February 2017
Maintenance tips to extend excavator life & boost performance
Unexpected compact excavator maintenance can place financial strain and undue stress on you and your company, and it may directly impact your profitability. Not only can poor equipment performance and component failure be frustrating, but also, you and your equipment operators may not have adequate...
5 questions to measure how technology can help achieve your goals
In 2004, I wrote an article for one of the first editions of Construction Business Owner magazine titled “Is Your Goal to Retire Before You Learn the Computer?” At that time, many owners didn’t want to add technology to their operations, and they were hoping computerization would not be required to...
Turning dead air into a valuable opportunity
“Thank you for waiting; your call is important to us, and we will attempt to answer it as soon as possible.” That message is a common one, and waiting on hold often represents a source of irritation for consumers around the world. This is especially true if they are left in a call queue with...
How construction pros can master virtual, spatial environments & embed these tools into operations
Twenty-five years ago, I was first turned on to the idea of virtual reality (VR) as the holy grail of design visualization in architecture while thumbing through inspirational musings and essays published in Cadence’s “Special Summer Reading Issue.” Indeed, VR took hold of many an imagination, as...
How rental equipment resolved this municipal project’s dewatering & bypass issues
The city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, like hundreds of other cities across the United States, is saddled with an aging infrastructure originally designed and built in the mid-1800s. Basement sump pumps, roadside storm water drains, sewage lines and industrial wastewater all drain together, and the...
Exploring the concept of research & development
“For more than 70 years, the Skunk Works has existed to create revolutionary aircraft and technologies that push the boundaries of what is possible (Lockheed Martin).” Area 51 has long been thought to be one of the most secretive places on the planet. Whether there was an actual, extraterrestrial...
Using virtual training to achieve real-life results
Jeff is a crane operator working out of Detroit, Michigan. Thirty years ago, he learned how to operate heavy equipment the same way every other operator did: on the job. “I remember starting out in a 20-ton crane years and years ago,” he said. “I didn’t know what I was doing—alarms were going off;...
What to do to survive the fight
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson famously said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” This is as true in construction as it is in boxing. Even the best contractors can find themselves in the middle of disputes. Occasionally, these disputes escalate, and the...
Go beyond the nuts & bolts of operations to develop a tech strategy
The emergence of construction technology has sparked an overdue, industrywide revolution. As technology companies attempt to capitalize on the unspoiled market, the industry is becoming infiltrated with a slew of enticing new options. Innovative project management and scheduling software, building...
4 ways propane power can reduce costs & improve jobsite efficiency
Propane is being put to work on construction jobsites more and more as owners do some digging and find that the it makes for an attractive jobsite fuel for all kinds of construction applications. In fact, propane-powered engines are already found running a whole host of jobsite mainstays, including...
Start with the right ingredients to create the best mix of qualified employees
The easiest part of baking is picking out the shape of the cookie you want to make. The easiest part of hiring is writing a job description. The only problem is that the taste outcome doesn’t come from the cookie cutter, and your day-to-day operations aren’t completed by a bunch of bullet points...
Bid better & manage costs with automated drone mapping solutions & advanced data capture
Construction business owners sometimes live in a rearview world, where visibility into their work is retroactive, advance planning is nearly impossible and the bidding process is unnecessarily complicated. Until recently, the only way to measure cost per yard on a project had been a combination of...
Ask the Experts: Smart Equipment Acquisition
Ralph Petta President...
Integrating technology-based safety detection with automatic avoidance
Over the past few decades, we have seen vehicle safety progress from being predominately operator-based—relying on the operator’s ability to foresee and respond to a potential incident before it can cause any damage—to being increasingly technology-based. At the current pinnacle of the...
What to consider when your business needs more than a traditional PC can offer
Most businesses are well aware of the timesaving benefits afforded by email, document generation and internet-browsing software running on a traditional desktop or personal computer (PC). But, when the needs of the company grow beyond these standard applications to require sophisticated design,...
How Baker Rock Resources reduced maintenance costs to 1%
For nearly every heavy construction company, the unpredictability of maintenance costs is not unlike falling down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll’s famous story, Alice in Wonderland. Of course, this hole has serious ramifications that negatively impact the present and future bottom line. More...
What to watch to keep your company from becoming the next victim
Awide range of construction and design firms are involved in public and private projects, including government-sponsored infrastructure projects, making them attractive cyber targets, which imposes additional cybersecurity requirements. In addition to seeking personal information on customers and...