First Word: Take your chances

Whether Punxsutawney Phil, the part-time meteorologist and full-time groundhog from Pennsylvania, sees his shadow or not this month, chances are business is slow for most contractors this time of year. Perhaps this short respite will allow more time for you to read Equipment World or attend trade shows or take a much-needed Caribbean cruise.

For most it is a time to plan for the busy season ahead, to make sure you have the right equipment mix and that your machines are in good working order. It’s also time to develop a strategy for dealing with last year’s problems – or at least how to avoid the same damaging pitfalls.

We all hope the cost of steel, fuel and insurance will find some semblance of sanity and return to tolerable pricing levels, which will make budgeting for those future plans a whole lot simpler. Let’s also hope law and order will prevail in the Middle East, the bad guys still on the lose are found and brought to justice and the federal funding that has been directed at trying to achieve those objectives might be redirected toward worthy projects here at home, including the ongoing need to refurbish our eroding infrastructure.

At Equipment World, we believe we can all use some sort of economic stimulus from time to time. While the president gave us a gift last year in the form of a tax refund, we also offered our own economic shot in the arm with our Contractor’s Dream Package. While we realize we cannot be everything to everyone, for the past few years we have helped the bottom line for a lucky construction company by presenting it with a package of equipment worth about $100,000. Whether you are a small contractor struggling to become successful or one who has made it over the hump and are working hard to stay there, a gift of construction equipment that can be immediately added to your fleet is indeed a welcome sight.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, once again the Contractor’s Dream Package is loaded with many of the things that make grown men as giddy as little boys on Christmas morning. It includes a Ford F-550 Super Duty chassis cab complete with ZF six-speed transmission, a VMAC under-hood air compression system, a Trail King utility trailer built to haul a Thomas 35 DT skid-steer loader, a Werk-Brau grapple bucket and a Thompson trash pump. Ingersoll-Rand has sweetened the package this year with its new balloon work light, a BX-60WH vibratory compactor, a G7HE generator and an RX-264H upright rammer. There are lots of production-enhancing goodies in the dream package and they will all go to one lucky contractor whose entry form is chosen in the upcoming year. You can register at www.equipmentworld.com, in the next few issues of this magazine and at several trade shows, including ConExpo. Our booth number is N-2472.

Your odds of winning the Dream Package are probably better than that groundhog’s weather prediction being accurate. It’s impossible for you to win, however, if you don’t register. Good luck and happy hunting this year.