From the front row
Don’t let the daily grind rob you of the many opportunities to learn something new
By Marcia Gruver Doyle
When you’re running a company, squeezing a few minutes into each day just to catch up on the world around you can be daunting. And so it’s no wonder invitations to spend a couple of days out of the office can be easily pushed aside.
But don’t let the daily grind rob you of the many opportunities to learn something new – and perhaps more important, meet someone new. Take for example our Construction Symposium, just concluded in Dallas. There, contractors, fleet managers, quarry managers and government officials were able to take a deep breath, watch equipment demonstrations and gain information on a wide variety of topics:
What does it really mean to be a professional equipment manager? Guy Gordon, director of asset management for Aegeon, and also chairman of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals, told attendees today’s asset managers must be analytical, financially astute, mechanically inclined, efficiency driven and good risk assessors. Also on the list: results-oriented, frank communicators. Such a person is invaluable to your organization, because he or she is usually the first person to know a job is going bad, observing when project managers start deferring maintenance.
Ever wonder what you can really tow behind your half-ton pickup? Robert Krouse, trailering engineer with General Motors, explained the process behind tow ratings. And he noted that in the past 20 years, pickup trucks have seen a “huge increase” in these ratings. For example, a 1-ton dually pickup equipped with a gooseneck trailer that used to be rated at 13,000 pounds is now rated at 22,800 pounds.
The high fuel injection pressures on today’s diesel engines require a level of cleanliness not seen before, said Jim Doyle with Donaldson. Fleet owners must now make sure the fuel is filtered before it reaches equipment. Each time fuel is transferred – from pipeline, truck, tank, etc. – it can gain contaminants that can overwhelm on-board machine filtration systems. Bulk filtration systems on tank inlets can help you fight a host of problems caused by dirty fuel.
Corporal Daniel Pearson, a detective with the Haltom City Police Department in Texas, told tales from the equipment theft front, warning losses don’t stop with the value of the machine stolen. “You also have to figure in the downtime you have getting a replacement machine,” he said, in addition to the likely property damage caused by thieves trying to quickly steal the equipment. “Equipment theft is prevalent because it’s easy and there’s little risk of arrest.” Some newer wrinkles on the heavy equipment theft front: Mexican thieves who are targeting $300,000 excavators, and backhoes transported out of the country in shipping containers.
Miss this year’s event? Our editors were there, posting several blogs from our front row seats, which you can find at equipmentworld.com. Plus, we’ll be uploading videos and presentations from the event on our symposium site, theconstructionsymposium.com. Make sure you don’t get left out of next year’s symposium – shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll put you on the list.
Note: Equipment World would like to thank the sponsors of this year’s Construction Symposium: Volvo Construction Equipment, Bridgestone Commercial Solutions, Vacuworx, Landoll, Mack Trucks and Castrol.