Final Take

Extreme Machine Makeover
“When selling machinery on the Internet, appearance is everything,” says Jim Goodall, a 35-year construction industry veteran who sells used construction equipment online. Having trouble selling a Gradall telehandler in good mechanical condition that looked a little worse for wear, Goodall tried Dakota Shine, a biodegradable product for color and luster restoration. After reposting the telehandler online, the machine sold in three hours.

The product, available through JLG dealers, restores the finish on surfaces including paint, plastics and decals. At approximately 20 percent of the cost of a new paint job, Dakota Shine says it’s an economical choice for making equipment look good. Applying the product is a three-step process: clean the machine with a high pressure washer, apply the Dakota prep concentrated cleaner and finish with an application of the product.

Orange, California-JLG dealer Max Hoskins says using Dakota Shine on faded machinery makes a difference. “If the machine is in top mechanical condition and has a low number of hours on it but isn’t shiny, it won’t sell as fast as a machine that sparkles,” he says.

Constructing the Future
The average age of employees in the construction industry is 52 years old. The industry expects to add one million jobs by 2012. With these figures in mind, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers wants to raise interest in construction careers before potential employees are even old enough for a career – while they are still in high school.

AEM has formed the Construction Challenge, a competition that focuses on critical thinking and creative problem solving. Developed with Destination ImagiNation, a non-profit organization that has numerous critical thinking skills programs, the challenge concentrates on three areas – awareness of construction-related jobs, infrastructure awareness and construction equipment and manufacturing.

Six regional events will be held in January 2008, with 60 winning teams to participate in the National Construction Challenge finals, scheduled to be held during ConExpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas in March. Current sponsors for the event include the American Rental Association, Astec Industries, Bomag, Bridgestone Firestone Off Road, Case Construction Equipment, Caterpillar, Cummins, Ditch Witch, Gehl, Genie, Gradall, JLG, John Deere, Liebherr, Link-Belt Cranes, Manitowoc Crane Group, Metso Minerals, MTU Detroit Diesel, Multiquip, NES Rentals, Power Curbers, Stone Construction, Terex, Trimble and Wacker.

Word for Word
“We don’t have a spare 35W.”
– Jim Kranig, Director of the Regional Transportation Center in Roseville to the Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star Tribune, referencing expected rush hour traffic jams following the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge.

“We’ve done a lousy job. Construction isn’t as appealing as some other industries and it won’t be unless we make it so.”
– Salinas, California-based construction company owner Don Chapin telling the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal recruiting is down because the industry doesn’t promote construction as a career.

“Do we need to build an ark or something?”
– Steven Schultz, president of the South Texas Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, telling the San Antonio Express-News excessive rain has delayed construction products by as much as 45 days.