Business Roundup: Ritchie Bros. completes IronPlanet buy; Highway, bridge construction jobs up; Construction adds 11,000 jobs; Genie’s new boom cable replacement protocols

Genie: New protocols for replacing boom cables cut owner costs

Genie has revised its protocols for cable replacement on certain models of telescopic booms, a move the company says will reduce owners’ costs.

The company will no longer require mandatory replacement of the boom extend and retract cables every 10 years. Instead, it will require a mandatory inspection of the cables every 12 years. Replacement would only be required if the cables fail inspection.

Models affected are Genie S-60/S-65, S-80/S-85, S-100/S-125, SX-135 XC, SX-150 and SX-180.

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Highway and bridge construction jobs reach 10-year high for April

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says workers employed by highway, street and bridge contractors grew 2.8 percent in April compared to the same month in 2016, representing a net increase of roughly 8,700 workers.

Total workers employed in this segment reached 342,100, the highest mark for April since 2007. ARTBA points out, however, that this figure is down 1.8 percent compared to “2007 pre-recession levels.” In 2012, the April employment figure was just 279,900.

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Construction adds 11,000 jobs in May; unemployment falls again

The U.S. construction industry added 11,000 jobs in May, according to preliminary data from the Labor Department.

The industry now employs 6.881 million Americans, an increase of 3 percent over the May 2016 figure.

The May report also revised the April employment figure downward from the previously reported 6.877 million to 6.870 million. The revision makes what was initially estimated to be a monthly increase of 5,000 jobs for the industry into a loss of about 1,000.

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Ritchie Bros. completes IronPlanet purchase, outlines organizational structure

Ritchie Bros. announced it has completed its purchase of IronPlanet, a transaction valued at roughly $758.5 million and financed through a senior note offering and secured term loan facility.

The company announced plans for the acquisition last August and it was approved by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division in May.

The deal also initiates a five-year alliance between Ritchie Bros. and Caterpillar aimed at strengthening the company’s relationship with Cat’s independent dealers worldwide with improved access to a global auction marketplace Ritchie Bros. will provide for used equipment.

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Construction Industry Round Table announces new officers

During its annual spring meeting in Washington D.C., the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT) elected Wayne A. Drinkward as Chairman of the organization for a term of one year.

Drinkward is Chairman & CEO of Hoffman Corp., where he works in a wide range of markets, and will replace H. Ralph Hawkins, FAIA, Chairman Emeritus of HKS, Inc.

“It is exciting to chair a group that represents so many great companies that are at the forefront of our economic recovery and so much a part of our national discussion on rebuilding American infrastructure,” Drinkward said in a press release.

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