Keeping Construction Equipment Cool in Hot Weather

construction equipment

It’s going to be warmer than usual throughout much of the U.S. this summer. In your continuing efforts to keep jobsite workers safe and cool, don’t neglect your construction equipment. Machinery downtime can cost.

Construction Equipment Maintenance is Vital to Our Industry

OSHA says the construction industry leads in workplace-related injuries and deaths. Many accidents are caused by equipment malfunctions that could be avoided.

It’s never too late to begin calendaring construction equipment maintenance. Review manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. Reconstruct past maintenance for older construction equipment as you begin a new schedule. As always, when red flags are raised or regulatory agencies review a project, conscientious bookkeeping prevails. It’s proven diligence for construction companies.

  • Coolants/antifreeze levels – Improper balance can lead to problems with other fluid systems and cause inhibitors to precipitate out. This can lead to greater degradation of metal components.
  • Masonry – Hot-weather mortar work and bricklaying present special challenges. Knowledgeable, professional contractors are required; masonry pros should follow ACI 530.1-92/ASCE 6-92/TMS 602-92 Specifications for Masonry Structures.
  • Overworking can cause breakdowns – Construction workers can suffer job-related exhaustion. Your construction equipment can too. Review and post machinery limitations so all operators are aware. Breakdowns caused by overusing construction equipment can void warranties.
  • Proper storage – Groups of bored preteens see construction sites as amusement parks full of rides. Remove all keys and when possible, store equipment in a dry, covered area. Just a little dew can corrode and rust equipment systems. It also takes a toll on operating efficiency.
  • Take the time to save money – It’s tempting to add a bit of overtime to finish a job quicker. (We tell ourselves we can sleep later.) But equipment failures can cost more and waste greater time than bringing the job in under-schedule.
  • Use the right tools – Construction employees are creative. But when we modify or juryrig equipment to make-do, it can cause problems. Encourage project workers to use the right equipment for the right job and to avoid mix-and-matching accessories.

Increased use of technology is driving our industry. Contact Construction Monitor for ways to save money using lead-generating construction data.

…And keep it cool this summer.

4 Tips for Maintaining Relationships with Your Construction Suppliers

construction suppliers

Your construction business depends on several factors for success. Four of them include:

  1. Diligence – Regulatory agencies and insurance claims are managed through documentation. Lawsuits are not uncommon to a construction business, and your documentation can make or break a litigation.
  2. Management – No one person needs to manage everything. But everything must be managed, from A (architects) to Z (zax).
  3. Technology Managing information to increase opportunities is relatively new to the construction industry. The leaders in your field use a technology advantage to stay on top.
  4. Transparency – You want construction business operations visible to stakeholders and project management. This is reassurance that efficiency and employee satisfaction are part of your strategy.

Supplier Relationships Also Drive Success

Good supplier relationships may lead to favorable prices,
generous terms, improved availability, and even the
occasional buyback
. –Armando Roggio, Marketing Professional

Every construction business depends on suppliers. Your reputation for quality, quick turnaround, competitive pricing, and customer service depends on your suppliers. When your brand is on the line, supplier relationships can prove very beneficial.

1. Be knowledgeable

Know your purchasing history, compare it to economic history, and if you have a new construction business, get that information from similar businesses. Your suppliers will have a better understanding of what and how much to order. When you plan ahead, they can too, and this prevents supply chain bottlenecks.

2. Demonstrate professional courtesy

Be patient with supply chain problems; at least as patient as you’d want your clients to be when you’re in the same situation. Rather than complain about the problem, work to be part of the solution.

3. Enjoy the relationship

When placing an order, take the time to enjoy the conversation. Let your suppliers know you value their friendships.

4. Pay promptly

If you’re slow to pay, suppliers will save their best deals and the largest amount of negotiation leeway for other customers. When you’re dealing with a financial crunch, suppliers may give you longer to pay because you’ve proven you can pay on-time.

Construction Business Growth is Our Business

We take the time to collect and sort business permit data so you don’t have to. Instead, put this data to work for you. Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor

How to Keep Construction Equipment Cool During the Summer…

construction equipmentThe construction equipment you use is designed to be rugged. However, the extreme temperatures of summer can put enough strain on these vehicles and tools to cause breakdowns, sidelining progress and profitability. Here are some suggestions for how to keep construction equipment cool during the summer.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your construction equipment working properly in all temperatures, but it’s especially important in hot climates. The equipment will be better able to handle the stress of high temperatures if it has been checked and small problems corrected. A program of regular maintenance will extend the equipment’s overall working life and reduce the possibility of breakdowns and system failures.

Check Coolant Regularly

Coolant checks are part of maintenance, but they are important enough to deserve special attention. The coolant in your construction vehicles is vital to keeping the equipment cool during both normal operation and more stressful times when outdoor temperatures are high. Check coolant every day before starting work. Make sure you maintain an appropriate ratio of coolant and water to prevent equipment overheating.

Use the Right Equipment for the Job

Make sure the equipment on your site is used properly. Vehicles and tools should be used as intended, according to manufacturer’s instructions. It may be tempting to press a piece of construction equipment into service as needed, but using the equipment in ways it’s not designed for can cause damage, overheating and other problems.

Store Equipment Properly

When not in use, equipment should be stored in a shaded area to reduce the effects of heat. It’s even better if you have an indoor storage area with fans or other cooling systems. Storage areas should also be dry to avoid any effects from moisture, such as rust and corrosion, that could make it easier for the equipment to overheat.

Construction Monitor has the best interests of construction firms in mind, providing useful data, practical advice, and actionable content that can improve operations and profitability. Contact us today for more information on how to keep construction equipment cool during the summer.

Is 3D-Printed Construction Equipment What’s Next?

Of all the new technologies making their way into the construction industry, 3D printing appears to have the greatest potential for making profound changes in the way buildings and other structures are designed and built. Large-scale 3D printing equipment has already been shown to be effective at creating walls, bridges, modules, and even entire buildings. Now the next step for 3D printing in the construction industry appears to be using the technology to create vehicles and construction equipment.

3d printing in the construction industryFully-Functional Equipment

A fully functional excavator, created entirely through 3D printing with steel, is set to be displayed at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada in March, 2017.

The CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show will also feature a demonstration of 3D printing technology during which a second excavator will be created on the showroom floor, noted reporter Scott J, Grunewald, writing on the website 3Dprint.com.

3D printing provides a quick, relatively inexpensive technique for designing and prototyping small-scale objects. The technology has been used successfully in medical and veterinary applications for creating prosthetic limbs or new hip and knee joints. However, this is the first time a working piece of large-scale construction equipment has been created using the process.

The Best Has Yet to Come

“There have been all sorts of wonderful predictions for 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, but for the construction industry the best has yet to come,” stated industry observer and commentator Korky Koroluk in a May 27, 2016 article in the Daily Commercial News.

The printing and demonstrating of the excavator is a joint effort featuring a collaboration between the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), noted a writer on the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 website.

Looking for the latest information on construction technology and innovations? Construction Monitor helps industry professionals stay on top of the latest developments in construction tools, equipment and techniques. Contact us today for more information on 3D printing in the construction industry and what it could mean to your company in both the short and long term.

Telematics in Construction is On the Rise

Technology continues to increase in importance in the construction industry, helping companies maintain efficiency and profitability. Many constructions businesses are finding that the benefits of a telematic system have improved profits while boosting overall on-site performance.

benefits of a telematic systemConstruction telematics combines two areas of technology — telecommunications and informatics — to provide real-time data on the performance of construction vehicles and equipment. Once they are attached to vehicles and machinery, telematics devices use cellular and other telecommunications systems to transmit important information about the vehicle’s performance. Telematic data typically includes information such as:

  • GPS position of the vehicle
  • Fuel consumption
  • Downtime and idle times
  • Developing problems
  • Alerts and warnings

Telematic data can give managers, planners, and other on-site professionals important information about how the equipment is working. With this information, changes can be made that increase performance and efficiency and, in the long run, profits.

For example, telematics can reveal when construction equipment is idling and not working, prompting potential reallocation of resources. Data from brake systems, engines, and other components can indicate overheating or other malfunctions that can often be corrected early enough to prevent a costly major repair. GPS tracking can provide full awareness of the location of a piece of equipment, deterring theft or helping track and recover stolen vehicles.

Better Accuracy

By using the data from a telematics system, construction planners and estimators can offer more accurate bids and cost estimates. Variable costs, such as fuel, can be tracked and managed more easily. The cost of ownership of a specific vehicle can be determined, helping business owners determine if repair or replacement is the more cost-effective option when the vehicle needs maintenance or breaks down.

Earlier, telematics systems were more common on larger pieces of construction equipment, but many companies have come to realize that telematic data can be just as important for smaller vehicles.

Construction Monitor provides owners, managers, and other construction company stakeholders with the latest information on industry developments, technological advances, and best practices. Contact us today for more information on the benefits of a telematic system to better track vehicles and equipment in your company.

Construction Site Safety: Don’t Neglect These Areas

Construction Site SafetyConstruction site safety isn’t a secondary issue when you consider industry statistics. Every year, about 150,000 injuries occur at construction sites. That’s approximately one out of every 10 workers. In a typical year, over 1,000 construction injuries result in fatalities. While some are simple accidents, many result from causes that aren’t random and could have been prevented if safety regulations were observed and employees were properly trained. Continue reading Construction Site Safety: Don’t Neglect These Areas