2014 NUCA Scholarship Program Accepting Applications

Let’s face it, education can get expensive. To help ease some of the financial burden a degree can create, the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) recently announced it is accepting applications for its 2014 Scholarship Program. Funded by the NUCA Foundation for Education and Research, four scholarships are available ranging from $1,000 to $8,000.

Any high school senior whose parent or guardian is employed by a NUCA member company in good standing may apply. Student employees, including students who work part-time are eligible, as are dependents of NUCA Chapter Executive Directors. 

Click here and here for the scholarship application and flyer with additional program details.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity! While the economy is still recovering and college tuition rates are ever growing, every dollar counts. The application deadline is Friday, May 24, 2014. Please contact Jessica Bull at NUCA if you have any questions or concerns. She can be reached at 703.358.9300 or jessica@nuca.com.

Professional Grounds Management Unveils Streamlined System to Submit Green Star Applications

Sweet logo. The Professional Grounds Management Society has unveiled a brand new online system for submitting Green Star Award applications. In an effort to be more green and sustainable, the online system is completely paperless and easy to use. Applicants can now submit their entire application and PowerPoint with one click of the mouse and be on their way to be the next Green Star winner.

\With the new system in place, PGMS is now accepting entries for its acclaimed Green Star Awards Program. This exclusive program brings national recognition to grounds management programs, managers and crews responsible for landscapes that exhibit a high degree of excellence in certain areas including sustainability practices and policies, turf management, landscape design and more. This awards program honors “the best of the best” in landscapes and winners boast about the recognition they receive.

An official online entry form for this year’s contest and other details can be found at pgms.org/pgms-green-star-awards. The cost is only $150 for PGMS members and $225 for others. All entries must be submitted online. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 15 categories, covering all types of private, public commercial and industrial landscapes. Each winning entry will be recognized at the 2014 Awards Banquet taking place Oct. 24, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky as part of the annual School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO set to take place Oct. 22-25, 2014. Details on the event can be found at pgms.org/2014schoolofgroundsmanagement.

Bauma China 2014 Expected to be Larger Than 2012 Event

A variety of construction equipment towers over the outdoor exhibit space at the 2012 bauma China show. Expect more exhibitors for the 2014 event.Despite slower growth in the Chinese market than in previous years, all of the available exhibitioner space at the Shanghai New International Centre (SNIEC) is packed for bauma China.

On the basis of the applications received by the official deadline of the end of February, the seventh edition of the international trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, construction vehicles and equipment will take up 200,000 square meters of indoor and 100,000 square meters of outdoor exhibition space.

Almost 2,200 exhibitors, 200 more than at the same point in preparations ahead of the last event, have signed up to take part in the Nov. 25-28, 2014 event.

"We have had a very good response from the companies," said Collin Davis, exhibition group director at Messe München. "The high number of exhibitors registered at this early stage is clear indication of how important bauma China is for the Asian construction machinery market."  

Also very satisfying, alongside the high level of applications, is the continuing strong interest from countries around the world. In total there will be nine country pavilions at bauma China 2014: from Austria, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Korea, Spain, Turkey and the US.

A provisional list of all the exhibitors registered so far is available for download at bauma-china.com/en/database.
The last event, in 2012, broke all records with 2,718 exhibitors from 38 countries fillings 300,000 square meters of exhibit space. The show attracted 177,080 visitors from 141 countries solidifying the show's status as the biggest and most important sector event in Asia. 

Kubota Tractor Corp. Named ‘Dealer’s Choice’ for Second Consecutive Year

Kubota management group. Kubota Tractor Corp. has received the No. 1 rating and “Dealer’s Choice Award” among Tractor Manufacturers, according to the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA) 2014 Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey.

“This award is positive reinforcement that we are delivering on the Kubota promise to provide a rewarding experience, not only for our customers, but also for our 1,100 dealerships across America,” said Greg Embury, senior vice president of marketing and dealer development for Kubota Tractor Corp. “We know that we’re only as successful as our dealers, so we make it a top priority to support our dealers in running a successful business.”

Nearly 1,400 equipment dealers participated in this year’s survey, rating the tractor lines they carry in 12 categories. Kubota ranked number one among tractor manufacturers in overall satisfaction, product availability, product quality, parts availability, parts quality, return privileges, communications with management, warranty procedures, warranty payments, marketing and advertising support, and manufacturer response to dealer needs or concerns. A third-party research firm not affiliated with NAEDA collected and tabulated the results.

The NAEDA Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey was conducted via an email survey of NAEDA-member dealers in the United States and Canada. The tractor manufacturer category included Kubota, AGCO, Case IH, John Deere, Kioti, Mahindra, McCormick and New Holland. Kubota received the highest aggregate ratings among tractor manufacturers in this category.

“NAEDA congratulates Kubota on its second consecutive attainment of this award, and compliments the company for making the dealer-manufacturer relationship a top priority,” said Joe Dykes, director of member services for NAEDA, and coordinator of this year’s survey. “Kubota has scored consistently well from dealer ratings in past NAEDA Dealer-Manufacturer Relations surveys, even prior to the establishment of the ‘Dealer’s Choice’ award in 2013.”

Caterpillar's 'Stack' Video is Godzilla's Version of Jenga

Displaying the precision of five of its construction machines, Caterpillar launched the first in a series of "Built For It Trials" short videos.

In the nearly 2.5 minute "Stack" video operators, with a combined work experience of 121 years, used CAT 320E and 349E hydraulic excavators, a TH514C telehandler, a 277D multi-terrain loader and a M316D wheel excavator to play a Godzilla-sized version of a wood block stacking game.

If you've played Hasbro's Jenga, this is it on an epic scale. The operators had to remove and re-position a stack of nearly 30 wood blocks. The goal was simple, make the stack higher without toppling the more than 8 ton structure.

The Cat machines are known for control and precision and are typically used to haul concrete pipes, construction barriers or working on oil and gas pipeline projects. In this instance, they worked in concert to move the nearly 600 pound blocks.

The operators take turns skillfully making their maneuvers. They work machine controls. Buckets move. Booms raise and lower. Tires roll. Treads turn. Their equipment rolls forward and backwards—all while tapping, hammering, pulling, lifting and placing the large wooden pieces.

So what happens? How long did it take before the blocks toppled? Watch the video posted above to find out.

We suggest scoping out the Cat Products YouTube channel for a behind the scenes look at the "Built For It Trials." And here are a few additional behind-the-scenes nuggets to ponder:

  • So that the blocks would “slide” out of their slots more fluidly, the crew sprinkled all of them with the same wax used on a shuffleboard table to allow game pucks to slide.

  • The crew purchased every can of shuffleboard wax available for purchase within a 40-mile radius of the film set—72 cans in all.

  • The arena used as the stage for the challenge was larger than two regulation-size NFL football fields.

  • To capture all of the action, the crew positioned 2 of the 12 Go Pro cameras on the ground, where they fully expected both of them to sustain substantial damage. Remarkably, both cameras missed having any of the 600 pound blocks fall directly on them—one was missed by less than an inch.

  • The game took approximately 28 hours to play and have been edited down to the 2.5 minute video.

  • To Cat's knowledge this is the largest game like this ever played.

Brokk Updates its 400 Remote-Controlled Demolition Machine

The Brokk 400 remote-controlled demolition machine features a robust, three-part boom that can operate at angles of up to 30 degrees and reach 22 ft horizontally and 24 ft vertically.The upgraded Brokk 400 remote-controlled demolition machine now features a bigger drive axis, rollers and sidetracks along with a larger undercarriage with tracks that are 10 percent longer.

What does all of this mean? The redesigned machine is better suited for heavy-tracking applications like tunneling and mining and for enhanced stability when operating with heavier attachments like metal shears and scabblers.

Brokk also has improved the hydraulic system; it now provides more efficient fluid flow when the machine is operating a drill attachment so there is more consistent power.

With its new upgrades the Brokk 400 is suited for a variety of construction, demolition and specialty applications.

  The longer tracks and larger undercarriage equates to improved wear life for machines used in applications that require a lot of tracking and provides up to 60 percent greater stability when operating with heavier attachments.

In addition, the machine’s outriggers provide a wide base that evenly distributes weight and provides even more stability. Its high chassis setup and heavy-duty rubber tracks make it easy to maneuver over rubble piles and obstacles.

The new Brokk 400 can handle attachments up to 1,420 pounds, and its hydraulic quick-hitch system eliminates the need for hard pinning, so operators can change attachments more quickly and easily and with less hassle.

The new Brokk 400 weighs 11,240 pounds and is 63 in. wide and nearly 81 in. tall. While it’s slightly larger than its predecessor it’s still compact enough for work in small spaces. It also is powered by a 30 kW electric motor for emissions-free operation in confined areas.

The machine features a, three-part boom that can operate at angles of up to 30 degrees and reach 22 ft horizontally and 24 feet vertically. The remote-controlled boom allows operators standing a safe distance away to reach into areas that traditional machines or users with handheld equipment cannot. The boom also features a box-weld design that provides additional protection for cylinders and hoses. 

Doosan Contest Winner Receives One-Year Lease on Machine

Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment America recently announced the winner of its CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show “Win a One-Year Lease” contest. Ryan Domres of Phoenix has been awarded a one-year lease on a Doosan DL250-3 wheel loader. 

Domres, Owner of Resource Recycling of Arizona LLC, recently branched off from his family’s company — Domres Grading — to start his own recycling business in the Phoenix area. Domres Grading was started in 1972 by Domres’ grandfather and has established a reputation of providing quality work for its customers. Using this one-year lease on the Doosan DL250-3 wheel loader, Domres plans to apply his family’s proven tactics and work ethic for success with his own business.

“Resource Recycling is going to be an innovative company with the desire to use the best equipment and will carry my family’s reputation into this new field,” Domres wrote in his entry. “I believe this will be a great partnership with Doosan and an excellent way to grow my business.”

Entrants were asked to answer the question: “How will a Doosan machine help you deliver more?” relating to the Doosan tagline, “Doosan Delivers,” and entries were judged on the answer. Company officials said Domres’ entry was exactly the type of essay and personal story they were looking for.

“He is a prime example of a Doosan customer that is diligent and hard-working, but he needs the right equipment, right manufacturer and right dealer relationship to help him build a profitable business,” said Laura Ness Owens, Doosan North America’s Director of Communication. “We look forward to helping him be successful.”

Domres will take possession of his Doosan DL250-3 wheel loader later this year.

New Bobcat Brushcat Rotary Cutters with Shorter Deck Length

The new Brushcat rotary cutter attachments from Bobcat Co. provide excellent cutting performance, durable components and several safety features. These attachments are designed to help compact equipment operators cut overgrown grass, brush and small trees. They transform undergrowth into mulch.

Ideal for clearing trails, pastures or new construction sites, the new Bobcat rotary cutters have a shortened deck for improved visibility. The oscillating deck enables the attachment to follow the ground surface, and the dual-blade design reduces the overall weight. With a shorter deck than competitors, the Brushcat rotary cutter has a tighter turning radius and is easier to fit and load on trailers.

For improved efficiency and exceptional maneuverability, the oscillating deck allows the rotary cutter to closely follow ground contours, even on slopes. The standard front discs combined with the oscillating deck make the attachment very easy to operate while still maintaining an even, smooth cut. Front roller kits, which minimize scalping, are also available as a dealer-installed option.

Available in five models, the rotary cutters have a standard 3-in. cutting height. An optional dealer-installed kit can be added to increase the cutting height to 4 in. With varying auxiliary hydraulic flow capabilities, the new rotary cutters are compatible with Bobcat carriers with hydraulic flows ranging from 15 to 40 gpm, depending on the specific model. Rotary cutter models include standard flow or high-flow capability options in 66- and 72-in. widths, and an 80-in. model with high-flow capability. The high-flow models provide increased torque for even better cutting performance in thick brush.

For improved efficiency and exceptional maneuverability, the oscillating deck allows the rotary cutter to closely follow ground contours, even on slopes.

Dual Motor Design
In order to reduce weight and shorten the rotary cutter’s deck size, the new Brushcat rotary cutters are equipped with two direct-drive, offset motors featuring a dual-blade design. The direct-drive motor design means there are fewer moving parts and no gearbox. The rotary cutter’s dual motors efficiently transfer power to the blades to quickly cut through brush.

Four blades are positioned with a 1.5-in. overlap and provide superior cutting performance. To help operators work efficiently, if one blade comes in contact with excessively heavy brush, additional pressure is applied to that area to help the motor and blades recover faster. The rotary cutter’s double-edge blades can achieve bidirectional cutter rotation by switching the cutter heads; this will also increase the overall blade life.
Compatible carriers

Brushcat rotary cutters are approved for use with select Bobcat skid-steer loaders, compact track loaders, all-wheel steer loaders, Toolcat utility work machines and the V417 VersaHandler telescopic tool carrier. Operators can quickly and easily connect Bobcat rotary cutters to the carrier with the Bob-Tach attachment mounting system. This enables the operator to spend less time on attachment changes and more time clearing brush.

Safety Features
Front safety chains on the rotary cutter help contain debris within the deck and prevent it from being thrown outside the cutting area. The tapered roller on the rear of the rotary cutter prevents debris from flying out of the back of the cutting deck; this increases deck maneuverability and turning while helping to eliminate gouging the ground surface. As a safeguard, a velocity fuse was integrated into the hydraulic system valve on the standard-flow models. This fuse protects the drive motor from damage by shutting off the hydraulic flow to the rotary cutter if the hydraulic capacity of the motor is exceeded. For additional safety, a patented blade shutoff feature stops blade rotation when the rear roller of the rotary cutter is raised off the ground.

Construction Materials Prices Up 0.5 Percent in March

Construction materials prices expanded 0.5 percent in March and are up 1.1 percent from March of last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s April 11 producer price index release. Nonresidential construction materials prices are up 0.4 percent for the month and are 1 percent higher than the same time one year ago.

“Despite the increase in materials prices, this report does not signal a period of much higher inflation,” said Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu. “While it is true that there were significant increases in overall monthly inflation for both the broader economy and for construction, only a handful of categories were actually associated with a meaningful uptick in prices."

Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices fell 0.1 percent in March but are up 1.7 percent year over year. Crude energy materials prices fell 6.8 percent in March but are still 13.6 percent higher than one year ago, and have expanded by 34.1 percent through the first three months of 2014.

Softwood lumber prices fell 0.8 percent in March and are 2.1 percent lower than one year ago.

“With respect to the broader economy, much of the inflation was related to food, which likely is a result of meteorological impacts,” said Basu. “With respect to construction, only three of 11 categories actually experienced increasing prices for the month. Given modest projections for both global and national economic growth, it is unlikely that significant inflationary pressures will be experienced during the month ahead with respect to most construction materials prices.”

The following materials prices increased in March:
  • Nonferrous wire and cable prices gained 0.1 percent in March but are down 2.7 percent from one year ago.
  • Concrete products prices expanded 0.3 percent in March and are up 3.9 percent from one year ago.
  • Prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing, and siding expanded by 1.1 percent for the month and are up 0.1 percent from one year ago.
Eight of the 11 key construction inputs did not experience price increases for the month.
  • Iron and steel prices fell 1.7 percent in March but are up 1.3 percent from the same time last year.
  • Natural gas prices fell 10.9 percent in March but are 48.5 percent higher than one year ago.
  • Crude energy prices fell 6.8 percent in March but are 13.6 percent higher than one year ago.
  • Steel mill products prices shed 1.1 percent for the month but are 1.4 percent higher than one year ago.
  • Crude petroleum prices fell 6.4 percent in March but are up 3.9 percent from March 2013.
  • Prices for plumbing fixtures shed 0.8 percent for the month but are up 1.9 percent from the same time last year.
  • Fabricated structural metal product prices are down 0.2 percent for the month but have risen 0.5 percent from one year ago.
  • Softwood lumber prices fell 0.8 percent in March and are 2.1 percent lower than one year ago.
To view the previous PPI report, click HERE.
Sweet chart!

Caterpillar Expands GovBidSpec.com with New Resources for State and Local Governmental Buyers

Caterpillar has added new tools and resources to GovBidSpec.com, a website that helps governmental procurement professionals save time, control costs and make well-informed equipment investment decisions. This new content, combined with a major upgrade of the website in 2013, reflects the company’s commitment to continuously improve service to governmental buyers who face unprecedented time and resource constraints.

A key new feature of GovBidSpec.com is RFP Builder, an easy-to-use tool that allows users to create quality RFPs for any vendor — quickly and efficiently. RFP Builder gives agencies a simple way to ask vendors for specific information about product features, pricing, capabilities, financing options and more. With RFP Builder, users select exactly what they want to include in their request for proposal, and then generate a Word document that can be edited and customized even further. Flexible, comprehensive and user-friendly, this tool gives governmental agencies a faster, easier way to collect the information they need to make decisions based on total value considerations.

Resource Center is another valuable addition to GovBidSpec.com. This library of guides, tips and other procurement materials provides practical information about a range of topics including total cost procurement, cooperative purchasing, safety and financing alternatives for governmental entities.

Also new on GovBidSpec.com is a “Why Caterpillar?” section that outlines how the company’s strengths in technology leadership, safety, operator training, dealer support and financing translate into an equipment investment that delivers the lowest total cost over the life cycle.

For more information about new tools and content on GovBidSpec.com, contact Debbie Closen at Closen_Debbie@cat.com or contact a local Cat dealer.

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