

And the SWANA 2017 Excellence Award Winners Are…

| I love movies. And I’ve always been a fan of the Academy Awards including all the hype and buildup that precedes Oscar night. I’m avid because I consider the significance of the awards to be a measurement to aspire to for the motion picture industry, and the cultural impact it has on a society that ... READ MORE

There Will Be Major Repercussions

| China recently filed with the World Trade Organization its intent to ban the import of a number of scrap categories by the end of the year. We’re talking about mostly mixed paper and plastics along with scalings and other waste from the manufacturing of iron and steel. The filing states the reason for the import ... READ MORE

California Work Dreaming

| The State of California is on track to take in an estimated $52 billion more to help pay for the state’s transportation needs for the next decade. It will come largely from a 12 cent increase in the base gasoline tax and higher vehicle registration fees that are based on vehicle value. Most of the money ... READ MORE

Foiled by Research

| When I think of aluminum foil, the nerd in me thinks of those cone-shaped caps made out of foil and worn to keep aliens from reading people’s minds. Don’t ask me why, I just do. In fact, that’s what I thought of when I read on the website, isustainableearth.com, that over 75% of all aluminum ... READ MORE

Like a Ton of Bricks… In a Good Way

| The first thing I’d like you to do is watch the beginning of a short clip from the movie, Tomorrowland. It shows a boy trying to avoid robots as they print a skyscraper in a futuristic world where the brightest and smartest people have come to live. You don’t need any popcorn. You only need ... READ MORE

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING DECREASES FROM MAY TO JUNE AS PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND EDUCATION TUMBLE

| Construction spending in June declined from May but increased from a year ago as public investment shrank for nearly every type of structure, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned that the significant declines in public-sector construction spending come at a time when much ... READ MORE

You and Me Are Gonna Be Partners

| I recently saw the old Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First” routine. It’s a timeless classic that made me think of other famous duos like Martin and Lewis, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thelma and Louise, Simon and Garfunkel, Crockett and Tubbs, Jay and Silent Bob, I could go on and on. My point ... READ MORE

Where the Sun Won’t Shine

| Coming up on Monday, August 21, a solar eclipse will travel coast to coast, across the United States. For many, it will be a “total eclipse” depending on where you are. As it moves across the country, the area of the sun that will be completely blocked out by the moon is only 70 miles ... READ MORE

CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT CLIMBS IN 41 STATES BETWEEN JUNE 2016 AND JUNE 2017

| Forty-one states added construction jobs between June 2016 and June 2017 amid continuing widespread demand for construction services, while 25 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between May and June, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials said the smaller ... READ MORE

“She’s Smart, She’s Efficient, and She Handles Like a Dream”

| It doesn’t have axles. Each wheel has its own electric motor. The hydraulics are electric driven. Its small diesel engine charges the battery energy storage system. 98% of its parts are new and it’s a fundamentally new design. Volvo CE has been field testing the LX1 hybrid wheel loader since the end of last year ... READ MORE

Hybrid Technology Winds Up in the Landfill

| I recently told you about the electric collection vehicle that was being tested by Los Angeles Sanitation (LASAN). The electric refuse truck was developed by BYD and Wayne Engineering and put through a four month pilot project this year on the same routes as LASAN’s regular collection vehicles. It delivered up to four tons per ... READ MORE

CONSTRUCTION SECTOR ADDS 16,000 JOBS IN JUNE FOLLOWING THREE-MONTH LULL

| Contractors Struggle to Fill Jobs despite Hourly Earnings 10 Percent Higher than Private-Sector Average;  Association Officials Call for Measures to Make it Easier to Set Up Construction Training Programs Construction employment increased by 16,000 jobs in June to the highest level since October 2008, signaling a new burst of hiring after three months of pause, ... READ MORE

The Plastic Bottle Horror

| Over the holiday I took time to watch a couple of horror flicks. One of them had an ending which left me with a sheer sense of dread. Probably because I bought into the premise of the movie even though it most likely will never happen. The thing is, I now have a very similar ... READ MORE

Space Waste Detectives

| I love Star Trek. That includes the original series, Next Generation, and Voyager. Deep Space Nine not so much. I love Star Wars. I won’t list them all here. I binge-watched the entire Battlestar Galactica series reboot a few weeks ago. From my backyard, I can see rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Space ... READ MORE

You Didn’t Hear It From Me

| I’ve mentioned to you that American infrastructure is ranked number 11 in the world. I have said many times over that the state of our infrastructure impacts not only our industry, but also the ability of our industry to do business and compete with the companies and countries around the world who do invest in ... READ MORE

HOUSE PASSAGE OF PERKINS ACT LEGISLATION AN IMPORTANT STEP IN ADDRESSING GROWING CONSTRUCTION WORKFORCE SHORTAGES

| Legislation Includes Needed Reforms to Makes it Easier for School Districts to Teach Construction Skills and Improves Employer Engagement The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement today in response to the passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act ... READ MORE

AED Praises Lawmakers for Addressing Nation’s Skills Gap

| Brian P. McGuire, president and CEO of Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of the Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education Act. The AED Foundation recently commissioned two studies ... READ MORE

Apples and Oranges Food Waste

| Here are a couple of clichés. “Measure twice, cut once.” “Don’t compare apples and oranges.” Both are appropriate in my mind when quantifying food waste. When talking about how much food is wasted, it makes sense to use the same metric and/or definition of food waste. Can a single organization simply declare that one quarter ... READ MORE

U.S. House to Vote on AED-Supported Perkins Act Reauthorization Bill on June 22

| On June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). H.R. 2353, which AED strongly supports, reforms, modernizes and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The Perkins Act, which hasn’t been updated in more than ... READ MORE

Industry Praise for President Trump

| 25 to 3. That was the score of my Sunday night league softball game. My team scored the 3 runs. For the last few years we’ve been in or near the basement when it came to the final standings. It’s frustrating because I know the reason for this endless mediocrity. We have a skills gap. ... READ MORE

CATERPILLAR ANNOUNCES VICE PRESIDENT RETIREMENTS, APPOINTMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES

| PEORIA, Ill. — Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) today announced three vice presidents, Paolo Fellin, Greg Folley and George Taylor, have elected to retire. In connection with these retirements and the company’s previously announced plan to review and update its strategy, Caterpillar is also announcing organizational changes, appointing two new vice presidents and launching a search for a third. Paolo Fellin Retirement After 37 years ... READ MORE

OSHA and NIOSH Team Up to Offer Updated Heat Safety App

| The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and OSHA have collaborated to update OSHA’s original Heat Safety Tool. The updated app, available for both Android and iPhone, provides a clearer user interface, while still providing the same information to help keep workers safe when working outdoors in hot weather. Extreme heat causes more deaths than ... READ MORE

It’s Electrifying!

| I’ve been telling you about the idea of running fleet vehicles on electric power; specifically collection trucks. The good news now is that the concept is not only moving forward, it’s evolving at tremendous speed and with a lot of torque. The City of Los Angeles’ sanitation department, LA Sanitation (LASAN) started a four month ... READ MORE

We’re Number Eleven!

|   “We’re number one! We’re number one!” It’s a chant that I’ve heard forever in sports, in the workplace, and basically anywhere and anytime a competitive edge had been won. Unfortunately when it comes to infrastructure, we can only chant, “We’re number eleven.” If we even want to chant anything at all. According to the ... READ MORE

PRESIDENT’S FOCUS ON STREAMLINING THE FEDERAL PERMITTING PROCESS WILL MAKE IT EASIER, AND LESS EXPENSIVE, TO BUILD NEEDED PROJECTS

| Construction Official Says President’s Plan to Accelerate Federal Reviews for Infrastructure Projects Will Allow Transportation officials to Get Quicker Decisions So they Can Start Work or Move On The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, released the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s plan announced earlier today ... READ MORE

AEM: Time for Action on Trump Infrastructure Plan

| Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement on Monday regarding President Trump’s new infrastructure plan: The Trump Administration gets tremendous credit from the U.S. equipment manufacturing industry for focusing our national dialogue on the need to make substantial investments in American infrastructure. Infrastructure investment routinely ranks among voters’ top policy ... READ MORE

This Preview is Suitable for All Audiences

| I took my daughter to see the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Back when she was a teenager, I revealed to her my extensive comic book collection and ever since, whenever a superhero movie comes out, we see it together just the two of us. Among our favorite moments are (as with a ... READ MORE

ISWA’s Statement on USA’s Decision to exit the Climate Change Agreement

| As Donald Trump pulls the plug on the United States’ involvement in the Climate Change Agreement, ISWA President Antonis Mavropoulos makes it very clear that ISWA stands with all the industry and political leaders who have since spoken out against Donald Trump’s dangerous actions. This is an affront to science, our planet and to our ... READ MORE

CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT INCREASES BY 11,000 IN MAY TO EIGHT-YEAR HIGH

| Construction employment increased by 11,000 jobs in May to the highest level since October 2008 and average weekly hours set a series high for May as contractors struggled to find enough workers to meet demand for projects, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials urged ... READ MORE

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