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

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

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

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

Workers and foreman uses virtual reality glasses

Construction goes high tech:
Wearable technology monitors health, safety, jobsite data

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]early a decade ago, the use of electronic devices to transmit information about equipment operation earned widespread acceptance throughout the construction industry. Now called “telematics,” it was first used for tracking equipment. But, what about the health and safety of workers? Now there are ways to monitor that as well, with the use of wearable technology. At approximately the same time as machine telematics began earning favor, the advent of wearable tech occurred. Most people are familiar with it, thanks,Read More

Man painting outside

Adding the arts to technical skills can generate more productivity, innovation

by Stuart G. Walesh, PhD, PE In 1871, engineer James Watt patented a steam engine that produced continuous rotary motion. Steam engines both figuratively and literally drove the Industrial Revolution and introduced the expression “build a head of steam.” When critical pressure is applied to pistons, things happen. Construction-sector professionals and organizations must strive to achieve the same momentum by building a head of STEAM – that is, by adding the “A” to STEM, the already-developed skill levels of science,Read More