Drone flying over excavator

Drone use: Benefits are overwhelmingly positive

Ninety-two percent of companies that use drones say the benefits of this innovation exceed the costs, according to the “State of Commercial Drone Use” report released by Blue Research, which contacted more than 1,700 medium and large businesses for its study. The findings noted that 10 percent of surveyed companies with revenues of more than $50 million currently use drones. For 88 percent of respondents that utilize the technology, return on investment was achieved in a year or less. AboutRead More

Man on mobile tablet

Embracing technology: expert advises a measured approach

During the past two decades, the development and acceptance of construction technology has made huge strides. GPS-based grade control is a perfect example. It has evolved from masts and cables on the outside of machines to integrated systems that can automatically raise and lower dozer blades. Today, companies are increasingly accessing information about their machinery via mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablets, using Wi-Fi or cellular networks. Construction companies that fail to embrace these new strategies may fall behindRead More

Game changer: First to use intelligent Machine Control is more efficient, productive than ever

Liesfeld Contractor takes pride in being at the forefront of construction technology. The Richmond, Va., earthwork contractor was one of the first in its community and surrounding area to use a dozer with an aftermarket GPS grading system. “It was awkward, but it was cool; and, at times, it would grade by itself using an indicator system,” recalled Vice President Joe Liesfeld III, who along with his father, Joe Jr., own and operate the firm. “The technology continued to improve,Read More

Komtrax excavator

New tool helps calculate fuel consumption more accurately

In order to operate profitably, equipment owners need to make well-informed estimates when setting a budget, placing a bid or purchasing a new machine. Correctly anticipating the amount of fuel a machine will consume during a given time can provide significant value to the bottom line – and Komatsu makes that process a lot easier. “Typically, equipment owners forecast annual fuel consumption by categorizing the type of work the machine will do into three categories: light, average or heavy,” explainedRead More

D65exi Komatsu Dozer

Intelligent dozing:
Contractor boosts efficiency with Komatsu D51EXi dozer

Cody Weaver started moving dirt at the age of 12 and hasn’t stopped. Throughout the years, the owner of CW Construction learned how to do it as efficiently and competitively as possible by maximizing production time. Recently, he upped the ante with the addition of a Komatsu D51EXi intelligent Machine Control dozer. Weaver uses it to prep subgrade for roadways, level pads, cut and move massive amounts of dirt, as well as place sub-base materials, among other tasks. The dozerRead More

Virtual design with building information modeling saves taxpayer dollars

by Jim Lynch, Vice President, Autodesk Construction Products Group No longer the infrastructure envy of the world, many of the United States’ roads, bridges and tunnels are crumbling and in need of substantial maintenance or replacement. Compounding these challenges are the pressures of increased urbanization and population growth, which will place added stress on already strained systems. So, while the Beltway banter continues about addressing infrastructure funding, we can no longer focus solely on the amount of spending, but ratherRead More

How advanced technology is shaping tomorrow’s jobsites

            Technological revolutions don’t happen overnight. Instead, they typically resemble the progression of a jobsite; one area is built, connected to another, tied to a third and so on. Once a project nears completion, the full picture finally begins to emerge. When looking at the future of technology in the construction industry, that picture is starting to come into focus.             While other industries may receive more mainstream attention for exciting advances, construction has already experienced its share of revolutionaryRead More

Road construction

Mobile technology aims for safer highway work zones

More than half (54 percent) of highway contractors reported that motor vehicles had crashed into their construction zones during the past year, according to the results of a highway work zone study conducted in 2018 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). In response, association officials have launched a new mobile advertising campaign that urges drivers who pass through work zones to slow down and be alert. Forty eight percent of contractors who reported crashes on jobsites said driversRead More

2019 with man in pointing to the sky

3 New Year’s resolutions to improve your construction business

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ew Year’s resolutions aren’t just for trendy diets and exercise goals, two of the most common promises made as the calendar turns to January. Setting your sights on fresh beginnings and commitments to using or improving business practices can put your construction firm on the right track for a successful 2019. Embrace technology Every year seems to arrive with a dizzying array of innovative technology for both personal and business purposes. While the use of drones on the jobsite areRead More

Vintage Police Car

Caught red-handed:
Telematics system leads to recovery of missing excavators

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] recent global fraud report showed that more than one third of construction, engineering and infrastructure firms were victims of theft during a one-year period. Count Jackson Plumbing and Ates Construction as members of that unlucky group as both companies had Komatsu compact excavators stolen from jobsites. One morning Alan Ates, Owner of Ates Construction, needed his Komatsu PC55MR excavator for an emergency water-line repair, only it wasn’t where he left it the evening before. “We were doing a jobRead More