First Word: Cabin fever

For most of us, “cabin fever” refers to a condition that occurs when one is confined to an indoor environment when the weather is too cold or miserable to be outdoors for any significant amount of time. Although it usually occurs in areas north of the Mason Dixon line, believe it or not, cabin fever happens in the South too.

As has been well reported in the national press, the state in which Equipment World is published (Alabama) is suffering from record drought and heat this year. Our average rainfall is about an inch of rain per week but, three-fourths of the way through 2007, we’ve only received about half that amount. To complicate matters, we are setting numerous record highs this summer with actual temperatures exceeding 100 degrees on a regular basis.

So what do most people do when this heat bears down? They contract cabin fever!

We stay inside when it’s hot in the summer just like folks do when it’s cold up North in the winter. When you do have to go outside, it becomes a race from one air-conditioned place to another from morning til night.

For those of us fortunate enough to have an excuse to escape the heat, we are thankful for our Equipment World customers and readers who live in more mild climates. You can’t imagine some of the excuses (uh, reasons) we come up with to pay them a visit during the summer months!

A few weeks ago, I traveled with Tom Jackson, our executive editor, to visit a customer in the Oakland, California, area. We boarded the plane in Alabama on a record setting 104-degree day and landed that afternoon in the Oakland area – with a high of 72. Wow, what a relief and what a nice break from running from A/C to A/C back home.

So, let me just say how much we appreciate those of you who work outside for a living.

It’s hot, it’s dirty and it’s dusty, but according to our research, it’s the top reason why contractors choose the construction profession … because of your love for the outdoors. Our hats are off to you and your crews for the job you do to construct our buildings, build our roads and keep our country moving forward!

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We look forward to emerging from our cabins down here to observe all of the work you’ve done this summer – digging, paving, grading and building.