PC360 Komatsu excavator

Determining operating costs for more accurate bids

            Industry estimates put owning expenses at 25 to 30 percent of the total machine owning and operating picture. These costs, which include finance, interest, depreciation and tax, tend to be fairly straightforward. The remaining balance – 70 to 75 percent – includes labor, fuel, parts, repairs, operator expenses and other related items that make up the operating component, which is more variable and comprehensive.             Calculating operating costs is the more difficult of the two because so many factorsRead More

Completing More Jobs Faster

Mark Ballard, President, R.A. Alexander & Sons Advantages immediately apparent “Augmenting our fleet with intelligent Machine Control equipment made us 40 to 50 percent faster, and we’re achieving accuracy within two-tenths of an inch,” stated Ballard. “Having a model that we can plug in and follow, speeds us up significantly. We save the most time on minor details associated with parking lots and streets. It’s also phenomenal on earthmoving projects with major grade changes. There’s no lost time with operatorsRead More

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

women in engineering

Breaking the glass ceiling: Encouraging women to explore engineering careers

by Lucia Pía Torres Modern society – and its ability to manage technological changes, while also combining classic thought with modernity and coexistence with advancement – leaves no alternative but to build on a foundation of gender, social and culture diversity. In a globalized world, every profession or occupation is interconnected with technology; it is clear that we need more engineers, scientists and technologists. In order to achieve our goals and develop these professions, we need to be more inclusiveRead More

PC290LCi-11

Excavator uses 3D design data for greater precision

Komatsu augmented its intelligent Machine Control lineup with the addition of the new PC290LCi-11 that provides first-to-last-pass accuracy. Like its predecessors, the excavator features Komatsu’s unique sensor package – stroke-sensing hydraulic cylinders, an inertial measurement unit sensor and global navigation satellite system antennas – that utilizes 3D design data to accurately check its position against the target elevation and semi-automatically limit overexcavation. “The PC290LCi-11 is perfect for applications where customers are looking for good stability and working range. It hasRead More

D51pxi dozer pushing dirt

Proactive Dozing Control logic: Interprets data, makes decisions to mirror seasoned operator

When Komatsu unveiled its revolutionary intelligent Machine Control system in 2013, the integrated, mast- and cable-free, semi-automated GPS program promised increased production and precision grading. It delivered, and now Komatsu is taking the technology to another level with Proactive Dozing Control logic. “The first iteration of intelligent Machine Control was a starting point,” explained Komatsu Product Marketing Manager Derek Morris. “Once that was accepted in the market and became a viable part of a construction site, we focused on howRead More

Welder on staircase

High-paying careers:
Construction affords opportunities with substantial pay and benefits

            There’s no better time to work in the construction industry. With a growing shortage of skilled workers, salaries remain high and career opportunities are plentiful. The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) released its annual Construction Craft Salary Survey, which lists the average annual salaries of craft professionals from industrial and commercial construction firms across the country. Average annual salaries ranged from $47,700 to more than $92,000.             As high as these salaries are, the reality isRead More

mechanical worker holding a ratchet wrench

Consider construction: Pay often higher than jobs requiring bachelor’s degree

by Deanna Quintana As our children grow up, we continually ingrain in them that there is one route to success – a four-year degree. However, higher education is not solely defined by a bachelor’s degree. There are other paths that will guide them in the right direction before entering the workforce. While there are misconceptions about the construction and skilled-labor industry, numbers prove that there are millions of jobs available in this field and compared to college graduates, they’re well-paid.Read More

Komatsu PC490LCi-11 excavator

Getting to grade faster:
Contractor eliminates overcutting with Komatsu excavator

When Randy Ellis and his wife, Trisha, prepared to build a home on the family’s ranch, he was shocked at the price to purchase 300 loads of dirt for the pad. Instead of paying for the material, Ellis bought a dump truck and a rubber-tire backhoe, dug a pond on his property and used the dirt for the house pad. While he didn’t realize it at the time, this was the origin of what today is a successful earthwork andRead More

Southern Transport relies on Komatsu intelligent Machine Control Dozers.

‘Our brand of choice’: Contractor shares keys to high production, cost savings

Good decisions are often directly tied to profitability and prosperity. Justin Lott, Co-owner/Senior Vice President of Southern Transport & Equipment, LLC, learned that lesson after completing fire school. “I had my sights set on being a firefighter, but I had to finish EMT training as well,” recalled Lott. “The summer after I graduated, I took a job working for an oil-field company to make some money. I quickly realized that type of work paid much better than I was projectedRead More