JUNE 2021WWW.MCSMAG.COMREACTIVE TO REACTIVE TO PREDICTIVEPREDICTIVESHIFT TO SAFEGUARD SHIFT TO SAFEGUARD YOUR BUSINESSYOUR BUSINESSABRASIVE ABRASIVE TOOLSTOOLSSAFE USE IS CRITICALSAFE USE IS CRITICALLIFT KITSLIFT KITSIMPROVE DRIVING IMPROVE DRIVING ON- AND OFF-ROADON- AND OFF-ROADTOOL TOOL TRACKINGTRACKINGMANAGING ASSETSMANAGING ASSETS
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com41848JUNE 2021VOLUME 15 ISSUE 06Inside This Issue44special focusIN EVERY ISSUEIndustry News ............................ 08Modern Construction Products ... 63Coach’s Corner ........................... 64technology solution Reactive to Predictiveshift to safeguard businesslegal solution Compensable Timeknow what gets counted as paid timeequipment solutionLift Kitsimprove driving on- and off-road26tools + attachmentsproject profile Material Managementlaying the groundwork for more profitable projectsPARTITIONS ADD SAFETY AND COMFORT Guest Post by William ChelakThe Greek Village at the University of South Florida in Tampa opened in 2005 to meet the housing and educational needs of more than 300 students. In 2019, the latest set of upgrades included the complete renovation of the restrooms and showers. This involved Scranton Product’s Aria Partitions to each restroom.ON THE BLOGJeffrey Machine’s 72-inch max cut rock auger drilling through caliche rock at a windmill farm in Snyder, Texas.Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Machine, Inc. technology solutionTool Trackingmanaging assets46safety solutionAbrasive Toolssafe use on jobsites54www.jeffreymachine.com
SUBSCRIPTIONS For all changes, go to:MCSMAG.COMClick the SUBSCRIPTIONS button in the main menuwww.mcsmag.com P.O. Box 660197 | Birmingham, AL 35266DONNA CAMPBELL Editor in Chiefdonna@mcsmag.comMIKE BARKER Publishermike@mcsmag.com RANDY MOON Media Consultantrandym@mcsmag.comMICHAEL FISCHBACH Media Consultantmichael@mcsmag.com JOHN FRIEND Media Consultantjohn@mcsmag.comKEVIN MCCLARAN Media Consultantkevin@mcsmag.comLISA AVERY Art Directorlisa@mcsmag.comCAMILLE BLACK Graphic Designercamille@mcsmag.com SETH SAUNDERS Digital Media Specialist email@example.comINGRID BERKY Office Manageringrid@mcsmag.comTIM GARMONCEORUSSELL HADDOCKPresidentCHRIS GARMONCFODONNA CAMPBELLVice President, EditorialTONYA BROWNINGVice PresidentNo part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage-and-retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher. The views expressed by those not on the staff of Modern Contractor Solutions, or who are not specifically employed by Highlands Publications are purely their own. All Industry News material has either been submitted by the subject company or pulled directly from its corporate website, which is assumed to be cleared for release. Comments and submissions are welcome, and can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.For reprint information, contact Chris Garmon at email@example.com.Canada Post Publication Agreement #41578525. Undeliverables 355 Admiral Drive, Unit 4, Mississauga, ON L5T 2N1Modern Contractor Solutions Magazine@mcsmagModern Contractor SolutionsPROJECT PROFILESPeople First ............................................................... 14Material Management ............................................... 18EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONSPortable Gas Detectors.............................................. 22Cross Passages ......................................................... 24Lift Kits ...................................................................... 26ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTION Pollution Risk ............................................................ 30MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS Time Management .................................................... 32Employee Gap ........................................................... 34Payment Process ....................................................... 36SOFTWARE SOLUTION Integration Works: Part 1 of 2 ................................... 40LEGAL SOLUTIONCompensable Time ....................................................44TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONSTool Tracking .............................................................46 Reactive to Predictive ................................................48 Internet of Things ...................................................... 50SAFETY SOLUTIONSAbrasive Tools ...........................................................54 Rearview Cameras .....................................................56MAINTENANCE SOLUTIONConcrete Outgassing .................................................60Donna CampbellEditor in ChiefIF THE TOOL FITS Welcome to the June issue! The focus this month is on the tools and attachments that make the projects come together. And, it’s the people on your crew that truly make the magic happen—the operators. Read about Robby Causey and his company, RL Causey, as he shares about putting his people first (pg 14). Learn more about Northeast Paving’s material management with FleetWatcher (pg 18).Tools can be used to handle a task or provide safety. Such is the case with portable gas detectors from Gas Clip Technologies (pg 22), designed to identify the presence and level of gases in a workspace. Some pieces of equipment can be cross-functional by using different attachments. See page 24 for the 5 best attachments for demolition robot excavation. For the general contractor traveling from jobsite to jobsite across different road conditions, lift kits from BDS Suspension may be the answer (pg 26). A best practice for any construction company with a tool and equipment arsenal is tool tracking. Using software to manage your assets for efficiency and better usage (pg 46). Using some tools, especially those that are abrasive, may require training to put safety first (pg 54). One tool sometimes overlooked for its assistance and safety features is the rearview camera. Check out the article on page 56 as Dave Turin, star of the hit Discovery TV series Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine, partnered with Dakota Micro to install rearview EnduraCam cameras on his service truck.To round out this issue, you’ll find articles on time management tips (pg 32), digital transformation away from paper checks (pg 36), focusing on the business side of your business (pg 40), and making the shift from reactive to predictive to safeguard your business (pg 48).Enjoy the issue, and if the tool fits … use it.Cheers,COACH’S CORNERCheck out what the coach says to No Mistakes Nick in this month’s column on page 64.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com8industry newsJEFFREY MACHINE INC. BREAKS GROUND ON NEW FACILITY Jeffrey Machine Inc. broke ground on a new 14,000-square-foot warehouse facility in February. The warehouse is the new home for stock tools and shipping and is equipped with new technology for inventory, stock tools, and houses a dedicated shipping area for pickups.“This new warehouse for stock tools and shipping allows for more space in the main factory which translates to increased production capacity. We are able to build and house several more fabrication stations. We are always excited about growth and this is no exception. This was something we had been planning for several years and it’s such a positive thing for our whole team. It’s especially satisfying to be able to focus on a positive change like this after the challenges we’ve all faced over the past year,” says Jeffrey Sager, owner and president of Jeffrey Machine.Jeffrey Machine Inc. offers a comprehensive line of custom and standard augers for a variety of foundation and utility tooling. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, and founded in 1977, they are one of the leading privately owned auger manufacturers in the country and manufacturer in the USA. For more, visit jeffreymachine.com.IMPROVE TRANSPORTATION EFFICIENCY, JOBSITE VISIBILITY WITH RUCKIT FIELDCommand Alkon, the global leader in comprehensive supply chain technology solutions for heavy building materials suppliers, haulers, and buyers, delivers Ruckit Field, a new mobile experience to support bulk material suppliers, haulers, and buyers in lowering costs and optimizing truck usage. This new mobile experience for the Ruckit trucking management solution is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.The new Ruckit Field app brings increased visibility to the jobsite. Superintendents and foremen can view all orders, trucks, and tickets in one place. This new visibility enables the user to see how much material is loaded, when a truck in on the road, and when a load has reached the jobsite. Crews will no longer have to wonder or keep tally marks on the deliveries as they arrive.The Ruckit Field app enables the user to approve hauler time against the job, view critical cycle information, and order trucks for current or future orders. This information is centralized in Ruckit, where transportation managers can ensure proper and timely payment to internal fleet and hired haulers.Should the location of the jobsite change, the solution enables the user to quickly update the job delivery information
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com10industry newsand geofence so that key performance stats stay relevant and impactful. For more, visit www.goruckit.com.K-TEC AND SOIL CONNECT PARTNER TO PROMOTE EFFICIENT EARTHMOVING Soil Connect and K-Tec Earthmovers are working together to promote responsible and efficient earthmoving and material transportation practices across the U.S. In order to bring awareness to the common pitfalls and inefficiencies faced by today’s dirt movers, the companies have agreed to work together to educate the earthmoving industry through multiple cross-promotional channels about new technologies and best practices. The companies have also discussed the integration of Soil Connect’s eTickets system into K-Tec’s new scraper telematics portal dashboard—an industry-first. For more information on the Soil Connect digital marketplace and its suite of services, visit www.soilconnect.com. For more information on K-Tec Earthmovers’ full line of pull-pan ejector earthmoving scrapers and accessories for the construction, mining and ag industries, visit www.ktec.com.CUPIX LAUNCHES CUPIXWORKS 2.0 3D DIGITAL TWIN PLATFORM Cupix, the fast-growth pioneer of cutting-edge 3D digital twin solutions for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries and building owners, announces the availability of CupixWorks 2.0, a major update to its leading product, CupixWorks.CupixWorks 2.0 is the industry’s most advanced 3D digital twin platform, enabling building owners, general contractors, and project managers to build smarter, transforming any construction site into an easy-to-manage project, creating value across the entire lifecycle of a property. Requiring only a consumer-grade 360-degree camera, CupixWorks 2.0 is the fastest and easiest way to create and share a best-in-class 3D digital twin, whether for a relatively simple commercial building, a highly complex facility, or an external infrastructure project like roads and bridges.Product enhancements integrated in the CupixWorks 2.0 platform include automated 3D spatial information extraction and editing tools which enable 3D spatial intelligence-based site management, comprehensive BIM data support, and secure collaboration and data access controls. Available via a usage-based pricing model that is unique for the industry, the new platform features a completely redesigned digital-twin viewer for easier integration with third-party vendors, more streamlined LiDAR data support, and drone-mounted 360 image sequence capture and support. For more, visit firstname.lastname@example.org | 814.466.7134
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com12industry newsASTEC LAUNCHES A REBRAND TO SIMPLIFY THE BUSINESS Astec Industries, Inc. launches a new modern look with a rebranding initiative to coincide with its business model. The rebrand includes a new logo, color palette, and website. The launch comes while the organization streamlines its internal structure and operations to improve efficiency and drive growth. The organization’s former brands, including Astec Inc., Astec do Brasil, Astec Australia, BMH Systems, Breaker Technology, Carlson Paving, Con-E-Co, Heatec, KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, Osborn, Peterson, RexCon, Roadtec, and Telsmith, will no longer operate as separate subsidiary companies and will all take on the ASTEC name. The unification is a significant part of the company’s OneASTEC business model including its “Simplify, Focus and Grow” strategy. For more, visit www.astecindustries.com.JOHN DEERE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF BACKHOE LOADERSJohn Deere is celebrating 50 years of backhoe loaders, a history of innovation and excellence that first started with the introduction of the JD310 model in 1971. Today, the 310L, the latest generation of the original model, remains a cornerstone within the John Deere backhoe lineup as a result of the continuous improvement to the design and efficient performance.As a commitment to the next generation of backhoe loaders, John Deere has begun joint-testing its first-ever battery electric backhoe loader with National Grid, an electricity, natural gas and clean energy delivery company. Aimed at lowering its carbon footprint and promoting sustainability, the Deere E-Power backhoe loader targets the performance of a 100 hp 310L diesel-powered machine, but with zero tailpipe emissions. Helping commemorate the anniversary, John Deere has created a replica toy model of the original JD310 backhoe loader to help customers celebrate the 50th anniversary at home. Available for purchase in late summer, at www.johndeerestore.com, each model will feature a unique 50th anniversary icon to showcase the important milestone. For more, visit www.johndeere.com. KUBOTA INTRODUCES ALL-NEW, TECH-FORWARD, 5-TON TIGHT TAIL EXCAVATOR Kubota Tractor Corporation announces its newest compact excavator, the U48-5, a tight tail swing model that builds upon Kubota’s U Series with a powerful 5-ton, technology-forward machine packed with advanced features that deliver superior performance, enhanced comfort, and tech options for ultimate operator customization to meet every need and tackle every job. For more, visit kubotausa.com. OSHA Compliant Guardrail andStair Rail SystemsSafety Boot® Guardrail SystemStringerShield® Stair Rail System1.800.804.4741safetyboot.com• Non-Penetrating Design• Rugged Steel Construction• Exceeds OSHA Regulations• Simple, Aordable & Reusable• Residential, Multi-Family & Commercial Applications• Unique Free Standing Design• Keep Post Attached For Reuse On Next Level Or ProjectFeatured on osha.gov website!Contractor’s #1 Choice for Flat FloorsA great power screed using straight ﬂat screed bars. The❝Black Beauty❞GET FLAT FLOORS!Screed bars are available in lengths up to 20 feet.▼ Equilateral screed bars stay straight through years of use.▼ Now available with “T” handle (shown) or “Bicycle” handle.▼LOCATE A DEALER AT advancedconcretescreeds.com OR CALL US AT 800-648-0542.
project profilePeople FirstPeople Firstkeeping it in perspectiveIT’S ALL GOODBy Kristin StiresA Hitachi ZX350LC-6 excavator gets to work.
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202115Robby Causey is a laid-back, simple guy. He’s lived in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, his whole life. His mom lives right down the road from him. He doesn’t travel much and prefers to stay around the house. If he needs to get away from it for a while, he’ll spend time at Garden City Beach—less than 30 minutes away.Even though he’s an even-keeled guy, Robby has worked tirelessly over the years to build his construction company, RL Causey, by hiring the right crew and taking care of them.“When I was in middle school and high school, I worked for my dad,” Robby says. “He was in the lawn business and then we ventured out into the landscaping business. I went out on my own in ’95, and I grew it from the landscaping business to where we’re at now. It’s been a pretty wild ride, and I’ve enjoyed it.”BEHIND THE SCENESToday, RL Causey employs more than 100 people. Despite its growth, the company has kept the feel of a tight-knit, family business. Robby’s “better half,” Annette, works in the office and helps run day-to-day business operations. In fact, Robby and Annette grew up together and went to the same high school. “Without Annette, I probably wouldn’t be here,” he says. “She’s very important to me. I’ve known Annette all my life, and it just clicked and works.”Randy Pettit is another team member keeping RL Causey on track.“Randy is our head estimator,” Robby says. “He helps run the office and has been with me since the beginning. He is very well respected throughout the sitework industry.” Perhaps the friendliest employee in the office is Moose—Robby and Annette’s 115-pound, 9-year-old chocolate lab. Annette takes Moose to work every day.“If he’s in trouble, it’s her dog; if he’s not in trouble, it’s my dog,” Robby laughs. “Doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had, when I come home, he’s wagging his tail and he’s happy. So, it’s just us three—Annette, Moose and me—and that’s what I like.”PLAYING IN THE DIRTWhile Annette, Randy, and the team run the office (with Moose’s supervision, of course), Robby’s out in the field with his guys.“I’m not much of an office guy,” he says. “I talk with them probably five or six times a day, but I’m just not an office person. Never have been and I probably never will be. I’m an outside guy. If I don’t get a phone call before 6:30 a.m., it’s normally going to be a pretty good day. If it rains that night, well, then I know it’s going to be a little bit of a rocky start because if you don’t have plan B, C, and D in effect, you’ve got problems.” If you’re on an RL Causey jobsite, you can almost guarantee you’ll spot a Hitachi excavator working. Robby has run an all-Hitachi excavator fleet since the beginning.“We play in the dirt,” he says. “We do clearing, earthmoving, utilities—water, sewer, pipe—everything is pretty much done in-house, except for curb and asphalt. When I first decided to start clearing lots, I tried buying Hitachi. Mr. Roddy Stanton with L.B. Smith was my Hitachi dealer, and he got me hooked up with the guys at Hitachi. That’s when I bought my first one, an EX200. I didn’t forget that because he helped me greatly in getting it, and I’ve just kept right on with them.”Robby has worked with his current sales rep, Bob Simmons (formerly with L.B. Smith, now Flint Equipment), for more than 20 years. They play golf every Sunday and give each other a hard time.“Bob has been great to work with over the years; just don’t listen to anything he says about what happens on the golf course,” Robby smiles. RL Causey’s Hitachi fleet consists of roughly 50 excavators ranging from a ZX35U-5 compact up to the ZX470LC-6.Robby talks with his friend Bob Simmons, sales rep for Flint Equipment Co.Robby poses with his dog, Moose, who comes to the office every day.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com16project profile“Hitachis are smooth and very reliable,” Robby says. “We’ve still got some of the older machines and we use a lot of them for clearing, so that’s why you see a little bit of bruises on them. They just keep right on running, though. When you’ve got an engine that’s got 15,000 hours on it and you’ve never been into it, that’s good in my book.”PUTTING PEOPLE FIRSTWhile Robby enjoys his work, he’s thankful for his crew and makes them his first priority.“I’ve got a great group of guys that work for me and have been with me for a long time. That means a lot to me,” he says. “I’m a people person and I try to take care of my guys. It’s not about me, it’s about them. One that stands out is Joe Turbeville, who has been with me since the landscaping days, and has operated Hitachis for the company for all these years.”When it comes to equipment, Robby keeps his guys happy with Hitachi.“My guys do not like to share; they keep their own equipment and I’ve accepted that,” he says. “They take care of it and if something goes wrong, they know what happened and how it happened.”Bill Barber, operator for RL Causey, currently runs a ZX350LC-6 and is a fan of it. “This machine is sweet! It’s as smooth as silk, really strong and stable, and has great power and speed,” he says. “We’ve got a long stick on it since we have to dig down about 18 feet. It cuts through all the material like butter. The cab is so comfortable; it’s like sitting at home watching a Green Bay Packers game.”Charles Johnson, another long-time operator for RL Causey, runs a ZX470LC-5 on a D.R. Horton residential development that will include 1,000 home sites. RL Causey is moving about 500,000 tons of dirt for the project, and Charles says he has the right machine for the work. “Hitachis are smooth and move a lot of dirt—fast! Can’t ask for anything better than that,” he says. CLOSING THOUGHTAt the end of the day, Robby says it’s his family and his guys that continue to inspire him to keep moving forward. “I enjoy seeing the guys that work for me prosper,” he says. “Whenever one comes to me and says, ‘I just bought a new house,’ it makes me feel great. Or ‘I’ve got a new vehicle thanks to you.’ I like that. To me, it’s not about the money. I just like doing things for people, and it’s just the way I was raised. I grew up with a loving family—not wealthy, not rich—just a great family. I’ve been well blessed. It’s all good.” for more informationRL Causey, Inc. is serviced by Flint Equipment Co., Charleston, South Carolina. For more about Hitachi and its product lineup, visit www.hitachiconstruction.com.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com18project profileMaterial Managementlaying the groundwork for more profitable projectsNORTHEAST PAVINGThe winters in the northeastern United States are tough and the roads are even tougher. But this isn’t new to the team at Northeast Paving, a division of Eurovia Atlantic Coast. They have been serving the communities throughout New England for more than a century and today operate 11 asphalt plants located across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. It’s safe to say they’ve learned a thing or two about asphalt paving along the way. MAKING IT WORKJohnniel Gomez, a project engineer at Northeast Paving, has witnessed these learnings firsthand. He recalls the difference between two projects Northeast Paving completed on I-90 through Blandford, Massachusetts, “The first job we struggled a lot with trucking, finding enough trucks, having that coordination with trucks, getting them staggered in the right locations, trying to do the whole milling and paving in the same shift, and it just didn’t really work out.” What didn’t work was a lack of communication between the field and the asphalt plant throughout shifts, trucks taking detours, and trucks creating inaccurate timecards and reporting information. Northeast Paving needed more accurate information and communication. The solution? Bringing on FleetWatcher’s Material Management System (MMS).Northeast Paving’s work on I-90, like roughly 60% of their work in Massachusetts, is Department of Transportation (DOT) work. Two of the company’s asphalt plants in the state focus primarily on FOB work while the other two support laydown operations. All of them were involved when Northeast Paving returned to work on the 7-mile, three-lane wide westbound and 4-mile, two-lane eastbound stretch of I-90 the following year.Gomez and the team came back to I-90 armed with FleetWatcher’s MMS system which utilizes wireless telematics and transponders placed in company and third-party trucks to relay real-time position data, dispatch communications including notifications, Quick Truck Pay, and more, to the entire Northeast Paving team. Receiving information in real time allows the Northeast team to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and make corrections in real time. Northeast Paving saw an immediate impact from FleetWatcher on day one. “With using FleetWatcher the first day, we had 25 trucks. We said okay, we’re doing a little better. Let’s see if we can knock off a couple trucks and save a couple bucks.” REAL-TIME INFO = BONUSWith more eyes and focus on asphalt movement and production, Northeast
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202119Paving was able to knock a truck or two off while maintaining a steady pace in the field for the 45,000-ton job. This translated to consistent quality throughout the project, which earned the company a bonus. “We had great quality numbers out there in terms of we didn’t have a lot of stops and starts out in the field, so we minimized the bumps and joints allowed in the road and we ended up getting 99.9% bonus,” Gomez says.In addition to using FleetWatcher for managing their hauling, Northeast Paving also was able to use it to improve their communication between departments. “The plant guys and the paving foreman were constantly utilizing FleetWatcher and constantly talking back and forth to make sure they have trucks on the way, so the paver can still run at that 35 to 40 feet per minute and get our production,” Gomez says. With this level of communication helping to optimize production, Northeast Paving saw their tonnage on average shifts rise, including a 3,800-ton day during a 10-hour shift. EASE OF USEIn Gomez’s opinion, part of what has made incorporating FleetWatcher into Northeast Paving’s process has been its ease of use. “Anyone that has access to it [FleetWatcher] can understand what it is, and it’s pretty easy, so someone can see on any given minute, any given time frame, you can see how well the crew’s doing out in the field.” With a mobile app available on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices, the Northeast Paving team can access real-time data in the office or on the go. KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORSThroughout the entire project Northeast Paving was able to track their main KPIs, 90-minute cycle times, paving at 35 FPM, and keeping the plant running at 400 TPH, through FleetWatcher. With easy KPI monitoring showing green (good) or red (not hitting targets), Gomez and his team could easily see at a glance in real time if they were on track or if they needed to make tweaks or adjustments to their trucking. When they added up all the benefits of FleetWatcher’s MMS system, Northeast Paving saw significant savings from the first Blandford project to the second.E-TICKETINGWhile Northeast Paving is certainly achieving gains with FleetWatcher, they are still learning to use different aspect of the platform. For instance, Northeast Paving’s work in Massachusetts didn’t require e-ticketing but Gomez predicts more and more e-ticketing requirements for DOT work in the near future. While the company doesn’t currently use FleetWatcher’s e-ticketing system, they are prepared to make the switch when they need to. “The area manager that’s overseeing the whole thing said hey, is this something FleetWatcher can help us with? I said yep, FleetWatcher’s on it,” Gomez says. The milling and paving company is looking forward to exploring how implementing more FleetWatcher features can help push their business forward. CLOSING THOUGHTNortheast Paving has been able to utilize FleetWatcher to learn from their previous projects, be more efficient in their current jobs, and be better prepared to navigate the future of the asphalt industry going forward. for more informationEarthwave Technologies manufactures construction-specific wireless telematic products which provide complete visibility to all components used within the process. Its industry-leading FleetWatcher Materials Management Solution (MMS) is used by asphalt paving contractors across the U.S. For more, visit www.earthwavetech.com.
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www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202121SOLUTIONS FOR 80 YEARSBUILDING INNOVATIVE TRANSPORT TALBERTMFG.COM | 800-348-5232NOTHING BETTER BETWEEN THE LOAD AND THE ROAD!
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com22equipment solutionPortable Gas DetectorsPortable Gas Detectorsdesigned to identify the presence and level of gasesSAFETY FIRSTfor more information All of Gas Clip Technologies’ products are available through distributors worldwide. For more, call 972.775.7577, or visit www.gascliptech.com. Gas Clip Technologies believes that quality and affordability go hand-in-hand, which is why the company manufactures top-of-the-line gas detectors and accessories that meet every budget. Each product meets the highest standard of reliability and longevity to ensure that every user’s safety remains uncompromised. Gas Clip’s multi gas detectors are perfect examples.MULTI GAS DETECTORSThe Multi Gas Clip was Gas Clip’s first multi gas detector, and it was also the first portable gas detector in the industry to utilize infrared technology to detect combustible gases (LEL). The continuous run time of the Multi Gas Clip is 2 months. However, its sisters—the MGC Simple and the MGC Simple Plus—have continuous run times of 2 years and 3 years, respectively. Additionally, after being charged and calibrated during manufacturing, neither the MGC Simple nor the MGC Simple Plus require recharging or routine calibration, although bump testing prior to every use is advised. Also, all three of these detectors are designed to identify the presence and level of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon monoxide (CO), oxygen (O2), and combustible gases (LEL).SINGLE GAS DETECTORSIn turn, on the days that require a single gas detector, Gas Clip Technologies has two to choose from—the Single Gas Clip (SGC) and the Single Gas Clip (SGC) Plus. Both include superior sensor reliability along with adjustable alarm set points, a programmable six-digit detector ID code, and a 2-year battery life. However, the SGC Plus also includes a built in “hibernate” mode that allows users to place it in a rested state when not in use. It is available in two models—SGC Plus H2S for detecting hydrogen sulfide and SGC Plus CO for detecting carbon monoxide. The Single Gas Clip, on the other hand, comes in three different versions—SGC O2 for testing oxygen levels, SGC H2S for testing hydrogen sulfide levels, and SGC CO for testing carbon monoxide levels. THE EXTERNAL PUMPWhether a worker uses a multi gas detector or a single gas detector, simplicity and longevity are guaranteed as is compatibility with the newest addition to Gas Clip Technologies’ collection of gas detection solutions—the External Pump. This accessory is a motorized sampling pump that allows any Gas Clip diffusion detector—single gas and multi gas—to take remote samples from up to 75 feet away, drawing air at 2 feet per second. It has a 52-hour continuous run time and the battery typically recharges in 4-6 hours. Audio and visual alerts will inform the user of possible errors including blockages and a low battery charge. Additionally, the sleek, ergonomic design of the pump allows it to sit comfortably in the user’s hand, which helps prevent potential drops. However, an alligator clip allows the user to firmly attach the pump to their belt, jumpsuit, etc. as needed. Either way, if the device takes a tumble, the durable casing can withstand the fall as well as other harsh treatment. The External Pump comes with a 2-year warranty and is available for pre-order now.CLOSING THOUGHTAfter more than a decade of developing industry-changing products, including its new External Pump, Gas Clip Technologies continues to keep its focus on the future and how to further develop simpler and safer gas detection solutions. However, those two concepts are merely stepping-stones to their ultimate goal—helping workers get home to their families at the end of the day; and in truth, that is what gas detection is all about.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com24equipment solutionCross passages in underground tunnels provide a unique challenge for construction crews. Compact, strong and precise, remote-controlled demolition robots with specialized attachments are the go-to solution for improving safety, speed and productivity in cross passage excavation.Here are a few demolition robot attachments that can make tunneling contractors’ lives easier. BUCKETBecause they convert a demolition robot into an agile excavator, buckets are a no-brainer, versatile attachment for cross passage excavation. They can dig, sort and separate material, and quickly load it into carts for removal from the passage. BEAM GRAPPLEBeam grapples handle the important work of placing support ribs in the passage. Some manufacturers offer beam grapples that are lightweight yet stand up to tough tunneling conditions and lift as much as 1,100 pounds. BREAKERThe breaker is a pro at removing large amounts of material, breaking it down and sizing it. Designed to hit harder and faster than a mini-excavator paired with a breaker, breaker-equipped remote-controlled demolition machines also produce less noise and vibration, making them perfect for tunneling.TEI ROCK DRILLPaired with a demolition robot, the TEI Rock Drill is ideal for drilling blast holes in confined spaces. It excels at cross passage work because of its ability to drill at all angles and directions, and as a bonus is far quieter than pneumatic handheld drills. DRUM CUTTERDrum cutters gently remove layers of hard, reinforced ground for cross passage excavation. The attachment is especially suited for tunneling work thanks to low impact operation that produces less noise and vibration.CLOSING THOUGHTThe perfect pairing of a remote-controlled demolition machine and the best attachment for the job can mean days or even weeks of time saved on a project. Contact a demolition robot manufacturer to find out how the equipment can increase efficiency and profits on your next project. Cross PassagesCross Passages5 best attachments for demolition robot excavationATTACHMENTS FOR EASIER WORKBy Jeff Keelingabout the authorJeff Keeling is the North American sales and marketing manager for Brokk Inc., a manufacturer of remote-controlled demolition machines and attachments for more than 40 years. Through continuous innovation in engineering and design, Brokk is able to offer unique solutions to multiple industries worldwide, including construction, demolition, mining and tunneling, cement and metal processing, nuclear, and other specialty applications. For more, visit www.brokk.com.A worker stands at a safe distance as he uses a B500’s powerful breaker to begin a cross passage. The breaker is a pro at removing large amounts of material, breaking it down and sizing it.
Lift Kitsimprove driving capabilities on- and off-roadNAVIGATING ROUGH TERRAINJUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com26equipment solutionConstruction jobsites require vehicles and equipment that can handle many conditions. A well-equipped pickup truck is essential for a crew or business owner to operate effectively on muddy jobsites, over rough terrain, hauling heavy materials, and more. As an essential tool for your business, you need a pickup truck that can keep up with the workload. It serves many purposes: an office, a trusted tool, and a place to carry additional equipment on board that will help you get tasks done quickly.A sturdy and reliable pickup truck keeps business running smoothly and four-wheel drive is a given, because you never know where your next job may take you or what the weather will bring. A pickup truck can navigate a lot of challenging areas, but they can’t manage everything. That’s why a lifted pickup truck should be considered to meet the demands of a challenging jobsite so you can traverse all types of terrain. Some of benefits offered by a lifted truck equipped with larger tires include increased visibility along with needed ground clearance, which will reduce the risk of damage to the undercarriage when driving over rugged terrain. In addition, the larger tires will flex around obstacles like large rocks, which provides more tire contact with the ground for better traction. There are a couple of ways to lift a truck that offer different on- and off-road capabilities.LEVELING KITSBy design, leveling kits offer a quick and easy solution to raise the front end of a truck for a level stance, plus clearance for larger tires. In most cases, leveling kits are limited to 2 inches of additional front ride height for improved appearance with a leveled stance and clearance for slightly larger tires. However, leveling kits don’t typically offer any improvement to the vehicle’s performance, and if they are not engineered properly, they will limit vehicle performance by overextending ball joints, cause clearance issues, or overextend CV axle angles. This can lead to premature wear of front-end components. If you are interested in improving off-road capability while gaining clearance for larger tires, rather than mostly street use, be certain to explore more advanced, complete suspension lift kits. LIFT KITS An intermediate lift kit, which is designed specifically for pickup trucks with independent front suspensions, is a step up from a leveling kit. A kit like the Adventure Series Kits from Zone Offroad provides more lift height (2-3.5 inches) over a leveling kit, while improving vehicle performance with replacement upper control arms capable of more suspension travel and differential relocation brackets to ensure you won’t overextend CV axles. Many of the Zone Offroad kits are also offered with high-performance FOX shock absorbers for improved damper control. Lift kits should maintain the factory suspension mounting points and steering geometry while offering a more comprehensive lift package without the cost, complexity, or liability of taller lift kits. Any lift kit should be designed to work within the limitations of the factory suspension, steering, and driveline geometry while helping to increase the vehicles driving and handling capabilities with clearance for larger 33- to 35-inch tires, depending on the application.If you want to go beyond an intermediate lift kits, there are 4- to equipment solution
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 2021276-inch lift kits to fit 35- to 37-inch tires, depending on the application. These will keep your pickup truck within legal limits (check your state’s regulations) and maintain comfort for a truck capable of handling on- and off-road driving on the job or for weekend adventures. These kits are designed for bolt-on installation with only a few applications requiring minimal cutting/welding to install.A lift kit increases the truck’s ground clearance and suspension travel while making room for larger wheels and tires that provide the ability to handle different terrains and weather conditions. A reputable experienced shop that specializes in lifted trucks can help you determine the best lift kit and tire size for your pickup truck. BDS Suspension can help you find a shop in your area.While a lift kit is essential to improving the capability of your pickup truck, there are other things that can be done to maximize your pickup truck for work and weekend play. While developing 4-inch and 6-inch lift kits for the 2021 Ford F-150 designed to improve on-road handling and off-road capability, the engineering team at BDS Suspension was offered an additional opportunity by Ford to customize the truck.FORD F-150 CONCEPT BUILDThe team took on the challenge of creating a dual-purpose work and recreation 2021 Ford F-150 Limited Hybrid SuperCrew 4x4 that houses an array of multi-purpose gear. While the pickup truck is considered a concept build, it is designed for real life use.The Ford F-150 build starts underneath, with a 4-inch BDS lift system with FOX 2.5 Factory Race DSC coilovers and shocks along with a Ridetech LevelTow air bag system. Up top and in the bed, numerous other upfits make it ideal for the jobsite and outdoor adventures.For work, it’s all business with a Miller Multimatic 255 Welder, which plugs into the 220V plug on the Pro Power On-board to allow MIG, TIG, or stick welding, depending on the situation. An accompanying Miller 30FX welding table folds for easy setup and compact storage. A Hypertherm Powermax30 Air Plasma Cutter can be used on 110V or 220V and allows cutting of various materials. Ford hand tools, air tools, and toolbox are included along with Milwaukee MX Fuel battery tools and chargers along with deep cut band saw, 5-inch grinder, magnetic drill press, hammer drill, impact gun, hand tools, and gloves. An ARB Twin Air Compressor provides reliable, pressurized air on demand to air-up tires, run power tools, or support anything that needs an air supply.Some of the recreational gear and special features include a lightweight, ultra-strong storage solution that mounts to the bottom of the bed and integrates two lockable slide-out storage bins to store gear, tools, and more. A Yakima overhaul truck rack system with accessory mounts adds an additional dimension of storage capacity with adjustability and the Rotopax 2-gallon storage containers open up to allow dry storage for tools and other gear. An ARB Elements Refrigerator and a Grill pro 1500W Electric Grill are perfect for use on weekend adventures.CLOSING THOUGHTThere are lots of ways to reimage and customize a pickup truck that can be used for work and other activities. A lift kit provides the capability needed for traversing challenging conditions and adding work gear such as a welder, a power saw, and other essential equipment makes it ideal for getting work done quickly and efficiently. for more informationFor more information about vehicle lift kits, visit bds-suspension.com.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com30environmental solutionAccording to Statista, the construction industry is one of the largest globally, employing more than 11 million people in the United States alone. Its sheer size also makes it a major contributor to air pollution worldwide. This sector is responsible for anywhere from 25%-40% of the world’s carbon emissions every year, says Bold Business, and poor air quality puts construction workers’ health at risk. What can you do to improve air quality at construction sites?UNDERSTAND AIR POLLUTION Understanding the kind of pollution you may encounter on a construction site is the first step to improving air quality. It can be made up of particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), various gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and other dangerous chemicals that can bind to floating dust and particulate matter. Construction and demolition on older buildings often create the added risk of lead and asbestos, both of which were often used in construction before the 1970s. KEEP DUST TO A MINIMUMEverything from cutting concrete to a stiff breeze can stir up clouds of silica dust. While this isn’t a health risk in the short term, long-term exposure can cause lung damage and a condition called silicosis. One of the easiest ways to improve construction site air quality is to prevent the dust from reaching the air in the first place. Vegetation, water trucks, and other dust suppressants can help keep it on the ground where it belongs. Even something as simple as reducing your speed when driving through the jobsite can keep vehicles from kicking up debris and improve on-site air quality.Dealing with dust inside a work structure may require a dust extractor or air filtration system to improve interior air quality, especially if there are high concentrations of dust or chemical fumes.REDUCE IDLE TIMEWe get it—there are times when your equipment may be in a holding pattern, waiting for the opportunity to carry out its task. If it’s a difficult vehicle to start, it might make more sense to allow the engine to idle, but this can contribute to poor air quality.UTILIZE HYBRIDS A couple of decades ago, hybrid construction vehicles weren’t an option. As technology advances and the industry takes steps to reduce its collective carbon footprint, they’re becoming more accessible every year. If you have access to hybrids, use them whenever possible. If you don’t, choose low-sulfur diesel fuel to reduce emissions and energy use. LIMIT TOXIC CHEMICALSSome of the chemicals and products used in the construction industry can be considered toxic. While their use isn’t always avoidable, we should reduce their usage. If we can’t, it’s essential to ensure PPE is available and chemicals don’t soak into the ground or impact surrounding areas. CLOSING THOUGHTThe construction industry might be one of the leading contributors to global air pollution, but that doesn’t mean you need to put your crew or surrounding neighborhoods at risk to complete a job. Take steps to improve interior and exterior air quality to protect your team in the short term and reduce the overall impact of your company on the environment. Pollution Risksteps to improve air quality on jobsitesMORE THAN EMISSIONSBy Jane Marshabout the author Jane Marsh is an environmental and green technology writer who covers topics in sustainable construction and green building materials. She also works as the editor-in-chief of environment.co.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com32management solutionWhen I was working as a design engineer many years ago, with deadlines approaching to release a new product to market, I met with my manager and asked for his help with prioritizing my work. The design team had a lot to accomplish in a short time, and if we were to hit the launch-to-market date, we would need to either scale back the scope or increase the number of design engineers. I went into the meeting prepared—I had a list, prioritized tasks, and a time frame in which to complete each task. His shortsighted response was direct: “Do it all.” The response to my colleagues was similar. Well, we went for it. Long days, evenings, and weekends. Unfortunately, although not unexpectedly, that strategy didn’t work. While some stretch in goals is good, unrealistic goals inevitably lead to a predictable outcome: failure. The project was subsequently delayed twice before finally getting to market 6 months later. Was this result inevitable? Maybe, but the human cost was hardly worthwhile. The lesson for me? You simply can’t do it all. Good managers recognize this fact and manage their time and tasks, and those of their employees, with purpose and with the use of SMART goals.The following list of guidelines, compiled from interviews with managers, entrepreneurs, customers, and executives, can be applied together for maximum result or individually, depending on your needs and the degree to which you manage your time today. PRIORITIZE TASKS Tasks should be prioritized based on how they align with your core values and business priorities. These values must come into play when you’re deciding where to focus your time. Every week (Sunday evening or Monday morning), write out your tasks for the week. Do the same on the first of each month. Assign a category and a priority, and work the list. When I was the general manager for a large equipment dealership, my top priority was always employee safety, followed by customer and employee needs, personal items, and miscellaneous tasks. My daily tasks were then prioritized accordingly. Here’s a resource that I’ve found helpful to set up and use a bullet journal: bulletjournal.com. SET SMART GOALS Refer to your goals often. Ask yourself daily: Is what I’m doing contributing to one of my SMART goals? If not, why am I doing it? If it’s not SMART, it’s noise. (Check out www.smartsheet.com/blog/essential-guide-writing-smart-goals.) MANAGE YOUR ENERGY LEVELSEnergy levels vary throughout the workday and workweek. For a typical 8–5 workday, peak energy is usually 9–11 a.m. and 3–4 p.m. During the workweek, Tuesday and Wednesday are often the days where your energy and focus are at their peak. Schedule demanding or critical tasks during these periods, and conversely, schedule tasks or decisions requiring less of your energy outside these core productive hours.MANAGE YOUR COMMUNICATION The enemy of time management is distraction. Nothing disrupts your focus quite like a buzzing phone or an email pop-up when you are trying to get something done. One way to carve out a communication break is to set aside your mobile phone (or set it to do not disturb) and avoid checking email and social media during core productive hours or when you really need to focus on a specific task.MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELFWhen you’re an entrepreneur or manager, the demands on your time are significant, and I can state with absolute certainty that these demands increase the higher you climb the ladder of responsibility. Carving out time to unwind, decompress, or reset is as important as the job you do every day. If you want to be better at your job (with less stress), you need an outlet of some sort. Get a hobby! In addition, it may be beneficial to take a personal retreat once per year to disconnect from distractions and focus Time Management6 tips to help prioritize your workNO, YOU CAN’T DO IT ALLBy Luke Sheppard
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202133on the things that matter most, both personally and professionally. I have found this helps immensely.TAKE GOOD NOTES I was 10 years into my career before I settled on a note-taking format. I have experimented with engineering pads, pocket notebooks, bullet journals, Outlook calendar and task entries, OneNote, and a variety of iPhone apps. You might think, with all of this experimentation, that I eventually found the perfect solution. In a way, perhaps. The perfect solution is the one that works for you … consistently. Pick something and go with it. For me, my primary note-taking tool is a bullet journal. I like to put pen to paper (or consider a hybrid approach: see remarkable.com). CLOSING THOUGHTOne thing is certain, though, as you review this list—your time is yours to allocate. Do so purposefully. about the authorLuke Sheppard is a former top executive at John Deere and Nortrax and founder of Sheppard & Company, a consultancy that works with a variety of top businesses and organizations. His new book Driving Great Results: Master The Tools You Need to Run a Great Business is available now through all major booksellers.Good managers recognize they can’t do it all and manage their time and tasks, and those of their employees, with purpose and the use of SMART goals.LUKE SHEPPARD’S THOUGHTS ON 20202020 was a year like no other for contractors. Between bouts of extreme busyness or exasperating idleness, time management took a backseat to project momentum. But with an economic recovery fast approaching, including major investments in public infrastructure, you need to be purposeful about where and how much of your time you invest in generating the greatest return for your business.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com34management solutionEmployee Gaphow to fill the need for workers safelyLABOR SHORTAGEIt’s not a secret. There has been a shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry for more than a decade. Why? There are those that are retiring and not enough young workers entering the construction industry to make up for the people leaving. In March, Associated Builders and Contractors released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Based on the analysis of this information, construction companies will need to hire at least 430,000 more workers this year than in 2020 to fill the labor gap, but this number could reach nearly one million workers. With construction employees in high demand, it’s likely that they will be thrust into projects as quickly as possible. But as organizations are hiring workers to fill this demand, it is important that safety is prioritized despite the urgent need to begin utilizing these workers.Kim Holly, senior vice president at ISN, discusses how businesses can safely and efficiently train and onboard thousands of new contractors, while minimizing the risks brought on by understaffing. Below are insights from a brief Q&A. MCS: How can companies safely and efficiently onboard and train thousands of new contractors, while minimizing the risks brought on by understaffing?HOLLY: Successful onboarding starts with a strong partnership and open communication between a contractor company and the hiring organization. Understanding the hiring organization’s requirements and expectations are key to a contractor’s success. It requires involvement from the contractor before, during, and after the work. It is important for a contractor to extend their safety practices beyond the company level (e.g., implementing written programs). Placing a focus on individual level training and ensuring contractor employee competency is essential. In order to achieve safely and efficiently, contractors are leveraging technology as a response to emerging risks and evolving landscapes, like understaffing. Providing accessible trainings electronically to thousands of contractor employees can positively impact safety performance and lead to cost and time savings. MCS: Does ISN have any solutions/practices in place to onboard new workers safely? HOLLY: In addition to company level solutions, ISNetworld enables contractors to monitor workforce training and competency on an individual level. ISN’s Online Training Tool allows contractor employees to complete a hiring organization’s training remotely. Common training topics include site orientations, critical life-saving rules, and stop work authority. Through ISN’s Learning Management System (LMS), contractor customers have access to 100+ complementary high-quality computer-based training materials to satisfy the hiring organization’s requirements. ISNetworld also contributes to onboarding efficiencies with the QuickCheck Tool, allowing contractors to demonstrate compliance across all requirements, including training, background checks, and drug and alcohol. Contractor employees are issued complimentary ISN-ID cards that are scanned upon arrival to a hiring organization’s location. This eliminates the manual process of producing documentation for a contractor employee. CLOSING THOUGHTIf your company is facing the task of hiring more workers to tackle the projects on the books, make use of organizations like ISN that can help you be successful in onboarding new hires safely. for more informationFor more about ISN and what it offers, visit www.isnetworld.com/en/.
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JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com36management solutionThe pandemic took meeting in person to meeting virtually on Zoom, Webex, or Stream Yard. Activities that were once done physically were moved to the digital world, such as meetings, product launches, and trade shows. Bank lobbies were closed and financial business gained ground via online banking and smartphone apps. For people still using checks for payment, transitioning to a digital way of processing payment was new. Companies and industries faced a key shift in how payments were handled amid the work-from-home climate of the pandemic. What’s the norm with the payment process now? The following is an excerpt of a recent Q&A with Brent Meyers, vice president of sales in construction with Comdata.MCS: Please explain the key shifts in the way the commercial construction companies are handling payment.MEYERS: One of the interesting threads of the COVID-19 story is how it pushed businesses to adopt new technology. According to research by McKinsey, the pandemic likely sped up digital transformation by about 10 years. Industries like construction, which are generally more comfortable sticking to tried-and-true back-office processes, began searching to ways to complete the same work remotely. But even prior to the start of the pandemic, construction companies were beginning to look at alternatives—the pandemic simply encouraged the process to happen sooner than it may have otherwise.MCS: How has working remotely transformed the payment process for the construction industry back office?MEYERS: COVID-19 has thrown construction industry back offices for a loop. The challenges include trying to get employees equipped to work securely from home; figuring out how to make manual processes work when everyone’s working outside the office; applying for and administering PPE loans to keep paying salaries for unionized workers, and more. It’s taken construction longer than some industries to find their way to a new normal. The pandemic forced them to digitize and automate sooner rather than later. How can you cut a check remotely? We’ve seen so many instances where the only time someone went in to the office was to print the physical checks and put them on a signors desk only to text/email them and let them know to come in and sign. Talk about an inefficient process that can easily be replaced with an electronic process.MCS: What do you see trending next in the construction industry regarding payments?MEYERS: Check payments are losing their luster. For safety purposes, many companies still hesitate to send employees to the office to cut checks. But what we’re hearing even more is that their suppliers don’t want to receive checks, and they’re asking buyers to start making payments by automated clearing house (ACH). With suppliers adopting digital payments at a more significant rate, it feels like we’ve reached the tipping point and checks are becoming obsolete on a broader scale.Also, it’s becoming old-fashioned to think of buyers and suppliers—and AP and AR—as separate and independent organizations. Every AP team has a corresponding AR team. All companies are both buyers and suppliers. By looking at all connections between them, you start to see the huge social Payment Processdigital transformation away from paper checksBEST PRACTICES
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202137network of finance professionals behind the constant exchange of funds, POs, invoices, contracts, and other documents. MCS: Would automating the payment process decrease fraud?MEYERS: This may come as a surprise, but there has not been a significant increase in fraud attempts in the last few months. Our own internal tracking shows fraud counts matching the 2019 trends quite closely. There was a 50% spike in April 2020 (compared to April 2019) as personnel acclimated to remote forms of work, but the months since have less fraud instances.Physical security methods, while touted as a failsafe by some, do nothing to add to the safety of your business. For example, if your controller took home a folder of unsigned checks for the weekend and left them in the car while they stopped by the gym (a prime spot for car theft), your company information is physically at risk. The best and most surefire way to protect against email threats is to show your team how to identify them. Teach them to exercise suspicion towards unsolicited email communication and react accordingly:• Do not click on a hyperlink unless you trust it.• Do not open email attachments unless you trust the sender and are expecting the file (even trusted sender’s emails may be compromised).• Do not provide your user credentials to anyone over email or phone.• Lock your computer every time you step away.CLOSING THOUGHTEmbracing digital technology in the construction industry is one way to work smarter, not harder. With suppliers adopting digital payments at a more significant rate, it feels like we’ve reached the tipping point and checks are becoming obsolete on a broader scale.for more informationBrent Meyers is vice president of sales in construction at Comdata. For more, visit www.comdata.com.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com40software solutionI had the opportunity to chat with Adeaca’s vice president of market innovation and project business evangelist, Matt Mong, about productivity challenges in the construction industry, a new category of software solutions driving the future of construction, and why focusing on the business side of construction projects is key. The following is an excerpt of our Q&A.MCS: Traditional business industries such as retail and manufacturing have seen an increase in productivity. Why has the construction industry remained stagnant or even declined in productivity over the last few decades? MONG: There’s a number of reasons starting from poor project business management to the lack of technological innovation. But the one fundamental problem that drives this stagnation is failing to recognize project-based industries, such as construction, on the same macro-industry level as retail or manufacturing business.Failing to recognize your construction company as a project business first and foremost makes it difficult to organize and support your business processes in a way that sets you up for success. For the most part, the business processes are set up in a haphazard and disjointed way. And to top it all off, the problem is made worst by the lack of business systems support for these companies.MCS: Can you elaborate on how identifying as a project business will help construction companies prioritize and optimize their business activities and investments?MONG: Project businesses have many traditional industry labels, but they have the same fundamental business practice, they deliver projects for their customers. By identifying as a project business, construction companies will be able to understand how they should structure their business and what systems and solutions are possible. And the only way to improve the way traditional industries have is for project businesses to govern their business activities the same way traditional industries have. Now I’m not talking about corporate governance. What I mean is these companies need to focus on the business side of projects to optimize business performance. MCS: After identifying as a project business, how should construction companies think differently about their business systems?MONG: Well, a business system is any technological system that supports a business’ operations from end-to-end. Most of the time, that’s an ERP solution. The problem is that traditional ERP solutions were designed for industries with high-volume, repeatable processes. If you think about it, ERPs are effective in business industries where it’s much easier to apply technology to standardized processes and data to automate and accelerate production.But it’s not so easy for project businesses that have unique products and difficult-to-standardize business processes. It’s clear that traditional ERP components do not support the needs of project businesses by providing the level of automation and visibility they need to be successful.So, what ends up happening? Project businesses employ 10 to 15 different applications to manage their business processes. The fact is most project businesses manage the majority of their information and business processes in spreadsheets. Sound familiar?MCS: Yes, it does. And because of that, it makes sense that productivity in the construction industry has seriously lagged behind. What challenges arise as a result of operating in this disjointed fashion?MONG: There are three major problems. The first is the lack of visibility into the current status of their projects, and their business as a whole. They may be receiving weekly status updates and monthly overviews, but the information is already outdated because of the time it takes to consolidate the data and generate these reports. That means many issues and risks often go unnoticed or they are discovered after they’ve grown into major problems that put the project at risk.The second problem is the lack of control. Operating in a disparate application landscape means there’s a lack of control over the operations of the company. When work and information Integration Worksfocusing on the business side of projectsEXPERT Q&ABy Donna Campbellfocusing on the business side of projectsBy Donna CampbellIntegration Worksfocusing on the business side of projectsEXPERT Q&ABy Donna Campbellfocusing on the business side of projectsBy Donna CampbellPART 1 OF 2
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202141flows are not connected and integrated, trying to standardize or take control is almost impossible. What you get is project and company performance hinging on the performance of individuals.The third problem is poor project performance. When you have lack of visibility and lack of control, ultimately it leads to poor project outcomes and hence, poor business performance. MCS: So, what’s the solution? How can construction companies structure their business in a way that gives them the visibility and control they need to deliver projects on time and on budget?MONG: Well now that we’ve established the primary problem of project business is this non-integrated mode of operation, the solution is to integrate. That’s what Project Business Automation does. Project Business Automation, or PBA, is a new category of solutions designed to help construction and other project-based businesses to integrate all core project business processes into one, end-to-end system. The point of PBA is to replace the wide range of disparate applications that project businesses normally use and integrate those functionalities, including ERP, project management, enterprise PPM, professional services automation, and more, into one solution. By integrating all these functions into one system, construction companies can now get real-time data streams and KPIs that help accelerate and automate processes. MCS: Our next Q&A will take a deep dive into Project Business Automation. For now, what advice would you give construction companies looking to be more productive?MONG: These companies need to demand more from the business solutions they adopt. Doing more of the same isn’t working. Sticking to the status quo only means technology providers will continue to sell glorified accounting software, which means these companies will continue to manage their business processes through Excel spreadsheets. Now is the time to make a change and seek a Project Business Automation solution for your company. CLOSING THOUGHTLook for part two of my conversation with Matt in the next issue of MCS. In the meantime, take a closer look at the business side of your construction projects. for more informationMatt Mong is a project business evangelist, leading thought leadership efforts for Adeaca. Matt has worked to define and expose the fundamental issues plaguing project-based companies. He coined the product category term Project Business Automation, now adopted by Forrester, as a new approach to digital transformation for project-driven businesses. For more, visit www.adeaca.com.
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JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com44legal solutionThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that it reached a settlement and the entry of a Consent Order with a Long Island masonry contractor for the contractor to pay $500,000 in back overtime pay and damages to 69 employees after being sued by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division in June 2019. The division had alleged that “its investigation determined that the contractor and its owner failed to pay overtime to employees who worked more than 40 hours in a week, violating federal overtime and recordkeeping requirements. The lawsuit also says the employees were paid in cash or combinations of cash and checks, and the company failed to keep accurate records of employees’ work hours and regular hourly pay rates.” The DOL’s lawsuit asserted that the contractor failed to pay overtime to masons and laborers from August 2015 to at least August 2018 in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).In response to the DOL’s lawsuit, the contractor, which does commercial and residential masonry work and lays foundations, denied the allegations and said the company acted in good faith and complied with the law, and that the DOL’s claims were barred by other laws and the contractor’s assertion that the DOL had denied the contractor due process rights at the closing conference.THE OUTCOMEAs a result of a settlement agreement filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on April 30, 2021, a consent judgment was entered by that court that orders the contractor to pay workers $250,000 in back overtime wages and another $250,000 in liquidated damages. As noted by the DOL, the consent judgment also prohibits the contractor from the following:• Future violations of the overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the FLSA• Taking retaliatory action against employees who exercise their FLSA rights• Telling any of their employees not to speak with the DOL investigators or telling their employees to provide untruthful information to them• Soliciting or accepting the return or kick-back of the wages and damages from the affected employees• Threatening or implying adverse action against any employees or former employees because of their receipt of funds due under the judgment or the FLSA• Otherwise obstructing or interfering with any department investigative activities• The judgment also orders the defendants to post at their storage yard a notice, in English and Spanish, of employees’ rights under the FLSAThis is serious—and expensive—stuff. The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage set by law and to overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a workweek. In cases where an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage.FLSA OVERTIMEAs stated by the DOL regarding FLSA overtime: “Covered nonexempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 per workweek (any fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours—seven consecutive 24-hour periods) at a rate not less than Compensable Timeknow what gets counted as paid timeEVERYONE CAN COUNT TO 40By Christopher Scott D’Angelo
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202145one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. There is no limit on the number of hours employees 16 years or older may work in any workweek. The FLSA does not require overtime pay for work on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days. … hours worked ordinarily include all the time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace.”WHAT GETS COUNTEDIt is important to know what gets counted in the 40 hours or as “compensable time,” as it can be more than starting at picking up the first tool and setting it down at what seems like the end of the day. Problems arise when employers fail to recognize and count certain hours worked as compensable hours. According to the DOL, “The workweek ordinarily includes all time during which an employee is necessarily required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty or at a prescribed workplace. ‘Workday,’ in general, means the period between the time on any particular day when such employee commences his/her ‘principal activity’ and the time on that day at which he/she ceases such principal activity or activities. The workday may therefore be longer than the employee’s scheduled shift, hours, tour of duty, or production line time.” Additional guidance can be found at www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/legacy/files/whdfs22.pdfCLOSING THOUGHTLikewise, work not requested but “suffered or permitted” to be performed is work time that must be paid for by the employer. For example, an employee may voluntarily continue to work at the end of the shift to finish an assigned task or to correct errors. The reason is immaterial. The hours are work time and are compensable. Whether “waiting time” or “on-call time” is to be counted and compensated depends on several factors and the circumstances. Thus, it is imperative for the employer to consult with their counsel to determine what should or need not be counted. about the author Christopher Scott D’Angelo is a partner and chair of both the Business Disputes & Products Liability Practice and International Practice at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP, based in Philadelphia and New York City. His practice involves business, products liability, construction, class action, and insurance counseling and litigation, including his role as national counsel for several major U.S. clients and his representation of foreign concerns in the United States and U.S. concerns abroad. He is a member of the Construction Law and Litigation Committee of the International Association of Defense Counsel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com46technology solutionA typical construction jobsite contains a plethora of small equipment and power tools, along with heavy equipment, such as cranes and bulldozers, that need to be tracked. Assets can easily get lost or walked off the site if they are not adequately followed. Trucks and other fleet equipment need to be tracked as well so that supervisors and managers know where this equipment is at all times.Many contractors still use paper systems to track tools manually. They write down the piece of equipment in a tool log, enter the person’s name and location, and the time the equipment is checked out. When the worker finishes with the equipment, he/she checks it back into management. But papers can get lost. Plus, if you enter information into a paper log, your admin person must re-enter the information into a computer system for billing purposes. Reentry of data often leads to mistakes and errors.AUTOMATING PROCESSESAutomating the tool tracking process provides you and your team the ability to:• Quickly assign tools and equipment to individual workers. Your team can see which tools and equipment are in use, available, or out of service. Check tools and equipment in and out electronically, so a record exists of who uses what piece of equipment. You will never have to call around looking for a bit of equipment again. • Monitor tool usage and determine how well the worker used the equipment or if they need additional training. By assigning equipment electronically, workers know they are accountable for the equipment. If it becomes damaged or lost, management will know who used the equipment last and follow up with the worker. • Sends you alerts when maintenance needs to be performed, when warranties and registrations expire, when inspections are due, and if parts inventory goes below desired stock levels. Track usage and machine hours to schedule maintenance based on handling. • Manage work orders, shop, and equipment costs with complete transparency to all stakeholders involved, including office, field, project managers, and shop.• Maximize equipment utilization by identifying assets used heavily or pieces not used very much; those that sit idle can be deployed to areas of need. BENEFITS OF TRACKINGTracking equipment and tools using paper misses out on one of the key functionalities that automated systems offer: maintenance monitoring and preventive maintenance programs. By monitoring tool check-in/out, length of use, and other vital information, your team will know when the tool or equipment needs to go through its routine maintenance program. Preventive maintenance keeps tools and equipment in top working condition. Using an iPhone or Android phone with a tool tracking mobile solution helps you keep track of equipment in the field. Many firms have over 75% of their data entered via mobile devices. Mobile apps save workers time if they can input information while doing their work at the jobsite. MANAGING ASSETSGetting real-time visibility of assets is critical to managing your equipment assets. Fleets use telematics devices, GPS Systems, and ELD platforms to monitor the location of the truck or equipment. Fleet management systems monitor these devices to track equipment wherever it moves. If a bulldozer is at one end of the jobsite but should be in another location, these tracking devices can alert management to the bulldozer site. Managers can then communicate with the operator to find out what he is doing and why.Small tools need to be tracked as these tools play a big part at any jobsite. Most sites have more small tools than they have big pieces of equipment. Bar code systems track small tools while eliminating paperwork and providing Tool Trackingmanaging assets for efficiency and better usageBEST PRACTICESBy Tom Webbmanaging assets for efficiency and better usageBy Tom Webb
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202147access to inventory logs locating equipment and status. Use a solution that sends alerts when maintenance needs to be performed, when warranties and registrations expire, when inspections are due, and parts inventory is below desired stock levels. Use a system that provides detailed equipment history and automatically builds timecards to manage payroll better. Connect directly with your accounting system to avoid double entry and save time in the payroll process. Data is accessible between products, reducing manual entry and increasing productivity.Mobile systems allow workers to enter information, such as time, parts information, service readings, and notes while out in the field. That way, workers don’t have to come back to the office to enter data; it can be entered while on the job, saving time and improving productivity. If a worker is out in the field and notices an issue with a piece of equipment, they should submit a maintenance request on the fly. CLOSING THOUGHTWith so many costly assets on a jobsite, it is crucial to modernize operations with automated tools that keep track of paperwork, work assignments, maintenance, and tools. Having a 30,000-foot view of your equipment assets with easy-to-spot trends around utilization, life expectancy, and equipment costs mean you will have better control over all your equipment. CUTTING EDGE IMPALEMENT PROTECTIONCARNIE CAP is the most effective way to cap exposed rebar while keeping your workers safe and on the job.National OSHA Compliant • CAL-OSHA ApprovedPatent #5826398, 6073415ORDER TODAY!(888) 743-7725 www.carniecap.comWORKS IN HORIZONTAL, VERTICAL & INCLINATIONAPPLICATIONS✓ ASSEMBLE WITH 2X4 OR 2X6 LUMBER ALREADY ON SITE✓ SAFELY DISTRIBUTES WEIGHT ACROSS ENTIRE SYSTEM✓ NO MORE CAPPING EVERYREBAR!✓ WHO USES TOOL TRACKING SOLUTIONS?McGeorge Contracting of Sweet Home, Arkansas, is known for completing large industrial projects offering construction, earthmoving and excavation, site work, and mining. The company needed to improve its maintenance shop. McGeorge implemented HCSS’s Equipment360 to track tools and keep records on all the equipment. All the information on each tool, piece of equipment, maintenance schedules, repair records, and more are available to everyone in the shop. Each piece of equipment can have its maintenance schedule, and the software connects to payroll so workers can be paid for the repairs and maintenance they perform. about the authorTom Webb is the vice president of products for construction software developer HCSS, a Texas-based company that since 1986 has specialized in developing software to help heavy, highway, and utility construction industry companies streamline their business operations. Webb has 29 years of experience in software technology and 25 years in the construction industry. For more, visit www.hcss.com.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com48technology solutionThis rapid shift for organizations to digitally transform comes at a great time with recent digital advances. There are highly sophisticated tools in market today which rely on the use of data, advanced algorithms, and machine learning techniques to predict parameters that would affect service delivery, the resources needed to achieve specified performance, and accurate estimations for work completion. In turn, this ability to make smart data-driven decisions enables field service providers to prepare for the unexpected without compromising on the quality and reliance of their delivery. In particular, there are three key components that field service organizations can use to achieve predictive field service. REALIZE THE POWER OF CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN IOT AND FSM In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has played a crucial role in field service management, with many organizations using IoT tools to carry out remote monitoring. However, recent developments have seen IoT bring further benefits to the sector and allow organizations to enhance their service capabilities. Now, even the smallest IoT devices and sensors have network and internet connectivity, which enable them to feed data into a field service management (FSM) system. This FSM system is then able to convert the data into actionable insights that can help service providers carry out predictive maintenance work.Makino, a global product manufacturing company that produces metal-cutting and EDM machines, is a perfect example of how IoT and FSM can help companies achieve predictive maintenance as part of service transformation strategy. Makino relies on an IoT Business Connector to receive and operationalize device data and deliver observations on the condition of their machines. This allows the company to accurately predict any equipment failures and take action before failure occurs.For example, when customers permit connectivity, the IoT system can feed data from the equipment directly into their FSM system so that a call can be placed, or a ticket created automatically. This helps Makino avoid significant disruption, maximize equipment uptime, and reduce the number of unnecessary dispatches of their engineers—all while cuttings costs and improving customer satisfaction. OPTIMIZE SERVICE DELIVERY WITH AI-INTELLIGENT SOLUTIONSIn a similar way to IoT, AI and advanced algorithms can help bolster a new form of business automation and assist field service organizations in their transition towards predictive field service. When it comes to the accuracy of service, AI solutions can help organizations target specific business disciplines such as intelligent scheduling. Across the entire scope of field service operations, AI solutions can optimize scheduling decisions by solving large-scale problems with multiple constraints—which is especially useful for mobile workforces within field service organizations. With advanced capabilities, AI can analyze real-time data within seconds and consider various parameters including traffic and technician availability. Input from machine learning techniques can also help organizations balance competing priorities and find future opportunities to combine jobs and blend planned maintenance activity. This allows human workers to focus on personalized service, solving complex problems and escalations. Reactive to Predictivemaking the shift to safeguard your businessFIELD SERVICEBy Sarah Nicastro
TRIAL AND ERROR IN A VACUUM WITH PREDICTIVE MODELLING SOFTWARE about the author Advanced predictive analytics tools the trends technologies and business drivers that most impact end users of field service solutions from her use historic and current data collected tenure as editor in chief at Field Technologies Online During her time at FTO Sarah s mission has been to from service activities and customers to create process and validate models capable of providing answers to tough Sarah Nicastro field service evangelist brings to IFS www ifs com over a decade of experience covering help field service customers tell their stories In her new role Sarah will apply her expertise to translate how IFS solutions can address the challenges and pain points of savvy field service companies Connect with her on LinkedIn sarahhowland questions around forecasting and the what ifs Field service providers can then use the models to test their responses to a wide range of scenarios months or even years before certain changes take place This capability behind predictive modeling software allows businesses to understand how they can align their resources to achieve specified performance KPIs against varying demand levels This includes how many staff members would be needed what skillsets they should have to complete certain tasks and where staff should be ideally based The right predictive modeling software can also provide service organizations the flexibility to focus on both operational and strategic scheduling disciplines It should have the capacity to combine analysis of real time data on market changes and business performance KPIs Organizations can then review if they need to establish new territories of approximately equal commercial value or restructure existing territories to reflect changes in the market in order to optimize business opportunities in a specific area This enables service companies to optimize inputs and maximize profit all while avoiding unnecessary risks CLOSING THOUGHT The sooner businesses embrace predictive service and become digitally orientated the greater chance they have at not only delivering on ever higher performance levels but also getting the accuracy to detect issues before they materialize helping them exceed customer expectations and maintain their competitive edge www mcsmag com JUNE 2021 49
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com50technology solutionWhen telematics first came on the scene, Jon Shapiro acknowledges its target market wasn’t for the little guy.“Large contractors had the advantage of being able to be the only ones who could afford any kind of technology,” says Shapiro, senior manager of business development for JLG® ClearSky™ solutions.But as digitally connected construction equipment is evolving, today’s technology is making it easier for the smallest contractors to access machine information and improve functionality. Shapiro says it’s time for the conversation to change.“I think that we should stop talking about telematics and talk about IoT in construction,” he says.What’s the difference? Shapiro says the scope of telematics, primarily focused on the remote monitoring of an asset, is actually quite narrow when compared to what IoT can bring to the table, as the internet connects devices and allows them to communicate to each other.“It becomes less about a single wireless device on a machine,” Shapiro says. “Look at the evolution from a flip phone to a smartphone. That’s really the evolution of telematics to IoT.”IOT IN CONSTRUCTIONOne of the most significant changes from when telematics was first introduced compared to today is how accessible machine information is to contractors.With the sensors integrated into new MEWPs and telehandlers, all contractors need is a smartphone to tap into a wealth of information and services right at their fingertips.“The hardware is readily available to everyone,” Shapiro says. “The apps work well on a phone, and the cost has come way down.”In the near future, Shapiro says any size contractor will be able to rent and manage access equipment with ease.EASING EQUIPMENT RENTALShapiro says that IoT in construction can also simplify the rental process for access equipment for a small contractor. For example, using the JLG Augmented Reality app a contractor could walk through the process of selecting equipment by answering questions related to the job and then visualizing the equipment in the space if needed.“Maybe the contractor doesn’t know what they need to get the job done,” Shapiro says. “So, it helps them to understand—not just what they’re trying to accomplish but also what is the correct piece of equipment.”Internet of Thingsbenefits of the evolution of telematics to IoTTHE FUTURE IS HEREBy Jennifer Stiansen
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202151Apps can guide contractors with simple questions, such as: • Have you ever used this equipment before?• How high do you need to go with this piece of equipment?• Will you need one person or two in the platform?“Then let the app drive the customer to a recommendation,” Shapiro says. “Then the contractor can locate the appropriate piece of equipment at a nearby rental store and ideally check out through his device. When it’s time to return the equipment, contractors could extend the rental or complete the off-rental process by mobile device in the future as well. Maybe when they’re done renting it, they scan a QR code like when you drop off video rentals.”PROMOTING SAFE OPERATIONThis equipment connectivity can also help ensure small contractors have proper training or let them know where to get it by asking screening questions and informing them of the ANSI A92 standard requirements for MEWPs, prior to allowing the rental to proceed. In the future, apps could also connect operators to familiarization and training resources. “Then if the customer says I need some familiarization videos ... I can connect right to the JLG app, and get quick access,” Shapiro says.Once a contractor confirms he can operate the equipment safely, digital technology takes it a step further by allowing users to load and unload stowed scissor lifts remotely and operate them in confined spaces with the JLG Mobile Control app.If an operator has questions about the equipment during its rental, Shapiro says users should be able to communicate in an app and service technicians can remotely log into the machine and diagnose any problems. EQUIPMENT MANAGEMENTSmall contractors will also see the benefits of IoT in construction in the management and service of their access equipment.Shapiro says contractors should expect to have information about how much the equipment is being used, where their equipment is located, and who’s operating the equipment. In addition, they could check if the battery is charged, complete daily inspections, and troubleshoot issues.Just the insights into battery information alone will be tremendously helpful for small contractors, Shapiro says. “The industry itself gets electric scissor lifts returned all the time because the customers don’t fully charge the battery, so they think the thing is broken,” he says.Shapiro says IoT in construction is needed to help address this challenge, especially since construction equipment is increasingly moving to hybrid and electric power. As both technology and connectivity improve, Shapiro says this will only continue to enhance the serviceability of access equipment as well. The implementation of 5G networks can handle larger data sets, which will allow for remote service capabilities previously unimaginable. “In the future, if I’m repairing a boom, you could use “smart” glasses, to see a breakdown of the parts,” he says. “You can actually even look at a video on your glasses as to how to repair this part.”CLOSING THOUGHTThe benefits of IoT in construction will help small contractors be more competitive and solve common problems, he says. “It’s really changing the whole market,” Shapiro finishes. “It’s finally looking at the small and medium contractor.” about the authorJennifer Stiansen is the director of marketing for JLG. For more, visit www.jlg.com.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com54safety solutionIt’s no secret—construction jobsites are busy, sometimes chaotic places with many tasks happening at once. Keeping work on track across the operation is critical to meeting project deadlines. Numerous factors affect the ability for contractors to keep projects on schedule, including minimizing rework and downtime and keeping employees safe and productive. Throughout the welding process, there are several techniques and best practices when cutting and grinding that can maximize performance and help reach these goals. SAFETY TRAINING IS KEYStep one in proper use of abrasive tools is training. Contractors and their teams should have an understanding of how abrasive products are designed to be used and any limitations of each product. Different abrasive tools may require different techniques for safe use. For example, a cutting wheel should be used at a different angle and orientation to the workpiece than a grinding wheel. Using abrasive tools as they are intended can help prevent injuries to the operator and others working nearby. In addition, following proper safety practices can help decrease downtime for injuries or rework, reduce the potential for workers’ compensation, and minimize turnover and training of new operators. All of these factors play a role in reducing costs and improving productivity for the operation. TIPS FOR SAFE USE There are two common safety pitfalls—both stemming from misunderstanding and improper use of the products—that can cause hazards when using abrasives. Follow these two tips for safe use: • Watch the pressure. Using too much pressure results in more friction and heat—breaking down the abrasive at a faster rate. And more pressure doesn’t typically provide better performance. Operators may feel like they have to push harder to get the performance they want from an abrasive product. But often, this means they are using the product incorrectly or using the wrong product. Instead, consider whether a different abrasive is the answer. • Use proper orientation and angle. Each abrasive product has a specific profile that affects how it should be oriented to the workpiece. Flap discs are designed to be used at lower grinding angles, closer to parallel to the work surface, while cutting wheels should be used at a 90-degree angle to the workpiece. Using the products at an angle or orientation they aren’t designed for can affect performance and damage the disc or wheel—and pose safety hazards for the operator. IMPACT ON PRODUCTIVITY Safe and proper use of products plays an important role in productivity on the jobsite. When an abrasive is used safely—and in the manner for which it was designed—it optimizes the performance and efficiency of that product. When it’s used improperly, it can reduce the durability or cut rate of the abrasive and can result in time-consuming and costly rework. Reduced cut rate and durability can result in more frequent product changeover that increases downtime and takes away from tasks like cutting and grinding.Abrasive Toolssafe use is critical on jobsitesTRAINING MATTERSBy Tony HuffordConsult an abrasives manufacturer about training in the safe and proper use of these products; it can provide contractors and their teams with the basics to help improve results.safety solution
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202155Proper use of abrasive products also helps reduce the potential for operator injuries that could result in downtime or worker turnover. A common issue that affects productivity is not understanding how long an abrasive product can and should be used. More often than not, operators discard abrasives well before they are fully depleted. Understanding how abrasives wear and how to long they can be used reduces waste and cost of use.IMPACT ON QUALITY The quality of the finished work is improved by using abrasive products safely and as they were designed. For example, problems such as heat discoloration, burr formation or gouging of the workpiece can occur when an abrasive product is used with too much pressure or at an improper angle. Reducing these issues with proper product use may even help contractors eliminate additional steps that may otherwise be required to fix problems or repair the base material. This not only helps improve quality, but it also plays a role in overall productivity by reducing the time spent on the task. Following some common best practices for abrasive products can help reduce quality issues and increase productivity. When grinding, for example, always enter the workpiece on a pull stroke rather than a push stroke to reduce the risk of damage to the base metal. CLOSING THOUGHTFollowing safe practices on the jobsite is critical to keeping projects on track and on budget. Safe and proper use of abrasive products helps reduce the risk to operators while also delivering better performance, efficiency, and extended product life. Consult an abrasives manufacturer about training in the safe and proper use of these products; it can provide contractors and their teams with the basics to help improve results. about the authorTony Hufford is a category manager, metal fabrication, with Weiler Abrasives. For more, visit www.weilerabrasives.com.The quality of the finished work is improved by using abrasive products safely and as they were designed.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com56safety solutionConstruction Safety Week (May) and National Safety Month (June) have many companies thinking about how to improve safety on the jobsite. While these are good reminders, it’s important to continually think about how to maintain safe working conditions, especially around large equipment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries in the construction industry continue to remain high with transportation incidents accounting for the largest share of fatalities. Why the trend? The CDC and NIOSH share one of the biggest factors is poor visibility around vehicles. Construction vehicles keep getting bigger and bigger. While that’s great for efficiency, it’s not so great for blind spots. The larger the blind spot areas the more opportunity for accidents. But this is 2021; don’t most construction vehicles come with cameras to aid visibility? Some, but it’s not standard. There is a fix, though, and it’s in aftermarket camera systems. TURIN INSTALLS CAMERA Dave Turin, star of the hit Discovery TV series Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine, partnered with Dakota Micro to install rearview EnduraCam cameras on his service truck. While some trucks come equipped with rearview camera systems, Dave’s truck—as with many other service vehicles—did not. The problem was his rearview mirror view was completely obstructed and his side mirrors couldn’t see directly behind him, leaving him prone to collision. That’s a problem. Turin sums the main benefit of safety with the Dakota Micro camera system by saying: “So we work around a lot of camera folks, and they’ve never been around big equipment, and they get used to a backup horn. They don’t even hear them anymore … So, for me to have this camera really is about safety. Cause right here [behind service truck], with my mirrors, I probably couldn’t see somebody,” says Turin.TOP TWO BENEFITSThe two primary benefits of installing a rear-view camera system are to:• Improve safety: Reduce number of accidents on the jobsite from blind spots.• Enhance efficiency: No more need for a spotter or getting in and out of your vehicle/equipment to see progress; see activity in real time. Workers wear so many hats nowadays and are commonly short-staffed, especially in this industry, so they can use all the help they can get. Dakota Micro cameras fill the void. They cut down on radio chatter because the operator can see obstacles for himself in real time. Nate Clark, mechanic for Dave Turin, also installed Dakota Micro cameras on his service truck and speaks to this factor. “Man, I tell you what, it’s nice. You know, especially with these big trucks with a big bumper on them, you can’t really tell exactly how close you are … now with this, you back right up to it. It’s a helpful tool,” says Clark.What makes Dakota Micro EnduraCam cameras different? LENSESOur lenses are built to operate in the harshest environments. They feature:• Triple-hardened glass: Resist scratching and scuffing and static buildup (which attracts dust), meaning a better view in harsher environments.• Auto-focusing: Focus past debris for an unobstructed view.• Auto-darkening: Infrared lights that turn on automatically in low-light conditions to work longer into the night or earlier in the morning hours.• Photogray: Like transitions lenses on eyeglasses, these photogray lenses darken in bright light conditions so you don’t just see a white-out on your screen.CAMERA BODYDakota Micro EnduraCam cameras are carved from a solid billet of anodized aluminum. What does this mean? It means they’re super durable. Cast or molded metals are prone to breakage, especially in cold conditions. And plastic camera Rearview Camerasit’s all about safetyVISIBILITY MATTERSBy Gary ManskeRearview Camerasit’s all about safetyVISIBILITY MATTERSBy Gary Manske
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202157bodies are weakened in heat, cold, and sunlight. Steel cameras—while hardy—are expensive and rust when scratched. In contrast, we use anodized aluminum, so it won’t rust when scratched or corrode when exposed to harsh elements or to caustic environments. CABLESDakota Micro offers silicone-blend cables. The benefits? They remain flexible in heat and cold conditions. Many manufacturers use PVC-jacketed cables, but they become rigid in the cold and degrade in the heat. This can cause small breaks in the jacket which allow water and particulates to penetrate and compromise the cables. And if cables aren’t your style, then Dakota Micro has wireless solutions, plus adapter cables to retrofit in to existing third-party monitors. This is a great solution to save space and money by plugging in to your existing monitor.DURABILITYCameras on heavy equipment need to be able to take a beating. That’s why the IP (ingress protection) and IK (impact protection) ratings matter. Our EnduraCam cameras have the highest IP69 and IK10 ratings. IP69 cameras are the best suited for outdoor applications because it’s completely dustproof and waterproof (plus can be submerged indefinitely) and holds up to high pressure power washes. IK10 (highest rating) withstands the highest impacts without which your camera risks breaking from everyday heavy equipment use. REPAIRABLE, NOT CONSUMABLEIf your camera does break, it’s nice to work with a camera company that offers repairs. This is unique in the industry. Often cameras are considered consumable. If you break it, you buy a new camera. But Dakota Micro offers repairable components that could save you lots of money over the lifetime of your product. CLOSING THOUGHTNot all camera systems are equal. Dakota Micro engineers the hardiest backup camera on the market. Most importantly, these cameras answer the call of visibility needed in blind spots around large equipment and even serve to increase efficiency on the jobsite. Working on a heavy-duty jobsite requires a heavy-duty camera. Check out Dave Turin’s testimonial for more. about the authorGary Manske is sales and marketing director for Dakota Micro, Inc. a “Made in America” camera manufacturer specializing in highly rugged commercial camera systems in North Dakota. For more, visit www.dakotamicro.com. Check out the digital edition Check out the digital edition for the video of Dave Turin for the video of Dave Turin of Gold Rush. of Gold Rush.
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com58Our digital marketing campaigns can identify prospects interested specifically in your product, and then tell you exactly who they are! See what our customers are saying:The reports are awesome! Thank you. If we can get that level of information from all of our suppliers, we will be very happy! We have already made one machine sale to a prospect from the eBlast and I am sure there will be more. Paul Gazik,Business Development/International Salesfor Call us today to get started at 205.795.0223 or email us at email@example.comYou Need Leads!You Need Leads!We Have the We Have the Solution!Solution!PLAY VIDEO
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com60maintenance solutionAlthough concrete is commonly perceived as a dry and dense substance, it is actually an inherently porous material that more closely resembles a hard sponge. Within concrete’s matrix are microscopic voids and capillaries that allow air and moisture to flow through it as it’s being poured and placed. Certain air voids or intentional air entrainment is beneficial for concrete because it improves its freeze/thaw resistance. The entrained air allows room for the expansion of internal freezing and expanding water, which aids in avoiding damage to the concrete. This is good for the durability of concrete, but air entrainment can cause problems and outgassing defects when barrier coatings, such as epoxies and urethanes, are applied to the concrete surface. WHAT IS OUTGASSING? Like most matter in nature, concrete seeks equilibrium with its surroundings by releasing air and water vapor that expands when temperatures increase and absorbs air and moisture when temperatures decrease. The phenomenon of air expanding and releasing itself through the concrete pores is called “outgassing.”As air moves in and out of concrete with changes in temperature and barometric pressure, the expanding air travels through the pores and capillaries, eventually reaching the surface. However, because concrete is sponge-like and contains moisture, the air coming to the surface often brings moisture with it—often described as moisture vapor transmission (MVT). A primary function of surface coatings is to provide a barrier to the intrusion of water and other chemicals into the concrete, but when coatings are applied to a concrete surface that is outgassing, the air becomes trapped under the coating and the pressure of this trapped air causes a defect or pinhole in the liquid coating. CONCRETE DEFECTSOutgassing and pinholes can occur when a concrete surface is contaminated with a substance that’s not compatible with the coating (i.e., oil, soap, wax, dust), or when the surface is not properly cleaned before the coating application. Once the coating has cured, the pinhole often appears within a small bubble or crater on the surface. Sometimes a larger bump forms in the coating if it is a thicker, 100% solids system. Defects in the coating film caused by outgassing can render the coating non-functional for this intended use.Coating pinholes can also result from improper or insufficient material handling, mixing, or a poor application method, such as over-rolling, mixing at a high speed or using an unsuitable blade. These practices can introduce excess air into the liquid coating, leading to pinholes as the air tries to escape after application. The use of thinner coatings typically allows the air to leave more efficiently, and often the coating film cures with a smooth finish. However, with thicker, 100% solids coating systems, pinholing is more noticeable since air bubbles have a harder time passing through a thick film. Nevertheless, these kinds of application-based pinholes can be managed and controlled by using the right tools and methods for mixing and applying concrete. Although outgassing does not always cause problems for coating applications, it can be an issue as a result of poor environmental conditions and improper application methods. IDENTIFY AND PREVENTOutgassing defects are rarely found across an entire surface. It is more common to find outgassing defects scattered seemingly at random around a coated concrete surface. Defects can be clustered in areas directly exposed to sunlight, where mechanical surface preparation was more aggressive, or even where there’s increased air circulation over the slab. Other means and precautionary approaches for minimizing outgassing defects include: MONITORING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONSThe primary method to reduce defects caused by concrete outgassing is to monitor the environmental conditions before and during coating application. A continuous flow of air over a porous concrete slab could entice entrapped air to flow outward, leading to outgassing and coating defects. Ensure that heating/cooling systems and open doors/windows are not blowing air across the concrete surface during the coating application and curing process. TRACK TEMPERATURE CHANGESAn increasing surface temperature is a strong indication that outgassing will Concrete OutgassingConcrete Outgassinghow to prevent coating defects BEST PRACTICESBy Jennifer Crisman
www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202161occur. When weather fronts are on the horizon, it is best to wait before coating. Hot concrete and/or rising ambient temperatures cause air to move within the slab at a more extreme rate. Barometric pressure changes can also push air into concrete and vacuum it out repeatedly. When barometric pressure fluctuates, outgassing may occur even when all other conditions are ideal. Application of the coating in a consistently HVAC-controlled environment, or in the evening when the air temperature is decreasing, can reduce the possibility of outgassing. SEALING THE CONCRETE WITH A PRIMERTo reduce outgassing, especially on porous or rough surfaces, seal the concrete after surface preparation with a low-viscosity, deeply penetrating primer. Because of its thin consistency, primers are less likely to exhibit pinholes or other defects from outgassing because the air is able to make its way through the primer, which fills in spaces where the air escaped. Primers soak into the concrete to fill the voids and capillaries that can hold air, thereby reducing the chances of outgassing. Most primers are moisture tolerant, and some are formulated to act as MVT reducers or oil blockers as well.HOW TO REPAIR Repairing outgassing issues requires recoating with the same material. Since most outgassing defects occur scattered around a project, reapplying only the affected areas will lead to an undesirable, patchy appearance. To correct outgassing defects both aesthetically and functionally, it may require an entire floor or wall to be recoated. This can be time consuming and costly.CLOSING THOUGHTBeing aware of the conditions that lead to outgassing is the ultimate method to prevent this issue. Thoughtfully planning your coating installations and following precautions can significantly reduce the possibility of outgassing, thus preventing the added expenses and frustration associated with resolving the problem. THE LEADER in Innovative Productsabout the authorJennifer Crisman is director of marketing services at Euclid Chemical, a leading manufacturer of specialty concrete and masonry construction solutions. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Crisman manages the marketing communications activities for Euclid’s expansive line of admixtures, fiber reinforcement, concrete repair products, flooring materials, and decorative concrete systems. For more, visit www.euclidchemical.com.
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www.mcsmag.com JUNE 202163modern construction productsSTAY UPDATED:@modern contractor solutions@mcsmagDitch Witch introduces the MT26 microtrencher. The attachment is part of a complete microtrenching system, along with the Ditch Witch RT80 ride-on trencher and HX75 vacuum excavator. With the MT26, operators can create a clean, deep, narrow trench in one easy pass, with minimal disruption to the surrounding infrastructure. The MT26 can cut a clean trench from 1.5 inches up to 3 inches wide and down to 26 inches deep. Reaching depths of up to 26 inches allows contractors to install a typical 2-inch fiber or power cable line with the required 2-feet of ground cover all at the same time. For more, visit www.ditchwitch.com.DITCH WITCH MT26 Microtrencher Loftness expands its line of Battle Ax™ horizontal drum mulchers with the new L Series, designed for low-flow skid steers with 16- to 30-gallon-per-minute hydraulic flow ratings. The new models allow the high-performance Battle Ax to be used on a wider variety of power equipment, since previous models were only available for high-flow skid steers. L Series Battle Axes are available with 51- and 61-inch cutting widths, features a new rotor design with built-in depth gauges, and re-versible Quadco blades. The mulchers also include an exclusive two-stage cutting chamber. For more, visit www.loftness.com.LOFTNESS Battle Ax™ Mulching Heads InnoLIFT USA introduces the XXL Straddle Loader. This innovative loader lifts its load and itself into and out of virtually any delivery vehicle, including Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, and Ram ProMaster cargo vans, box trucks, and semi- trailers. The XXL Straddle Loader allows operators to easily and safely load and unload open and closed bottom pallets weighing to 1100 lbs, with other InnoLIFT models available for heavier weights. Both manual push and electric-powered walk-behind models are available, all featuring hydraulic lift. All units can be charged en-route in delivery vehicle or in host facility. For more, visit www.innoliftusa.com.INNOLIFT USAXXL Straddle Loader Designed with the contractor in mind and manufactured with American steel, the Dual Dozer can push or pull material and grade in any direction. The dual-sided cutting edge fills in low spots faster. Get closer to edges with rear-mounted casters. The Dual Dozer works with even the highest level of all industry-leading machine controls and can be ordered with a standard quick-tach plate, three-point mount, or both to maximize your mounting options. HitchDoc has been manufacturing the Dual Dozer for more than 20 years and sells through a trusted dealer network. Dealer opportunities are available.For more, visit www.hitchdoc.com/dual-dozer.php. HITCHDOCDual Dozer
JUNE 2021 www.mcsmag.com64Dear No Mistakes Nick,Mistakes in construction, and in life, happen. But your boss is right. We have to learn from mistakes that we and our crew made and do what we can to ensure they don’t happen again. His instruction to “expect the unexpected” is easier to say than do. Still, consider these three tips as you tackle your challenges and aim to reduce the number of mistakes.✖ BE REFLECTIVEFind 15 to 20 minutes to reflect on the last few mistakes you or your crew made. Then ask yourself reflective, thought-provoking questions such as: • What is one thing I could have done to have avoided that mistake?• What system can I apply or change to ensure it won’t happen again?• What is a similar situation I might examine in which a mistake like this could surface?It’s good practice to ask these questions at the end of each week—or more often if needed.✖ BECOME MORE PROACTIVE AND LESS REACTIVESlow down and start thinking proactively. By taking time to think ahead, you position yourself to anticipate potential problems in which mistakes could be made. How great would it be if you could anticipate a situation and set up a good solution before it becomes a problem! You could then avoid the problem instead of being forced to react to it. To practice being proactive, bring to mind about three different workplace scenarios that could go bad for you. Then think through the solutions and the actions you would take to avoid the problem now and in the future. Repeat this exercise at least once a week. You’ll find that practicing being proactive will make you a more effective leader. ✖ WATCH FOR “CRACKS”Constantly be on the alert for cracks in your crews and on your projects, then deal with them immediately. What seems innocent and tolerable today may lead to bigger problems in the future.For example, you may have noticed small conflicts, occasional tardiness, or crew members not pulling their weight. These small cracks are signals you likely didn’t pay attention to when they happened. They seemed minor, and, besides, you were too busy to spend energy dealing with them. Then these cracks grew and, before long, you had to spend considerable time and energy dealing with them. Not how you want to spend your day. Recognizing cracks early and then taking action to minimize them leads to faster resolutions. Don’t wait until the cracks are huge to address them!✖ CLOSING THOUGHTTo become better prepared at expecting the unexpected, it’s important take time to reflect, anticipate, and observe what is going on around you. When you do this well, you can avoid mistakes and eliminate recurring ones. You are proactively solving problems before they become critical. Ultimately that means you’ll never be in the position of saying, “I never saw that coming.” about the coachAs a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Register to receive his Leadership Tip of the Week at www.LeadersEdge360.com, or contact him directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com.HEY COACH, I had a recent project performance review with my boss. He’s happy with my work except in one area—he thinks my crew and I make too many mistakes. Not huge mistakes, but the kind that cause delays and cost time. He tells me I need to do a better job of eliminating the recurring mistakes and preparing for the unexpected. I’m not sure how to do this. Please help!