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The Equipment & Business Solution for Concrete & General Contractors

May 2010

moveable barrier
systems technology

saving lives with

fall protection



12 Race to Strength
Rapid set concrete helps company perform time-sensitive airport repairs.

14 Clearing for iRox Road Expansion

Change in approach adds new dimension to business
and yields increased production.

16 John Deere: Meeting Customer Needs Today
18 JRB Quick Couplers: The Product Excavation Partner
20 Always Drilling Forward
From on-grade units to attachments, E-Z Drill delivers a full line
of concrete drilling solutions.

12 22 Krypto Klaw:
More Powerful Than a Thumb or Grapple

24 Going Green With Machine Control
New efficiencies mean burning less fuel, exhausting
fewer emissions, and realizing material savings.

26 Plastics and Potable Water

30 Tips on Giving Effective Performance Feedback
32 Putting the Best Face Forward
The importance and value of one-to-one marketing in a digital age.

38 Contractors Must Be Prepared
for a New, More Aggressive OSHA

40 Contract Language That Wins

Knowing the rules to avoid risk transfer in written contracts.


44 Seamless Traffic Diversion
Moveable barrier system used for first time on major arterial in U.S. P.O. Box 660197 | Birmingham, Alabama 35266

Tim Garmon Publisher


Donna Campbell Editor in Chief
46 Fall Protection
Planning, training, and vigilance can save lives. Scott Gordon Art Director

48 Compaction Safety Russell Haddock Vice President of Sales

Chris Garmon General Manager


CHRISTY FISHER Administrative Assistant

randy armistead National Sales Manager


Allen blood Account Executive
56 Doing Things Different to Take
Your Company Into the Future David MARLOW Account Executive

The Safety Solutions section in the March 2010

issue featured an article titled Excavation and
the Competent Person: Training is Vital for Hazard
Prevention. The accompanying three photos of
excavations omitted captions that would have 312 Lorna Square | Birmingham, Alabama 35216
indicated the conditions shown in the pictures were T: 866.251.1777 | F: 205.824.9796
examples of violations of Occupational Safety
LARRY Daughety
and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Any
impression that the conditions shown in the photos
were acceptable and met OSHA Standards was Tim Garmon Dennis Daughety
completely unintentional. The photos illustrate the Vice President Vice President
critical role of the excavation competent person in
taking prompt corrective action to eliminate the
unsafe conditions which they depict. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in
any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
MCS would like to reiterate that the role of a photocopy, recording, or any information storage-and-retrieval
successful excavation competent person involves a system without permission in writing from the publisher. The
views expressed by those not on the staff of Modern Contractor
combination of formalized training and significant Solutions, or who are not specifically employed by Highlands
on-the-job experience, and that the employer Publications, Inc., are purely their own. All Industry News material
has either been submitted by the subject company or pulled
has a responsibility to designate an employee directly from their corporate Web site, which is assumed to be
as the competent person based on knowledge, cleared for release. Comments and submissions are welcome, and
training, and experience. The true value of a well- can be submitted to
trained, experienced, and conscientious excavation Canada Post Publication Agreement #41578525.
competent person cannot be underestimated. Undeliverables 355 Admiral Drive, Unit 4, Mississauga, ON L5T 2N1
A qualified competent person can help ensure
compliance with OSHA regulations and standards,
and, more importantly, eliminate or significantly
reduce the potential hazards and risks associated
with excavation. For additional excavation resources,
Conditions shown in these photos are examples of violations
of OSHA standards. For address changes or reprint information, please
contact Chris Garmon at
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CASE PRODUCES NEW more than double to $12 billion and that spending is expected to
MILITARY SKID STEERS reflect an increased share of major highway construction and bridge
In mid-April, Case Construction Equipment welcomed guests projectshigh cement-intensive projects. For more information,
from the U.S Army TACOM (Tank-automotive and Armaments visit
Command) as the company commemorated the recent production
startup of a new line of military skid steer loaders. The two models CONSTRUCTION JOB GROWTH SLOW
being manufacturerd are the M400W skid steer and M400T The U.S. Labor Department reported in early May that the jobs
compact track loader. Case is providing the equipment as part of situation in the construction industrya key driver of the U.S.
a $160 million contract with the U.S Army TACOM that could economyimproved slightly for the second consecutive month, while
span 10 years, depending on contract renewals. Case continues a still lagging behind other sectors. The number of construction jobs
long tradition of U.S. military support and showcases its quality increased by 14,000, but construction unemployment still remained
craftsmanship on all models produced, whether for the military or near Depression-era levels at 21.8 percent. Currently, more than 1.9
landscape and construction industries. For more information, visit million construction workers are still looking for work.
IN SECOND HALF OF 2010 Knaack LLC, known as the most trusted name in jobsite security,
Expected increases in public construction activities will pave the way is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a year-long roster of events
for improved cement consumption in 2010 and beyond, according involving end users, distributors, employees, and the Crystal
the most recent economic forecast from the Portland Cement Lake community. Founded in 1960 to supply jobsite boxes to a
Association (PCA). construction supply house, Knaack began in a modest 2,000 square-
In 2010, PCA anticipates a modest 5 percent increase in foot facility in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It has since expanded its
consumption over severely depressed 2009 levels. The 3 to 5 million headquarters location to more than 400,000 square-feet with 285
metric tons gain in cement use will materialize during the second employees. Knaack LLC, a division of EMERSON Professional
half of the year. A 13.3 percent jump is predicted for 2011, followed Tools, also manufactures and markets a complete line of WEATHER
by an 18.7 percent increase in 2012. GUARD truck and van equipment, including drawer units, shelving
The 2010 recovery in cement consumption lays largely on and cabinets, and racks for full size and compact pickups, vans and
expectations for public construction activity, Edward Sullivan, utility vehicles, as well as KNAACK jobsite storage equipment,
PCA chief economist says. Spending from the stimulus bill will including storage chests, work stations, rolling work benches, and

6 | MAY2010

hand tool boxes. For more information, visit and and are much easier to handle and ship than either wood or I-beam guardrail posts. The system was previously accepted for use in TL-3
applications. For more information, visit
Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS), a division of 2010 CONSUMABLES CATALOG
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, announced it has increased Lincoln Electric has introduced its first ever, annual 2010
prices on its Firestone, Dayton, and Bandag brand products. Effective Consumable Product Catalog. This book includes Lincoln Electrics
June 1, 2010, Firestone brand, as well as Dayton brand, truck and full line of legacy welding consumables, as well as new products
bus radial tire base prices will increase up to 6 percent in the United introduced in the last year to help customers increase productivity
States. Effective May 1, 2010, Bandag retread material prices and improve weld quality.
increased up to 6 percent in the United States. Similar to the 2010 Equipment Catalog, the new Consumable
catalog will have an online Fast-Flip eBook version that is accessible
NUCOR NU-GUARD-31 W-BEAM on Lincolns Web site. This online catalog features intuitive, book-
GUARDRAIL POST SYSTEM GAINS like navigation, making Lincolns entire product line more easily
FHWA TL-4 ACCEPTANCE accessible and product selection easy. To access the online version of
Nucor Steel Marion, Inc. is pleased to announce that the FHWA the Consumable Catalog, visit
has issued a letter of acceptance for the NU-GUARD-31 W-beam
guardrail post system, stating that it has met the evaluation criteria MORBARK LAUNCHES SAWDUST
in the NCHRP Report 350 for use as a Test Level 4 (TL-4) system. QUICK SWITCH CONVERSION KIT
The system offers great cost savings by eliminating the need for offset Morbark, Inc., now offers a second Quick Switch conversion kit,
blocks or heavy, expensive thrie-beam guardrail to meet TL-4. allowing grinder owners to further diversify their product offerings
The NU-GUARD-31 system uses specially designed RIB-BAK by simply modifying the hammermill of their Morbark horizontal
U-channel steel posts that allow a standard W-beam guardrail to rise grinder. The original conversion kit, introduced in 2009, gave
during impact, dissipating energy in an innovative way, resulting in a Morbark grinder owners the ability to make high quality standard
smoother, more predictable vehicle redirection. size chips. Now, the new Sawdust Quick Switch conversion kit also
The Nucor steel posts are less expensive than traditional I-beam allows grinder owners to supply the large volume sawdust market.
steel posts. And the specially designed RIB-BAK U-channel posts This gives Morbark grinder owners the capability to produce mulch,
are lighter and stack easily. They take up less room in a service truck, high quality chips or sawdustwith just one machine.

8 | MAY2010

Unlike conversion methods from other manufacturers, the staff directions, either upright or inverted, eliminating manual errors
Morbark Quick Switch conversion kit does not require removing the when surveying with normal and inverted readings, Sorenson says.
hammermill from the unit or replacing the hammers with small knife Visit for more information.
bits. The Quick Switch actually converts the hammermill into a drum
with full sized knives so it acts just like a chipper. Conversion is COLD SPRING GRANITE OFFERS
possible in the field, without a crane, and can be done faster than any LIBRARY OF BIM FAMILIES ONLINE
other conversion on the market. Cold Spring Granitethe leading quarrier and fabricator of
The Quick Switch conversion kit is available on Morbark dimensional or cut-to-size stone in North Americahas
horizontal grinder models 3800, 4600, 4600XL, and 6600 from any announced the creation of a vast online library of Building
model year, wheeled or track versions. For more detailed specs or to Information Modeling (BIM) families.
watch a video, visit In response to the growth of BIM and with more product
information becoming readily available in a BIM format, Cold
TOPCON FEATURES WORLDS FIRST Spring Granite has assembled their products in Revit families. Cold
WAVE-AND-READ TECHNOLOGY Spring Granite established functional details and parameters in the
Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) announces the release of the new created models such as sizes, height, and slope. This information
DL-500 digital levels series. can be taken directly from the project and incorporated into the
The new Topcon DL-500 incorporates the worlds first Wave- production tickets to streamline the manufacturing process.
and-Read technology. This feature provides an additional survey Cold Spring Granites BIM object families are available in Revit
style option that allows a rod person to wave the staff back and forth, 2010 format on the companys Web site and currently include family
instead of keeping the staff plumb, says LeRoy Sorenson, product details such as stone wall facings, anchors, thresholds, floors, coping,
marketing manager for the TPS Survey Business Unit. and sills. Architects will find both 3D versions for their models and
The staff reading becomes the minimum when it stands vertically. 2D for their drawings. As such, the families offer ease of use for the
The DL-500 tracks the waved staff and automatically reads the least design process. Additional stone information, such as panel sizes,
value. This innovative technology allows for error-free readings of weight, and test data can be found on the Cold Spring Granite
waved staffs, while dramatically reducing operators eyestrain, says Web site. Currently, Cold Spring Granite has 20 families, with
Sorenson. approximately 50 more building product models in the works.
The DL-500 also incorporates the advanced Random-Bidirectional To view Cold Spring Granites BIM Families, visit www.
code (RAB code) for the staff and optimum digital processing
algorithm for staff reading. The DL-500 automatically recognizes the Architectural/#bim.

10 | MAY2010

Race to Strength
Rapid Set concrete helps company
perform time-sensitive airport repairs.
By Vince Perez

ithin strict time framesand under the threat of strict fines can vary, airports typically have similar strength
liquidated damages if the runway or taxiway is not requirements. The Federal Aviation Administration has its
returned to airport operations on timea California- requirements as far as what is needed to open pavements
based material supplier is repairing airport pavements from coast- to aircraft, Throop explains, but some airports will have a
to-coast with a rapid-setting, high-strength specialty concrete, variableit will be either 500 flex or 550 flex, and around 5,000
produced in volumetric mixers. psi. We get there in an hour and a half to two hours. There will be
With airport repairs, the mix design is always a race to one strength for opening to aircraft, and another for the 28-day
strength, says Jeff Throop, president of George L. Throop Co. strength.
The sooner you can achieve the required strength, the more work Pavement replacement at airports generally follows a set
you can do. patternpanels are typically saw cut in previous shifts and left in
place. On the night of replacement, the pieces are lifted out (with
BEYOND EXPECTATIONS no impact allowed), and dowels are drilled and installed on all
Throop has used this setup on a number of airport projects in sides. Any electrical lighting is also installed, when needed, before
cities across the country, including Los Angeles, San Diego, the concrete is produced. The pavement is reopened the following
Burbank, San Francisco, and Denver. Recently, Throop was called morning with a minimum flexural strength of 500 psi.
onto a panel-replacement project at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta After the prime contractor cut the 25- by 25-foot panels,
International Airport (ATL) where time was of the essence. Throop replaced them, ultimately placing more than 800 cubic
The job came with high stakes: We are the worlds busiest yards of Rapid Set cement to restore 25 panels. Throop was the
airport and cant afford to have runways or taxiways closed very first concrete producer to replace two panels in one night, says
long, says Quintin B. Watkins, P.E., ATLs airside area manager. Watkins. He would bring in two volumetric mixers and knock
Consequently, there was the ever-present threat of liquidated out the job right there.
damages. With this cement and our volumetric mixers, we were able
The liquidated damages on the ATL project were $1,000 a to give the demolition crew plenty of time to do slab removal,
minute for runways and $500 a minute for taxiways. Although says Throop. Then, with the concrete mixing for only 15 to 18

CTS Cement Manufacturing Corporation manufactures Rapid Set professional-grade cement products for concrete
formore repairs and new construction projects. Contractors, owners, engineers, and architects choose Rapid Set to
eliminate problems they have with other concrete repair materials, to save time and money, when superior durability
INFORMATION is required, and results need to be aesthetically pleasing. For more information about CTS Cement and Rapid Set,

12 | MAY2010
seconds, the concrete was placed within a 15-minute period. It completed at night, the airport returned to normal use by
had great workability, with a full 30 minutes for the crew to get 5 a.m.
the concrete finished, sealed, textured, and cured.
BURBANK AIRPORT REAPS BENEFITS While Throop is responsible only for producing the rapid-
At Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, George L. setting concrete, ensuring a job well done means keeping on top
Throop Co. provided Rapid Set for numerous repairs and of all steps of the process.
upgrades. Bigger aircraft parking closer to the terminal The subgrade prep is the responsibility of the demolition
required the modification of most of the airports hardstands. contractor, says Throop, but we are anxious to make sure the
Various contractors removed areas of existing asphalt and prep work is done correctly. At times, voids can form when the
prepared the areas for Rapid Set concrete, which George L. panels are removed, in which case Throop uses his volumetric
Throop Co. produced on site. After contractors placed and mixers to create a hot patch for the base by removing the
finished the Rapid Set concrete, the hardstands were returned retarder from the normal mix, placing it, then putting a vapor
to service within a few hours of placement. barrier between the base, and the poured concrete.
Next, installation of new fiber optics and power required the Because impact demolition is not allowed at airports, 60-inch
runways to be crossed with a trench measuring 48 inches by concrete saw blades are used to remove the slabs. The saw
200 feet by 48 inches deep. Two backhoes face-to-face from the cutting is done in shifts before our crews show up, says Throop,
center of the runway excavated the trench. Then, 16 pieces of so that when the crews arrive and lights are set up, they can
4-inch conduit were placed in the trench. Rapid Set concrete go to work immediately pulling up the slabs. It takes a while to
was used to backfill the trench and enabled this portion of the pull those blocks out, and it needs to be done carefully, so that
project to avoid stiff penaltiesfailure to open the runway on no adjacent panels are damaged.
time at 5 a.m. would have resulted in $2,000-per-minute fines. We like to approach work as a team effort, says Throop,
When the FAA required upgrades to the airports lighting and if we see something that can be done quicker, we will bring
system for aircraft to meet national standards, Rapid Set it to the contactors attention.
concrete was once again used to backfill the trench. This
allowed aircraft access to any taxiways after placement of WINNING THE RACE
Rapid Set concrete. Black oxide color was mixed in to match While the combination of volumetric mixers and Rapid Set
the existing asphalt. Sidewalks at passenger drop-off points cement provides the backbone of GL Throops fast-track airport
were replaced with Rapid Set concrete to eliminate plates repair operations, the companys key to success ultimately lies in
or barricades that can create trip hazards. With all work its understanding of what the race to strength entails. MAY2010 | 13

Clearing for Change in approach adds new dimension

to business and yields increased production

iRox Road Expansion

By Larry Trojak

n construction, there is one tenet that rings true for everyone In addition to clearing sections of the median to make way for
from the smaller general contractor doing residential work, to the additional lanes, we were also clearing for retention ponds,
the largest heavy highway firms at work today: having the right drainage runs, sound walls, emergency stopping sites, and so on,
tool for the right job can be key to any projects success. When he says. During the early parts of the project, we were processing
that project isdollar for dollarone of the largest in the country, material through a Morbark Model 1300 tub grinder which, while
the importance of adhering to that rule grows exponentially. For an unbelievably powerful machine, can occasionally send debris
David Foote Environmental Services, that meant re-evaluating flying from the tub. So when we were doing material from the
their approach to grinding, then purchasing new equipment to median and other areas directly adjacent to traffic, we would have
better meet the situation at hand. It was a big move but a necessary to cut and pile the debris, then haul it from the right-of-way to
one, they feltand the outcome has proven them right. Doing any of several ponds that had recently been cleared. There, it was
so not only enhanced their on-site productivity, it solidified their run through the tub grinder, turned into mulch and carted off for
position as a valued team member and helped the joint venture sale to area landscapers for use as site mulch.
firm heading up the job (Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. and Ajax While that was a workable solution, he says, it was certainly not
Paving Inc.) capitalize on a sizeable early-completion bonus. the most efficient, nor the most economical. The firm looked for
an alternative approachand found it in an alternative grinder: a
SEASONALLY AFFECTED DISORDER Morbark horizontal Model 6600 Track Wood Hog.
Under normal circumstances, the 35-mile stretch of I-75 between
Naples, Florida, and Fort Myers, is easily travelled. During TRACKING HORIZONTAL
peak times, however, when the areas population swells with A much different animal than their tub-type counterparts, which
the arrival of snowbirds from the north, that same section can are designed to handle bulkier items such as stumps and root-balls,
become extremely congested. To alleviate that problem, Florida horizontal grinders instead excel at longereven tree-length
Department of Transportation (FDOT) has committed $469 debris. Another inherent value of the horizontal, however, is its
million to a project called iROX (I-75 Road Expansion), which ability to yield high production volumes without the risk of debris
will widen the interstate from four to six lanes in the area linking being thrown. It seemed the ideal solution for Foote and company.
these two main southwest Florida cities. Getting to that point We already owned a horizontal unitan axle-mounted Model
involved a good deal of land clearing and tree removal, specialties 5600 from Morbarkand knew what it could do production-
of Fort Myers-based David Foote Environmental Services. wise, says Foote. We felt that if we could get some outstanding
According to company vice president, Jim Foote, the scope of the throughputs, and at the same time move along the right-of-way,
project was as broad as they come. we could really ramp up production. We looked at the Model 6000

Aboutthe Larry Trojak is president of Trojak Communications, a Minnesota-based marketing communications firm.
Author He has written for the construction, recycling, demolition, scrap, and aggregate processing industries.

14 | MAY2010
Track Wood Hog, a mobile 1,000 hp track unit, and knew wed to grinding. Our business model at the time was to consolidate
found our answer. our machinery in anticipation of a slowdownthe versatility of
A track version of the companys highly successful Model the new grinder played right into that plan.
6600, the Track Wood Hog combines aggressive, productive
grinding with outstanding on-site mobilityeven in harsh PLAYING IN TRAFFIC
ground conditions. Because they could now clear immediately adjacent to traffic,
Changing the way we approached grinding was a huge step mobility was key for the firm in decent conditions as well.
for us, adds Foote, and one that we thought long and hard Suddenly, they could simply track along the side of the road and
about. But we felt that the 6600 could give us everything we grind material 20 feet from the edge of the pavement.
were getting out of our tub grinder and really enhance our This was a huge change for us and over the course of the
grinding capability. As luck would have it, iROX was the perfect project it paid real dividends in time savings. If we had to
project for proving that. continue hauling debris to be processed as we had done at the
start, theres no doubt in my mind that we would have been in
MUD ON THE TRACKS there at least 30 percent longer.
Floridas high water table, coupled with persistent rains in the That savings has no doubt contributed to the iROX teams
area, meant much of the clearing effort on iROX was being amazing accomplishment to date: adding two lanes of traffic to
done in extremely muddy conditions. According to Foote, armed one of the busiest corridors in southwest Florida, working on 37
with the new track grinder, tackling what was once a grinding bridges, complete reconstruction of two interchanges, doing it
nightmare was now just another day at the office. all without any daytime lane closures, yet still being more than
There were about 15 retention ponds located at various sites 100 days ahead of schedule.
throughout the project at which material had to be cleared, There is as much as $15 million in incentives being offered
and most of those were literally mud holes when we arrived. for early completion of the project and it looks like a good
The 6600 got in there, did the work, and got out again with no portionif not allof that money will be claimed, says Foote.
trouble at all. It really was a godsend in an environment like The Model 6600 Track Wood Hog helped us streamline the
that. entire clearing process and Id like to think that the work we
On large sections, we would go in with a feller-buncher, cut did in advance of the construction itself played a big role in
off trees off at the base, and run the whole tree through the helping the joint venture team get that bonus. More important
6600. At that point, all that was left was the stumps, which we to us though, is the fact that it has added a new dimension to
would pop and send through as well. The throat on that 6600 is our grinding capability, and that sets us up nicely for future
huge, so very rarely did we even have to pre-shear stumps prior work. MAY2010 | 15

John Deere:
M ee ti n g C u st o m er N ee d s Today

ohn Deere Construction & Forestry Division, a leading producer of heavy and light
construction equipment, keeps building on its history of innovation and fulfilling its
pledge to listen and respond to customer needs.

Formally organized into a division in the mid-1950s, construction equipment offerings
today consist of:

Backhoe loaders Articulated dump trucks

Crawler dozers and loaders Landscape loaders
4WD loaders Skid steer loaders
Excavators Compact track loaders
Motor graders

John Deere is a world leader in providing advanced products and services for agriculture, forestry, construction,
lawn and turf care, landscaping, and irrigation. John Deere also provides financial services worldwide and
formore manufactures and markets engines used in heavy equipment. Since it was founded in 1837, the company has
INFORMATION extended its heritage of integrity, quality, commitment, and innovation around the globe. John Deere Construction
& Forestry produces more than 120 machine models and distributes its construction, forestry, and worksite products
through a network of more than 1,300 dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit

16 | MAY2010
HISTORY OF INNOVATION Deere responded to calls for a Creeper mode, too, the areas of emissions and sustainable technologies
John Deere Construction & Forestry customers have with an enhanced operator productivity option, called with education and expertise, including wide-ranging
witnessed a number of innovations and industry firsts: the EH Performance Package, so an operator can make information resources available on www.JohnDeere.
wheel speed adjustments independent of engine speed com, fleet emissions training for customers and
Two-lever backhoe control to create a machine that perfectly fits his application electrification/hybrid research and development.
The six-way PAT dozer blade or skill level. The division has also confirmed its choice of
First articulated grader technology path for Interim Tier 4 emissions regulations
The hydrostatic front-wheel-drive grader EMISSIONS AND (cooled EGR) as the right technology at this time.
First load-sensing hydraulics on loaders SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES Deere is forging ahead on options to help owners meet
First dual-path hydrostatic crawler in North America Deere also continues responding to customer needs in upcoming Final Tier 4 requirements.
NeverGrease pins
First inboard-mounted wet disc brakes

More recently, Deere was the first to offer telematics

on construction equipment and introduced the 764
High-Speed Dozer (HSD), which combined the speed of
a grader with the flotation of a crawler dozer, with a
key benefit being unprecedented speed.

RESPONDING to customer
needs TODAY
In addition to the start-of-sales for the 764 HSD,
the first new machine form the construction industry
has seen in decades, Construction & Forestry also
launched the G-Series graders in 2009, revolutionary
for giving customers a choice of controlsincluding
the industrys first-ever fingertip controls that mimic the
traditional pattern and still allow the use of a steering
Customer preferences and input also dictated the
design of nine new D-Series skid steer loaders and
compact track loaders (CTLs). Gregg Zupancic, Deeres
product marketing manager for skid steers and CTLs,
details how.
Customers have been asking us for more
comfortable cabs similar to those on larger pieces
of Deere equipment, so weve introduced an all-new
operating environment, Zupancic says.
Overall, D-Series cabs feature 24 percent more
room than their predecessors and 6 more inches of
headroom. They are also 50 percent quieter, positively
pressurized and easier to get in and out of, due to a
larger door opening.
As a result of further customer suggestions, Deeres
D-Series contains several industry firsts. D-Series skid
steers and CTLs have electronically controlled Tier 3/
Interim Tier 4 engines coupled with a new auto idle
feature, providing quieter operation and fuel savings.
The optional reversing hydraulic fan is a variable speed
unit working with a computer program that monitors
engine and hydraulic fluid temperatures to ramp fan
speed up or down as needed.
Spinning only as fast as needed saves fuel and
reduces noise, Zupancic says. Like bigger machines,
it has cool on demand-type advantagesone is
that there will be less debris intake into the cooling
system if the fan runs slower on average throughout
the day, another is the reversing option for high-debris
applications. MAY2010 | 17

JRB Quick Couplers

The Productive Excavator Partner
By Doug Amerman

dd a quick coupler to an excavator and turn it into a
multi-tasking, time-saving advantage. Contractors want
them light, yet robust, fast, and easy to engage with
attachmentsat the same time providing top safety features to
ensure that their high-dollar equipment investments and workers
are safe. The newest excavator partner, the JRB VersaLoc quick
coupler, provides three safety advantages while offering the lowest
offset in the industry. This coupler didnt evolve overnight though.
Since 1988, JRB has pioneered the manufacturing of excavator
couplers through ongoing design enhancements in the key areas of
safety, speed, reliability, versatility, and cost.


When JRB started manufacturing excavator couplers, contractors
were still trying to grasp the concept. A contractors only coupler
choice was a dedicated pin spacing coupler that attached to one
particular pin diameter and pin spread, or the center line of one
pin to the center line of the other. This was great for picking up
similar types of attachments or multiple attachments within a
brand, which often worked well because many contractors were IMPROVING COUPLER COMPATIBILITY
still dedicated to one or two main brands. As couplers became more popular, contractors wanted more
versatility. Along came the modern day multi-pin grabber coupler,
JRBs dedicated pin spacing coupler evolution began which has a pivoting jaw on the rear end that adjusts to any
pin diameter, ear spread, and pin spread within a specific class.
1988 CamLoc: The locking mechanism rotates on a cam- Every manufacturers coupler has different measurements, so this
like device to grab and lock around the link pin. Contractors can makes it easier for a contractor to find a wide array of compatible
stay in the cab and switch between multiple attachments without attachments.
having to manually knock out or align pins.
JRB is leading the way in multi-pin grabber couplers
1993 SlideLoc: A linear wedge slides into a groove
underneath the link pin for a tighter, safer hold. Contractors that 2002 RotoLoc: A pivoting rear jaw locks hydraulically by
switch out attachments semi-regularly find it very effective, while utilizing a cam-like device that goes over the stick pin. A gravity
those that rarely change attachments find it can get stuck over lock comes down in front of the stick pin and prevents the cylinder
time. pivot from retracting. This lock also keeps the attachment from
falling off should something happen to the rear lock arrangement.
1996 PinLoc: It also uses a wedge that secures to the link
pin, but it requires manual placement of a pin to prevent the wedge NEW JRB VERSALOC COMBINES
from getting stuck, providing the same tight hold without the need SAFETY & VERSATILITY
to retract the coupler regularly. This is still available today. Today, safety is the top concern contractors have about couplers,
so in 2009, JRB developed the VersaLoc to put those concerns
1996 SmartLoc: For contractors that dont want to get out to rest. The multi-pin grabber coupler has three safety locking
of the cab, this is the ideal mesh of safety and convenience. Using mechanisms:
the same wedge system, it has a spring-loaded arm that requires 1. Slide wedge style lock that captures the link pin, which is
the contractor to curl the coupler up and make contact with the locked with a pilot operated check valve that locks the cylinder
excavator stick. The mechanical arm pivots around a spring- so it cant retract if hydraulic pressure is lost.
loaded axle and secures the coupler until the operator unlocks it by 2. Redundant (two) pivoting locking arms that pivot from side to
pushing a button in the cab. This is also still available today. side and into place to prevent the wedge from retracting.

formore For more information on JRB excavators and attachments, call 800.428.2538; e-mail: tmulhollen@

18 | MAY2010
3. Spring-loaded detent lock for the stick pin and link pin the hydraulic cylinder 25 to 30 times without an attachment to
for redundant locking in the front and back. This virtually ensure it works properly.
eliminates accidental retraction in the case of operator error. Inspect the coupler and attachments every day for obstructions
(rocks, sticks, etc.) or fatigue, cracking, and welding issues.
The JRB VersaLoc offers the lowest offset in the industry,
with the least amount of distance from the new pin location JRB regularly offers safety training through its qualified dealer
from its original pinpoint. This ensures that the contractor will network free of charge. Operators, ground people, supervisors,
achieve maximum lifting strength and range of motion with every parts staff, and mechanics can all use these classes to prevent
attachment. It is compatible with pin spreads ranging from 13.7 accidents before they happen.
inches to 24.9 inches and pin diameters from 2.5 inches to 4.3
inches on excavators from 25,000 pounds to 100,000 pounds. PROVIDING THE IDEAL EXCAVATOR
As a leading manufacturer of high-quality quick couplers and
GUARANTEED ACCIDENT PREVENTION attachments for construction, utility, demolition, government,
JRBs quick couplers are the safest in the industry. But no matter military, and related markets since 1983, JRB knows how to get the
what coupler is used, here are a few safety tips thatif followed most out of excavators. Its CustomWorks operations in Davenport,
will virtually eliminate all accidents: Iowa; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Kernersville, Florida, are
Never touch the switch or control buttons to lock or unlock the structured to provide its manufacturing partners with a fast, cost-
coupler until the attachment and coupler is fully curled. effective way to meet the production goals of the contractor with
Never lift or connect any attachment from any other point the addition of a coupler. These facilities customize excavators
except the lift eye. according to specific dealer/manufacturer requests so they ship
Perform a ground test every time an attachment is connected: fully equipped with the coupler and attachment(s) ready to work.
With the excavator stick in the vertical position, lift the
attachment 4 to 6 inches off the ground in a safe, clear area. THE FUTURE OF COUPLERS
With mid to high RPMs on the engine, try to uncurl the After recently becoming part of Paladin Construction Group, JRB
attachment and push the stick out at the same time. If the now has the financial backing, support, and more than 25 years
attachment stays attached, an accident wont occur. of engineering experience to continue manufacturing the safest,
Ensure that the control box is located where the operator can most versatile quick couplers available. JRB will soon introduce
see the appropriate lights and hear the buzzer at all times. an excavator coupler with hydraulic controls integrated into the
Anytime maintenance is performed on the hydraulic hoses or coupler cylinder, which will reduce install time, ease of install, and
cylinder, or when a new coupler is attached, lock and unlock increase reliability. MAY2010 | 19

he world of concrete drilling Perry, Oklahoma. Over that time,
and doweling has changed From on-grade units E-Z Drill has strived to take the
dramatically since 1987. standard it first set in pneumatic
Prior to that time, construction to attachments, concrete drilling and doweling
companies had essentially two
options for drilling, and each
E-Z Drill delivers a equipmentand continually
improve upon it. And in working
presented its own significant full line of concrete to innovate and offer flexible
The hand-held rock drill was
drilling solutions. options to meet any contractor
need, E-Z Drill has developed an
the most common equipment extensive line of concrete drills.
choice. While not expensive, A wide variety of on-grade
it created an incredibly slow, models have been specifically
labor-intensive process that designed for straight-line drilling
often posed a significant risk on a level subgrade, and are ideal
of injury. A recently designed for airport work, lane additions,
alternative at the time was and large patchwork jobs. Each
the hydraulic-powered dowel unit features a compact frame
drill. It drilled holes faster that allows for work within tight
and was more ergonomically areas.
sound, as there was no need Several slab-rider models are
to hold the drills by hand. But available as well. These drills
performance advantages were reference from the top of the
often overshadowed because the concrete slab, which provides for
hydraulic units were also more optimum accuracy and eliminates
expensive and cumbersome, disturbance of the subgradea
and they required additional key requirement in many state
equipment for operation. contracts.
WCCI of Stillwater, All E-Z Drill products
Oklahoma, was among those offer numerous features to
companies struggling to find an increase production and help
efficient, cost-effective method prevent downtime. Quick-
for drilling dowel holes. So the release bit guides correspond
company literally took matters with any style of bit for a
into its own hands when WCCIs Leon Hake fast, simple exchange, while
engineered and built an automatic pneumatic vertical height adjustment
drill system. The innovation proved to deliver levels enable each unit to
both increased productivity and a higher level of drill on center whether
accuracy to drilling jobs. Operators found the new the slab is 6 inches or
system to be user friendly, dependable and safe. And 24 inches thick. Drill
just like that, a new product carriages easily can be
manufacturing company was replaced, as needed, with
bornE-Z Drill, Inc. basic tools, and quick coupler air
fittings further simplify maintenance.
E-Z Drill started small, with GETTING ATTACHED
only a welder and a draftsman. Some drilling applications can entail work to be
In 23 years, the company performed over long stretches of roadway. Often
has grown into a diverse its most efficient to tackle these jobs with
manufacturing business equipment-mounted drills that can more easily
employing 40 people at a be moved when there is significant distance
22,000-square-foot facility in from one patch to the next.

E-Z Drill manufactures slab rider drills, on-grade models, and equipment-mounted drills, as well as
formore vertical utility models and drilling accessories. For more information on E-Z Drills complete line of
INFORMATION concrete drilling and doweling equipment, visit

20 | MAY2010
E-Z Drill has three multi-gang drill attachments available, the productivity, the patented roller bearing feed eliminates friction
Model 210-3 EQ MT, Model 210-4 EQ MT, and Model 210-5 on the carriage to reduce replacement costs and help prevent
EQ MT. Each unit is totally pneumatic and will attach to almost downtime.
any backhoe or excavator. Standard features not found on any
other equipment-mounted unit in the industry include the side THE LATEST SOLUTIONS
shift function, which allows an operator to drill a second set of E-Z Drill continues to innovate with its newest products to hit
dowel holes in a patch without having to reposition the carrier. the marketthe Model 240B (on-grade version) and Model
These drills also include a floating bucket curl pin to ensure 240B SRA (slab-rider version) combo drill systems. This new
fast repositioning, an extra height adjustment for extreme overlay product concept combines the features of a standard drill with
conditions, and a safety swivel lock to provide safe transportation the capability of converting to a pneumatic core drill. This
from patch to patch. Hole diameters can be drilled between technology enables contractors to tackle drilling jobs where
and 2- inches to a maximum depth of 18 inches. A minimum concrete contains rebar or other metal that cant be avoided, thus
of 300 CFM (8.4 m3/min) is needed for operation. requiring a core drill instead of a rock drill.
E-Z Drills Model 210 Twin Vertical concrete drill attachment By catering to both rock drilling and core drilling applications,
goes outside the realm of doweling to accommodate other these all-in-one units eliminate the need for separate drilling
concrete drilling applications. This rock drill system contains two systems. The combo drills ultimately provide the opportunity to
adjustable vertical drills, making it ideal for pulling patches, slab- drill concrete in whatever way is most efficient for the demands
jacking, and under sealing. The unit is designed for maximum of a specific job. The conversion process requires just a few
productivity and is completely pneumatic, which eliminates the simple tools and can be quickly conducted while on the jobsite.
need for electric or hydraulic hook-up.
The 210 Twin Vertical utilizes CP 69 rock drills and has EXPERIENCE COUNTS
the capability of drilling a hole between and 2- inches in E-Z Drill started out exactly where contractors areon the
diameter. It features a maximum drilling depth of 17 inches and front lines of the jobsite, working hard to get things done.
requires a minimum of 260 CFM (7.3 m3/min) for operation. Its that experience that drives the companys commitment to
Drill spacing adjusts easily from 5 to 10 feet on center. The feed its customers. From custom designs and solutions for specific
system also includes an angular adjustment, allowing the drills to projects to the unique features of the standard product line, E-Z
be positioned between 90 and 45 degrees. Drill prides itself on manufacturing superior quality drilling
For quick, convenient operation, the system can be controlled and doweling equipment that provides the dependability and
from the cab via pneumatic remote, which is powered by productivity to lower costs and increase profits for contractors
the same air compressor as the drills. To further enhance everywhere. MAY2010 | 21

Krypto Klaw:


ocklands Krypto Klaw is the ideal tool for demolition and the Krypto Klaw to the excavator, plug in two hydraulic lines,
land clearing applications where precision and maximum and go to work, no welding or additional miscellaneous parts
clamping force are required. The unique Krypto Klaw required.
design brings the bucket and thumb together as one collective The Krypto Klaw is manufactured from long wearing, high
working unit resulting in maximum operator efficiency and full strength, quenched and tempered steel, and reinforced with
use of the excavators reach throughout 100 percent of the curl AR400 in all critical wear areas, to include the cutting edge,
cycle. The Krypto Klaw is designed to work with all sizes of doubler plates, and bottom side wear plates. It is covered
excavators from mini excavators to the larger machines. by Rocklands no nonsense, 1-year, 2,000-hour warranty.
The Krypto Klaw performs like a grapple while retaining the Performance is guaranteed.
advantages of an excavator bucket. Operators love the Krypto For over 60 years, Rockland Manufacturing Co. has designed
Klaw because once the load is clamped, all they have to do is and manufactured construction equipment for dozers, loaders,
use curl control to position the load. Its multi-rib, open design excavators, and motor graders. Every Rockland product is
allows for maximum operator visibility while manipulating designed for a specifi c application and is guaranteed to improve
material. The Krypto Klaw mates directly with the stick, saving machine productivity. During those 60 years, Rockland made
time and money during the installation process. Pin or couple several unique contributions to the construction equipment

Rockland Manufacturing has designed and manufactured high end, specialty and standard attachments for loaders,
dozers, excavators, and graders for over 60 years. The company has built its reputation on its quality custom attachments;
formore simple, straightforward warranties and unparalleled customer service. Rocklands custom and specialty products are
INFORMATION engineered to fit the customers specific application. Standard attachments are designed to fit all makes of equipment.
The companys 130 standard products include buckets, thumbs, blades, rakes and forks. For more information, contact
Rockland Manufacturing Co. at 800.458.3773, e-mail, or visit

22 | MAY2010
industry. Most significantly, they proved that wheel Its All About the Thumb
loaders could handle shot rock by designing and
Clauss Construction is very familiar with Rocklands Krypto Klaw, having used two of the attachments
manufacturing the first spade nose rock bucket ever
put in a quarry. The unique Rockland RF-3 Rake for the demolition cleanup of the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. Both Krypto Klaw buckets were built in
was proven and patented in the late 50s. This was a skeleton design to sift out the sand and dirt when scooping up debris. Clauss Construction used both
the first land clearing rake to have both reversible attachments: one on the Caterpillar 365C and one on the Caterpillar 345C.
and adjustable teeth. Next, they astonished the On the job for about 3 months, the Krypto Klaw on the 365C moved over 300 loads of steel, in the
construction equipment industry by offering the range of about 20,000 cubic yards of demo material. According to Frank R. Wright, Clauss Construction
first lifetime warranty when they guaranteed the supervisor/operator, the bucket was used to sift dirt out of the concrete slabs, making the process more
RF-3 for life against any failure from defective efficient and saving time by not hauling so much dirt.
design, materials, or workmanship, and that even
Claus Construction mainly does demolition work, and the configuartion of the Krypto Klaw allows more
included bent teeth. Soon after introducing the RF-
precise placement of materials due to the range of motion of the bucket.
3, Rockland applied lifetime warranties to both the
Straight Edge and Spade Nose rock buckets with the The best thing about the Krypto Klaw is the thumb, says Wright. Normally, we have to secure the
same powerful coverage. thumb and thats extra weight and its in the way. With the Krypto Klaw, I set the quick connect, drop
the bucket, hook on the
THUMB DESIGN INNOVATION hammer, and Im good to
During the past decade, Rockland set the standard go; I dont have to worry
for excavator thumb design, offering narrow thumbs about the thumb being in
for common sense 3-point pickup. Rockland was the way.
also the first to offer thumbs ready to install
simply weld the mounting plate to the bottom of the
Krypto Klaws pin on, so
stick. They also offer key features such as lubricated
they can be used with pin
and sealed pivot points, cylinder rod guards, and the grabber couplers whenever
patented Rockland Thumb Lock that eliminates required. The easy
down drift. As thumbs for backhoes became more installation feature makes
popular, Rockland introduced the Smart Thumb Krypto Klaws the ideal
tool for multi-machine
the worlds only rigid strut thumb with hydraulic
fleets or rental yards.
clamping action that is easily removed or installed in
less than a minute. MAY2010 | 23

Going Green
with Machine Control
New efficiencies mean burning less fuel, exhausting
fewer emissions, and realizing material savings.
By Daniel C. Brown

n recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has The 764 HSD
focused an entire body of regulations on exhaust gas emissions did subgrade
from off-road equipment. Indeed, the EPA has steadily preparation, base
tightened permissible limits on NOx gases and particulate matter rock grading,
being emitted from new off-road enginesand continues to do so. mass dirt in
Yet now, empirical evidence points to the fact that earthmoving water retention
equipment fitted with GPS-based machine control systems areas, and a lot of
is much more efficientand more greenthan manually- our final grading
controlled equipment. Grading goes faster. In some applications, in ditch lines,
dozers can move up to twice as fast with new-generation machine says Chuck
controls compared to first-generation controls. Jobs require Counts, director
significantly less time. of surveying for the contractor.
For that reason, machine control technology is a green Because of the fuel it saves, Counts says the Topcon 3D-MC2
technology. How so? If projects are completed in less time, dozers is a very green product. The machine control system produced a
and graders emit fewer exhaust emissions per project, consume 40-percent fuel savings overall on the grading work for an 80-acre
much less fuel, and require no wooden stakes for guidance. And prison site near Mayo, Florida. With the accuracy and speed of
because grading is more precise with machine control, there are that machine control system, you move dirt, you place it once,
fewer passes, and less crushed stone or base material is used, so less and its where it needs to be, says Counts. Obviously improved
energy is consumed to produce it. productivity is what were after.
Going forward, the use of automated machine controls will
increase exponentially on a global scale. That means the green GREENER SYSTEMS
benefits will increase dramaticallyaround the worldover the For sure those machine controls are greener systems, says Randy
next 20 years. Gray, owner of Graystone Construction, Inc. He has Topcons 3D-
At John Deere Construction and Forestry Division, we have MC2 system mounted on two bulldozersone Caterpillar and one
seen steadily increasing take rates on factory-enabled grade- Komatsu. Gray says the machine controls astronomically speeded
control ready packages and embedded automated features like the up the grading for a high school in Brampton, Ontario. We used
cross-slope system on the new Deere GP motor graders, says Kent our Komatsu D85 with machine control to cut the parking lots, the
Stickler, product marketing manager for motor graders. soccer fields, and the running track.
Between factory-installed options and field-installed options, Whats more, Graystone used both its GPS-equipped dozers
our motor graders and dozers have been experiencing install rates to handle the grading chores for a 360,000-square-foot industrial
of 10 to 20 percent, depending on machine size, and we expect building in Milton, Ontario. The paving company attempted to
this rate to at least double in the next 5 years, says Dan Drescher, tell us that our grades were wrong, says Gray. They were trying
Deeres product marketing manager for dozers. to say that our grades were 2-inches low, and wanted to charge us
for 2 inches of rock, plus extra grading time. With our GPS system
EARLY COMPLETION we were able to prove them wrongboth that time and on the
On a Florida road-building project, Steven Counts, Inc., applied high school.
the Topcon 3D-MC2 system to a John Deere 764 HSD, a new
high-speed dozer. The state of Florida commissioned the Counts CALIFORNIA AIR QUALITY
firm to expand County Road 484 from two lanes to four lanes. In California, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality

Aboutthe Daniel C. Brown is the principal of TechniComm, a communications business based in

Author Des Plains, Illinois.

24 | MAY2010
Management District incorporates air quality guidelines as yard, and thats pretty cheap, but we can make money where other
recommendations in the environmental impact statement for contractors cannot.
some construction projects. They want new low-emissions
equipment on the project, as compared to the average for all MATERIAL SAVINGS
construction equipment in the state, says Scott Spong, project DeLong Construction, Inc., swung into action on an Iowa airport
manager for Doug Veerkamp General Engineering, Inc. job with a Caterpillar dozer fitted with a Topcon 3D-MC2 system,
When construction equipment exhausts fewer total emissions as well as a Cat motor grader with a Topcon 3D-MC system.
that may be a positive for air quality, but all they care about is Located at Iowa City, Iowa, the project called for recycling the old
how clean the exhaust emissions are, says Spong. Its pretty concrete runway and crushing it for base aggregate under the new
obvious that the less time the equipment is operating, the fewer runway.
emissions are getting blown into the air. Both the subgrade for the runway and the crushed concrete were
Veerkamp runs Topcon GPS machine control systems on required to be finished to within 0.03 foot, says Paul Ruckman,
four pieces of equipment: a Cat D9N, a Cat D6M, and two DeLongs GPS technician. The crushed concrete went down in
Cat 14H motor graders. Spong says the GPS systems helped an 8-inch layer. Yes, when they call for 8 inches, and we grade
the contractor realize a 25- to 30-percent time savings on the it with a GPS system, we know it is 8 inches on the money, says
Prichard Lake Restoration Project for Sacramento County Ruckman. We dont run over on rock. There are no pockets in it.
Airport Systems. The project required about 50,000 cubic yards Similar materials savings resulted from using a Topcon 3D-
of excavation. MC2 system on a John Deere 750J dozer to grade a parking lot
Olin Ellsworth runs two Topcon 3D-MC2 machine control in Mount Ayr, Iowa. Operators for contractor Kelly Cortum, Inc.,
systems, one on a Caterpillar dozer and one on a Komatsu dozer. were able to tell exactly where the islands and edges were located
We were the first ones in Tennessee to have that upgrade, on the parking lot, says Jon Thompson, grading supervisor.
says Ellsworth, grading division manager for Ronald Franks In former days when stakes were used, the contractor would
Construction. simply pave over the island areas, then remove the island asphalt
Ellsworths company is building a new wetland area at later with jackhammers. But with GPS machine control, the digital
Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee. The plans call for grading terrain model defines exactly where the islands are, so theres no
a complicated topography that would be very difficult to do need to pave over them.
with stakes and manual controls. Its an extremely detailed So with GPS machine control, less fuel is used and fewer
job, says Ellsworth. I wouldnt even have bid that job without emissions are exhausted into the air. Less wood is used for stakes.
machine control. It probably would cost twice as much to build And less rock or concrete has to be crushed for pavement base
with stakes and manual control. I bid the dirt for $1.25 a cubic material. What more could a green contractor want? MAY2010 | 25

Plastics and Potable Water

Environmental considerations for

By Astyn Richard
contractors using plastic piping.

emember the scare a few months ago about those Plastic pipe is lighter, easier to install, and cheaper than
reusable plastic water bottles everyone was toting copper. And since their lighter weight uses less fuel to
around? These water bottles were touted as an transport, and their composite materials are themselves
environmental friendly solution to bottled water, and the recycled or are potentially recyclable, plastic pipes are
premise was simple: buy a bottle, open up the tap, and fill. gaining ground with the sustainability and environmental
No plastic bottles clogging the landfills. Then suddenly movement.
these unassuming bottles were labeled as hazardous, because However, all plastics are not created equally. In fact, there
they leached Bisphenol-A, a monomer in epoxy resins, into have been some major issues with some types of plastic
the water inside the bottle. pipes that have given all plastic piping a bad name.
A phthalate or monomer, like Bisphenol-A, is a chemical Polybutylene (PB) pipes, nicknamed the pipe of the
compound added to certain plastics to make it behave like future in the 70s and 80s, PB caused many class action
a plasticmoldable, either flexible or rigid, and durable. lawsuits for damages associated with pipe breakages.
As it turns out, these additives are dangerous compounds Chlorine in drinking water was found to degrade these pipes
capable of causing changes in the human body. Often linked and fittings leading to sudden and disastrous breakages.
to health issues like reproductive and endocrine system Although the Polybutylene industry has redesigned their
damage and dysfunction, these compounds may even cause products to combat these problems, the lawsuits have
some cancers. The worst thing about these persistent bio- damaged its reputation as a reliable productleading some
accumulative toxins (PBTs), is that they are stored in the codes and municipalities to restrict its usage entirely.
body indefinitely, accumulating gradually over time. The By far the favorite plastic piping material in the US,
more exposure gained throughout a lifetime, the greater the accounting for around 65 percent of the potable water
risk of illness. supply market is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). It is light,
What about all the pipes that bring fresh water to faucets cheap, easy to work with, and takes less energy (and less
in the first place? petroleum) to manufacture and transport to a jobsite than
copper. So why would organizations like Greenpeace,
JOBSITE PLASTICS The Center for Health, Environment and Justice, and the
Plastics, once rare on the jobsite are now commonplace. Sierra Club want to restrict its usage in the construction
In the wake of recent record copper prices, the traditional industry? For one, the leaching of dangerous compounds
supply piping for potable water, many builders and into the potable water over the life cycle of these pipes is a
contractors have been choosing plastic supply pipes instead. serious concern. In addition to phthalates and monomers,

Aboutthe Astyn Richard is a LEED AP and NCARB certified Architect living and working out of Birmingham,
Author Alabama.

26 | MAY2010
the gas released during the manufacture the polyethylene molecules is especially contaminating potable water were very
of PVC is one of the most potent and environmentally friendly due to the process small.
deadly known carcinogens. Dioxin, the gas not requiring any additional chemicals. The plumbing industry has come a
released during the manufacture of PVC, One potential drawback is that PEX long way from the lead piped system of
stays in the atmosphere for a long time, cannot be used in direct sunlight, as it the Roman Empire. Contractors can only
slowly accumulating in human tissues and is photo degrades rapidly. California, hope that through constant innovation and
causing a host of health problems like an environmentally progressive state, awareness, they can continue to strive for
asthma, cancer, birth defects, and liver/ has recently added PEX to its stringent that balance that keeps clients comfortable
kidney failure. Fish swimming in the plumbing code after tests found that without harming the environment and
Great Lakes have been contaminated by the potential of hazardous compounds themselves.
dioxin originating in PVC manufacturing
plants in the southern U.S. Not only can
burning PVC emit poisonous hydrogen
chloride gas, it is not readably recycled. In
fact, due to these hazards, and pressures
by environmental agencies, some areas are
banning PVC. Already the European Union
has issued a moratorium on PVC piping,
and the U.S., since signing the Stockholm
Treaty, has promised to phase out this

So what is a builder/contractor to use if
they want to save money with plastic piping
without endangering the building occupants
or the environment? So far, two alternate
types of pipes are available at comparable
prices. And while they arent completely
without drawbacks, they offer environmental
solutions that the previous examples do not.
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is
most commonly known as the plastic used
to bottle beverages and package foods.
Unfortunately, petroleum is crucial to the
manufacturing of virgin HDPE. However,
HDPE is the most widely recycled plastic,
so excess trimmings and retrofits are
immediately ready to be recycled in our
conventional recycling streams and easily
made into bottles, bags, or other building
materials like decking. HDPE has an
insulating effect, thus resulting in less
energy loss throughout the system. Installers
prefer using HDPE because a hot knife cuts
sections while a heat gun fuses all joints
seamlessly without solvents or specialized
tools. Since HDPE has a history as a food
safe plastic, leaching risks are minimal.
Cross linked Polyethylene (PEX) shares
many of the same properties of HDPE,
with the added benefits of reducing water
noise and water hammer (since the pipes
are flexible instead of rigid), and higher
resistance to freezing than both copper
and PVC. PEX originated as piping for
radiant floor systems before becoming
a potable water supply pipe. What gives
this polyethylene is strength is the cross
linking process. There are three cross
linking options available, and the option
that uses an electron beam to cross link MAY2010 | 27

Tips on Giving Effective

Performance by Roz Turner

specially in todays difficult and
challenging environment for
construction companies, with
lay-offs and a slimmed down staff,
its important that each employee gets
ongoing on-the-job feedback. Employees
need to know what they are doing
well and what they need to
improve. That means observing
employees in action and
communicating oftennot just
during the annual performance


At heart, giving feedback needs
to come from the commitment to anothers
development, not from the place of being critical.
If feedback is approached from this place, then the boss
and the employee will benefit from the feedback process. A
supervisors intentions need to include:

Staying open to become aware of the employees

perspective or point of view.
Helping the employee to better understand his/her
strengths and development needs.
Giving useful feedback and keeping the employees self
esteem intact. So why arent more managers and leaders providing
Creating a sense of partnership with the employee. consistent feedback? In our experience, most managers and
leaders say I know I needed to tell John or Susan about the
WHY THERES NOT ENOUGH FEEDBACK problems with XYZ, but I just havent had the time to sit down
As a manager or leader, giving and getting feedback are and have a face-to-face conversation with him/her. Its known
important factors in the managing process. Yet in our that managers and leaders are busier than ever before, but
consulting practice, time and time again, we find that talking with employees about their performance is part of the
managers and leaders fail to give effective feedback. And a jobnot extra. The real reason there isnt more feedback may
lack of feedback can result in lower productivity and overall be that managers and leaders are just uncomfortable giving it.
performance. Remember that when people dont receive Some possible reasons why people are uncomfortable giving
feedbackthey interpret that what they are doingor not feedback:
doingmust be working out okay. Then they are surprised
when they finally get the feedback that they need to change. Managers may not really want to be straight and say what

Roz Turner is the founder of Roz Turner & Associates, a management consulting and leadership development firm,
Aboutthe based in Bellevue, Washington. The construction industry is a focus of her consulting practice and she has helped
Author many construction companies develop performance management and feedback processes. She can be reached at or 425.746.8757.

30 | MAY2010
needs to be said because they want 3. State the expectations. Clearly state up with the employee to reinforce
their employees to like them. the behavior or actions expected. expectations and acknowledge their
Another reason might be that the 4. Create an Action Plan. Involve the
manager may not know how to fix employee in creating an Action Plan Be a contractor that takes the time
what the person is not doing well. and ask for their commitment to to give honest, developmental feedback
Please remember that the goal is this plan. on a regular basis. That way, employees
not to fix anyone, but by sharing can become the best they can be and
what is seen, the manager and the 5. Follow-up and reinforcement. Be can avoid having situations explode into
employee can be in a dialogue about sure to take the time to follow- bigger problems down the road.
possible solutions.

A manager might also be afraid of

the employees reaction to hearing
job performance feedback. Though
in a position of leadership, many
people do not like conflict and
perceive that giving feedback will
lead to conflict. Some leaders
erroneously believe that its not that
big a deal and maybe if I dont say
anything my employee will figure it
out for him/herself. Thats why so
many situations that begin small end
up as big problems.


1. First, dont give feedback on the fly.
Take the time to really think about
what the employee needs to start,
stop, or continue doing.

2. Next, work on sticking to the facts

and personal observations. If theres
a need to give feedback regarding
interactions or performance that has
not been directly observed, be sure
to fully understand the situation
before feedback is given.

3. Clearly understand the impact

that the employees behavior and/
or performance is having on the
organization and the impact that it
could have on the employees career.

4. Finally, follow the 5 steps outlined


1. Focus on behavior. Be specific.
Describe behavior in concise and
observable terms. Use behavior
descriptions that create a clear
picture of the issues. Avoid

2. Describe the impact. Explain the

tangible effects of that behavior
being addressed. MAY2010 | 31

Putting The Best Face Forward

By Spencer Fleury

hese days, every self-styled marketing guru with a business You cant just sit back and expect satisfied customers to tell
card is pushing Twitter and Facebook as a one-size-fits-all, their friends, admonishes Anderson. Sure, some of them will,
cant-live-without-it marketing tool. Yes, social media has but most wontunless you specifically ask them to tell their
its place in the marketing toolbox for just about any business, but friends.
most contractors would probably Is that all it takes? Often it
be better served by getting back is, Anderson says. People really
to basics before getting online. like to be asked. And once a
What does that mean? For customer recommends you for
most contractors, there are the first time, theyll usually do
more effective ways of making it again. But you have to take
connections than using social that first step and actually ask
media, and they often involve a for it.
lot of direct interaction with other But be carefuldont assume
contractors and potential clients. customers will be reluctant to
Especially if new to a particular criticize if the work is slipshod,
market, dont waste time on the late, or over budget. They wont
computer. To get ones name out be. Customers who feel burned
there, start by spending time will often go out of their way
making quality, face-to-face to drag a companys name
connections. through the dirt for the benefit
For most successful of everyone they know. And that
contractors, there will come a kind of toxic word-of-mouth
time when they should strongly can sink a companys reputation
consider working with an outside in no time flat, even with a
marketing company, says truckload of positive referrals on
Matthew Anderson, president of their side.
Sarasota, Florida-based Milestone
Marketing Associates, Inc. But ITS ALL IN WHO
even if youre not quite ready to YOU KNOW
take that step, there are a number People often underestimate
of low- and no-cost marketing the benefits of being a trusted
techniques you can use to member of a professional
promote your business. community, Anderson says.
The most powerful, most Knowing the right people
meaningful, and longest-lasting in your area can open a lot of
business relationships are built face-to-face, Anderson adds. doorsyou might hear of upcoming bids that you didnt know
Businesses that understand this simple truth and know how to about, you might find yourself being recommended for more
follow up on it have a very real advantage over their competitors. subcontracting opportunities, or you might hear that a job you
were planning to bid isnt as attractive an opportunity as you
TELL FRIENDS initially thought it was.
Most people will at least pay lip service to the importance of But who, exactly, are the right people? Thats hard to saythe
word-of-mouth advertising. But as it turns out, not everyone right person in one situation might be hopelessly out of the
knows how to make it work for them. Doing quality work and loop in another. So, the best bet is to get out to local business
waiting for word to spread isnt good enough, and any contractor networking events and meet everyone possible. And dont just
who stops there may not last long enough to reap the marketing limit connections to other contractorsone never knows where
benefits of a string of jobs well done. that next lead will come from.

Spencer Fleury is a professor at the University of South Florida and a copywriter for Milestone Marketing Associates,
Aboutthe a full-service marketing company based in Sarasota, Florida. Spencer has over a decade of experience working
Author with the construction and software industries. Milestone provides print, web, video, and event marketing services
nationwide. For more information, visit or call 866.794.1989.

32 | MAY2010
GUILT BY ASSOCIATION FAIL TO PLAN, You have to know what your goals
It takes a lot of time and effort to build PLANNING TO FAIL are, understand how you can reach
legitimacy in the business world. This As effective as these tools can be in them, and commit to putting the time
is especially true for contractors, since kick-starting a contractors marketing in, he says. You cant just sign up for
unscrupulous and unskilled imposters can efforts, theyre not foolproof. the local builders association or go
make it hard for customers to sort out Anderson stresses that a well- to a trade show and consider it done,
the dedicated, skilled professionals from thought-out marketing plan is just as like you were checking something off
the poseurs. Customers need as much important for face-to-face marketing a list. You have to work hard at your
information as they can get in order to as it is for a million-dollar advertising marketing, no matter how much or how
figure out who is worth hiring and whos campaign. little youre spending on it.
One easy way that contractors can help
their businesses achieve legitimacy in the
eyes of prospects is by joining professional
associations for contractors and builders.
Association membership conveys
legitimacy, stresses Anderson. It tells
people that you have acquired a certain
skill level and that you have a history of
professionalism in your business dealings. If
youre not a member, prospects will wonder
why not.
Joining professional associations also
helps with networking. Its one of the
most effective methods there is for ramping
up your professional networking efforts,
Anderson adds.
No matter a contractors location
or specialty, there is almost certainly a
professional association to join in the
local area.


For a contractor, a trade show can feel like
a giant toy store. But as much fun as they
are, trade shows also represent a golden
opportunity to do some serious marketing.
Trade shows have been described as the
malls of the business world, but Id say that
understates their importance and benefits,
Anderson says. At a trade show, you know
going in that everyone youll meet will be
there because they share a common interest:
your industry. Youll have an unmatched
opportunity to meet existing customers and
reach out to new ones you might never have
found if they hadnt walked right past your
Many businesses see trade shows as
excellent lead generation opportunities and
set up booths to display their products and
literature, while others prefer a less formal
approach and attend simply to socialize
with the people they need to socialize with,
like clients, prospects, and competitors.
Either way, trade shows are an excellent
face-to-face marketing opportunity and
should not be overlooked.
Whether youre actually exhibiting or
just there to look around, you should make
it a goal to attend at least one or two trade
shows per year, adds Anderson. MAY2010 | 33
800-458-3773 MAY2010 | 35
36 | MAY2010

he rules and
regulations of By James A. Lastowka
the Occupational
Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA),
and visits from an
OSHA inspector, are
part of the everyday
working environment
for commercial and
general contractors.
Most employers in
the industry have a
fundamental commitment
to maintaining a safe
workplace, and most
know by now the actions
to avoid that otherwise
will cause safety problems
or raise an OSHA red
flag. Its good business
and common sense to
have a systematic safety
approach that documents
all safety effortsefforts
that should include
establishing and
enforcing safety and
health requirements, new hire and periodic safety training, full Protecting Americas Workers Act (PAWA)) that nothing
documentation of safety efforts, attention to injury and illness focuses attention like the possibility of going to jail and that
recordkeeping requirements, and prompt response to all safety serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
audit recommendations. (OSH) that result in death or serious bodily injury should be
Contractors that have been aware of all of this and already felonies. Michaels also testified that the governments burden
have safety systems and plans in place to deal with OSHA of proof for criminal convictions under the OSH Act should
inspections may think they are in good shape to avoid problems be lowered from willful to knowing. Because knowledge
with OSHA. But its time to think again and to revisit existing is a required element for all OSHA violations, PAWA would
systems and plans. There is a new OSHA with a new message: essentially criminalize any serious OSHA violation causing
There is a new Sheriff in town. Sheriffs aggressively enforce serious injury or death. Backing up this attitude and approach is
the law. That is exactly what OSHA intends to do in the Obama the fact that the Department of Labor has added over 100 new
Administration. inspector positions.


The tone of an agency is set by those at the top, and OSHAs The top priority of the new OSHA can be summarized in
new leaders have made their agenda clear. Secretary of Labor two words: strong enforcement. This will be accomplished
Hilda Solis has declared, [T]he Department of Labor is back in a variety of new ways. Vigorous support for the PAWA
in the enforcement business. We are serious, very serious. OSHA reform legislation, and its substantial increase in civil
The head of OSHA, David Michaels, has testified to a House and criminal penalties for safety violations, is just part of the
subcommittee considering OSHA reform legislation (the equation, as is the substantial increase in OSHA inspectors and

Jim Lastowka, a partner in the Washington office of McDermott Will & Emery, has practiced exclusively in the field
Aboutthe of occupational safety and health for 35 years, and has a national reputation in OSHA law. He counsels on OSHA
Author compliance, safety and health audits, due diligence reviews, and OSHA enforcement and whistleblower litigation.
He can be reached at

38 | MAY2010
inspection activity. The agency also will be implementing a
Severe Violators Inspection Program focusing on employers
whose histories of OSHA violations demonstrate, in OSHAs
view, that they do not take their compliance obligations
seriously and need to be targeted for aggressive enforcement
in order to get the message. Supporting this ramped up
inspection effort will be a reduction or elimination of
funding for Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) and
moving VPP resources to OSHAs enforcement function.
At the heart of ramped up enforcement will be an increase
in the number of inspections conducted, the number of
citations issued (particularly for serious, repeat, and willful
violations), and the amount of penalties proposed for
violations. OSHA will be focusing on specific enforcement
issues through National Emphasis Programs (NEPs),
including NEPs for process safety management compliance
(PSM) at refineries and chemical plants, combustible dust
hazards, and injury and illness recordkeeping requirements
which the new OSHA believes is a flawed system subject to
widespread cheating. The consequences of violations will
be more severe, and OSHA will be working more closely
with the U.S. Department of Justice to increase the number
of criminal prosecutions for workplace fatalities, injuries, and

Given that the current direction of OSHA is so clear,
contractors have all the warning needed, as well as an
opportunity to ensure that their OSHA-compliance houses
are in order before OSHA arrives at their doorsteps.
Proactive planning is a must. Verify through compliance
reviews that OSHA-required safety and health programs are
written and implemented, and OSHA-required injury and
illness records are accurate and up-to-date. Conduct wall-
to-wall inspections to identify and eliminate all obvious and
not so obvious safety and health hazards in the workplace.
Include industrial hygiene issues in reviews, such as
exposures to harmful chemicals and availability of personal
protective equipment.
Consistently focusing on key worksite risksthose faced
by employees on a frequent basis and presenting the most
exposure to a risk of serious injuries, illnesses, or deathwill
go a long way toward not only greatly reducing OSHA
enforcement risks, but also demonstrating a level of care
about the safety and health of employees and taking OSHA
compliance obligations seriously. So too will a demonstrated
top down commitment of all executives and supervisors to
worker safety and health. Without the demonstrated interest
and commitment of company executives, as well as the front-
line workers, the results of safety and health efforts will not
be maximized. Also essential to risk and liability reduction
is a well-thought-out plan to manage accidents if they do
occur, along with the inevitable follow-up investigations.
Finally, have a plan to analyze any OSHA citation received
for its validity and its potential adverse impacts, including
not only future repeat violations but also possible negative
effects that an OSHA violation will have on the ability to
bid on and qualify for future work from owners who include
OSHA violation history as part of their prequalification
Bear in mind that these efforts are no longer optional, they
are essential for successfully dealing with the new OSHA
mindset. MAY2010 | 39

Contract Language That Wins

Knowing the rules to avoid risk transfer in written contracts.

By Michael Davis

isk is involved in all construction construction professionals can follow in an subcontractor is told to sign the general
projects. Consequently, each party effort to avoid the shift of liability from contractors boilerplate contract or else not
seeks to minimize the amount of risk owners, designers, and prime contractors get paid. The general contractor may stress
it accepts for the purpose of maximizing onto subcontractors, which could result in nothing was said about not signing their
potential profit. The true battleground of an all too common dispute. contract when the bid was made. This
risk lies in the written contract between Remember these five fundamental rules is greenmail! As a direct side benefit,
all project participants. before the next contract signing. conditioning the bid also precludes the
It is rare for a construction project to general contractor from suing the sub
be completed without any disputes. As Cardinal Rule Number 1: for promissory estoppel, in case he hires
construction industry professionals can Always Bid Conditioned upon the someone else to perform the scope of work
attest, there are a wide range of issues that AIA-A401, Consensus Docs 750 or because of refusal to sign his agreement.
can arise on a project, including scope Other Mutually Agreeable Terms and Second, and just as important, it
and quality of work, and timeliness, to Conditions. establishes a point of strength for all
name just a few. With so many issues to By following this basic rule, two future negotiations, including change
be addressed by all of the participating important goals can be accomplished. orders, scheduling, and claims. Do not
partiesdesign professionals, owners, First, it greatly reduces the ability of a underestimate the importance of the
contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, general contractor from forcing the sub appearance of negotiating from strength. is inevitable that all or nearly all to either sign his contract, or face not At the beginning of the relationship,
projects will have some disputes of varying receiving payment. As often happens, establishing the appearance of leverage
types and magnitude. work begins, costs incur, and upon in the bargaining will aid negotiation
There are, however, basic guidelines submitting the first pay application, a throughout the project.

Michael P. Davis, Esq., Construction Group of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, maintains a construction law practice and represents a
wide variety of trade contractors, prime contractors, owners/developers, and design professionals. His practice focuses primarily
on construction contract disputes in state or federal courts, and arbitrations, mediations throughout the United States. He has
Aboutthe successfully represented a broad spectrum of specialty trade contractors and prime contractors in a variety of construction
disputes involving construction defects, labor inefficiencies, UCC warranty issues, constructive accelerations, and increased
Author scope of work. He has achieved settlements, judgments and awards that have ranged up to several million dollars. Mr. Davis
has significant experience in labor and employment law, including matters involving traditional labor law (National Labor
Relations Act), OSHA, Wage & Hour, employment discrimination, and restrictive employment covenants, primarily focusing on
construction clients. Contact Mr. Davis at 404.588.3424 or e-mail him at

40 | MAY2010
Cardinal Rule Number 2: the project goes perfectly as planned ownerthe subject of which is totally
Never Sign a Contract Without (which almost never happens), as unrelated to the subs work.
Reading and Understanding! opposed to unlimited or unknown It is important to think about what
This may seem like an obvious rule liability if something goes wrong. The can occur on the project in light of the
to follow, but many subcontractors do latter can readily occur if a sub agrees contract language, how much profit
not fully and completely read their to indemnify others for their own could be earned, and decide whether
agreements. Often, the first occasion negligent acts or, as another example, or not one is willing to assume the
a subcontractor becomes aware of an if a sub agrees to a pay-if-paid clause risks because the reward is worth it.
onerous term in his or her contract is and the general contractor does not get Sometimes the best contract is the one
when the general contractor (or the paid because he has a dispute with the not taken.
lawyer) writes a threatening letter,
stating the subcontractor is in violation
of an obligation under the contract.
Needless to say, by this time it is too late
to do anything preventative.

Cardinal Rule Number 3:

Do Attempt to Negotiate Changes to
the Contract.
As the saying goes, you never know
unless you try. This can be said for
negotiating changes to a contract. Many
subcontractors believe there is no real
point in trying to negotiate changes
because they know their general
contractor will not make any revisions
or, alternatively, other subcontractors
will sign it so I have to sign if I want the
work. This is a defeatist attitude and
ignores reality. At the minimum, some
general contractors will agree to make
some changes.

Cardinal Rule Number 4:

Make a Priority List of Must Have
and Would Like to Have Changes.
This approach will get subcontractors
thinking about what is very important,
if not critical, to a successful project. For
example, if the schedule is extremely
tight, yet the contract language gives
the general contractor total control
over the schedule, and is combined
with a no damages for delay clause, a
subcontractor would be well advised to
prioritize one or both of the provisions
for change. Also, with two lists, one of
must-haves and one of like-to-haves,
a sub will have some negotiating chips
to leverage. Go for the whole enchilada
and the sub will most likely end up with
at least some negotiated revisions to the
contract language.

Cardinal Rule Number 5:

Conduct a Risk/Benefit Analysis.
If unsuccessful at negotiating changes
to the contract in certain key provisions,
what is the potential exposure to liability
or losses on the job versus the maximum
potential for profit? Sometimes, it can
be a no-brainer, as when looking
to make $50,000 if everything on MAY2010 | 41 MAY2010 | 43

Seamless Traffic Diversion

Moveable barrier system used for first time on major arterial in U.S. By Paul Grant

n Utah, construction has recently been more protected work space, and the traffic is a water-filled crash cushion that is also
completed on 3500 South in West Valley management plan needed a way to limit pinned together with a T top so that it can
City, which was completely reconstructed the number of left hand turn options for articulate through the transfer machine for
by (Utah Department of Transportation) motorists without restricting traffic flow. seamless operation of the entire system.
UDOT Region 2 from the Bangerter For the second phase of the project, it was
Highway to 2700 West. This arterial carries decided that a moveable barrier system SECTIONING TRAFFIC
traffic from West Valley toward downtown would be used to create a larger work zone, It was determined that the moveable
Salt Lake City and the University of while minimizing the impact on traffic and barrier could keep two lanes open to traffic
Utah. The construction added two center limiting left-hand turns. Moveable concrete in the peak direction by using a total of
lanes that are now the first dedicated Bus barrier has historically been used only on only three lanes, instead of the four lanes
Rapid Transit lanes in Utah, and replaced highways and bridges, and this would be the required when using barrels. This would
sidewalks and added raised medians. first time that moveable barrier was used on give the contractor an extra lane to expand
With a significant averge daily traffic a major arterial in the US. the work zone, keeping workers safe and
(ADT) that runs between 38,000 and accelerating construction, while still giving
48,000 vehicles throughout the corridor, TWO-PART SYSTEM motorists two lanes in each direction. 1.7
keeping traffic moving was the most The moveable barrier that was implemented miles of moveable barrier was deployed as
important and the most difficult task during on 3500 South is a two-part system. The a positive barrier separation between east
construction. The first phase of the project first part consists of one-meter sections of and westbound traffic, and the barrier was
called for two lanes to be open for traffic highly reinforced concrete that are pinned moved multiple times daily to create a 1/2,
in each direction, and plastic barrels were together at each end to form a continuous 2/1 traffic pattern based on peak traffic
used to separate directional traffic and to barrier wall. The barriers have a modified needs. The barrier was transferred 12 feet,
delineate the work zone. The work zone T top, which acts as a lifting surface for or one lane width, in one pass at 5 mph.
area was confined and restricted, and it the transfer machine. The second part of The entire transfer took approximately 20
lacked positive protection, which created the system is a Barrier Transfer Machine, minutes, including repositioning the traffic
dangerous conditions as confused motorists which lifts the barrier and passes it through control and signage.
occasionally turned into the work zone. an inverted conveyor system, transferring
In addition, accidents occurred when the barrier from 4 to 18 feet in one pass. EXPANDED WORK ZONE
drivers made left turns into businesses The ends of the barrier are protected with With the expanded work zone, the
through the barrels, which contributed to the ABSORB 350 crash cushion from contractor was able to use larger, more
congestion. The contractor needed a larger, Barrier Systems, Inc. The ABSORB 350 efficient equipment and work unimpeded

Paul Grant is a road safety consultant who has been involved with moveable barrier for over 10 years. Barrier
Aboutthe Systems, Inc. (BSI) is the world leader in moveable barrier technology. BSI also manufactures crash cushions, specialty
Author barriers, and guardrail products. For more information, visit or call 707.374.6800.

44 | MAY2010
for longer periods of time while the accelerate construction. The QMB system provides the ability to separate more of the
barrier was in place. This resulted in the reduces congestion by enabling more lanes highway corridor for use by the contractor,
elimination of one complete phase of to be open during peak hour traffic. The which aids in completing the work more
construction, reducing the total number of work zone is expanded during off peak quickly moveable barrier is definitely
phases from three to two. The accelerated periods for greater access for work crews. beneficial in high volume corridors where
construction schedule helped the contractor This speeds construction by reducing the morning and evening traffic split vary
to finish the project 7 months early. In the number of stages and increasing significantly. This traffic control strategy
a report commissioned by UDOT and construction efficiency. Regarding QMB should be considered for use to manage
compiled by T.Y. Lin International, the user moveable barrier on the 3500 South job, the congestion and improve safety on future
delay savings from the early completion T.Y. Lin report states: Moveable barrier projects.
were estimated at US$1.3 to $1.4 million
(vehicle operating costs were not included).
The benefits that were determined from
the use of moveable barrier included
reduced user costs, shorter travel distances,
improved safety, lower impacts to businesses,
early project completion, less fuel use,
and reduced air emissions. The report
conservatively estimated the total benefits
of using moveable barrier on the project
between US$1.7 to $2.4 million, with a
benefit/cost of 4:1. The authors also stated
that if all benefits were considered (such
as the reduced air emissions and benefits
of early completion for businesses), the
benefit/cost for moveable barrier would be
greater than 10:1.
The barrier limited left-hand turns except
at five major intersections, which reduced
accidents and helped keep traffic running
smoothly. The report estimates that based
on the average number of left-hand turns
in the corridor, the barrier eliminated 20 to
25 left-turn crashes while in operation, with
an estimated reduction in crash costs of an
additional $1,000,000.

On 3500 South, moveable barrier was used
as a moveable median, where the barrier
is placed between directional traffic and
shifted to change the number of lanes
available in the peak traffic direction.
Moveable barrier is also commonly used
in edge-of-road applications, where
construction is taking place on the shoulder
or median. In this configuration, the barrier
is used to expand and contract the work
zone, giving more lanes to the contractor
during off-peak hours, and returning lanes
to traffic during peak hours to respond to
peak demands. For full-width construction,
the contractor can close one side of a
divided road or highway completely and
divert all traffic to the other side during off-
peak hours, using the barrier as a moveable
median while accelerating construction and
maximizing safety for crews and motorists.
Quickchange Moveable Barrier
(QMB) has been used in construction
work zones in the United States and
internationally for more than 25 years to
improve traffic flow, increase safety, and MAY2010 | 45

By Ken Lane

Planning, Training, and Vigilance Can Save Lives

ow more than ever it is essential for employers with Residential construction and wall openings
personnel who work at heights to provide comprehensive
fall protection. Last year 6,771 fall protection citations OSHA Subpart M establishes the criteria and practices for fall
were issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration protection systems, including guardrails, safety nets, personal fall
(OSHA), placing second on OSHAs 2009 list of the ten most arrest, positioning devices, warning lines, controlled access zones,
cited violations. safety monitoring, protection
Over 100,000 fall- from falling objects, and fall
related incidents are protection plans.
reported every year, with
falls ranking number FALL PROTECTION
one in construction PLAN
industry fatalities. A well-designed, written
According to data from Fall Protection Plan is the
the Bureau of Labor surest way to reduce risk and
Statistics, there were save lives. OSHA mandates
442 construction worker that the Fall Protection Plan
fatalities during 2007 as be developed by a qualified
a result of falls. Recent person who has acquired
cases from OSHAs 2010 knowledge through education
fatality reports include or extensive training, to
a Louisiana worker successfully implement an
who was knocked from effective fall protection
a manlift by a beam, program. A copy of a site-
plunging 16 feet to his specific and up-to-date plan
death, and a worker should be maintained at the
in Texas who died worksite, and only modified
from multiple injuries by a qualified person.
following a 10-foot fall An effective process
from a ladder inside a This photo depicts an incorrect application of a personal fall arrest systemno harness, lanyard, or for implementation of a
anchorage pointa violation of OSHA standards.
manhole. successful Fall Protection
Clearly, employers Plan would include:
need to implement stronger fall protection programs to increase
worker safety and to help lower the grim statistics. A review of the Performing a thorough hazard analysis to determine the areas
OSHA Standards for Construction is a good first step in the fall of risk;
protection process. (Follow this link Engineering out the hazards if possible;
for fall protection checklists and additional resources.) Implementing fall prevention systems such as guardrails,
handrails, and warning lines wherever possible;
OSHA STANDARDS Selecting appropriate fall arrest equipment for the worksite and
The OSHA Standards for Construction require fall protection at 6 personnel;
feet or above for: Choosing and installing appropriate anchorages, along with
necessary horizontal and vertical equipment;
Unprotected sides and edges, including wells, pits, and shafts Developing contingency plans and determining appropriate
Walking/working surfaces, including ramps, runways, and rescue equipment;
walkways, and leading edges Designing and delivering a comprehensive training program on
Hoist areas, and roof holes, including skylights all aspects of fall protection and rescue.
Formwork and reinforcing steel
Excavations and above dangerous equipment The complete Fall Protection Plan should include a statement
Overhand bricklaying and related work of policy, a detailed list of the fall prevention measures being
Roofing work and precast concrete erection implemented, and delegation of ongoing responsibilities to a

Ken Lane, instructor at Northern Californias OSHA Training Center near San Francisco, has over 30
Aboutthe years of safety training experience including responsibilities as a construction manager at Lawrence
Author Livermore National Laboratory. For more information, visit or

46 | MAY2010
fall protection competent person to Fall hazards in the work area; of equipment, provide clear explanations
oversee inspection, record keeping, The correct procedures for erecting, of equipment/hardware compatibility, and
maintenance, equipment replacement, maintaining, disassembling, inspecting, show how to calculate free fall distances.
incident reporting, enforcement, accident and operating the required fall A comprehensive written test, as well as
investigation, training, and changes to the protection systems; performance testing on the equipment
plan. The correct procedures for handling and the systems being used should be
A well-formulated rescue strategy for and storage of equipment and material; administered during the training.
each potential fall situation is an essential The limitations on the use of A certification of training record should
aspect of a Fall Protection Plan. According mechanical equipment during work on be maintained, listing the employees
to OSHA, the employer shall provide for low sloped roofs; name, the date of the training, and
prompt rescue of employees in the event The erection of overhead protection; the trainers signature. It is also good
of a fall or shall assure that employees are The role of employees in the safety management practice to keep a list of
able to rescue themselves. The timing of monitoring system and in the fall equipment and the types of systems
a rescue can mean the difference between protection plan. on which the employee was trained.
minor injuries and death. For example, Retraining is required when an employee
workers who fall in a harness can tolerate ESSENTIAL HANDS-ON does not have a clear understanding of
a very narrow limit of hanging/suspension TRAINING the requirements and procedures, or when
time before they face a risk of excessive In addition to having extensive knowledge there are changes in the workplace or in
pressure on the femoral artery. If they are of Subpart M of the OSHA Standards the types of fall protection systems or
not able to rescue themselves, planning for Construction, the fall protection equipment being used.
ahead for other options is crucial, whether competent person is responsible for The vigilant employer that provides and
its ensuring that ladder trucks are able to providing hands-on training to every successfully executes a well thought out
reach hanging workers or determining that employee who might be exposed to fall Fall Protection Plan, a highly qualified
medical and rescue teams can reach the hazards. The training should enable fall protection competent person, and
worksite quickly if necessary. employees to recognize the hazards of a comprehensive training program for
Other important features of a thorough fall exposures and instruct them on the all employees will be well on the way to
Fall Protection Plan include: procedures to be followed for each type establishing a workplace that complies
of fall protection. The training should with OSHA standards, greatly reduces
A written discussion of alternative include time to learn and demonstrate the falling hazards, and ultimately saves
measures to reduce or eliminate fall skills needed to effectively use each piece lives.
hazards, including the use of scaffolds,
ladders, and/or vehicle-mounted work
Documentation of the reasons why
the use of conventional systems is
not feasible or would create a greater
Designation of areas where
conventional systems are not used
such as controlled access zones (CAZ)
requiring a safety monitor;
Documentation of proper equipment
care, including inspection before each
use for corrosion, deformation, cracks,
cuts, abrasions, and other potential
A complete list of all employees at the

A well written Fall Protection Plan

serves as the centerpiece of a strategy that
promotes safety and dramatically lowers
potential risks.


The OSHA Standards outline the need
for an on-site fall protection competent
person who has the ability to predict local
hazards and the authority to take prompt
corrective action. The fall protection
competent person must be fully trained
and qualified to monitor: MAY2010 | 47

Safety !
By Andrea Gammon and Ron McCannell

afety is the primary consideration in all manufacturing
design of construction machinery, but safety concerns are just
as important after the machine leaves the warehouse. Weber
MTs walk-behind soil compaction equipment provides excellent
compaction results, exemplary operating comfort, and rugged
design, but safety depends on its users.
The first step in operational safety is using the right tool
for the job. Weber MT offers a full range of hand guided and
remote controlled walk-behind soil compactors to accommodate
projects of all sizes and scopes. Soil compactors are traditionally
categorized by size, weight, model, and type. Each model has
advantages and limitations and has been designed for specific soil
compaction needs.
Rammers, more commonly called jumping jacks, utilize a
percussive compaction system and are best for small areas and
moist soil.
Vibratory plate soil compactors move in one direction for
compaction depths from 6 to 12 inches.
Reversible vibrating plate soil compactors are better for larger
areas with compaction depths from 24 to 42 inches.
Improved functionality enhance safety of machine and operator: modern compaction
Walk-behind smooth drum rollers are designed for both soil control systems like this Weber MT COMPATROL-MSM system not only display
and asphalt compaction. compaction results in real time, but monitor machine functions and alert the operator
Trench rollers use sheep foot style drums for maximum traction about maintenance or machine issues.
in trenches and on site work for heavy construction. These
machines are operated by remote or hands on control.
any obstruction, causing the machine to stop immediately and
Weber MT has incorporated many safety features into the shift into neutral.
design of their hand-guided soil compactors. These provide 4. Full engine cover and newer engines like the Hatz 1B30
protection both for the operator and the machine: reduce noise by 3db(A).
1. Strategic points for molded isolator rubbers to limit the
amount of vibration from the exciter to the guide bar, thereby While safety features help keep people safe, they are insufficient
limiting the operators hands and arms to exposure to excessive without a responsible operator. Safe operation demands constant
vibration. diligence and should always be the operators number one priority.
2. Hydraulic shift controls that automatically return to a neutral Before operating any soil compactor, there are several things the
position when the operator releases the shift control handle. operator should understand and keep in mind:
3. Safety stop switches that are activated when the anti-crush Using the right tool is essential to safety. The operator should
device (or so-called dead man control) comes in contact with understand the designated use of the machine and use it only

Ron McCannell is the vice president of technology for Weber MT in Bangor, Maine. His experience includes over 25
years in the construction industry, primarily focusing on hand-guided soil and asphalt compaction. Andrea Gammon
Aboutthe is a professional copywriter and editor with Pulse Marketing in Bangor, Maine.

AuthorS For more information on compaction issues in general, safety concerns for this equipment in particular, or walk-
behind compaction machines, contact Sales Coordinator Priscilla Frenette at Weber MT, Inc., at 800.709.3237 or

48 | MAY2010
for its intended purpose. This includes monitoring the soil type should be familiar with the pictograms to ensure personnel
and restricting usage to compatible soil. safety and improve machine performance and life.
Safe operation requires a qualified operator. Equipment
operators should be at least 18 years old and should read Improved functionality and user experience enhance safety.
and understand the Operation and Maintenance Instruction With this in mind, Weber MT continuously innovates design
booklet prior to use. features for superior performance. Other manufacturers are
Protective clothing and devices are always recommended for only beginning to offer compaction control systems that Weber
the safety and comfort of the operator. This includes a hard MT patented years ago. COMPATROL and COMPATROL-
hat, ear plugs or protectors (noise levels may exceed 90 db(A)), MSM, Weber MTs continuous compaction control systems,
work gloves, and steel-toed safety shoes. monitor machine function, store engine maintenance data, display
The hand-guided soil compactors should be used in well soil compaction results, and signal the operator when maximum
ventilated areas to reduce the chance of exposure to harmful compaction has been achieved.
exhaust fumes from their gasoline or diesel engines. Weber MT has incorporated a lifting point into the design of
Extreme caution should be taken when operating a machine every one of its walk-behind models. The lifting points allow the
on unstable ground such as on slopes or at the edge of an soil compactor to be transported by crane or lift from the end of
overhang or brink. If it is necessary to compact the soil on a a chain hook, lifting strap, or cable sling, and provide a balanced,
slope, the operator should always position himself on the uphill safe access in and out of tight spots like trenches and building
side of the machine. This way, if the soil becomes unstable and foundations. The lift point is either part of the main frame of the
the machine rolls over, the operator will not likely be harmed. machine or a separate hinged heavy duty loop added to the engine
Preparation is always the first step in safe operation. protection frame.
Though safety instructions often seem like common sense Any walk-behind soil compactor should only be used in
and reading instructions seems to be a waste of time, Weber accordance with its designed capabilities. Any use beyond the
MT encourages all operators to read the Operating and compaction of sand, gravel, asphalt, crushed aggregate, and trench
Maintenance Instruction booklet provided with each hand stabilization is prohibited and could result in damage to the
guided walk-behind soil compactor before using any machine. machine or harm to individuals. Adhering to proper and safe usage
The instructional booklet provides general safety instructions, is the sole responsibility of the owner and users of the machines.
detailed information for the safe operation of all types of Weber MT encourages all operators to be mindful of safety at
hand guided walk-behind soil compactors, and a legend for all times to keep the machines running smoothly and to maintain
pictograms that highlight important information for the a safe working environment for the equipment operator and the
operator and service personnel. Before operation, the user jobsite personnel. MAY2010 | 49


Offers the new Fontaine Magnitude 55MX
Fontaine Trailer, the recognized technology leader in the platform trailer industry, is
introducing a heavy-haul trailer that handles a wide variety of hauling jobs with ease
the new Fontaine Magnitude 55MX. This advanced technology extendable heavy-haul
trailer features a modular design that provides exceptional convenience and versatility.
Fabricated with 100,000# minimum yield steel flanges, the Magnitude 55MX is very
durable and designed to deliver years of service. It boasts a 29 ft clear deck length in
the retracted position and easily extends to 50 ft. The loaded deck height is 20 with 6
ground clearance. The adjustable ride-height mechanically locks to give you the perfect
deck-to-fifthwheel relationship for your specific hauling job. A built-in tool box and
storage compartments are added for greater convenience. For more information, call
423.893.8998 or visit

Introduces New Electric Stand Lift Truck Series
Hyster Co. introduces its E30-40HSD2 series of electric stand-up lift trucks. The three-wheel
lift trucks feature lifting capacities of 3,000 to 4,000 pounds and suspended floorplates with
anti-fatigue mats that reduce the amount of vibration and shock transferred to the operator.
The trucks also have multi-function control handles and hydraulic controls that enhance
operator ergonomics, according to Hyster. Controls in the operator compartment allow a side-
or 45-degree stance for employee comfort and visibility. The lift trucks also have contoured,
padded backrests with integrated thigh and knee pads. The three-wheel configuration of the
E30-40HSD2 series offers a tight turning radius for maneuverability, and dual steer wheels
add to stability and provide a smooth ride, according to the company. The overhead guard has
a grid-style pattern that enhances visibility. The trucks also feature brushless AC traction and
hydraulic motors powered by transistor controls. For more information, visit


Launches the New GD655-5 Grader
Komatsu America Corp. introduces the new GD655-5 motor grader, powered by a
powerful and highly fuel-efficient, EPA Tier 3 emission certified Komatsu SAA6D107E-1
engine, with an increased maximum horsepower of 218 and an increased standard
configuration weight of 35,351lbs. Komatsu engine technology provides a three-
stage 2-Mode system that produces higher power with reduced fuel consumption. This
2-Mode system allows the operator to select either an economy mode or a power mode,
depending on the work application. The three-stage system offers three levels of power
from gear one through gear eight, producing more productivity with a 20 percent fuel
consumption savings when compared to the previous model. The console mounted
hydraulic controls are arranged in the industry standard pattern on each side of the
steering wheel, with Komatsu-designed control valves built specifically for graders. For
more information, visit

50 | MAY2010


Offers Gas-Powered, Wheeled-Portable Compressor
Jenny Products, Inc. introduces its J11HGA-30P single-stage, gas-powered
compressor. The wheeled-portable unit meets high volume requirements, while
upholding a durable, compact design. The J11HGA-30P includes a 30-gallon air tank
and features a belt driven J pump, which is a single-stage, four-cylinder pump
with a high compression ratio for producing maximum air flow. It delivers 21.3 CFM
at 100 PSI or 20.9 CFM at 125 PSI. An 11-horsepower Honda GX gasoline engine
powers the compressor, and the units special unloading valves and large flywheel
allow easy recoil starting. For more information on its line of equipment, contact
Jenny Products, Inc., at 814.445.3400 or visit

Introduces the FlexxRight Mini
Introducing the FlexxRight Minia new, dynamic and patent-pending excavation bucket
for the pipeline and utility location and inspection, excavation and site prep industry. The
FlexxRight Mini is flexible, safe and strong. Targeted at compact and mini-excavators
weighing 6mt or less, the FlexxRight Mini is available in an 18 diameter size. The
FlexxRight Mini is a flexible bucket with a penetrating profile, a non-marking body
design, tremendous strength and service, exceptional maneuverability and a universal
coupling system. Best-in-class manufacturing and design from Hammersmith Mfg. makes
The FlexxRight Mini the most flexible and safest bucket choice for utility and pipeline
contractors. Excavate and locate safely and with ease. Eliminate expensive damage, reduce
costs and dig safer. Dig Flexible. Dig Right. Dig Safe. For more information, 913.338.0754,
e-mail or visit

Offers New Dustless Grinding System
Metabo Corporation, a leading international manufacturer of professional grade
portable electric power tools and abrasives for industrial, construction and welding
applications, now offers a compact, lightweight 5 Angle Grinder Surface Prep Kit
for grinding in smaller areas and vertical applications. The new system includes a
Metabo WE14-125 Plus variable speed small angle grinder and a dust control shroud
that protects users from harmful dust generated during surface grinding applications.
Made from virgin polyurethane, the 5 convertible shroud opens with ease, allowing
operators to work into corners eliminating secondary work in hard to reach places.
Molded vacuum ports in the shroud allow vacuum connections for 2- internally
and 2-1/2 externally. A punched relief hole prevents vacuum lock. For more
information, call 800.638.2264 or visit MAY2010 | 51
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Doing Things Different to Take
Your Company Into the Future
By Ted Garrison
Doug Woods is the cofounder and the D conserve your cash, keep training your people, and keep investing
of DPR Construction. He leads DPR in technology. This will get you poised to take advantage of the
Construction, a forward-thinking recovery.
national commercial general contractor Woods says, This industry hasnt changed the way it does
with more than 2,000 employees. Dougs business a whole lot in the last hundred years. We stand for
35-plus years of technical expertise is something. He explained that despite working for a very good
now focused on the business, helping to contractor for 20 years, he felt that they didnt try to advance the
take care of customers and employees, and industry or the way the industry was perceived.
keeping DPR on track to be consistently He explains that three things are critical to most owners:
considered one of the most admired cost, schedule, and quality. While it seems that cost always wins
companies for the long haul. out, at the end of the project there are always problems with

oug Woods is a maverick.
William C. Taylor
and Polly Labarre
thought so as they included
him in their book Mavericks
at Work. They gave him that
title in part because he is a
forward-thinking contractor,
and for many people thats
an oxymoron. But forward
thinking with the perception
and the ability to allocate
an organizations resources
is the true definition of a
leader, which is what makes
Doug Woods a leader in the
construction industry. When
Woods and his partners
founded DPR Construction,
they wanted to do something
He might not be
conventional, but hes certainly
not a gunslinger either. Instead,
he uses common sense. For
example, he reports the
company started out talking about being a customer-centric the punchlist and getting paid. He adds that DPR attempted
business, but they quickly backed off that and said, We are to create a new culture where they challenged themselves to
about our employees. Woods says that is one of their most do better. They created a matrix to track performance in those
important functions because they are the people who take care critical areas to learn how they could get better. Technology is
of the customers. He also says its important to stick to what one providing great opportunities today, so even though we are in
is good at. Woods laughs that contractors often have big egos a recession, you cant stop moving forward. If you do, when the
and think they can do anything. This is especially true during recession is over, you will be left behind.
an economic crisis, where we may take chances we shouldnt, To hear Doug Woodss complete comments on adapting the
which tends to get us into trouble. He advised that during future of the construction industry, go to http://www.jackstreet.
a recession, its important to stick to what you are good at, com/JackStreet/WCON.Moderncontractor.Woods.cfm.

Ted Garrison is a construction expert who writes, speaks, and consults on the future of the construction
Aboutthe industry. He is also the host of the Internet radio program New Construction Strategies. He can be
Author reached at

56 | MAY2010