Design-Build Project Success
Benefits of Job Documentation Tech
Transforming Industry With AI
Rivet Buster Best Practices
project profile
Vertical Expansion
building on top of a building
JUNE 2020
Inside This Issue
Photo courtesy of Mi-T-M.
The Mi-T-M pressure washer
disinfectant mister combination
comes in both a hand carry
and portable model. This
new combination series was
introduced to help disinfect
large areas quickly. Check out
the cover story on page 22.
Industry News ............................ 08
Modern Construction Products ... 64
What’s Trending ......................... 66
management solution
Those Darn Boomer Part 2
boomers’ impact in the workplace
technology solution
GPS Tracking
real-time data for optimal resource allocation across jobsites
project profile
Tufftec Lockers
university selects quiet lockers
maintanence solution
Chipping Hammers
proper use adds to tool life
tools and
technology solution
EPS Insulation
Q&A with Insulfoam expert
Donna Campbell
Editor in Chief
From the Editor
P.O. Box 660197 | Birmingham, AL 35266
Editor in Chief
Media Consultant
Media Consultant
Media Consultant
Media Consultant
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Graphic Designer
Digital Media Specialist
Office Manager
Vice President, Editorial
Vice President
inquiries or changes:
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Contractor Solutions, or who are not specifically
employed by Highlands Publications are purely
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Modern Contractor
Solutions Magazine
Modern Contractor
Vertical Expansion .....................................................14
Tufftec Lockers ..........................................................18
Disinfecting Equipment .............................................22
Field Welding ............................................................24
Those Darn Boomers: Part 2 of 2 ...........................28
Tech-Connected ........................................................30
Here Comes 5G ......................................................... 34
Arbitration Expectations ............................................36
GPS Tracking .............................................................40
EPS Insulation ...........................................................42
Moisture Meters ........................................................44
Impact of COVID-19...................................................48
Social Safety App ......................................................50
Sealing Concrete .......................................................54
Track Pads .................................................................56
Chipping Hammers ....................................................58
Part of productivity hinges on having the right tool or attachment and having the
knowledge to use such things efficiently. Simulators are good for equipment and
quick coupler attachments. For tools, it’s practice in the field with a good trainer or
superintendent. In this issue of MCS, we feature some of the tools and attachments
used in projects, and even feature a new app for social distancing on the jobsite.
Kudos to Mi-T-M for using some of their equipment for other purposes, such as
disinfecting equipment. You can see the ingenuity on the cover and read about the
process on page 22.
Whenever I travel, I love to see the cranes in the air. Be sure to check out the article on
building on top of a building on page 14.
Part two of Preston’s article on Baby Boomers is featured on page 28 and covers this
generation’s impact in the workplace and the value they add on a daily basis. We need
our baby boomers. The knowledge and work ethic they possess needs to be handed
down to younger generations. As business owners in the construction industry, having
a diverse mix of employees where the older experts can teach the young newbies a
trick or two would be advantageous to ultimate success. This channel of learning is a
two-way street. As technology becomes more mainstream in the construction world,
the young tech-minded construction workers can share up the chain as well. Be sure to
read the articles on technology (pg 30) and 5G (pg 34).
We are still dealing with COVID-19. For potential impacts on the construction industry,
check out the Q&A with Dustin Anderson with Sage (pg 48). And, if you want to be part
of the beta team to check out a new social distancing app, check out page 50.
The construction industry is resilient. Be strong, my friends.
Guest Post by Holly Welles
inquiries or changes:
industry news
Caterpillar, Inc. announces the acquisition of select assets and
hiring of employees from San Francisco, California-based robot and
autonomy technology solutions company Marble Robot, Inc.
The acquisition is part of Caterpillar’s automation and autonomy
strategy and demonstrates its commitment to the next generation of
jobsite solutions. Building on its leadership in autonomous mining,
the company plans to leverage the deep expertise of the new team to
bring scalable solutions to meet the changing needs of construction,
quarry, industrial, and waste industries.
The new team is comprised of leading roboticists with a deep
background in the robotics industry. Caterpillar intends to leverage
the team’s fully integrated on-board autonomy technology—including
perception, localization, and planning—to continue delivering smart,
safe, more productive, and cost-effective solutions to customers.
Our customers need the best solutions for running an effective
jobsite, with improved operator productivity, lower operating costs,
and greater efficiency brought by autonomous solutions,” says
Karl Weiss, Caterpillar chief technology officer. “That’s why we’re
continuing to invest.”
Double Coin and CMA, a leading tire manufacturer and marketer,
announce its new strategic partnership with the Independent
Tire Dealer Group (ITDG). ITDG represents over 780 independent
tire and auto service locations across North America. Since
1994, ITDG has been providing their members with programs
that offer all the products and services needed to run their
businesses, including but not limited to tires, wheels, auto
parts, lubricants, equipment, social media, website, and
marketing support. For more information about the Independent
Tire Dealer Group, visit www.itdgusa.com. For more information
about Double Coin, visit www.doublecointires.com.
Data Gumbo, the trusted transactional blockchain network
for tomorrow’s industrial leaders, announces a partnership
with PrairieDog Venture Partners (PDVP), the technology and
development arm of the Operating System 2.0 (OS2) research
project co-led by the Construction Industry Institute (CII)
and the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), dedicated
to the creation and advancement a new business model
for construction.
Together, Data Gumbo and PrairieDog will deliver smart
smartcontracts, designed to solve long-standing industry
challenges around transactional and informational friction,
across capital projects, turnarounds, and maintenance for the
industrial, commercial, and infrastructure building sectors. Joint
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com10
industry news
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(shown) or “Bicycle” handle.
Billd, a disruptive payment solution for the construction industry,
announces a partnership with construction management
software, Procore.
Billd and Procore both serve the construction industry, each
dedicated to bringing cutting edge solutions to help contractors
run their business more efficiently and effectively. For contractors
who usually aren’t paid until more than 90 days from purchasing
materials, Billd provides 120-day terms so they can scale their
business and stabilize cash flow. The Procore platform connects
entire project teams, from the office to the field and across
companies, providing one place to work together to do what they
do best—build.
The new partnership will provide users the ability to seamlessly
sync the projects they’re working on with Billd into their Procore
account. Contractors can submit requests for material purchases
and access Billd’s 120-day payment terms directly through the
Procore platform, simplifying and maintaining their daily processes.
For more, visit
Crane Industry Services, LLC (CIS) in partnership with CM Labs
Simulations, expands simulation training for cranes, earthmoving
equipment, and maritime and port equipment.
CIS designed a new simulation training and demo room located
at the CIS Centered on Safety Training Center in the Atlanta area.
The showroom features a variety of portable and full-scale models
with operator seats and controls.
The simulation training and demo room will open in July with
a variety of Vortex simulators, including the Vortex Advantage
full immersion 5-display system, and the Vortex Edge Plus, an
affordable desktop simulator that is ideal for introductory training.
Simulators provide the most cost-effective way to train groups
of new operators or to keep skills sharp. Employers interested
in exploring how simulators can be used for in-house employee
evaluation, qualification, and training can schedule a demo with
CIS and CM Labs. In addition, Vortex simulators are available for
purchase from CIS. For more, visit www.centeredonsafety.com.
ClearSpan is an awarded contract holder of Sourcewell and can
offer its municipal customers cooperative purchasing. With
municipalities are able to save time and money by
working directly with ClearSpan through a simple purchase
order process, while satisfying all local and state procurement
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com12
industry news
regulations. This allows local governments to get a structural
solution quickly and when they need it most.
Sourcewell, formerly NJPA, is a municipal contracting agency.
They’re able to provide members with beneficial purchasing
contracts under the guidance of the Uniform Municipal
Contracting Law. Members of Sourcewell have access to an
extensive database, which extends beyond just buildings,
of approved venders and suppliers. The program allows
municipalities to save significant time and money on many of
the projects they implement throughout the year.
Working with Sourcewell was a natural choice for ClearSpan,
who has been providing custom and turnkey building solutions
to municipalities and local governments for more than 40 years.
While ClearSpan has become synonymous with sand and salt
storage buildings, they also have built hundreds of municipal
storage structures, recreational facilities, gyms, and much more.
Local governments opt for ClearSpan’s structural solutions,
because the structures inherently fit many of the factors they
are looking for. Between the low cost per square foot, ability
to reduce monthly utility expenses, and the option for stamped
engineered drawings, it is easy for ClearSpan to get approved
for government projects.
ClearSpan Building Specialists work with each customer
one on one to learn what they need out of a building, and they
can offer stock building options or customize a building to suit
even the most specific details and requirements. ClearSpan
Building Specialists have extensive experience working on
municipal projects, so they know the process and can offer
invaluable advice.
ClearSpan is a true one-stop shop, and they can outfit every
building with all the needed tools and accessories. This allows
customers to get a building that looks fantastic, while also
providing superior functionality. ClearSpan manufactures each
structure themselves, and they also offer in-house financing
and installation services. This ensures each project is handled
smoothly and efficiently. For more, visit www.clearspan.com.
Trackunit will be deployed across the Ahern Rentals fleet within the
next 3 years, and new Xtreme and Snorkel lifts will be assembled
with a Trackunit compatible connection for customers who wish to
install the telematics. This will become available in late 2020, and
rolled out across the global manufacturing footprint by model type
with OEM branded dashboards. The Trackunit telematics solution
will also be available on products sold through the Ahern Companies
distribution channels, including Diamond A Equipment and Ahern
International. For more, visit
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com14
project profile
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
Vertical Expansion
building on top of a building
he process of adding additional
levels to a finished building—
known as vertical expansion—is no
easy feat. Although vertical expansions
have become more common in recent
years, the fact that they can be done at
all is a marvel of modern engineering
and construction.
The pace of vertical expansions
continues to increase because they
often are the most sensible choice for
building owners who need additional
space, but only have a finite amount of
land to build on. Sometimes the only
way to go is up.
Hospitals aren’t the only type of
buildings where vertical expansions are
done, but the process makes particular
sense for them because they’re built
with a repetitive design where each
floor is almost exactly the same. The
addition of extra levels allows workflows
to remain fundamentally unchanged,
while preventing patients from ever
being too far from critical services. Most
new hospitals today are actually built
to accommodate a possible vertical
expansion in the future.
Every construction project has its
own challenges, but hospitals have a
uniquely critical function that means
any construction project has to be as
minimally intrusive as possible. That
requires significant extra planning at the
outset to make sure that the project is
fully mapped out and any potential issues
that could cause a delay or put patients
at risk are accounted for. Leading
construction companies handle this
during the design phase of the vertical
expansion, when they painstakingly note
elevations and other key details so that
there are no difficulties during the tie-in
process when the new construction is
connected to the original structure. It’s
very careful work, and there’s no room
for mistakes
In addition, the construction team must
examine how an expansion is likely to
affect a facility’s regular operations and
take steps to remediate that as much
as possible. One of the most common
issues is noise. If there are unavoidable
steps of the process that will be loud
enough to disturb patients, it’s important
to address the issue in advance with
the hospital to decide how best to work
around it—for instance, doing work at a
less-intrusive time of day, or temporarily
moving patients to another area of the
hospital so they’ll be insulated from the
noise. Contractors working on these
projects should plan on a more flexible
schedule than usual to make sure they
account for these situations.
Buildings in active use often have
very little free space around them
to accommodate materials, so there
needs to be a workaround to allow the
construction process to proceed without
long delays. Contractors will often
arrange for suppliers to do “just-in-time”
delivery of materials on an as-needed
basis, which negates the need to keep
them on-site during the period before
they’re used.
By Paul Lawson
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com16
project profile
Construction workers themselves can
be a source of disruption to a hospital
environment, so some creativity can be
required to allow them to do their jobs
without disturbing hospital staff and
patients. At my company, we recently
designed and built a multi-step system
to transport workers from the ground to
the worksite six floors up. A scaffolding
system first takes them to the roof of a
one-story area of the building, which they
walk across to reach a buckhoist, which
lifts them to the worksite quickly—and
even more important, quietly.
The make-or-break moment of a vertical
expansion comes when the building’s
roof is opened up, usually to extend a
column or to tie in to an existing utility
system. Because the inside of the
hospital is exposed to the elements,
precautions must be taken so that
rain and wind don’t enter the existing
building. Contractors generally keep
a roofing team available so that any
cuts made in the roof are patched up
right away. Larger openings require the
installation of a temporary roof, which
can also be done fairly quickly.
To keep the patient area fully insulated
and weatherproof, contractors can add
a temporary barrier room between the
existing building and the construction
site. These rooms are fully airproof—a
fan inside pulls any dust and debris out
through an exhaust port, preventing
them from going inside the hospital and
potentially infecting patients. Following
the final cleaning of the new space,
contractors connect the existing building
with the new section using a modular
quick-connect system that keeps
additional debris from being created.
Remote monitoring systems are used
throughout the process to ensure the air
is clean and breathable.
So much of the success of a vertical
expansion project—and, really, any
construction project—hinges on an
honest, open line of communication
between the contractor and the client.
That’s why at my construction company,
we work to bridge that gap by using
3D rendering technology to help clients
visualize what the project will look like.
This technology proved its worth for us
on one recent hospital project. We had
determined that a physicians’ parking lot
was the only possible location for us to
place our crane so that it would reach
the entire construction area, but that was
not an ideal solution. Our only alternative
would be to use multiple cranes in other
areas, creating additional disorder, but
we were also aware that it might not be
obvious to hospital administrators why
this was the right course of action. By
using a 3D depiction to clearly show
them the various options and how
they would affect the hospital’s daily
operations, we agreed together that this
was the correct decision.
Every vertical expansion project is unique
and presents different obstacles, which
is why you should spend ample time
doing advance preparation and stay in
constant contact with your client. By
doing so, you’ll ensure that the final
product is something you’re proud of and
is able to stand the test of time.
about the author
Paul Lawson is a healthcare project executive
for Turner Construction Company in Nashville,
Tennessee. Lawson joined Turner in 2005
as a project engineer and previously served
as the Special Projects Division (SPD) senior
project manager. He has played a significant
role in Turner’s recent healthcare work,
including a $48 million, 95,623-square-foot
vertical expansion of Saint Thomas Rutherford
Hospital in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, that
is now under construction. For more, visit
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com18
Tufftec Lockers
university selects quiet lockers for new concert hall
agnificent acoustics and quiet
elegance are the hallmarks of
DePaul University’s new $98
million,185,000-square-foot performing
arts facility. Completed in the summer
of 2018, the Holtschneider Performance
Center serves as the next phase of
a new complex dedicated to serving
the needs of hundreds of music
students, while hosting the world-
class performances of multiple artists
Rob Roubik, a principal at Antunovich
Associates in Chicago says, “The new
center is a technologically advanced,
aesthetically sleek performing arts
center that meets the wide-ranging
music needs of students, faculty, and
the surrounding community. It was
specifically and painstakingly designed
with clean lines and wood-paneled
rooms that surround a wide-open,
three-story atrium, which places the
building’s focus solely on music and not
the venue.”
Meticulously constructed with a
profound emphasis on acoustics and
learning, the new facility was designed
to comfortably seat more than 800
patrons in four separate performance
spaces, while indulging the musical
talents of students, staff, and faculty.
This includes simultaneous access to the
505-seat Mary Patricia Gannon Concert
Hall, the 140-seat Murray and Michele
Allen Recital Hall, the 80-seat Brennan
Family Recital Hall, and the 75-seat
Mary A. Dempsey and Philip H. Corboy
Jazz Hall. Other amenities are offered
through the building’s new state-of-the-
art rehearsal spaces, sound recording
technology suite, box office, atrium café,
social commons area, and dynamic and
flexible teaching spaces.
In addition, the student classrooms
and rehearsal areas were strategically
positioned on the upper floors to
accommodate the strict functional and
acoustic requirements of the facility’s
double- and triple-height performance
spaces. To create a bright, vibrant
atmosphere for students and visitors
alike, each floor was painted a different
accent color and complemented with
dark carpeting and neutral gray tones.
“This magnificent facility resulted from
10 years of planning,” explains Roubik.
“The grand opening was a spectacular
event that included an 11-day festival
of performances from faculty, students,
and world-class artists. Everyone
involved couldn’t have been prouder or
happier with the finished product. As
an institutional project, budgets were
project profile
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
certainly a concern. The specification
process was long and rigid. But, in the
end everyone was especially pleased
with how the building’s elegant motif
harmoniously merged with the school’s
artistic nature.”
According to Roubik, the selection
process included the careful
specification of everything from angled
sound reflective walls and acoustically
isolated floors to the installation of
the new resilient Tufftec
from Scranton Products. Among the
many selling points was each locker’s
ability to open and close quietly in an
environment extremely sensitive to
acoustics, noise, and sound, while
securely storing musical instruments
ranging from flutes and clarinets to
trombones and tubas.
Throughout the complex, more than
500 light gray lockers were installed
in multiple sizes ranges. Engineered
for strength and durability, Tufftec’s
HDPE material is specifically designed
to withstand the harshest daily use
in addition to being low maintenance
and easy to clean. The lockers are also
impact, dent, and graffiti resistant, as
well as impervious to moisture. With 25-
to 100-percent post-consumer recycled
content, Tufftec’s HDPE is naturally
resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew.
“The new Tufftec lockers met every
requirement,” adds Roubik. “We were
immediately struck by how quietly
they operate—there wasn’t the usual
banging and clanging associated with
metal lockers. Plus, Scranton Products
met our size requirements for storing
virtually every type of instrument used
at the school. Everyone from the client
and contractor to our theatrical and
acoustic consultants were thrilled with
the outcome.”
for more information
With more than 30 years of experience,
Scranton Products provides innovative,
creative designs that create a lasting
impression. The industry leader in plastic
bathroom partitions and lockers, Scranton
Products are constructed from premium,
American-made solid plastic for unmatched
durability that stands up to dents, scratches,
corrosion, graffiti, and mildew. With endless
design options and an array of designer colors
and textures, Scranton Products installs
confidence and elegant style in every project.
For more about Scranton Products’ Tufftec
lockers, visit www.scrantonproducts.com
Disinfecting Equipment
pressure washer mister combination by Mi-T-M
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com22
equipment solution
n light of the novel coronavirus, the
CDC recommends cleaning surfaces,
spaces, and items. Mi-T-M Corporation
is responding to the immediate need
for disinfecting equipment in every type
of business, school, and industry. A
new combination series was recently
introduced to help disinfect large areas
quickly. The Mi-T-M pressure washer
mister combination is not only used to
dispense disinfectant but can also be
used as a cold water pressure washer.
The electric combination 1400-PSI cold
water pressure washer and 350-PSI low
pressure dispensing mister is easy to use
and comes in either a hand carry or portable
model. Since it is a combination model it
can be used for all purpose cleaning around
the home or small business and, in mister
mode, used to put disinfectant right where
it’s needed. Each unit includes a 36-inch
lance and trigger gun with quick connect
nozzles for pressure washing, a trigger gun
with misting nozzle, and 75-foot x ¼-inch
hose. The high quality electric motor makes
it safe to use both inside and out.
The easy-to-use, lightweight pressure
washer system is the perfect tool for both
homeowners and small business owners.
It may be small and compact, but it packs
a punch. Just hook it up to a water source,
plug it in, and you’re ready to go.
Designed to be used with a concentrated
disinfectant mixture in mister mode, this
new series allows for quick and efficient
disinfectant misting on a multitude of
surfaces in high contact areas. Any
industry, business, medical, or long-term
care facility can now sanitize quickly,
every day and every shift. The compact
commercial grade unit helps to sanitize
break rooms and rest rooms. It can be
used in locker rooms and in gyms, on
weights, exercise equipment, and other
common spaces.
for more information
For more information on the complete
line of products and support from Mi-T-M
Corporation, visit www.mitm.com.
Hit play to see
this combination unit
in mister mode.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com24
equipment solution
four welder/generator issues that are costing you
Field Welding
elding and repair work in
the field can throw different
challenges at you every day.
When your truck is home base for tools
and equipment and the work is in another
spot or hard to reach, getting jobs done
efficiently can be one of those challenges.
Your current welding setup may be
driving several habits that you consider
business as usual—but that are actually
costing time and money and may be
affecting quality. How do you know if you
would benefit from a different welding
solution? Ask yourself these questions:
Are you using weld parameters that are
already set to avoid walking back to the
machine to make changes? Your days on
the jobsite are varied and so are the jobs
you must complete. You likely need to
switch between MIG, stick, and gouge,
or dial in your arc control for different
types of welds.
Most welding remotes have limited
options for adjusting these parameters
and processes, or you may not have
a remote at all. It might seem more
convenient to stay in your current
workspace and make do with less-than-
ideal parameters, but this can result in
time and money spent on poor weld
quality or rework.
Look for a remote that gives you full
process and parameter control from
wherever you’re working on the jobsite.
With the ArcReach
Stick/TIG Remote
from Miller, you can easily adjust
amperage and arc control to fine
tune arc characteristics—eliminating
the need to walk back to make
adjustments or make do with less-
than-ideal parameters.
When you get to a jobsite, do you turn
your welder/generator on and let it run
all day, turning it off only when you’re
about to leave or during a break? While
this seems convenient, you likely have
periods when there is no load being
applied and the welder/generator doesn’t
need to run.
By Brian Bellile
The ArcReach
Stick/TIG Remote from
Miller allows operators to easily adjust
amperage and arc control to fine tune arc
characteristics—eliminating the need to
walk back to make adjustments or make do
with less-than-ideal parameters.
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
The average welder/generator is used
about 30 percent of the time it’s running,
meaning that up to 70 percent of the
time it could be turned off. A machine
that runs all day can quickly drive up your
fuel costs and decrease time between
maintenance cycles.
The new Remote Start/Stop on
Bobcat™ 260 and 225 welder/generators
from Miller lets you easily turn the
machine on and off with the push of a
button from wherever you’re working.
With this capability, you can run your
machine only when it’s needed and save
up to $1,500 in fuel and maintenance
costs per year compared to letting the
machine idle while not in use.
When you get to the jobsite, there
are often welders, generators, air
compressors, and tools being used all
around you. This may seem like business
as usual and just part of the job, but all
this additional noise can make it hard to
communicate, especially if you need to
take calls from customers.
And, on some jobsites, such as those
in residential areas or near schools,
reducing noise may be required to stay
within local restrictions.
Just as turning the machine off helps
save fuel, it also helps reduce noise on
the jobsite. To help control noise, look for
remote solutions that easily let you turn
the machine on and off.
Maintenance is an important part
of keeping your equipment running
smoothly. But if you’re running your
machine more than necessary or leaving
it running out of convenience, you’ll
significantly increase service intervals
and end up doing maintenance more
often than you need to.
This is time and money you could
be spending on other things—not to
mention the increased wear and tear on
your machine from the additional run
time. Turning the machine off remotely
can reduce service intervals by up to
two and a half times and save you up to
$1,500 annually in fuel and maintenance.
New remote solutions give you more
control over how much your welder/
generator runs, how much fuel you use,
how often maintenance is needed, and
how much time you spend adjusting weld
parameters. Look for remote technologies
for your welder/generator that deliver
more control right where you’re
working—to help you improve efficiency
and results in field welding and repairs.
about the author
Brian Bellile is a product manager, engine
drives, with Miller Electric Mfg. LLC. For more,
visit www.millerwelds.com.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com28
n my first article on Baby Boomers, I
shared the financial reality of Boomers.
Technically, it is an individual born
between 1946 and 1964. That makes
up 20 percent of all Americans. Our
generation brought to the world Rock
and Roll, Woodstock, Vietnam, divorce
as an acceptable alternative to marriage,
two-income families, the Women’s
Movement, mass consumerism,
television, credit cards, Disneyland, and
an emphasis on social equality.
In this article, I want to share some
observations and recommendations in
dealing with Boomers in the workplace.
First, understand the workplace has a
strong purpose in the Boomer’s world.
Boomers represent less than 44 percent
of the U.S. population, but in the next
5 years, they’re projected to hold 70
percent of U.S. disposable income
and buy 50 percent of total consumer-
packaged goods. According to AARP,
Baby Boomers spend roughly $7 trillion
per year on goods and services and, in
fact, own 80 percent of the country’s
personal net worth.
According to Transamerica, 65 percent
of Baby Boomers plan to work past age
65 or do not plan to retire and 34 percent
plan to continue working for enjoyment.
The reality is many have to. Most do not
have adequate retirement savings. As
many as 60 percent of Baby Boomers
are assisting their aging parents in some
way, including paying bills and helping
them purchase groceries. Additionally,
more than 90 percent of the Boomers
surveyed have provided some kind of
support to their adult children, including
paying tuition, loans, car payments, or
basic expenses like utilities and rent.
More than half have allowed their adult
children to live at home rent free. The
fact is, Boomers plan to stay in the
workplace far longer than their parents.
Understanding their values and motives
may help to get along with them. For
instance, Boomers’ value on visibility is
far more than subsequent generations
like Gen X, Gen Y, or Gen Z. The Boomer
generation is less likely to embrace
remote work or work from home options
than younger generations. For a Boomer,
visibility is everything. Boomer wants
their manager to see them showing up
to work on time every day and working
hard until the day ends. The stay-at-home
practices from the pandemic are creating
stress for Boomers, more so than
other generations.
Boomers have a strong work ethic
and expect to work hard as a lifestyle.
In fact, their motto very well may be,
“Live to Work” versus “Work to Live.”
Work defines many, and a dedication to
the workplace and camaraderie is one of
the keys to happiness. Although it takes
twice as long for Boomers to find a job
than Gen X, Y, or Z, they value the social
interaction and sense of purpose the
workplace provides to their life.
Because of the need to work longer,
Boomers will be more sensitive to
management solution
Those Darn Boomers
the baby boomers’ impact in the workplace
By Preston Ingalls
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
savings and earning opportunities. This could be a strong
motivator to many. This means a drive to work overtime, earn
bonuses, etc.
Being visible also means many Boomers value professional
attire more than other generations. This includes business
casual over dressing down. Many Boomers judge others on their
professional (or lack of) appearance.
While almost half of Boomers will use the smartphone to
make purchases, they spend less time each week on social
media than younger generations. Technology is seen more as
a tool, much like seeing a car as a means of transportation
means versus a lifestyle. Therefore, many have less inclination
to learn all the nuances and techniques associated with the use
of the technology.
Baby Boomers take pride in the companies they work for, the
positions they hold, and the duration or tenure with which they
stay at the company. They will view others’ short tenures as “job
hopping” more than younger generations.
Boomers are confident and extremely competitive. Since the
Baby Boom produced such a large increase in the population,
Boomers experienced strong competition for jobs. Most have
carried their drive, ambition, and competitive nature throughout
their careers. They will work as long as it takes to reach their
goals and to stand out enough and get the promotion, raise, or
recognition they need.
Boomer characteristics include independence, responsibility,
and maturity. They have honed the ability to make up their own
minds and determine what is most valuable or significant.
Just as Boomers are different than their parents, the Silent
and Great Generation, the Boomers are different than Gen x,
Millennials, and Gen Z. But that is what makes the stew so rich;
all the different elements that go into it. If you are working with
a Boomer, it might help to understand what motivates them.
John Barrymore once said, “A man is not old until regrets take
the place of dreams.”
Check out this article on
mcsmag.com for Boomers’
thoughts on teamwork
about the author
Preston Ingalls is president and CEO of TBR Strategies, LLC, a Raleigh,
North Carolina-based maintenance and reliability firm specializing in
the construction and oil and gas industries. Preston can be reached at
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com30
ohn Meibers is the vice president
and general manager of Deltek +
ComputerEase, the leading provider
of accounting, project management, and
field-to-office software for the construction
industry. In today’s rapidly changing and
fast-paced world, a big part of John’s role is
to ensure that ComputerEase equips clients
with the most cutting-edge technology.
Below is a Q&A with John’s thoughts on the
construction industry and technology.
With regards to technology, what
upgrades do commercial construction
firms overlook?
With regards to technology,
construction companies often overlook
a key first step—evaluating where
they are at today and identifying key
business inefficiencies to improve
through software implementation. Once
your company’s future technology
needs are outlined, you can then
start to analyze different software
providers to determine which ones are
the best fit to help you achieve your
goals. During this discovery process,
I recommend construction companies
ask “Is this software built specifically
for our industry or does it try to be a
solution that works for all industries?”
The nuances and complexities of
construction typically require software
that truly knows how to solve your
specific business problems.
Another aspect of software selection
that sometimes goes overlooked is
the idea that you’re not just buying
software, you’re buying a partnership.
Construction companies should actively
seek out software vendors that have a
long and successful history operating
within the construction space. Major
software implementation is not easy to
uproot, so finding a vendor that truly
understands your business and can
provide personalized support from a
team with real-world industry expertise
is important. When talking to software
vendors during the discovery process,
you can learn a lot by asking “What do
your short-term and long-term product
roadmaps look like?” Find out if they
have a strategic vision for development
and determine if that aligns with your
company growth goals.
In your opinion, what has been the
main reason construction firms have
not updated processes with technology
and do you think construction firms
can have a remote workforce?
I think the main reason
construction firms have not updated
technology is the misconception of
the overall value new software can
bring. The software chosen should be
transformational to the construction
firm and alter the trajectory of their
business. Oftentimes companies
view software more as a transactional
expense, which couldn’t be further from
the truth when it comes to robust, fully-
integrated construction software. This
perception is often the result of a less
than satisfactory experience with generic
software solutions or when construction
companies don’t have a software partner
that offers complete implementation
support and on-going training.
The construction industry also has
an aging workforce that can sometimes
be resistant to technological change.
And hey, I don’t blame them! We’ve
encountered construction professionals
with 30- to 40-plus years of both field
and office experience that have been
doing the job successfully at a high
level for a long time ask why change is
necessary. The answer is that evolving
your software strategy isn’t about
yesterday or today, but about tomorrow.
How much more powerful and efficient
could your organization be if you
combine the years of industry experience
with that latest software built specifically
updating processes to create a cohesive team
management solution
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
for your trade? In addition, the younger
generations that are moving into decision
making roles within construction, actively
seek out companies that find creative
ways to power their business through
software and technology. Having some
level of software sophistication can
be huge for attracting and retaining a
talented workforce.
With regards to construction firms
being able to have a successful remote
workforce, I absolutely believe they
can. Construction traditionally has always
had a remote workforce with operations
happening both on the jobsite and in the
office. Construction has in some ways
always been working remotely, now there
are just new and more efficient ways to
enhance field-to-office communication.
What can construction companies do to
better prepare for tomorrow’s jobsite?
Companies can invest in
systems that provide real-time access to
job data and better connect their teams.
The modern construction company
needs to be able to do everything in the
field that they can in the office. With the
proper controls and security, leveraging
the right technology can bring the power
of your system directly to the field
and everyone else in your network or
business ecosystem.
Overall, I believe the construction
industry will continue to look for
comprehensive software solutions to
power their business and workforce.
We also think that the overall workforce
will be looking for companies that have
a vision of solving problems through
technology and actively seek out those
who do. Construction companies will
continue to work towards being more
productive and profitable in both the
field and office striving to achieve
a cohesive business team where
everyone is working as one.
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is a liability
for more information
Deltek is the leading global provider of
enterprise software and information solutions
for project-based businesses. More than
30,000 organizations and millions of users
in over 80 countries around the world rely
on Deltek for superior levels of project
intelligence, management, and collaboration.
Deltek’s industry-focused expertise powers
project success by helping firms achieve
performance that maximizes productivity and
revenue. In today’s rapidly changing and fast
paced world, a big part of Meiber’s role is to
ensure that ComputerEase equips clients with
the most cutting-edge technology. For more,
visit www.deltek.com.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com34
software solution
Here Comes 5G
network slicing and other operational benefits
very industry is looking to how
5G will impact their operations,
and the construction industry is
perhaps one that stands to gain the
most from the technology. A facet of
5G that could offer the most benefits
is “network slicing”—which enables
communication service providers
to tailor connectivity services to the
precise requirements of any user,
device, application, or context.
In addition, there are some obvious
benefits of 5G for engineering and
construction businesses stemming from
the speed, latency, and scalability of the
technology, including:
Enhanced mobile broadband
providing high speed and capacity
Mission-critical operations
providing low latency and
high reliability
Massive machine-type
communications providing high
scalability and geographic coverage
Monitoring the health, location,
status, and specifications of assets
of all kinds on site is crucial, and 5G
can help in terms of data collection,
capture, and analysis. For example,
this can confirm whether site
machinery is operational and available
to be used, and capture the status of
an order such as a window frame or
fire extinguisher to assist to ensure the
project schedule is on track.
High bandwidth and low latency from
5G should improve data capture across
project delivery processes. Increased
visibility into data informs decision-
making in the design phase, helps
minimize issues and changes during
construction, and potentially decreases
future renovations.
As technology solutions available
to construction projects gain traction,
we can anticipate more IoT and reality
capture solutions on site helping in
a number of ways. In terms of video
capture (think 4k and 8k cameras,
augmented and virtual reality), 5G will
provide a wealth of opportunities for
organizations to inexpensively deploy
technology to quickly capture, organize,
and analyze massive volumes of video
information. 5G will mean sensors can
more effectively be deployed to improve
safety by tracking individuals’ safety
compliance. Supply chain efficiency can
be enhanced by enabling better tracking
of materials both on and off site. For
building information modelling (BIM), 5G
can help ensure the site plan is accurate,
with the potential for the plan to be
updated based on almost each and every
action on site.
Many of these use cases can reduce
costs in addition to driving efficiencies
on a project. They can help manage the
need for some teams to even be on
site because the information they need
is available in real time and in high-
resolution video form via any device,
wherever they are.
It can also provide real-time, rich,
visual information to the owner as well
as an on-demand transparent view of the
project at any particular moment in time.
But what additional value could
network slicing bring to construction’s
use of 5G?
For construction businesses to benefit
from these solutions, connectivity will be
key to ensure the information captured is
available at the time and place of need.
As a result, bandwidth will become
a potential battleground on site as
the competition for which data and
information is most important intensifies.
Construction projects are already working
against thin margins, and the cost of
providing 5G connectivity universally on
site could be prohibitive.
A possible solution is to adopt a
tiered prioritization approach. This will
By Burcin Kaplanoglu
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
help ensure that 5G capabilities are
utilized on those processes requiring
the greatest bandwidth, such as video
or other visuals. Essentially, this would
mean creating different access points
and levels for specific use cases. But as
with any new technology, there will likely
be a learning curve: What construction
projects consider to be the highest
tier initially may not turn out to be the
highest tier in the long run.
One such consideration is around site
safety and security. While heavy video
files may well provide a strong argument
to use a 5G network due to the latency
benefits, processes of critical importance
to the safety and security of a project
may have a similar if not stronger
argument due to the speed of 5G.
We could well see a tiered
prioritization strategy that considers
safety, security, and bandwidth at
different phases of a construction
project, allowing for a fluid restructuring
of tiers as the project progresses.
Any initiative that tries to realize a
safety and security benefit, however, will
be dependent on people on site having
access to the information being shared.
It would mean that team members need
to have 5G-enabled devices available to
them. Is that affordable?
Currently, deploying hundreds or
thousands of smart devices across
a project site at the current cost is
prohibitive for construction businesses,
and relying on employees to have their
own 5G enabled smart devices to use on
site may be too ambitious in the short
term. Smart devices today are like mini-
computers processing most activities on
the device itself, and that is where much
of the cost exists.
However, with 5G technology a lot
of the processing power will be able to
happen in the cloud, allowing for less
expensive phone hardware that simply
needs to capture the data. This could
break down the barriers to deploying
5G-enabled smart devices on site.
The benefits of 5G and “network slicing”
capabilities open up many possibilities
for engineering and construction
businesses to find efficiencies, improve
safety, mitigate risk, and reduce security
concerns on projects; while the build
quality can also be enhanced through
more accurate updates to the real-time
plan. Get ready construction industry,
here comes 5G,
about the author
Dr. Burcin Kaplanoglu is a recognized
industry technologist, thought leader, and
keynote speaker. He leads industry strategy
and innovation at Oracle Construction
and Engineering and is the cofounder of
the Oracle Construction and Engineering
Innovation Lab. He is also an adjunct
professor at Northwestern University’s
McCormick School of Engineering.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com36
rbitration is one of the preferred
mechanisms of dispute resolution
in the construction industry.
Understanding how an arbitration will
unfold is useful in managing a dispute.
Most domestic construction disputes
are referred to arbitration through, and
according to the rules, of the American
Arbitration Association (AAA), but other
organizations that follow different
rules and processes do exist. For AAA
arbitrations, the following steps provide a
rough outline of a typical proceeding.
If commercial discussions between two
parties are unable to resolve a dispute,
the next step is for one party to file an
arbitration demand. The AAA demand
form can be found online and should
usually include a brief statement of the
party’s claim, a description of preference
for the arbitrator’s experience (e.g.,
construction litigator with at least 10 years
of experience), and a filing fee, which will
vary based on the size of a claim.
Once a demand is served, the
responding party can answer and
submit counterclaims. Instead of filing
an answer, some respondents may
challenge whether the dispute should
be arbitrated by submitting an objection
directly to the AAA and/or filing a
parallel lawsuit. Challenges may be
based on state venue requirements or
disagreement on whether the dispute is
covered under the parties’ contractual
arbitration provision.
After an answer is received and any
challenges are addressed, the AAA
administrator will typically provide the
parties a list and resumes of potential
arbitrators. The parties review this list,
rank their preferred arbitrators, and strike
any objectionable arbitrators. The AAA
administrator will appoint an arbitrator
based on the party’s preferences
(Note: In disputes requiring a panel of
arbitrators, the AAA may appoint all
three, the parties may each appoint one
arbitrator with the two “wing” arbitrators
then selecting the chair, or the parties
may follow some other process).
After appointment, the arbitrator will
convene a scheduling conference with the
parties to discuss setting a hearing date
and key dates for discovery. The arbitrator
may utilize a form scheduling order or ask
the parties to coordinate and draft the
order. Key dates on the scheduling order
may include deadlines for submitting
more detailed statements of claims, filing
requests for production, completing
depositions, disclosing experts, and filing
dispositive motions. Arbitrators may also
use the scheduling order to outline the
scope of and limits on discovery and
requirements for pre-trial submissions
(e.g., witness statements, witness lists,
exhibit lists, exhibit exchanges, etc.).
Traditionally, construction arbitrations
have provided for more limited discovery
than might be available in a litigation
proceeding. However, increasingly,
arbitrators are permitting broader
discovery, including more expansive use
of depositions, which can be expensive.
For some smaller disputes, to limit
expenses, the AAA offers fast track rules
which substantially restrict discovery and
the scope of submissions to the arbitrator.
The deadlines in a scheduling order
may serve as useful sign posts for
settlement negotiations between parties.
For example, parties know once discovery
begins, they can expect substantial legal
fees and costs, so they may try again
to resolve a dispute at that time, and,
similarly, expert reports or completion of
expert depositions provide an opportunity
for parties to evaluate the strengths and
merits of their case and may allow for a
return to the negotiating table.
After the scheduling order is issues, parties
will complete discovery, which may include
the exchange of documents, depositions,
and expert reports. Other written discovery,
like requests for admission or requests for
interrogatories are used more sparingly
in arbitration, but they may be available
in some circumstances. Like most
judges, arbitrators expect parties to try to
resolve discovery controversies between
themselves, but arbitrators will utilize the
AAA Rules and applicable law to resolve
any discovery spats.
Once discovery is complete, the parties
will prepare for the hearing. They will
Arbitration Expectations
understanding the process of resolving a dispute
By Aman Kahlon
legal solution
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
prepare exhibits, witness lists, and any
required pre-hearing memoranda. Parties
may also agree to file witness statements
or affidavits in lieu of providing direct
testimony from witnesses.
During the hearing, the parties may
or may not submit opening statements
depending upon their agreement and/
or the preference of the arbitrator. Then,
examination of witnesses will begin with
the claimant putting on its case first with
the respondent to follow. Arbitrators
may allow witnesses to appear out-of-
order to accommodate travel or other
needs of the parties. Once each side has
presented their case, the arbitrator may
allow for brief closing arguments and
then adjourn the hearing.
If requested by the parties and agreed
to by the arbitrator, post-hearing briefs
may follow the hearing. After receiving
post-hearing briefs, the arbitrator will
close the record of the proceeding,
which starts the time period for an
arbitrator to issue a final decision.
Where attorneys’ fees and costs are also
at issue in a dispute, arbitrators may
provide for supplemental briefing on
those costs prior to closing the record.
The arbitrator will then issue a final
decision. If requested, an arbitrator will
issue a reasoned decision, which will
provide more detail on the legal and
factual basis for the arbitrator’s decision.
The decision is enforceable in court,
and the losing party will be required to
make payment in accordance with the
decision’s terms.
The adjournment of the hearing and
the submission of post-hearing briefs are
both useful milestones for settlement
negotiations. While each party will likely
be more cemented in their positions at
this stage, each side will also have better
insight on how the arbitrator is likely to
rule. With any dispute, it is important
to pay attention to these and other
settlement opportunities, which may help
avoid legal expenses and the uncertainty
associated with final awards.
The above outline should help you
navigate the arbitration process and
provide tools to manage and anticipate
expenses, as well as identify settlement
openings along the way.
about the author
Aman Kahlon is a partner in the Construction
Practice Group at Bradley Arant Boult
Cummings (www.bradley.com) in
Birmingham, Alabama. He represents owners,
general contractors, and subcontractors
in construction and government contracts
matters. His litigation experience covers a
wide variety of disputes, including substantial
experience in power and energy matters. He
also advises clients on delay, interference,
defective design, and negligence claims. He
can be reached at akahlon@bradley.com.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com40
onstruction companies and
contractors rely heavily on how
efficiently they are able to allocate
their vehicles, equipment, and labor for
each job. Jobsites can be separated
sometimes by hundreds or thousands
of miles, so effective construction
management requires virtually
continuous fleet tracking to ensure that
nothing sits idle for long in order to
improve profitability.
On top of this, with the construction
company or contractor name/logo
emblazoned on vehicles for the
public to see, it is vital to prevent
any unprofessional actions, such as
speeding or reckless driving, that could
hurt their brand, compromise contracts,
or even invite liability in the case of
serious accidents.
As a proactive response, a growing
number of construction managers are
turning to GPS tracking of their fleet
vehicles to ensure better construction
management logistics and clear driver
GPS Tracking
real-time data for optimal resource allocation across jobsites
By Del Williams
technology solution
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
accountability. This is resulting in a more
optimal, profitable use of construction
vehicles, equipment, and labor for each
job, as well as safer driving.
We use GPS tracking to know where
our equipment is so we can quickly
get it to the next jobsite,” says Robert
Hanneman, business development/fleet
manager at Chelsea, Oklahoma-based
K&D Construction Services, a specialty
foundation contractor serving the utilities
market in a six-state area with a full suite
of construction foundation services.
“We use it when we schedule which
jobs need which pieces of equipment to
ensure that everybody gets what they
need and nothing extra. It also helps us
keep our drivers safe and accountable
for their driving.”
However, not all GPS tracking systems
are designed to withstand rough use at
construction worksites.
“We work for utility companies and
spend a lot of time out on dirt roads, so
the equipment gets bounced around,”
says Hanneman. “We had too much
trouble with previous GPS tracking
devices that were not reliable in the field.”
When Hanneman researched the
market for a replacement, he turned
to a rugged system called Shadow
Tracker Vision III from Advanced Tracking
Technologies (ATTI), a Houston, Texas-
based designer and manufacturer of GPS
tracking products. The system is designed
for construction use, and costs about half
of what he was paying previously.
“The more reliable the GPS tracking
system—even in rougher terrain—the
better it is for construction, and theirs
has been pretty darn reliable,” says
Hanneman, who uses the devices on
about 45 vehicles including semi-trucks,
1-ton and ¾-ton trucks, as well as skid
steers, mini excavators, etc.
As far as pricing, Hanneman notes that
he pays under $20 a month per vehicle
for the GPS tracking.
He appreciates that he can use the one
system to track all of his construction
fleet vehicles. “I did not want to look at
multiple systems to see different things,
with one set of trackers for the trucks
and another for the skid steers and
mini excavators.”
According to Hanneman, via a PC or
smartphone app approved by ATTI he
can display the real-time location of his
entire fleet on a map and zoom in on any
specific vehicle. At a glance, he can see
if a vehicle is moving (displays green) or
stopped (displays red). If he touches a
vehicle icon, the app will display where
the vehicle has been, where it stopped,
and how long it idled.
“By zooming in or out on the map, we
can see everything,” says Hanneman.
“We can look where the different crews
are and see what equipment they have
with them in case we need to reallocate
equipment to other places, depending on
the job tasks.”
Hanneman notes that job tasks are
not always the same from one jobsite
to the next. “Maybe one crew has four
skid steers, another has one, and I need
to move skid steers around between the
different crews,” he says.
Compared with typical GPS tracking
devices that may only update every few
minutes, the system provides real-time
location updates every 10-seconds, as
well as location, speed, and idle time
alerts if something is amiss. This data
is transmitted via satellite and cellular
networks to a smartphone or PC on a
24/7 basis. The system has access to
nationwide speed limits in its database.
We have multiple crews working
in multiple states, so being able to
track where our vehicle fleet is in real-
time 24/7 is a real advantage,” says
Hanneman. “It also helps if we need to
respond quickly to a need for emergency
construction, such as for repair
after a storm.”
While K&D Construction Services
has a great work crew, according to
Hanneman, the GPS tracking system
has helped his drivers to drive more
safely and take greater responsibility
for their own conduct without the need
to micromanage.
about the author
Del Williams is a technical writer based
in Torrance, California. For more about
Advanced Tracking Technologies, visit
www.advantrack.com. For a free demo,
Real-time, 24/7 tracking
enables optimal resource
allocation across jobsites.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com42
technology solution
EPS Insulation
Q&A with Insulfoam expert Chip Coughlan
ince the 1930s, the commercial
building industry has utilized
expanded polystyrene (EPS)
rigid foam insulation to achieve
high-performance alongside cost-
effectiveness. A critical component
of a building envelope, insulation is
more important than ever as today’s
commercial contractors aim to ensure
compliance with stringent code-required
R-values, while staying under budget.
Contractors can economically increase
a building’s R-value by using ultra-
lightweight, moisture-resistant EPS
panels that are customizable to meet
project needs. EPS shows off its high-
performance capabilities in all areas of the
building, including walls and below-grade,
due to its ability to increase thermal
resistance, provide moisture resistance,
and meet required compressive strength.
Continue reading to gain further insight
into the advantages of building with
EPS as Insulfoam expert Chip Coughlan
addresses commercial contractors’
frequently asked insulation questions.
Why is EPS insulation right for my job?
COUGHLAN: EPS insulation is typically
engineered to a 4-foot x 4-foot x 8-foot
block and can easily be cut down to the
exact size needed for the job. Because of
the flexibility of the product afforded by
its large size, EPS is expertly suited for
an array of commercial jobs. Commercial
contractors can install the solution via
an exterior wall, below-grade, and in all
other parts of the building envelope.
How is this insulation cost-effective?
COUGHLAN: Often times, contractors
require multiple layers of insulation to
meet R-value mandates. Below-grade
applications, for example, may actually
require several feet of insulation to fill
voids under slabs.
In contrast, EPS is available in large
blocks, and professionals can cut
the material to satisfy virtually any
project need. This makes it possible to
elevate R-values without the material
or added labor costs of building up
multiple insulation layers on site. EPS’
customization capabilities call for less
material handling, and its lightweight
nature results in quick installation—all of
which aid in accelerating jobs’ timelines,
contributing to contractors’ ability to stay
in the black.
Is EPS water-resistant?
COUGHLAN: When contractors have
a project that will likely be exposed to
moisture, EPS can rise to the challenge
due to its water-resistant properties. For
example, during 15 year in-situ testing
below-grade, where wet soil and freeze-
thaw cycles are commonplace, EPS
saw only 4.8 percent water absorption.
The material further delivered 94
percent of its specified R-value after
the allotted time. These long-term
performance advantages make EPS a
preferred choice for contractors looking
for a reliable insulation material.
Is the material easy to work with
in the field?
COUGHLAN: Crews can simply
mechanically fasten EPS insulation
directly to the application using cap
screws, cap nails, staples, or adhesives.
And, thanks to its light physical
properties, teams can easily maneuver
EPS insulation into the proper position.
What adhesives, caulk, and insulation
tapes do you recommend when
working with EPS?
COUGHLAN: There are a variety of
compatible adhesives, caulk, and
insulation tapes available on the market
today. Keep in mind—water-based,
urethanes and polyether’s adhesives
work best, and should not use
solvents that could deteriorate the
insulation. Ultimately, the choice
of adhesives, caulk, and tape for a
contractor’s insulation job depends
on the application at hand.
Photo courtesy of Insulfoam
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
How can the material meet continuous insulation
requirements for walls, optimizing energy-efficiency?
COUGHLAN: The key to optimizing energy-efficiency is to
create a virtually airtight envelope by eliminating thermal
breaks. Because manufacturers can produce EPS blocks in
large sizes to cover an expansive wall, there are going to
be fewer air gaps and reduced thermal bridging from fewer
connections. This affords contractors the ability to meet
stringent continuous insulation requirements without racking
up material costs.
And, speaking of energy-efficiency, EPS’
thermal properties will remain stable over its entire service life.
Some EPS manufacturers are even able to guarantee R-value
over 20 years.
Why should contractors insulate below-grade, and what are
some key considerations to keep in mind when doing so?
COUGHLAN: Since uninsulated concrete provides a thermal
bridge between a commercial building’s heated interior
and the relatively cooler earth surrounding the building or
through exposed slab edges to the outside air, blocking that
heat flow with insulation is critical. Below-grade insulation
also helps mitigate moisture to reduce interior condensation
on foundation walls. Or, when installed on the exterior,
insulation helps prevent freeze-thaw cycling damage.
That being said, it’s important for contractors to determine
the most appropriate insulation method for their application.
For example, insulating below a concrete slab is much
different than insulating below a commercial-grade freezer.
Secondly, professionals must judge the appropriate
compressive strength needed for the job. EPS’ flexible
product offerings allow manufacturers to meet a range of
compressive strengths for a project, up to 60 psi.
EPS is going to be commercial contractors’ best bet when it
comes to delivering desirable performance capabilities such as
moisture retention, R-value stability, and compressive strength.
And, the rigid foam offers these high-performance capabilities
without breaking budgets. It’s a no-brainer.
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Chip Coughlan is the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic territory manager
for the Insulfoam location in Lakeland, Florida. He can be reached at
Read about Insulfoam
best practices in this
article on mcsmag.com
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com44
technology solution
Moisture Meters
handheld analyzers deliver lab-quality
moisture readings in seconds
crucial part of managing
any large-scale construction
project is staging the work as
efficiently as possible so the crew and
any subcontractors remain busy while
maintaining building quality. However,
when moisture or water is part of the
equation, decisions about proceeding to
next steps, waiting for materials to dry
or cure, or even ensuring the ideal ratio
of water in adhesives and slurry mixes
can be even more critical. The risk can
be quality issues, costly rework, mold,
shrinking/expansion/warping of materials,
and other construction matters.
On most construction sites, there can be
uncertainty about moisture levels for a
variety of reasons. Building materials can
be unintentionally exposed to rain, snow,
or humidity during framing; unexpected
events such as plumbing leaks can occur;
drying and curing times of adhesives,
mastics, concrete, or other materials can
be difficult to ascertain; and even the
moisture content in raw materials, such as
powders or lumber, may be unclear.
Although the construction industry
has access to moisture meters, to some
extent, these tools typically require
calibration, sampling, and time. In addition,
they are not very flexible in measuring
a variety of materials in various forms
(wet, powder, solid) and certainly are not
portable enough to be used on jobsites.
Fortunately, a new category of portable,
handheld, instant moisture measurement
devices are now available for construction
workers that can be used on a wide range
of materials with no special training.
These “point-and-measure” units can
be used at the jobsite wherever moisture
is a problem or a specified moisture
content needs to be known to proceed
with work, whether that involves sand,
aggregate, concrete mixes, adhesives,
wood frame construction, drywall, or
other materials. This new tool is helping
expedite project completion and improve
building quality for as little as $20 a day
when the equipment is leased.
Although traditional laboratory and online
based moisture measurement techniques
are useful in the right settings, they have
lacked the simplicity and flexibility required
for frequent spot checks on a jobsite.
One common test is Loss on Drying,
which measures the total material weight
change after drying. However, such tests
typically require a sample to be prepared
and brought to a lab. The test takes a
minimum of 15 minutes up to several
hours to perform.
Because such traditional moisture
tests are too slow, laborious, and alter or
destroy the sample, they are not practical
for construction sites. Instead, what is
needed is a fast, easy “point-and-measure”
method to determine moisture content.
So, industry innovators have developed
a simplified approach with testing
equipment that utilizes Near-Infrared
(NIR) light, a highly accurate, non-contact
secondary measurement method that
can deliver immediate, laboratory quality
moisture readings.
“NIR moisture meters allow very accurate
instant measurement of solids, slurries,
and liquids without contact or sample
preparation in portable handheld models,”
says John Bogart, managing director of
Kett US, a manufacturer of a full range of
moisture and organic composition analyzers.
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
Bogart says that once the meter has been calibrated against
lab or production standards, the calibrations are stored in the
device so no calibration is required in the field. The calibrations
are stored in different “channels” in the unit, each dedicated to
a specific type of building material. The user simply selects the
proper channel and the measurement is instantly displayed.
According to Bogart, NIR moisture meters follow the principle
that water absorbs certain wavelengths of light. The meter
reflects light off the sample, measures how much light has
been absorbed, and the result is automatically converted into a
moisture content reading.
You can use the NIR meters on anything where measuring
surface moisture is important,” says Bogart.
At a construction site, for example, an NIR meter could be
used to instantly check the moisture level of bulk “dry” goods
such as sand or aggregate on receipt from suppliers. It could
also be used to spot check the moisture content of materials
mixed with water.
Bogart says the same approach could help to speed the
installation of flooring or tile while ensuring quality control.
A NIR meter can determine if mastic or adhesive has the
correct moisture content to properly bond floor, wall, and ceiling
tiles so creep, shrinkage, buckling, or grout problems do not
become an issue,” he says.
When measuring moisture content inside a variety of building
materials such as lumber, concrete, mortar, gypsum board, or
OSB is necessary, portable electronic, contact gauge testers are
also available.
“Handheld contact gauges can measure the moisture inside
many kinds of samples at superficial or deeper levels just
seconds after contact with the material,” says Bogart.
As an example, with lumber for framing, once the user
sets the thickness of measurement and specific gravity of
the wood and touches the sample with the instrument, the
moisture content for all kinds of wood is instantly displayed.
To avoid dimensional change problems, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Wood Handbook recommends average moisture
content of 15 percent or less, with maximum readings of 19
percent or less.
While the industry has not routinely spot-checked moisture
levels in materials during construction, doing so consistently will
significantly speed job completion and improve building quality
by removing any doubt as to drying time or moisture content.
for more information
For more about Kett US and its full range of moisture and organic composition
analyzers, visit www.kett.com
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com48
safety solution
Impact of COVID-19
Q&A with construction software executive Dustin Anderson
s more construction workers
return to jobsites, construction
business owners are grappling
with what the new normal looks like and
how they can protect their workforce
while keeping their business running.
What changes should contractors
expect on jobsites to reduce the
risk of coronavirus?
While local laws vary, most
are adjusting to different ways of working
that involve less people on the jobsite at
the same time, physical distancing on the
jobsite whenever possible, and wearing
PPE more often than they’re used to.
Many projects are limiting interactions
by allowing only one trade at a time on
the jobsite, while some elements of the
building process such as inspections are
being done virtually to further reduce the
number of people in a given location.
Prefabrication is a growing trend in the
industry that I think will likely continue
to gain traction as well. Manufacturing
things off site and assembling them
on site can help streamline some
processes and further help control the
work environment.
What else can businesses do to protect
their employees?
ANDERSON: Business owners can
also look to their teams for suggestions
and have an honest dialogue: What
parts of the workflow need to be
adjusted? How many people need to
be on the jobsite at a time? What is
keeping them up at night? It’s important
to understand their needs and make
necessary accommodations. We need
a strong workforce to get through this.
We’re already facing a qualified worker
shortage so it is imperative for everyone
to do everything they can to keep their
employees healthy.
What impact are these changes
having on construction projects?
ANDERSON: Most projects are
expecting delays as teams adapt to
new ways of working. Many have
experienced a decrease in productivity
as they are not able to do things as
efficiently or as effectively as they have
in the past. We’re also seeing less
demand for certain types of projects in
industries such as hospitality and retail.
In this economic downturn people are
being very careful about their spending,
so some sectors are going to be
slower to rebound.
Are there sectors where you think there
will be more opportunities for growth?
ANDERSON: Yes, this pandemic has
highlighted the need for growth in areas
such as manufacturing. Many industries
have experienced disruptions to their
supply chains in part because so many
goods are manufactured overseas.
In order to bring manufacturing back
to the U.S., we have to build more
manufacturing facilities, so there will be
new opportunities in that sector.
We’ve also seen the need for more
healthcare facilities so there will be
opportunities for building new facilities
as well as looking at how we might
be able to update current facilities
to increase capacity. Infrastructure
is another area we may see new
opportunities as there’s likely to be
increased government spending in that
sector to help keep the economy afloat.
What other changes are you seeing in
the industry?
ANDERSON: With a limited number of
new projects to bid on, firms are facing
increased competition in their efforts to
win new work. This environment often
puts firms in a situation where they
are taking on exceedingly risky work
at almost zero profit just to keep their
workforce hired and business moving
forward. Firms also anticipate delays,
supply chain issues, and price volatility
to affect most of their projects for the
foreseeable future, so they’re facing
increased risk from every direction.
Are there ways mitigate some
of that risk?
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
While it’s difficult to navigate such a challenging
environment there are definitely ways businesses can try to soften
the impact. It’s essential for firms to have a business continuity
plan in place to help them survive unexpected circumstances
and tough economic times. It’s also important for businesses to
conduct regular cash flow forecasts so they have a better handle
on their finances and understand how certain scenarios will impact
their bottom line. Financial implications as well delays and other
external variables should be factored into the bidding process as
much as possible.
Many business owners will structure their contracts differently
as they try to directly address some of the unknown variables in an
effort to alleviate risk and provide more flexibility. They will want
to ensure a broad force majeure clause is included in all contracts
as well. Many businesses are also adding specific clauses related
to COVID-19 safety measures in an effort to ensure subcontractor
compliance and limit their liability. More businesses will also turn
to technology for help as they search for ways to set themselves
apart from the competition and work to minimize risk.
What are some ways technology can help?
Technology has obviously played an integral role
in keeping people connected and businesses up and running
throughout this pandemic. Contractors have increasingly been
adopting cloud-based solutions and mobile apps to help streamline
projects, increase efficiency, improve collaboration, and keep their
teams in sync, which is more important now than ever.
Estimating software can also add a lot of value as it helps
businesses produce faster, more accurate estimates, enabling
them to pursue the right work at the right price. While accounting
and project management solutions help provide firms with the
visibility needed to make the best decisions for their business. As
variables such as material costs or labor hours are affected, they
can make updates and automatically project out the impact the
changes will have on their budget.
As we all learn to navigate this new normal, questions will
undoubtedly arise. The industry has a wealth of resources available
to help keep contractors updated and connected virtually—from
industry resource pages to online webinars, conferences, and
forums. It’s important to maintain our sense of community. The
construction industry is resilient and will get through this together.
for more information
Dustin Anderson is vice president and general manager of Sage’s
Construction and Real Estate practice in Beaverton, Oregon. He is a dynamic
construction software executive with more than 20 years of success serving
the industry.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com50
safety solution
Social Safety App
practice social distancing with the help of technology
s businesses reopen and
people head back to work, safety
is a big concern. Employers
are taking measures to keep their
employees safe, including sanitizing
workspaces, implementing safe work
practices, screening employees for
symptoms, and providing PPE to
all workers.
These measures certainly help, but
ultimately human behavior is the biggest
problem employers will need to manage.
An upcoming tech solution can help.
New York-based consulting firm
FROM, The Digital Transformation
Agency has developed a unique,
easy-to-use, secure social distancing
app that helps your employees keep
approximately 6 feet away from each
other at work. The Social Safety App
is currently available in beta form by
application, which can be accessed at
As people return to work, they will
need to keep a safe distance from each
other,” says CEO Howard Tiersky. “This
social distancing app alerts anyone
who gets too close to another person so
they can quickly move away.”
“Social Safety takes the guesswork
out of social distancing,” adds Anis Dave,
CTO of FROM and architect of the app.
“It frees employees to stop worrying and
focus on their work.”
Here are three ways the social distancing
app gives employers and employees
peace of mind.
“Even well-meaning people will forget
to practice social distancing as they
get back into their routines,” says
Tiersky. “The other day a delivery person
rang my doorbell, and I nearly answered
the door before stopping myself. Even
after months of isolation, you still
forget sometimes. We all need a little
reminder to make sure we observe
these rules, and the social distancing app
provides that.”
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
“Workers don’t want to have to police
each other or worry about a worker who
doesn’t take social distancing seriously,”
says Dave. “The social distancing app
keeps everyone in check without any
uncomfortable confrontations.”
When employees are worried about safety
and having to deal with irresponsible
coworkers, they aren’t doing their best
work. The social distancing app lets them
relax and get focused on their job.
The employee installs the app on their
phone and wears it on an armband while
they attend work. If employees come
within approximately 6 feet of each other,
the social distancing app alerts them
through beeps, vibration, and light display.
As employees get closer together, the
sounds and display become more urgent
so there is no ambiguity or confusion about
what to do. Visit socialsafety.app to view a
video demonstrating the app in action.
Additionally, the social distancing app keeps
a secure, private record of accidental close
contact between people at your business,
so that in the case of infection, you will be
able to warn employees of their potential
exposure risk for self-quarantine purposes.
A safe workplace is one where all
employees are on board with social
distancing,” concludes Tiersky. “With this
social distancing app, workers can be
sure they are doing the right thing all the
time. It gives employers peace of mind.
for more information
FROM, The Digital Transformation Agency
helps companies adapt and evolve to win
the love of today’s “digital customers.” The
company has created many award-winning
web and mobile products for shopping,
banking, travel, financial services, and
entertainment. For more, visit from.digital. For
more about The Social Safety App or to apply
to take part in its private beta release, visit
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com54
maintenance solution
Sealing Concrete
top five issues faced by contractors
hen a concrete sealer does not
look or perform as expected,
the root cause can usually be
traced back to issues like overapplication,
application in non-ideal conditions, or
a buildup of multiple coats. Below are
the top five most common concrete
sealer issues that are encountered in the
construction field, why they occur, and
how contractors can avoid and/or fix them.
The presence of bubbles in concrete
sealer is usually a result of a heavy
product application. During application of
the sealer, outgassing from the concrete
surface should be free to quickly move
through a thin, wet sealer film. For
instance, at a typical coverage rate of 300
square feet per gallon, one coat of an
acrylic concrete sealer should be about 5
mils thick when wet. However, when the
sealer is dry, it should be only about 2
mils thick. As a point of reference, a sheet
of copy paper is 10 mils thick, and a credit
card is 120 mils thick. When the sealer
is applied too heavily, the air displaced
through the surface can’t escape, and it
forms a bubble in the sealer surface. To
resolve this, two thin coats should be
applied, as opposed to one heavy coat.
In addition, bubbling of a sealer can
also occur if applied in hot weather or if
the concrete is exposed to direct sunlight.
Under these conditions, the sealer will
“skin over” and dry on the surface before
all of the solvent has evaporated. As the
solvent attempts to evaporate, pressure
buildup will form a bubble on the sealer
surface. To avoid this issue, it’s best to
apply concrete sealers during the coolest
part of the day, when concrete is not in
direct sunlight.
There are two key contributors to
blushing,” or whitening, of a solvent-
based concrete sealer. The first is
application of the sealer to a wet
concrete surface, or to fresh concrete
that still contains bleed water. When this
occurs, the sealer will not bond to the
concrete surface, but will instead float
on a trapped film of water. The second
cause of sealer blushing is an application
that is too thick. Heavy coats of sealer,
or a buildup of sealer applied numerous
times over the years, will lead to moisture
becoming entrapped under the sealer
and, in time, the sealer losing adhesion
to the concrete. When this occurs, the
trapped moisture and air under the
de-bonded sealer creates a refractive
index—in turn making the sealer appear
white to the human eye and, eventually,
peel or flake off the surface.
To avoid this problem, be sure to
carefully follow the manufacturer’s
recommendations regarding coverage rate
and the number of suggested coats. In
addition, concrete should not be resealed
until the previous coat(s) has worn away or
been stripped off. Afterward, use a solvent
wash and allow to fully dry.
The drying process of water-based sealers
is quite complicated and significantly
affected by the temperature and humidity
of the environment during application.
Water-based, acrylic sealers dry by a
process called “coalescence,” during
which the water and then the coalescing
solvent evaporate so the acrylic particles
fuse together to form the sealer film. If the
temperature during application is too low or
humidity is too high, the coalescing solvent
will evaporate prior to the water, and the
sealer will dry white or powdery as a result
of the latex particles not fusing together
before drying. As a best practice, always
be sure to identify required temperature
and humidity conditions for the successful
application of a water-based sealer.
To resolve this issue, pressure wash
or scrub the concrete to remove any
debris, before allowing the sealer
to completely dry. Next, perform a solvent
wash to bring remaining product back to
the surface and to reestablish the seal. If a
By Jennifer Crisman
Uneven Application
Heavy Sealer
Sealer Bubbles
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
solvent wash does not provide the gloss and
seal desired, apply a very light coat of sealer
after the solvent wash has dried. Concrete
cure and seal solutions typically last 1-3
years, so some peeling and flaking should
be expected as the product wears away—
particularly in areas of high traffic or direct
sunlight. When working with solvents, be
sure to carefully follow the instructions and
safety precautions outlined in the product
data sheet and SDS.
Over time, it’s not uncommon for
concrete sealers to become stained from
general wear and tear resulting from
repeated or prolonged exposure to oil,
tire treads, fertilizer, and other debris.
The most common concrete sealers are
manufactured with acrylic polymers that
do not provide exceptional chemical or
stain resistance for the concrete.
In order to maximize durability and
stain resistance, consider using an
epoxy or urethane coating system, and
ensure that the coating is appropriate for
exterior use before applying to concrete
in an outdoor environment.
Most acrylic sealers will darken concrete
and leave a glossy shine to some extent,
giving the concrete a “wet” appearance.
Because every slab is unique in its color
and texture, the color of the concrete
after sealer application can be difficult
to predict. A variety of factors—such as
mix design, use of chemical admixtures,
finishing techniques, or porosity—can have
an impact on concrete surface color.
Using a sealer will deepen the true color
of concrete and highlight disparities in the
surface texture that result from floating
and finishing. In addition, sealers bring out
the “grain” in concrete, just like a varnish
does on wood. If changing the concrete
color after sealing is a concern, it’s
recommended to use a penetrating, water-
repellent sealer, or to perform a small
test application of a film-forming sealer
to ensure the result is acceptable before
addressing the entire area.
Throughout the course of its lifetime,
concrete suffers many different forms of
damage. Though concrete sealers add
a protective layer to concrete floors and
structures to help maximize their durability
and minimize moisture permeability,
common issues associated with sealing
concrete can be a source of frustration.
Knowing these five common issues will be
beneficial for application success.
about the author
Jennifer Crisman is director of marketing
at The Euclid Chemical Company, a
leading manufacturer of specialty concrete
and masonry construction solutions. For more,
visit www.euclidchemical.com.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com56
maintenance solution
Track Pads
increase the work life of a steel-tracked undercarriage
he construction industry is
constantly evolving with new
equipment innovations and
technologies to help your machines
and operations run optimally. There
is a tool for every job, but as long as
humans have been building, few things
rarely change: 1) having the right
tool for the job, and 2) operation and
maintenance matters.
Most major OEM’s note that
undercarriage represents an average of
50 percent of your machine’s owning and
operating costs. Routine maintenance
and inspection of the undercarriage are
critically important to optimizing the life
of these components. Further extending
the undercarriage life can be done with
the use of quality rubber or polyurethane
track pads. Identifying the culprits of
undercarriage wear is first and foremost
the best way to understand how track
pads lend a hand in protecting your
equipment’s undercarriage.
What causes undercarriage wear and
premature failure?
Friction, abrasion, and uneven wear/
loading are an undercarriage’s worse
nightmare. Any one or combination of
these can result in undercarriage wear,
damage, and failure if not properly
handled through regular preventive
maintenance programs, combined
with correct equipment operation as
recommended by the manufacturer.
Several factors lead to an increase
in undercarriage wear: track tension,
operation of components past their
wear limits, premature parts failures,
and operation on hard surfaces. The
consequences of increased track wear
and lack of preventive maintenance and/
or inspection can be severe. An increase
in maintenance costs is the most critical
aspect affecting a contractor’s bottom
line, but downtime can be far more costly.
Increased wear leads to more frequent
replacements, removing the machine from
service, and additional labor costs.
What can you do to reduce
undercarriage wear?
Through proper preventive and operational
maintenance, best practices, and following
the manufacturer’s recommendations,
you can improve equipment efficiency,
reduce wear, and extend the life of
the undercarriage. Simple steps like
tracking machine hours, monitoring part
replacement cycles, daily inspection, and
cleaning are just a few ways to improve
undercarriage wear. In addition, rubber and
polyurethane track pads can help reduce
wear on your undercarriage.
What are Track Pads?
Track pads are designed to protect surfaces
from damage caused by steel tracks.
Typically made from rubber or polyurethane,
they can be attached to either the steel
grouser shoe or bolt directly to the chain
and are often used in place of plywood,
sand, or mats. Track pads allow the machine
to be operated as intended on any surface
without the need for additional personnel or
movement of a substitute material.
Rubber track pads are intended for
operation on smooth, flat surfaces.
Generally, rubber track pads provide better
traction but are susceptible to damage
by hard debris. Newer to the industry,
polyurethane track pads have a higher cut/
tear/abrasion resistance and offer 3-4 times
longer wear-life. Intended for a wider range
of applications than rubber and are only
slightly more expensive, making them a far
superior option.
Ron Johnson, owner of Riverbend
Equipment, did a test comparing rubber
track pads against polyurethane track
pads on two machines working on the
same job. Johnson states, “We’ve always
used rubber track pads for all of our mid-
large size excavators, but we wanted to
optimize our maintenance routine. We
tried the polyurethane CUSHOTRAC
ReDDi™ pad side by side with the OEM
Rubber and polyurethane track pads can help reduce
wear on your undercarriage.
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
rubber, the results were staggering. The polyurethane pads had
minimal wear after 1800+ hours and the rubber pads were peeling
off the steel core.”
In Riverbend’s typical operations, switching to a polyurethane track
pad reduced their maintenance costs significantly and eliminated
unexpected downtime in the field. “I’ve changed my entire fleet over
to the polyurethane ReDDi track pads—they’re guaranteed to last and
that’s one less thing I have to worry about,” says Johnson.
How do track pads help reduce undercarriage wear?
The primary purpose of rubber or poly track pads is to provide
a less aggressive and softer contact with harder concrete or
asphalt surfaces. This “cushion” effect of track pads naturally
absorbs the impact of the machine’s operation and vibration,
reducing undercarriage friction and minimizing track slippage.
Another bonus is significant noise reduction—like comparing nails
on a chalkboard to an eraser. Operator comfort improves and
noise complaints drop with the use of rubber or poly track pads.
Pads that clamp or clip over the existing steel
grouser shoes. No modification to the equipment is required
and installation is the fastest of any style of track pad—typically
in 2-4 hours for a full set. Intended for temporary use and should
be removed when not needed.
Pads that bolt directly through steel grouser
shoes. In some cases, steel grousers require drilling for bolt
placement. Commonly found in road milling machines.
BOLT-TO-LINK/CHAIN: Pads that are fitted with steel inserts/cores
and bolted directly to the chain links, eliminates the need for steel
grouser shoes. No modification to equipment is required. Optimal
choice for excavators, but can be used on other steel tracked
machines. CUSHOTRAC ReDDi track pads are Bolt to Link/Chain
style pads.
Pads that are molded to a steel grouser shoe and
bolt directly to the chain.
As you approach your next tear down/maintenance season, or
have a project that requires surface protection, invest in the
operation and maintenance of the machine—be sure you are not
stepping over a dollar to save a dime.
for more information
For more about track pads by Superior Tire & Rubber Corp., visit
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com58
maintenance solution
Chipping Hammers
proper use and maintenance adds to tool life
hipping hammers are small in
nature but can be incredibly
impactful on the jobsite. An
economical tool that gives contractors a
bang for their buck, chipping hammers
can take operators a long way if used on
the appropriate applications and properly
The general application for chipping
hammers is strictly light demolition,
such as chipping out an old brick wall or
mortar, etc. Operators should never use
a chipping hammer on concrete too thick
or in larger-scale jobs like parking garage
surface demolition. This results in a short
lifespan of the tool. Instead, the use of
rivet busters is a great alternative for
bigger jobs.
There are a large variety of chipping
hammers on the market. The options
include the style of hammer, cylinder
length, and design.
Style. There is a four-bolt unit, which
holds the hammer together by the bolts,
or a screw-on chipping hammer, on which
the handle screws onto the barrel.
Cylinder length. The standard cylinder
lengths range from 3 to 4 inches. While
not as common, some manufacturers also
feature a 2-inch cylinder configuration.
Design. While the principle of chipping
hammers is the same, the design of
hammers can be different. And, some
manufacturers feature more variations
than others.
Typically, the most prominent design
change from one to the other is the
handle and trigger positions, based on
user preference. There is the “D” handle
or an open handle, which appears more
like a gooseneck or pistol grip and
can offer the user more flexibility.
Additionally, there is either an outside or
inside trigger.
Chipping hammers have multiple
retainers, but this does not detract from
their hitting power. They all offer about
the same power and blows per minute.
Rather, it is a matter of different features
matching up to the user’s application or
whichever user-preference they have.
Chipping hammers require minimal air
pressure at 90 psi. This makes it easy
to run a gang of hammers off of the
common 185 cubic feet per minute
(CFM) air compressor. CFM ranges
from the smallest hammer taking 20
CFM up to the biggest hammer at 35
CFM (hammers typically do not exceed
35 CFM).
Daily Use
Tightness of the tool
On a four-bolt unit, always ensure
handle is tight and still has all four
bolts and nuts
For a screw-on, check to see the
handle is screwed on all the way and is
not backing off
If the chipping hammer has a spring
retainer, check the integrity of the
spring. If it is bent or has lost its
integrity and starts to trend to a more
oval shape, change it
Take the tool apart
Clean it out
• Lubricate
Put the chipping hammer
back together
To increase the lifespan, it is crucial
to always run an oiler. Chipping hammers
do not have any onboard oilers, so run an
By Andrew Mayer
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
inline oiler to consistently lubricate the
tool. The oiler should be placed about 6 to
10 feet in line from the tool.
There are different types of
retainers throughout the industry, which
can be confusing. Quick-change retainers
are one style that has become much more
common. For quick-change retainers, pull
back the sleeve and insert the steel. This
uses a round collar steel.
Operators have moved away from spring
retainers because the spring is a wear item.
With a quick-change retainer, operators do
not have to worry about the spring, which
makes it easier to change out the tools.
If the tool does have a spring retainer,
pull the spring out, remove the retainer,
put the steel shank into the cylinder, then
the retainer will go over the steel and
the spring should be inserted to hold the
retainer on. Be sure to use an oval collar for
spring retainers.
Chipping hammers are simple to
maintain, but providing daily and monthly
checks will ensure a longer lifespan of
the tool.
Like any air tool, avoiding dry firings
is crucial. This will wear down the
components and it will rapidly exhaust the
hammers that feature spring-on retainers.
A common bad practice is using the
tool on larger applications. Operators
use the smaller tool because it is lighter
and easier on them. But, by doing so,
they are rapidly wearing out the chipping
hammer, breaking the retainer and
damaging the springs.
Other bad practices to avoid are putting
in 18-inch chisels and prying with them.
This action places a lot of stress on the
retainer and chuck of the tool, ultimately
resulting in breaking the hammer.
Chipping hammers may be small, but by
performing proactive maintenance and
utilizing them in the right applications,
they will quickly maximize the return
on investment.
Editors Note:
Having the right tool
for the job is of vital importance. As
a business owner, what is your tool
of choice for leadership expertise?
Let me know what’s in your master
toolbox for safety talks, jobsite trailer
meetings, and project inspections.
Email donna@mcsmag.com.
about the author
Andrew Mayer is the business development
manager, light equipment at Chicago
Pneumatic Power Technique (CP). CP’s goal
is to deliver best-in-class global service and
local support to industrial customers through
a network of authorized distributors. For more,
visit www.cp.com/en-us.
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com60
142 Broadkill Road
Milton, DE 19968
Atlantic Screen
& Manufacturing, Inc.
Fax 302-684-0643
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com64
modern construction products
Caterpillar pin grabber couplers allow the
operator to change tools in a matter of
seconds rather than minutes. Excavators
of similar sizes can share attachments. Pin
grabber couplers are weighted to handle big
payloads when added to a machine and bucket
combination, without having to compromise
on the bucket size. Pin grabber couplers
feature a redundant locking system, ensuring
attachments are secure to the coupler. Adding
the versatility of a pin grabber coupler allows
you to switch from digging, grading, material
handling, compacting soil, breaking rocks, and
more with ease. Using the pin grabber coupler
also gives you the ability to pick a bucket up in
reverse position to clean out square corners.
For more, visit
National Fleet Products announces its new
portable and vehicle-mounted hand-washing
stations. The rugged, purpose-built product
design allows water and hand sanitizer
to be dispensed virtually anywhere, and
application-specific hardware enables units
to stand on their own, or to be mounted
to a wide variety of vehicles. The black
or translucent white water-dispensing
tanks come in 6.5-gallon and 10-gallon
sizes and are made of durable, virgin
polypropylene with an additive that makes
them resistant to UV rays. An integrated
removable soap dispenser serves as the
cap to the filling port, and a separate
cap is also available. For more, visit
Milwaukee Tool introduces the M12™ Radio + Charger. This new
jobsite audio solution allows users to turn up the sound with a full
range speaker, a tweeter, and multiple hanging options. The first
solution on the M12 System with charging functionality, the M12 Radio
+ Charger features a 12V DC port for quick, convenient charging of all
M12 batteries. Additionally, a 2.1 USB port delivers fast charging for
electronic devices like mobile phones and tablets. A full range speaker
and tweeter deliver clear mids and highs. From up to 100 ft away, users
can stream high definition music wirelessly via Bluetooth
from any electronic device. For more, visit www.milwaukeetool.com.
Steel King Industries, Inc., announces its new
bolted Pallet Load Stop Option. Designed
for heavy use applications, the Pallet Load
Stop provides an added layer of protection
for personnel safety and inventory loss. The
pallet stoppers allow perfect placement of
pallets every time—providing a fixed 6-inch
flue space for pallet rack applications. The
pallet safety stops allow for ventilation and
provide space for fire suppression sprinklers
above the racks to penetrate product stored
in racks. The new bolt together pallet load
stop design provides users with the flexibility
of either a 3-inch or 4-inch set back using the
same clip. Popular bay widths of 96 inch, 108
inch, and 144 inch are stock items. For more,
visit www.steelking.com.
Auger Technologies
introduces Bullet
Tooth Puller, an
innovative device
to quickly and
safely remove even
the most stubborn
conical auger bits
from augers, cold
planers, asphalt
grinders, and
other equipment
with conical bits
in blind holes.
Powered either manually or with an impact
wrench (not provided), the Bullet Tooth Puller
removes conical auger teeth in a fraction of
the time normally required, saving time and
money. Simply fit the split-ring Bullet Tooth
Puller collet over the conical auger bit, then
slide the driver arm over the collet, locking it
in place. Drive the extractor screw which in
turn backs out the tooth. Once out, reverse
the motion on the extractor screw to remove
the tooth from the collet. For more, visit
Dri-Dek self-draining compartment liner is
quietly finding its way onto thousands of
commercial work trucks. Dri-Dek cushions
and protects not only tools and valuable
equipment, but the truck body as well. The
flexible, elevated, and ventilated anti-skid
surface provides a dry and protective barrier
by allowing air to circulate under stowed
gear. Quick and easy to install, the 12x12-inch interlocking tiles snap together and trim to fit any
size. The liner is also offered in interlocking 3x4-ft sheets and 3x12-ft rolls and available everywhere
from finer truck equipment dealers and manufacturers. For more, visit
Pin Grabber Couplers
Hand-Washing Station
M12 Radio + Charger
Pallet Load Stops
Bullet Tooth Puller
Compartment Liner
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2020
Kapro Tools introduces its 353 LEDGE-IT
Square with a retractable metal ledge support.
The 353 LEDGE-It Square is a certified 90°
durable square, featuring a unique retractable
ledge support for stabilizing the tool on any
surface. The 353’s handle is made of cast
aluminum with three precision-milled surfaces,
45° and 30° cast-in handle platforms. The
stainless-steel ruler has permanently etched
gradation. The first 4 inches are incremented
1/32 for fine and accurate measurements,
extending to 1/16 of an inch for the remainder
of the blade’s length. The 353’s blade has
marking holes at 10°, 15°, 22.5°, 30°, 45°, 50°,
and 60° for angle marking and includes openings
every ¼ inch for fluid and parallel pencil
markings. For more, visit
Better Built announces the release of a
Pro value line of nine new jobsite storage
products. All Better Built jobsite storage
products include a staked/welded hinge
and one-time installation lock system with
recessed housing to protect against break-
ins. All chest lids are manufactured with
a single locking spreader, which ensures
safety when opening by allowing the user to
support the lid with one hand while closing it
with another. A powder coat finish protects
the Better Built jobsite products against
harsh weather, while the fully arc welded
construction provides long-lasting durability.
Made with 16-gauge steel, Better Built jobsite
storage solutions are designed to last. For
more, visit
Gloves In A Bottle is a Shielding Lotion™. A Shielding Lotion is a lotion
that bonds with the outermost layer of skin cells, enhancing the skin’s
ability to retain natural oils and moisture. For continued protection,
simply reapply within 4 to 12 hours, depending on the frequency of your
hand washing and amount of exposure. Gloves In A Bottle is vegan,
dermatologist tested and prescribed, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic
(won’t clog pores), cruelty free, and every ingredient is on the FDA’s
most safe list. Gloves In A Bottle is available with or without SPF. It can
be used on the hands, feet, body, and even the face. For more, visit
American Eagle announces the release of
the new 40P compressor, a lightweight
hydraulically-driven air compressor. The
40P is a reciprocating compressor that
uses a combination of aluminum and steel
to control the weight of the unit while
maintaining market-recognized longevity.
With a compressor weighing 240 lbs, an
operator is not sacrificing unit payload while
producing a maximum air output of 40 cfm
and up to 150 psi of air pressure. By being
direct-driven off of a hydraulic motor, there
is no need for belts that require replacement
over time. The hydraulic requirements to
operate the compressor fit most applications
at 12 gpm and 2100 psi. For more, visit
The new LiftMaster 4000 lift table from
has a fully lowered height of only
8.5 inches. It can be used to lift and lower a
wide variety of parts into the ideal position
for maintenance, service, and other needs.
Featuring a low profile and compact design,
the LiftMaster 4000 is a valuable addition to
any heavy equipment shop, repair facility, or
other service operation. The LiftMaster 4000
has a maximum capacity of 4,000 lbs when
raised. Fully extended, the lifting table rises
to 27 inches. A wide pedestal with vertical
protrusions gives the lifting surface a saddle-
like feel to allow for safely securing loads. For
more, visit
Lumax’s New Counter-Top Display puts the Magnetic LED Light within Easy Reach
of Customers. The LX-1436-DB comes with 24 Units of LX-1436 Magnetic LED Lights
that can easily be restocked. The Magnetic LED Light can attach securely to most
Hand Tools and is ideal for use on Grease Guns, Screwdrivers, Wrenches, Pliers,
Ratchets, etc. It lights up dark work areas in seconds. The Strong Magnets
hold on to the tool securely during operation and will not fall off. The
Compact Lightweight Design, only weighing 0.25 ounces. The Lumax
Magnetic LED Light has a long-life lithium battery that lasts
up to 7
hours of continuous use. 3 x L736F Replaceable Button-Cell Batteries
are included in the product. For more, visit
353 LEDGE-IT Square
Jobsite Storage Solutions
Shielding Lotion
40P Air Compressor
4000 Lift Table
Magnetic LED Light
JUNE 2020 www.mcsmag.com66
hat started in 1964 in Elburn, Illinois, as a way for
Illinois Bell to get equipment manufacturers to show
off their latest and greatest to its employees, “The
Elburn Show,” which became ICUEE, is now The Utility Expo,
emphasizing its commitment to focus on the needs of utility
industry professionals.
Since moving The Utility Expo (then ICUEE) to the Kentucky
Exposition Center in Louisville in 1987, the show has
consistently grown, and provided more and better solutions to
those involved in every sector of the utility industry. The show
has grown so much since then that, just recently, Trade Show
News Network (TSNN) certified ICUEE as the second-largest
trade show in America in 2019, behind only the Consumer
Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The people who produce The Utility Expo aren’t rest-on-your-
laurels types. They have been listening to what attendees and
exhibitors want to see more of, less of, and what they would like
entirely new, and those ideas are being followed through.
It was heard loud and clear that while attendees and
exhibitors loved the show, most folks didn’t understand the
name. The show is more than just a construction show or a
safety conference or an underground or overhead equipment
show. It’s the place for everything you need if you’re in the
utility construction industry. It’s where the utility industry goes
to grow. Simply put, it is The Utility Expo.
One thing that won’t change is the ability for utility and
construction pros to see equipment in action. It’s nice to see brand
new equipment, clean and on the show floor—but nothing tells
a utility professional more than seeing that equipment in action.
That’s who we are—it’s in our DNA and it’s only going to get better.
Formerly known as ICUEE, The Utility Expo is the largest event
for utility professionals and construction contractors seeking
comprehensive insights into the latest industry technologies,
innovations, and trends.
The Utility Expo is continuing its focus to help industry
professionals connect better with each other, learn about the
latest technologies, and hear recommendations from experts
through our innovative education opportunities.
The biennial trade show, known for equipment test drives
and interactive product demonstrations, takes place in
Louisville, Kentucky, in September 2021.
This is going to be one you can’t miss. To be the first
to get the latest information from The Utility Expo, visit
Words by John Rozum, Show Director, The Utility Expo
The Utility Expo
new name reflects growth in both size and purpose
Louisville, Kentucky
September 28–31, 2021