NAHETS Blog

National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Services, NAHETS Blog

April 14, 2013

Posted by nahetsblog on April 14, 2013

Construction Sector Adds 18,000 Jobs in March

Construction employment experienced an increase for the tenth month in a row in March, as the sector added 18,000 jobs, according to analysis of federal data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). The sector surpassed 5.8 million employees for the first time since September 2009.

“The nearly steady expansion of construction payrolls since hitting bottom in January 2011 brought the industry’s unemployment rate down to 14.7 percent last month, the lowest March rate since 2008,” said Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “Unfortunately, the decline is less a result of the 370,000 construction hires than because more than a million and a half experienced workers have left the industry since its peak by taking other jobs, retiring or leaving the workforce. That makes shortages of skilled workers increasingly likely in high-demand crafts such as pipefitting, welding and some residential activities.”

The 5.802 million construction workers employed in March constituted an increase of 162,000 or 2.9 percent from a year ago and included many, but not all, nonresidential segments as well as residential construction, Simonson noted. Residential building and specialty trade contractors added 14,800 workers in the month and 77,800 (3.8 percent) over 12 months. Nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors, along with heavy and civil engineering construction firms, boosted employment by 3,000 in March and 84,400 (2.3 percent) since March 2012.

“In contrast to the broad gains in most construction segments, employment in public works construction has been flat or falling,” Simonson said. These counts, which lag the overall industry totals by one month, show a drop of 3,500 employees (1.5 percent) in highway, street and bridge construction from February 2012 to February 2013 and a pickup of only 1,000 (0.7 percent) in water and sewer system construction. At the other extreme, Simonson said, oil and gas pipeline construction employment soared by 16,300 (14.5 percent) and power and communication system construction employment jumped by 14,400 (13.0 percent).

Construction job growth hits 7-year high

While today’s job’s report was disappointing on nearly all fronts, there was one bright spot that shone through the dismal numbers: sustained construction-job growth.

"The solid increase in construction employment in March, which brought the average monthly gain during the first quarter to 30,000 jobs, the biggest in seven years, supports the view that the housing recovery will continue to march on despite headwinds from fiscal drags," said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan in a statement.

Indeed, the economy continues to add construction jobs at a fast clip. At 3.8 percent year over year in March, the growth rate of residential-construction jobs towers over the overall jobs growth rate of 1.4 percent. In the last two years construction has added 317,000 jobs to the economy, with over half of that increase occurring in the last six months, the White House said in a statement on the jobs report.

Even still, the rate of construction job growth lags far behind growth in actual home construction — which was a whopping 28 percent year over year in February, according to the Census Bureau. Today, Trulia economist Jed Kolko offered an explanation for why this is:

"A key reason for this seemingly slow rebound in construction jobs is that construction activity (in units or dollar value) fell much more than employment did after the housing bubble burst. Economists point to "labor hoarding": firms often hold on to more workers than they need in temporary downturns if the cost of firing, rehiring, and retraining is high relative to keeping them on," Kolko wrote in a blog post. "That means jobs declined less than construction activity during the bust and are therefore now rebounding less."

The number of construction jobs for every housing unit actually appears bloated, Kolko found. In February, there were about 3.7 jobs per unit, up 40 percent from a February 2001 level of 2.6 per unit, he said.

As home construction continues to rise, the sector will continue to generate jobs, but the number of jobs per unit should gradually decline to pre-bubble levels, he said.

"For builders who are reporting labor shortages today, that headache is likely to get worse, not better, as the recovery continues," he added.

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Terex Launches New All Terrain Product

Posted by nahetsblog on April 9, 2013

As reported from www.cranestodaymagazine.com, “Terex’s Bauma 2013 stand will include the first appearance of a brand new family of all terrains. The new all terrain crane, due to be shown in a five-axle variant, will be joined by the first trade show appearances of the company’s new Quadstar rough terrain cranes and Superlift crawlers.”

Cranes Today Magazine also publishes, wnorth@cranestodaymagazine.com

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Number of Improving Housing Markets Steady in April 2013

Posted by nahetsblog on April 9, 2013

Improving US housing markets was at 273 metros in April, virtually unchanged after seven months of gains.

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Jobless Rate slides to 7.6%

Posted by nahetsblog on April 8, 2013

The U.S. economy added 88,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.6%. Economists had forecast that nonfarm payrolls would rise by 200,000 and the unemployment rate would hold steady at 7.7%.

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Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 Heavy Equipment Operators

Posted by nahetsblog on April 3, 2013

Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 Heavy Equipment Operators

Heavy equipment operators from capitalized on the opportunity to practice using their heavy equipment at the Haramura training area near Hiroshima during Exercise Thunder Horse, March 17-22, 2013.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -

The Marines practiced digging 14-foot trenches and individual fighting positions in an open field near the main campsite.

“The techniques from the training weren’t just meant for practice,” said Staff Sgt. Jose Camberos, MWSS-171 heavy equipment operations chief. “It gives the Marines an understanding of how their equipment works and the ways to move dirt. When the Marines leave the schoolhouse, they don’t get the opportunity to dig anti-tank ditches and fighting positions.”

Along with combat-oriented digging, Marines earned experience assisting others digging trenches around tents with backhoes instead of using entrenchment tools.

“Digging the trenches helped me to get a better feel for the backhoe,” said Lance Cpl. Austin Blodgett, MWSS-171 heavy equipment operator. “It added valuable stick time, which is when we get behind the controls and earn time practicing.”

With extended periods of rain throughout the training, mud and clay made operations more difficult for the Marines. It escalated to the point where even vehicles with all terrain tracks were getting stuck.

“Earth-moving is very specific when it comes to the material,” said
Camberos. “If the material is too dry, it will crumble away. If it’s too wet, vehicles tend to get stuck. We had the dozer get stuck, and that rarely happens.”

Aside from moving dirt and mud, Camberos also explained what his concept of the training was truly about.

“What I mainly look for when I train them in earth moving is the Marines understanding what they’re doing and not just moving dirt,” said Camberos. “If Marines don’t know the correct process for digging a fighting position, it would become a counterproductive process.”

With the Haramura training ground providing conditions for valuable teaching periods, the Marines leave not as experts, but more experienced in their profession.

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March 26, 2013

Posted by nahetsblog on March 27, 2013

Lake County cities sharing their heavy equipment: Whatever happened to …?

By Peter Krouse

Whatever happened to a study commissioned by Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost that explored the idea of Lake County municipalities sharing their heavy equipment, such as road graders and street sweepers?

The study turned into a resolution that the county and 23 of its cities, villages and townships have adopted.

The idea is to help localities save money in cash-strapped times. If one city has a backhoe it’s not using, it can share it with a neighbor who then won’t have to go out and buy or rent one.

The state auditor’s office is developing software that will track equipment inventory across the county and indicate what items are available at a given time.

Not everybody has the same needs.

Willoughby Hills, for instance, has a backhoe, a sewer-cleaning machine and a mower with a hydraulic arm that can reach over and cut grass on the other side of guardrails, said Mayor Robert Weger last year.

What the city doesn’t have, but could borrow if necessary, are items such as a sewer-camera truck, bulldozer and asphalt spreader, he said.

The sewer-camera truck alone might cost more than $200,000 if the city had to buy one, Weger said.

Mentor-on-the-Lake also has backhoes and a sewer cleaner, then-Mayor John Rogers said last year, but the city’s lift truck went kaput a while back so borrowing one from Painesville, which has more than one, might make sense.

One of the most important pieces of equipment in Northeast Ohio are snow plows. But Weger doesn’t think there will be much sharing of them because everybody will be needing their own at the same time.

The shared services resolution "really formalizes an agreement that was basically a verbal agreement between communities," said Rogers, who is now a state representative.

The resolution doesn’t obligate municipalities to share, so why have it?

"Well, because there’s a lot of lawyers our there," Rogers said, and the resolution includes language that indemnifies the loaning municipality if something goes wrong.

Yost said he selected Lake County for his shared-services pilot program because it already "had a very rich infrastructure of relationships."

"They had already talked about the issues surrounding this kind of idea," he said.

Yost said he wants to come back after a year and depending on how the system is working in Lake County, introduce it to other counties in the state.

Caterpillar to Feature the Latest in Engine Technologies at the 13th CIPPE Exhibition

Cat 3516C (HD) to Be Launched at the 2013 CIPPE Show

Caterpillar Global Petroleum will unveil its latest innovative engine for hydraulic fracturing at the 13th China International Petroleum and Petrochemical Technology and Equipment Exhibition (CIPPE). Designed for pressure pumping operations, the Cat® 3516C (HD) engine delivers horsepower and is ideal for the growing well service market in China. In addition to the Cat 3516C (HD) engine, Caterpillar will showcase the industry leading TH55-E70 transmission utilized in pressure pumping applications, a CX31 transmission packaged with a Cat C15 ACERT™ engine for use in workover rig applications and a C18 petroleum generator set for production power.

“Caterpillar is fortunate to have an established reputation as a trusted power solutions provider in the Chinese oil and gas markets,” said Felix Toh, Caterpillar Global Petroleum regional sales manager for the Asia Pacific region. “Caterpillar is one of the most recognized and respected brands for delivering reliable products and services for both onshore and offshore applications. Together with the Cat dealer network, we can leverage decades of experience in the petroleum market to bring our Chinese customers comprehensive, integrated power solutions.”

3516C (HD) Engine for Hydraulic Fracturing – Caterpillar has increased power offerings for the pressure pumping market to include the higher horsepower Cat 3516C (HD) engine. The 3516C (HD) engine offers 2,461 bkW (3,300 bhp) @ 1900 rpm, providing customers with more power to optimize performance. The engine is also available at 2,349 bkW (3150 bhp) and 2,237 bkW (3000 bhp) @ 1900 rpm. Based on the proven Cat 3512C (HD) platform, the 3516C (HD) is compatible with the industry leading Cat TH55-E90 transmission and is designed for harsh operating conditions of the pressure pumping operation. The new engine will be available through Cat dealer network for global customers in 2013.

TH55-E90 Transmission – The TH55-E90 transmission is optimized for petroleum pumping applications. Its evenly spaced gear ratios provide smooth shifting for pumping, providing for a much broader range of pumping speeds than the competition. The transmission with 9 speed option and deep first gear ratio creates application flexibility, and allows pumping at lower flow rates and pressure.

CX31 – P600 Transmission Packaged with the Cat C15 ACERT Petroleum Engine – With a great power to weight ratio, the lightweight CX31 – P600 transmission delivers input power of 600 bhp (447 bkW) with a peak input torque of 2025 lb – ft (2746 N  m). The CX31 – P600 is optimized for pumping, workover and cementing application and features advanced well service controls to provide customers with flexibility and optimal performance. In addition to the C15 ACERT, the CX31 – P600 seamlessly integrates with the C9 ACERT, C11 ACERT, C13 ACERT and C18 ACERT petroleum engines.

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CA Board Seeks 8.6 Billion in BONDS

Posted by nahetsblog on March 23, 2013

Inline image 1

The project eventually is supposed to link Northern and Southern California with trains traveling up to 220 mph.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The California High-Speed Rail Authority voted Monday to issue nearly $8.6 billion in taxpayer-approved bonds to build the nation’s first bullet train as the state rushes to begin construction in July.

Officials are now on track to sell $3.7 billion of the bonds. That includes $2.6 billion for high speed rail and another $1.1 billion for improving existing commuter rail systems in Northern and Southern California.

Lawmakers appropriated the $3.7 billion last year, but the Legislature would have to act again to appropriate the remainder of the $8.6 billion before the entire amount can be issued.

The six-member board authorized selling the bonds on a 5-0 vote, without debate and with one member absent. Timing of the sale will now be set by the governor, attorney general and state treasurer, though the first opportunity to sell the bonds will be this fall, said Tom Dresslar, spokesman for Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

“It’s another step towards the process of breaking ground on the nation’s first high speed rail system in California this summer,” authority Chairman Dan Richard said after the vote.

The project still must withstand lawsuits that have court hearings in coming months. They include a hearing April 19 over the project’s environmental impacts, while a May 31 hearing will consider whether the funds meet the requirements set by voters when they approved the high speed rail program in 2008.

Adverse rulings in those lawsuits could stall the bond money, though Richard said groundbreaking can proceed using $3.

H&RConstr_300x250.jpg

3 billion in federal matching funds.

The first full segment of the $68 billion rail line will run from Madera to Bakersfield. The project eventually is supposed to link Northern and Southern California with trains traveling up to 220 mph.

Contractors have submitted bids to design and build the first $1.8 billion, 30-mile stretch of track. The bids from five international design teams will be opened later this spring, Richard said. The authority also is in the process of negotiating to buy land for the project’s right of way.

“Everything about this project is ambitious,” Richard said, but he predicted the authority will meet its construction timetable.

Interest payments on the entire amount would cost the state an estimated $700 million a year for 35 years, but at least the $175 million in annual debt payments on the initial bonds would come from fees paid by commercial truckers, not from the state’s general fund, Richard said. He said it is not clear if the overweight fees from truckers would cover the entire amount.

Not all the bonds will be sold at once, said state Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer. “In fact, you don’t want to sell them all now – it would be like drinking out of a fire hydrant.”

Several speakers challenged the timing of the authorization during the board’s public comment period, asking why the board was acting on the bulk of the bonds approved by voters now when it could be years before the money is needed. Kevin Dayton, a public policy consultant from Roseville, questioned whether the board was rushing to beat the outcome of the lawsuits attempting to block the railroad.

“That’s the obvious question that comes up,” Dayton said. “I think it’s reasonable to assume they’re very worried about it.”

But Richard said the board was merely being efficient by authorizing all the bonds now, so it would not have to revisit the issue in coming years.

The authority would have to comply with a court order no matter what steps it has taken, he said, and state officials are unlikely to issue the bonds until they are satisfied that they will not be blocked by the courts.

“We have to resolve those issues before the court and we are very confident about that,” Richard said. “I think until those matters are resolved, I’m not sure the treasurer would go forward with this.”

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OSHA Talks Crane Certification

Posted by nahetsblog on March 22, 2013

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled a third informal stakeholder meeting to solicit comments on the crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in

Construction standard. The third meeting will be held from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. on April 3, 2013.

The two meetings currently scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on April 2 and 3 are full. The three meetings will focus on the effectiveness of crane operator certification to ensure that crane operators can safely operate equipment and the level of competence and safe operation that certification ensures. The agency seeks information from the public on 1) the usefulness of certifying operators for different capacities of cranes, and 2) the risks of allowing an operator to operate all capacities of cranes within a specific type.

The operator qualification requirements are part of the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard that governs crane safety. The standard is the product of a negotiated rulemaking process that began in the summer of 2003 and culminated in the publication of the final rule on Aug. 9, 2010. The standard requires operators to be certified by November 2014. Secondly, the standard requires that certifications issued by an accredited testing organization specify the "capacity and type" of cranes the operator is certified to operate.

All meetings will be held at the U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3437 A, B, and C. The Department of Labor is located at 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20210.

Individuals interested in participating in, or observing, a meeting must pre-register by calling OSHA’s Directorate of Construction at 202-693-2020. The agency will post any additional information about the meetings on its website.

Due to limited space, only one individual per organization may participate in a meeting. OSHA will permit two observers from each organization, but only one observer if that organization also has a participant in a meeting. Organizations may only participate in one meeting. OSHA’s goal is to accommodate as wide an audience as possible of informed technical experts on crane safety and operator certification. To facilitate as much group interaction as possible, formal presentations will not be permitted.

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Construction Labor Shortage

Posted by nahetsblog on March 22, 2013

Reported today……Labor Shortages in Residential Construction Impeding Housing & Economic Recovery, Labor shortages have caused 46% of builders to experience delays, 15% have turned down projects and 9% have lost or cancelled sales.

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March 17, 2013

Posted by nahetsblog on March 17, 2013

Week ahead, stocks at support: Caterpillar (CAT), 3d Systems (DDD), Ebay (EBAY), F5 Networks (FFIV)

Mar 09, 2013 (ACCESSWIRE-TNW via COMTEX) — Bridgewater, MA (March 9, 2013) – With the markets and most stocks hitting new highs we did a search to find solid company’s currently at strong support with some wiggle room to move higher. What our search found was stocks Caterpillar CAT +0.15% , 3d Systems DDD -4.89% , Ebay EBAY -2.68% , and F5 Networks FFIV -0.44% .

Caterpillar CAT +0.15% founded in 1925 is a company specializing in the manufacturing of construction & mining equipment, engines, turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. CAT over the past month has pulled back to 90, a strong triple support price area. The stock currently has an upside price target T1 of 97.84 with an excellent profit/loss ratio of 4.8:1.

Full CAT report with stock charts and analysis here:

http://www.stockconsultant.com/consultnow/basicplus.cgi?symbol=CAT

3d Systems DDD -4.89% founded in 1986 is a company that develops, manufactures and markets worldwide 3D printing, scanning and software tools. DDD over the past 2 months has had three pullbacks with the latest pullback coming to rest on strong double support in the 33 to 34 price area. The stock currently has a price target T1 of 39.82 with a good profit/loss ratio of 3.7:1.

Full DDD report with stock charts and analysis here:

http://www.stockconsultant.com/consultnow/basicplus.cgi?symbol=DDD

Ebay EBAY -2.68% founded in 1995 is a company that provides online market places for the sale of goods and services as well as online payment solutions. Ebay over the past month has pulled back to strong triple support in the 53 price area. On Friday the stock held support with volume 30% higher than typical volume and currently has an upside price target T1 of 56.73 with a good profit/loss ratio of 3.2:1.

Full EBAY report with stock charts and analysis here:

http://www.stockconsultant.com/consultnow/basicplus.cgi?symbol=EBAY

F5 Networks FFIV -0.44% founded in 1996 is a company that provides products and services to manage Internet traffic worldwide. FFIV over the past two months has had two pullbacks and now sits on strong triple support in the 93 price area. The stock currently has an upside price target T1 of 102.28 with an excellent profit/loss ratio of 4:1.

Full FFIV report with stock charts and analysis here:

http://www.stockconsultant.com/consultnow/basicplus.cgi?symbol=FFIV

StockConsultant.com provides automated stock consulting on over 6000 US equities. Each detailed stock report contains easy to use technical analysis indicators, charts, and news to fine tune stock entry and exits. Today’s stocks came from our daily "Stocks to Watch" list and site’s powerful screen for stocks at strong support.

Disclosure: StockConsultant.com and its employees are not registered investment advisors and nothing contained in any materials should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell securities. Please check with a registered investment advisor before making any investment decisions.

Caterpillar Inc. : Cat® Machines Help Build Supercross Track Thanks to the Cat Rental Store

The Avesco Cat® Rental Store provided four Cat machines to sculpt 2,800 square meters of dirt into jumps, bumps and a bridge for the 27th International Supercross Geneva indoor track.

Supercross is a motorcycle racing sport involving off-road motorcycles on an artificially-made dirt track consisting of steep jumps and obstacles. Three compact track loaders and one excavator transformed the track over 2-1/2 days. The stakes were high, as time delays were not an option. The dependability of the machines was critical.

Jean-Luc Fouchet, manager of the JLFO company, was in charge of the construction of the track. "Using three compact track loaders, we can shape the obstacles very precisely. We can’t allow work to stop on the site, not even for an hour, and, thanks to Avesco Rent, when we’re working here in Geneva, we can sleep soundly at night," he said.

Stocks Trading Actively: Caterpillar Inc, Suncor Energy Inc, Lloyds Banking Group, CONSOL Energy Inc

Lakeway, TX — (SBWIRE) — 03/07/2013 — Bestdamnpennystocks, an investment community with a special focus on updating investors with recent news on the U.S. stock market, issues news alert on the following stocks:-

Caterpillar Inc.(NYSE:CAT) slid 0.36% and is trading at $89.32. Caterpillar Inc. (Caterpillar) is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.

How Should Investors Trade CAT After The Recent Movement? Find Out Here

Suncor Energy Inc. (USA)(NYSE:SU) is higher 1.06% and is trading at $30.64. Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor) is an integrated energy company. The Company explores for, acquires, develops, produces and markets crude oil and natural gas in Canada and internationally, and it transports and refines crude oil and market petroleum and petrochemical products primarily in Canada.

Is SU Strong Buy After The Recent Strong Gains? Get Free Trend Analysis Here

Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR)(NYSE:LYG) lost 2.59% and is trading at $3.01. Lloyds Banking Group plc, is a financial services group providing a range of banking and financial services, primarily in the United Kingdom, to personal and corporate customers.

Is LYG a Buying Opportunity After The Recent Plunge? Don’t Miss Out Our Latest Report Here

CONSOL Energy Inc.(NYSE:CNX) is higher 2.40% and is trading at $31.10. CONSOL Energy Inc. (CONSOL Energy) is a producer of coal and natural gas for global energy and raw material markets, which include the electric power generation industry and the steelmaking industry.
How Should Investors Trade CNX After The Latest Earnings Report? Find Out Here

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