National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Services, NAHETS Blog

Archive for July, 2009

Unsafe Roads May Be a Bigger Problem then We Think

Posted by nahetsblog on July 21, 2009

unsafe roadALEXANDRIA, Va., July 1 – The Transportation Construction Coalition, of which NSSGA is a member, unveiled a highway safety study today that finds that half of U.S. highway fatalities are related to deficient roadway conditions. Unsafe road conditions are a more lethal factor than drunk driving, speeding or non-use of safety belts, according to the landmark study. The report is the first of its kind in more than 20 years and examines the role and consequences of deficient roadway conditions in U.S. motor vehicle crashes.

NSSGA Chairman of the Board Gerard Geraghty, president and CEO, Rogers Group, Inc., said, “This study presents a much higher percentage (50 percent) of fatalities attributed to unsafe roads than the information we had previously. It also shows the escalating and unacceptable costs of not repairing and improving our half-century-old highway infrastructure, which is beginning to crumble due to inadequate investment in maintenance. We believe in freedom of mobility. Drivers on U.S. roads should expect the platforms upon which they operate to be safe. Americans and Congress should know that lives—lots of lives—can be saved by improving the conditions of our roads now.”

The report, conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, finds that 10 roadway-related crashes occur every minute (5.3 million a year) and that deficient road conditions also contribute to 38 percent of non-fatal injuries. Further, the report reveals that deficiencies in the roadway environment contributed to more than 22,000 fatalities and cost the nation more than $217 billion annually. The report concludes that making the roadway environment more protective and forgiving is essential to reducing highway fatalities and costs.

Entitled “On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways,” the study says that the $217 billion cost of deficient roadways dwarfs the costs of other safety factors, including $130 billion for alcohol, $97 billion for speeding and $60 billion for failing to wear a safety belt. The $217 billion figure is more than three-and-one-half times the amount of money government at all levels is investing annually in roadway capital improvements —$59 billion, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

The report finds that roadway related crashes impose $20 billion in medical costs; $36 billion in productivity costs; $52 billion in property damage and other resource costs; and $99 billion in quality of life costs, which measure the value of pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life by those injured or killed in crashes and their families. The report also finds that crashes linked to road conditions cost American businesses an estimated $22 billion at a time when many firms are struggling. According to the report, crashes linked to road conditions cost taxpayers more than $12 billion every year.

The safety report analyzes crash costs on a state-by-state basis and finds that Alabama incurs the highest total costs from crashes involving deficient road conditions followed by California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. PIRE is a leading independent transportation safety research organization. It has conducted research for a range of organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, National Safety Council and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Drawing upon the most recent available data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, PIRE employed analytic modeling methods to evaluate the causes and costs of U.S. motor vehicle crashes in preparing “On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways.”

The TCC commissioned the report in order to assist in educating members of Congress about the need to boost investment aimed at improving the roadway environment as part of the reauthorization process. The TCC will be issuing a press release in all 50 states, which contains data specific to each state.

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Walter Clough

Posted by nahetsblog on July 20, 2009

The story of Walter Clough is not a rare one for many students that attended one of NAHETS member schools. Walter graduated from the Oklahoma College of Construction and is working for APAC in Missouri making 35/hr. He is an operator, but also doing site plans and other duties. This isn’t Walter’s first HEO job since graduation, but it’s his first full time job. 35.00/hr is very impressive for anyone, however for Walter it’s…. well…you gotta know Walter. I asked him his secret to landing this job (Apac was one of his job leads in his original packet) almost a month ago. He walked onto the jobsite, filled out an application and was hired on the spot!!! That’s it! We always encourage our graduates to not be afraid to walk on a job site and speak with a foreman/site supervisor. These guys usually know what their immediate needs are before the corporate office does. Anyway, Walter has been encouraged to do this for quite some time….he finally did it and it’s finally paying off. Congratulations to Walter!

Posted in Admissions & Recruitment, Amazing Stories, awards, Education & Training, Graduate Placement, heavy equipment employers, heavy equipment operator, heavy equipment training, industry news, Member School Blogs, Member Schools, NAHETS, students | Leave a Comment »

Man Killed in Crane Accident

Posted by nahetsblog on July 16, 2009

crane accA 39 year-old man who worked for a crane company at Appleton Papers West Carrollton plant died yesterday, July 15, after he was trapped beneath what is believed to be a large piece of crane.

William Wilson of Trotwood worked for Crane Pro Services and was in the mill to work on a piece of equipment, said Bill Van Den Brandt, a spokesman for Appleton, a Wisconsin-based paper company. The equipment, which weighs approximately 5 tons, was being lowered to undergo service and somehow ended up across the man’s hip and pinning one of his legs, West Carrollton Fire Chief Jack Keister said.

Emergency responders dispatched to the mill at 1030 W. Alex Bell Road about 10:45 a.m. placed bags under the equipment and filled them with air to lift it and remove the man, Keister said. He was released within five minutes of West Carrollton fire personnel responding and was taken by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital, Keister said.

“It was a traumatic injury,” he said.

The man’s death was confirmed by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. No other information about him was immediately available.

The equipment, known as a strong back, moves rolls of paper and can handle approximately 55,000 pounds at a time, Keister said.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived at the scene by 1:30 p.m. and were working with West Carrollton police and coroner’s investigators to determine what happened, Keister said.

“Safety is a premium concern for us, and it is something we stress all the time,” Van Den Brandt said. “To have an injury of any sort, especially a fatal one, is tragic. Our condolences go out to the family, and the situation remains under investigation.”

At Nahets, safety is more than just a concern, it’s the thing we put our most attention on. Obviously, accidents happen, and you cannot blame this death on any one thing. But to limit those accidents to things less serious is something you can control.

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18 Year Old Crashes Backhoe Into Police Car

Posted by nahetsblog on July 13, 2009

Redding police say an 18 year old male from Redding, CA, Trevor Traphagan, allegedly stole a backhoe construction tractor and drove it erratically down Oasis Road near Lake Boulevard around 10:20 p.m. Police officers tried to stop the giant machine, but Traphagan ignored all of their attempts. The officers then placed spikes on the road in front of the tractor, which were once again ignored and just driven over. One police officer reported that Trevor ignored all police lights and sirens.

Traphagan then turned onto Santa Rosa Drive and drove the backhoe into a parked police car while the officer was laying down the spike strips, police said. After tuning onto Dara Court, a dead-end street, he stopped the backhoe struggled against the officers but was eventually taken into custody, polices said.

Traphagan was booked into the Shasta County Jail for suspicion of driving under the influence, resisting arrest, evading a police officer, reckless driving, assault on a police officer and stealing a motor vehicle. Unfortunately all of these charges could have been avoided if Traphagan had enrolled to become a certified heavy equipment operator through one of NAHETS member schools. Instead of driving backhoes into police cars, he would be driving them into the future.

Posted in *Press/Media, accidents, Amazing Stories, backhoe, backhoe operator, backhoe training, heavy equipment, Member School Blogs, Member Schools, NAHETS | Leave a Comment »

NAHETS Chairman Visits Volvo CE

Posted by nahetsblog on July 12, 2009


Originally uploaded by klabacka

Matt Klabacka, Chairman of NAHETS visits Volvo CE headquaters in Asheville, NC to discuss relationships with training materials and equipment on July 7, 2009.

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Motocross Rider Takes Precaution After Bulldozer Crash

Posted by nahetsblog on July 10, 2009

waznyWhen Jim Wazny makes the 2,000-mile drive to Los Angeles to compete in the X Games later this month, he’s hoping for one thing: a good leg to stand on.

For Wazny, a 38-year-old motocross rider from Merrill, that’s never a given. He’s competed with one good leg for the last nine years, after a collision between his motorcycle and a bulldozer forced him to have his left leg amputated below the knee in 2000. We are unsure of the specifications of the bulldozer.

So after getting back on his bike once again in September, Wazny has taken a new approach to his training. “I’m practicing and training, but I’m being as careful as possible,” Wazny said. “I’m taking extra care to make sure I’ll be good until July 31st.”

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13 Story Building Collapses in Shanghai

Posted by nahetsblog on July 1, 2009

A construction worker in Shanghai working on an unfinished apartment building was killed Saturday. Improper construction methods are believed to be the reason of the collapse in the Lotus Riverside complex in suburban Shanghai, according to a report from the investigation team. “Any construction company with common sense would not make such a mistake,” said an expert from the investigation team. The investigation team’s report said that workers dug an underground garage on one side of the building while on the other side earth was heaped up to 10 meters high, which was apparently an error in construction, according to a report on, Shanghai’s official news website.

Earlier this week, there were also reports saying that cracks on the flood-prevention wall near the building, as well as the special geological condition in the water bank area, may be part of the reason for the collapse. “These factors are not the basic reason of this accident,” said the expert. Nine people linked to the building collapse, including the real estate developer, contractor and the supervisor for the project, have been put “under appropriate control”, said the official Xinhua News Agency Sunday evening.

the collapse of the apartment building in Shanghai killed one construction worker

the collapse of the apartment building in Shanghai killed one construction worker

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