Final Take

By Lauren Heartsill Dowdle


Community Challenge Untitled 1Get rewarded for your giving

Charitable projects are standard operating procedures for many contractors. You donate labor and equipment to drain a community baseball field, grade the new city park or put in bike paths and consider it part of your civic duty. To recognize such efforts, Case Construction Equipment has launched the Case Community Challenge.

Each month, Case is selecting a nominated contractor, giving them a $1,000 CNH parts and service reward card, as well as donating $1,000 to the contractor’s charity. In November, a panel of industry leaders will select a winner from the monthly finalists. The award? One year’s free use of a new Case N-Series backhoe and a $5,000 donation to the winner’s designated charity. Case is accepting nominations through Oct. 31; additional information is available at

Phoenix Untitled 1Phoenix Cools Down

With blacktop temperatures nearing 170 degrees Fahrenheit, the city of Phoenix has installed a 90,000-square-foot temporary parking lot made from “cool pavement.” The asphalt is treated with a permanent solar reflective coating, celadon green, made by Emerald Cities. The coating is said to reduce asphalt temperatures by at least 30 degrees on hot days and uses Colloidal Nano Silica, superplasticizers, polymers and solar reflective pigments to lighten the asphalt’s color.


“Paying more to earn less is not a sustainable business model. Contractors are not going to be able to sustain the low prices they have been charging for much longer.”

– Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, commenting on the rising materials costs and falling output prices.

“For those of us who have watched a long time, this was a combination of hysteria and euphoria for the speculators. You had the panic mentality of the crowd, who collectively acted like blockheads.”

– Tom Kloza, Oil Price Information Service, to the Los Angeles Times about the sharpest drop in gas prices in California since 2008.

“The majority of firms are reporting at least one stalled project in-house because of the continued difficulty in obtaining financing. That issue continues to be the main roadblock to recovery and is unlikely to be resolved in the immediate future.”

– Kermit Baker, American Institute of Architects’ chief economist, to about how large lenders are reluctant to fund construction projects.