July 2022 Edition

Auction Activity Rebounds

Crawler mounted hydraulic excavators top prevalence on May resale market. Construction equipment resale pricing continued a familiar trend in May 2022, with average FMV 4.6% higher than it was in May 2021. Prices were up 1% over April 2022 levels, in line with the month-over-month increase we saw last month. Sustained price increases and supply chain woes are causing construction equipment buyers to lose the optimism they had earlier in the year. According to Construction Equipment’s mid-year survey of equipment managers, seven out of 10 respondents reported that they’re lowering confidence due to supply chain issues. Whereas 32.7% expected to expand their fleets in January 2022, that number dropped to 26.9% at the mid-year survey. That lack of confidence may have contributed to already low activity levels. Activity was 30.3% below May 2021 and 45.6% below May 2020. READ FULL REPORT>>

EquipmentWatch Q2 2022 in Review — Increased Rates Across the Board

Year-over-year, rental rates for crawler mounted hydraulic excavators increased by $177, more than any other piece of heavy equipment tracked. Demand for construction equipment continues to outpace production, as manufacturers wrestle with supply chain issues and labor challenges. With limited new and used equipment for sale, more companies are turning to rentals. This is reflected in Construction Equipment’s annual survey of equipment managers. [see article in this issue of Scoop] In January, one-third of respondents said they increased short-term rental equipment use, the highest level seen in 10 years. In the mid-year survey, that number rose to 35.8%.1. That high demand is reflected in the price increases seen almost completely across the board. READ FULL REPORT>>

‘No One Takes the Hill Alone’

Performance Equipment employees return energized from rugged Keni Thomas leadership experience. IEDA member Donnie Fetters made a connection at the 2022 Annual Meeting that impacted him there and has continued to have a powerful effect on his company, Performance Equipment in Erie, Colo. In previous years, Fetters said he was typically gone after lunchtime and he had definitely checked out by late afternoon – but last February, he stayed for every session of the business program, including the keynote that didn’t begin till 4:30 p.m. That keynote speaker was former Army ranger Keni Thomas, who told his own moving “Blackhawk Down” story and shared the meaning of servant leadership, looking out for the person on each side of you. “I don’t usually make it that long,” Fetters laughed. “But I stayed through the whole thing. I just gravitated to the guy and there was something about him – he’s a real patriot; he’s the type of dude that made this country what it is. We connected afterward and then I signed us up for his training program.” Four months later, at the end of June, Fetters sent five members of his staff to participate in the DOWNRANGE Advanced Leadership Experience located in the western slope region of the Rocky Mountains outside of Grand Junction, Colo. The results, he said, were astounding. “Every single one of my people called me and thanked me immensely for the opportunity to go,” Fetters said. “It was expensive, but the way I look at it now, I feel like I actually got a bargain for my money.” DOWNRANGE is a three-and-a-half-day advanced leadership course taught in an outdoor environment, where participants are tested outside their comfort zones while experiencing great fun and gaining “ah-ha” skills to motivate others. Instructors are all combat veterans of the Special Operations community, including rangers and special forces, teaching small-unit leadership techniques used by the U.S. Army Ranger School and Special Forces selection course. Fetters himself, along with IEDA President James Rinehart who is the company’s sales manager, were enrolled to attend, but both men contracted COVID just prior to the event and had to remain home. “James and I will be going to the next one – it got such good reviews from our five people that went,” he said. “We’re going to take five to eight people out either in the fall or next spring. “One of my guys who went, he’s a big leader here at the shop. If he wasn’t the youngest, he was the second youngest guy ever to complete this course,” Fetters added. He’s 18 years old. He came back just glowing. This was worth every penny.” The next Keni Thomas DOWNRANGE experience will be Aug 21-24. Visit www.downrangers.com. Watch the video here.  

Fuel Cost Volatility Survival Guide

Download the new publication from EquipmentWatch and Equipment World – written for contractors but valuable for independent dealers, too. The facts are sobering: Ninety-eight percent of construction equipment runs on diesel. The price of diesel has increased 74 percent over the past 12 months and shows no signs of dropping. Fuel accounts for more than 40 percent of machine operating costs – more than repair, parts, and labor. Yet for most contractors, managing fuel is an afterthought. Driven by decades of relatively cheap, abundant diesel, even contractors who shop around for the best parts prices or carefully weigh renting versus buying equipment, often don’t pay that fuel line item much mind. But with prices for construction materials and services increasing nearly 21 percent over last year, taking a hard look at costs – including fuel – is a matter of survival. DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF>>

Construction Job Openings and Spending Continue Decline in May

Signs of an economic slowdown are becoming increasingly more evident and are reflected in labor market data, according to economists with the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Associated General Contractors of America. “Economic slowing is part of the process necessary to curb inflationary pressures and restore the rate of price increases to pre-pandemic norms,” ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said. “Contractors have seen significant pressure on their profit margins, according to the most recent data from ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, and any easing of labor shortages will provide much-needed relief.” READ FULL STORY>>

Stop, Theft! 5 Simple Steps To Keep Equipment Secure

Theft is up around the nation. Your rental equipment is a target both at jobsites and on your lot. Here’s how to protect it. With the busy summer construction season in full swing, you likely have quite a few pieces of equipment out on site and not a lot of time to keep track of them all. Sadly, that makes you a target for criminals. Recent reports from the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the National Equipment Register find that construction site crime costs contractors between $300 million and $1 billion each year. The busiest month for thefts is August, with the most commonly stolen items being copper, lumber, hand tools, power tools and, yes, heavy machinery. Less than 25% of what’s lifted ever gets recovered. What can you do to protect your equipment — and your bottom line? 1. Start With Common Sense You wouldn’t leave your car or truck out overnight with the doors unlocked, a window rolled down or the keys on the seat, would you? That’s an open invitation for thieves, and it happens too often on work sites. Remind your operators to close machine windows, lock cabin doors and secure keys at the end of every shift. Some contractors take things a step further — before the site shuts down for the night, they park all equipment in a circle, with the smaller machines placed in the middle, to deter theft. READ FULL STORY>>

Are You Selling Emotionally in an Intellectual World?

Speaker and author Troy Harrison suggests giving your slogan the “so-what” test. I just returned from speaking at a conference of independently owned businesses in Las Vegas. As usual with this group, I had a great time, made some new friends, and made some new business connections. They are truly great people, and honestly, they are a lot of fun in the sessions. As I was looking through the business cards that I received from attendees, however, something struck me. Most of the businesses had slogans on their cards, as you might expect. And a majority of the slogans were centered on phrases like, “We’re a family business,” “your local source,” etc. That’s normal – but it started me wondering what those company owners wanted to accomplish with those slogans. READ FULL STORY>>

EEIA’s Message to Government: U.S. Natural Gas Infrastructure is Critical to Our Economic, Energy, Food and Climate Security

EEIA is delivering this critical message to policymakers in Washington. We encourage you to share it with your own contacts in government, as well as employees, associates and family. By Toby Mack The Russia-driven global crisis of natural gas supplies is pushing the world toward a tipping point in economic, energy, food and climate security. Our vast natural gas and oil resources largely insulate Americans from these dangers, while creating the potential, through exports, to help reduce energy insecurity for our allies. But this can happen only if we reverse current policies that prevent building the enabling infrastructure here at home, including production complexes, pipelines and export facilities. READ FULL STORY>>

Equipment Manager Confidence Continues to Drop

Rod Sutton, editor of Construction Equipment magazine says, ‘Labor shortages, ongoing supply issues, and expanding inflation are choking optimism.’ Confidence among equipment managers fell in the second quarter, according to the Equipment Manager Confidence Index, published by Construction Equipment. The Q2 2022 Index is 87, down significantly from the end of 2021, when it was 114. The Index reached its lowest point since its inception in April 2020. The Index is down from its year-ago level of 117. The Index measures equipment manager confidence on a scale of 0 to 200, with 200 indicating full confidence that the next month will be “better.” READ FULL STORY>>

Manitowoc Preps Cranes for Bauma, Withdraws from ConExpo

Manitowoc, a manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions, is gearing up for a major display of its latest cranes, technologies and services at Bauma 2022 in Munich, Germany. While preparing for the 33rd edition of the world’s largest construction equipment trade show, the company also recently announced that in March 2023 it will not be participating in North America’s largest construction equipment trade show, ConExpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas. READ FULL STORY>>

Kentucky’s Tallest Bridge Built by “Incremental Launching”

Watch the amazing time-lapsed video as the Pond Creek Bridge is constructed. Builders of Kentucky’s new tallest bridge used an incremental launching method, not commonly performed in the U.S., to construct the span in rugged terrain 324 feet high. The incremental launching method has been more widely adopted in Europe and is most often used when a bridge cannot be erected from below the superstructure, such as when it is over deep valleys, deep water crossings or steep slopes. It was the first time the process had been used in Kentucky. (To watch a time-lapse video of the bridge launch, see the end of this story.) READ FULL STORY>>