AED News

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Employers Have Six Months to Prepare for New Overtime Requirements

May 24, 2016 2:31 pm

On May 18, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its highly-anticipated revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime provisions, which will go into effect Dec. 1, 2016.

Under existing regulations, employees earning an annual salary in excess of $23,660, and who perform qualified administrative, managerial or professional duties, are not entitled to overtime pay. While the new rule does not revise the job duties test, salaried employees earning less $47,476 will now be entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. In addition, the new rule automatically updates the salary threshold every three years to match the 40th percentile of full-time salaried employees in the lowest-wage census region in the U.S.

Employers across the country – even the Obama Administration’s own Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy – asked DOL to reexamine the impact of the proposed revisions, and it appears the department listened to a certain extent: the salary basis calculation and update frequency in the final rule are different than the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). Under the original proposal, the salary threshold would be determined by a national average of salaried employees’ compensation and it would be updated annually. This made it very difficult for employers to forecast staffing needs because the expense of maintaining current employees – much less hiring additional workers – would be constantly changing. Furthermore, using a national standard to determine the salary basis would disproportionally affect less-wealthy areas of the country where salaries reflect lower costs of living.

Although DOL did not withdraw the NPRM, the final rule reflects a more balanced and incremental approach to addressing overtime compensation. By Dec. 1 employers must decide how to comply with the new rule: pay time-and-a-half for overtime work, raise employees’ salaries above the new threshold, limit the number of hours worked to 40 per week or execute some combination thereof.  Employers will get some help from DOL’s first-time permitting of employers to count certain nondiscretionary bonuses, incentives and commissions towards up to ten percent of the required salary level. Employers should carefully evaluate compensation packages before making any salary adjustments or reclassifying current employees.

Before DOL issued the final rule, efforts were underway in the House and Senate to pass the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S. 2707, H.R. 4773), which would require DOL to reassess the economic impact of the rule. At this time it is unclear whether the issuance of the final rule will reinvigorate those efforts. Even if it does, proponents face an uphill battle given the very limited time before the summer recess and the November elections.

Stay tuned as we follow the implementation of the rule and development of DOL guidance.

Low-Cost Excavator Solution for Governments’ and Specialty Contractors

May 23, 2016 3:57 pm

Economical Discovery Series hydraulic excavators, designed to deliver “more dig for the dollar,” are now available in two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models. Developed by Gradall Industries in collaboration with Freightliner, Discovery Series D 152 and D 154 models are budget-priced and designed for excavating and maintenance work frequently performed by governments and specialty contractors.

 

The first crossover excavator machines, Discovery excavators are equipped with the versatile telescoping, full-tilting Gradall boom that can rotate attachments 220 degrees to handle more jobs, more efficiently – even under bridges and trees where mini excavators, backhoes and tractor loader backhoes can’t operate. With productive 220-degree attachment rotation and 25-foot reach, the Discovery Series machines are adept at grading, culvert replacement, landscaping, mowing, vegetation control as well as removal and replacement of curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

 

The D 152 with two-wheel-drive and the D 154 with four-wheel-drive meet specific travel and repositioning needs, operating on pavement, dirt, sand, mud or snow. On jobsites, the machines can be repositioned from the upperstructure operator cab, traveling at speeds up to 7 mph. Traveling to jobs or back to the equipment yard, Discovery Series excavators can be driven at highway speeds.

 

Discovery Series excavators are powered by a single Cummins 6.7 liter engine – emission compliant in all 50 states – with 220 gross hp and 520 ft. lbs. of torque.

 

With a compact, near-zero tail swing, Discovery Series excavators can easily handle ditching and grading work along two-lane roads with only minimal traffic flow interruption. For full working stability, the excavators have front axle lockout cylinders and do not require outriggers, even when working at either side or to the rear of the machine.

 

The advanced Bosch Rexroth designed hydraulic system has pressure-compensated, load-sensing valves with reliefs on all circuits. This system supplies the right amount of hydraulic power for the job at hand while also conserving fuel.

 

The roomy upperstructure operator cab features all-electric joystick controls, heating and air conditioning and an in-cab switch that lets the operator choose the Gradall, Deere or SAE joystick pattern.

 

The standard Freightliner M 2 chassis day cab has two fixed or air ride seats, an automotive style flat dash with easy-to-read LED backlit gauges and controls, adjustable steering column, electric powered windows, dual reading lights, radio and advanced heating and air conditioning systems.

 

Product support for Discovery Series models is available from the extensive networks of Gradall and Freightliner distributors.

 

For information and detailed specifications, visit www.gradallindustries.com or call 330-339-2211.

 

All Gradall excavators are designed, built and supported by Gradall Industries, Inc., with processes that meet ISO 9001-2008 standards. Gradall Industries is wholly owned by the Alamo Group.

 

Alamo Group, Inc.: For over 40 years, we’ve been a world leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and service of high quality equipment for right-of-way maintenance and agriculture. Our products include tractor and truck mounted mowing and other vegetation maintenance equipment, excavators, street sweepers, vacuum trucks, snow removal equipment, pothole patchers, agricultural attachments and related aftermarket parts and services. We currently produce and assemble products in 16 principal facilities worldwide. Our products are sold through Alamo Group’s marketing organizations and our extensive independent worldwide dealer networks under various trademarks and trade names. These include Alamo Industrial, Tiger, Schwarze, Gradall, VacAll, Nite-Hawk, Henke Manufacturing, Schulte, Rhino, M & W, SMC, Herschel, Valu-Bilt, Bomford, Spearhead, McConnel, Twose, SMA, Forges Gorce, Faucheux, Rousseau, Rivard, and others. Alamo Group went public in 1993 and since 1995 has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange as ALG. Visit our web site: Alamo-group.com.

Eavenson Joins Loftness as Eastern U.S. Territory Manager

May 23, 2016 3:52 pm

Blake Eavenson has joined Loftness Specialized Equipment as Territory Manager for the Eastern United States. He will concentrate on growing the VMLogix line of products, including the Carbide Cutter G4 rotary drum mulching attachment, Kwik-Trim mechanical trimmer and other vegetation management equipment. He will also focus strongly on dealer development for those products.

Eavenson has extensive experience within the industry, including customer relations, territory management and business development with vegetation management equipment and construction equipment. He was most recently a Regional Business Manager for Takeuchi Manufacturing. Eavenson has a sales and business marketing degree with a minor in general business from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich.

“Blake brings an excellent hands-on working knowledge of the types of products we offer,” said Lynn Ziegler, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Loftness. “He also has great contacts within the industry, and brings a strong work ethic to the position.”

Eavenson lives in Ortonville, Mich.

Loftness manufactures the VMLogix line of vegetation management equipment, the SnowLogix line of snow blower attachments, the GrainLogix line of grain-bagging equipment, the CropLogix line of crop residue equipment, and the FertiLogix line of fertilizer handling equipment. For more information on Loftness’ complete line of equipment, contact Loftness Specialized Equipment, P.O. Box 337, Hector, MN 55342, call 800-828-7624 (U.S. and Canada) or 320-848-6266 (international), email info@loftness.com, or visit www.loftness.com.

Atlas Copco Construction appoints dedicated service provider in Florida

May 16, 2016 7:47 pm

Atlas Copco Construction announces MECO Miami Inc. as a dedicated service provider for customers near Pampano Beach, Florida.
“MECO Miami has a great history of supporting its customers,” said Alan Kurus, Atlas Copco Construction vice president of sales. “Our customers can rest assured that their equipment needs will be met while working with MECO, and I’m confident that MECO will continue representing the Atlas Copco brand well.”
MECO is a 43-year-old family-owned company that sells, rents and services a variety of new and used equipment and parts for the agriculture, cranes, heavy lifting, mining and road construction industries in the United States and worldwide. The dealer offers a wide range of Atlas Copco equipment, including air compressors, asphalt rollers, light towers, handheld tools and soil rollers.
“We chose to represent Atlas Copco and its equipment because there is an increasing demand for high-quality products in our area,” said Michael Vazquez, MECO Miami owner. “Atlas Copco helps us fill this growing demand.”

Atlas Copco Construction Equipment
Mining, Rock Excavation and Construction LLC 3700 East 68th Avenue
Commerce City
CO 80022
USA

General Equipment Introduces CTS12 Generation 2: Demolition Now Easier, More Efficient

May 16, 2016 7:43 pm

General Equipment Company introduces its second-generation CTS12 RIP-R-STRIPPER®, which offers updated features that lower maintenance and increase productivity, making it an even more efficient solution for removing ceramic tile, hardwood flooring and other tough floor coverings.

With a new, easier operating on/off control, the CTS12 Gen 2 is designed to enhance maneuverability, control and visibility. Its unique configuration allows users to operate electric-powered breakers in an upright position, which helps increase productivity while reducing strain on operators’ knees and lower backs.

The CTS12 Gen 2 features increased flexibility, accepting new mounting kits for the Hilti® TE-1000-AVR breaker. Beyond this model, the unit continues to work as a tool carrier for electric-powered breakers with ratings between 30 and 45 foot-pounds of force, and includes popular models of Bosch®, Makita® and Hitachi®.

As with the original model, the accessory tool angle of the CTS12 Gen 2 can be adjusted to nine different self-locking positions, allowing the operator to find the best performing approach to each unique application. Also, a new productivity boosting mechanism accommodates breaker variances in mounted chisel orientation to the working surface. The new feature allows the adjustment of both wheels. This keeps the chisel flat on the working surface, ensuring the entire tool edge is hitting the glue line between the floor and material being removed. This capability also helps minimize uneven tool wear, plus reduces operator force required and fatigue when operating the machine.

Furthermore, the Anti-Vibe™ handle is adjustable to enhance operator comfort, and is rubber-insulated to reduce vibration. It also folds for simplified storage and transport.

Breakers mount quickly to the CTS12’s heavy-duty, unitized welded steel frame. The unit operates from a standard 115 VAC, 15-ampere power source.

General Equipment Company offers a wide range of industry-standard, 1⅛-inch-hexagon-by-6-inch shank accessory tools to work with the CTS12. These include chisels and scraper blades (up to 12-inches wide) for handling a variety of floor-covering removal applications.

Other equipment in the RIP-R-STRIPPER line includes the FCS5AC, FCS10 and FCS16 models for removing carpet, ceramic tile, linoleum and mastics.

In business for more than 60 years, General Equipment Company is a family-owned manufacturer of earth augers, ventilation blowers, asphalt cutters, surface preparation equipment and temporary lighting equipment. For more information, contact General Equipment Co., 620 Alexander Drive S.W., Owatonna, MN 55060, call 507-451-5510 or 800-533-0524, fax 507-451-5511 or 877-344-4375, or visit the website at www.generalequip.com.

DOL Preparing to Issue Final FLSA Overtime Rules

May 16, 2016 7:34 pm

The Department of Labor (DOL) is expected to issue a final rule significantly revising the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime exemptions. The new regulation – which could be promulgated this month – would considerably increase employer costs by requiring overtime pay for millions of workers previously classified as “exempt.”

Under existing regulations, employers are not required to pay overtime to employees earning a minimum salary and who perform qualified administrative, managerial or professional duties. Last July, DOL announced that it would increase the salary threshold for determining which employees must be paid overtime from $23,660 to $50,440. In addition, the threshold requirement would be indexed to inflation and automatically increase each year.

The 113 percent increase in the compensation requirement will force employers to reclassify many employees that are currently exempt from overtime pay. Even employers in California and New York, where state wage and hour laws exceed federal pay levels, will not escape additional compliance and labor costs because DOL’s proposal raises the minimum salary by in these states by $10,000 to $15,000. An economic study conducted by the National Retail Foundation estimates that more than 10 million workers will be affected and cost employers $8.4 billion per year.

Industry stakeholders – even the Obama Administration’s own Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy – have asked the DOL reexamine the impact of the proposed rule; however, those requests have fallen on deaf ears. The agency submitted the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The OMB is the final step before a regulation is published; approval is expected sometime this month.

Efforts in both the House and Senate are underway to pass the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S. 2707, H.R. 4773) in order to force the agency to reassess the economic impact  of changes to the new overtime rule. It’s unclear whether such efforts will be successful given the limited time remaining before summer recess and the November elections.

Stay tuned for more.

AED Joins Business, Labor Community Highlighting Infrastructure Week 2016

May 16, 2016 7:33 pm

AED, in its role as a leading member of the Highway Materials Group (HMG), is renewing the push for increased highway funding during Infrastructure Week 2016.  The HMG is an alliance of organizations representing companies supplying the materials and equipment to build and maintain the nation’s roads, highways and bridges.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which became law in December 2015, injects $305 billion into surface transportation network from fiscal year 2016 through 2020. While the FAST Act is expected generate more than $13 billion in equipment market activity (sales, rental and product support) nationwide through 2020 and support more than 4,000 dealership jobs each year, in lieu of fixing the user-fee based Highway Trust Fund in any meaningful way, the bill was funded through one-time budget gimmicks that conflict directly with the user fee principle.

“Our transportation infrastructure is critical to the American way of life, creating jobs and growing our economy and is directly linked to our economic future,” said AED President and CEO Brian McGuire. “Congress must begin work now to ensure that a new sustainable funding system is in place before the FAST Act expires.”

Infrastructure Week is a national week of high-profile events, media coverage, focused advocacy and other efforts held around the country to build momentum for revitalizing America’s economic competitiveness through rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. Led by groups representing America’s business, labor and policy-making leadership, Infrastructure Week convened an unprecedented, broad and non-partisan coalition united around the message that “Infrastructure Matters.”

For more information on Infrastructure Week 2016, including media guides and other resources, visit http://www.infrastructureweek.org.

Rookie Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau Tabled the First Liberal Budget in a Decade

May 10, 2016 7:14 pm

On March 22, 2016, rookie Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the first Liberal budget in a decade. In the lead up to the their resounding victory in last fall’s election, the Liberals outlined an ambitious plan to stimulate economic growth by entering deficit spending to fund vast infrastructure projects. As Canada’s economic outlook remains stagnant, the Liberals announced that they triple the deficit forecast during the campaign in order to fund all the projects they outlined in their election platform in hopes of stimulating economic growth.

The Liberals are now expected to be $30 billion in the red for the next four years and do not have a concrete plan to exit deficit territory before the next election. They are calculating that the spending will spur enough growth to offset political fallout for not maintaining a balanced budget.

Following the election, the Liberals hinted where the major infrastructure money will be spent, but waited for Budget 2016 to specify how much money will actually be doled out. Keeping mostly in line with their election commitments, the Liberals budgeted for 10 years of infrastructure investment spending. It will be divided into two phases. The first phase will culminate in 2019, just in time for the next federal election and the second will span the following eight years. Over the next decade, the government is on track to make the largest infrastructure investment in Canadian history.

The first phase is mostly focused on repairing aging roads, pipes and transit systems across the country. This will lay the foundation for the second and more costly phase of the Liberal plan, where the vast majority of the allotted $120 billion will be spent. While some are critical that the major spending has been punted until after the next election, this plan was roundly welcomed by Canadian industry, mayors and premiers.

Cities and provinces with new shovel-ready and shovel-worthy infrastructure projects will be prioritized for funding in the first phase if they can show that the work will be completed within the next three years. The government will spend around $3.4 billion by 2019 to upgrade and improve public transit across Canada. This money will be given to provinces and territories based on their share of national public transit ridership and they will allocate it to their municipalities.

For green and social infrastructure projects, the Liberals are deviating from the two-phased model. They are pledging to spend $5 billion in water, wastewater and green infrastructure projects that are crafted to fight climate change over the next five years. This includes $2.2 billion for clean water, waste water and waste management in First Nations communities.

A further $3.44 billion is earmarked to build social projects, such as subsidized housing, recreation centres, arenas and daycare centres. The government said it will invest an additional $3.4 billion over five years to upgrade and maintain airports, ports, and border installations, and to clean up federal properties contaminated with hazardous waste.

While some in the industry would like to see more of the proposed infrastructure money flow more quickly, we are still very excited that the government will keep their promises and invest in ambitious projects from coast to coast to coast. To support this, we anticipate seeing expanded skilled labour training opportunities, particularly to support Canada as it shifts towards new and innovative green infrastructure. This is vital to the country’s long term infrastructure health by ensuring that the next generation of workers will be able to transition smoothly into the workforce.

The government’s investment in infrastructure will require heavy equipment to be transported across the country as importance is placed on the construction and manufacturing sectors. We welcome the government’s announcements and are excited to play a role in Canada’s infrastructure boon.

Komatsu America Corp. introduces the new WA320-8 wheel loader

May 10, 2016 7:05 pm

Komatsu America Corp., a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, introduced the new WA320-8 wheel loader. Equipped with an EPA Tier 4 Final certified engine, this latest addition to the wheel loader family combines high production with low fuel consumption and improved operator comfort.

The WA320-8’s parallel-lift linkage, with auto tilt-in to simulate a Z-bar, can be used in any application from pallet handling to hard digging. Fuel consumption is lower by up to three percent in
V-cycle loading and two percent in load and carry applications.

“The easy-to-control hydrostatic transmission makes the WA320-8 ideal for agriculture and residential applications, but its size and attachment-friendly quick coupler makes it an all-around performer for almost any worksite,” said Craig McGinnis, product marketing manager, Komatsu America. “It’s a multi-purpose utility knife on four wheels.”

Standard features of the new WA320-8 include:

Under The Hood/Performance Enhancements
 A powerful 6.69 liter, 165 HP, EPA Tier 4 Final certified, SAA6D107E-3 engine uses up to three percent less fuel than its Tier 4 Interim predecessor.
 Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter (KDPF) and other after treatment components are designed in conjunction with the engine for efficiency and long life.
 The new SCR system reduces NOx emissions and is designed to last the life of the engine.
 More than 98 percent of KDPF regeneration is performed passively, with no action required of the operator and no interference with machine operation.
 Proven, fourth generation hydrostatic drivetrain with variable traction control and S-mode provides excellent traction control to reduce wheel slip. S-mode is ideal for snowy, icy or slippery conditions.
 Creep mode in first gear is easily controlled via a knob on the RH console. This mode allows the operator to dial in travel speed from one to eight miles an hour.
In-Cab Enhancements/Features
 New, more comfortable, high-back, heated seat softens machine vibrations for operator comfort.
 Pioneering KOMTRAX telematics system and monitor that provides key machine metrics, including KDPF status and DEF-level data, fuel consumption, plus performance information collected and sorted by operator ID.
 Komatsu Auto Idle Shutdown to reduce idle time and save fuel.
 Auxiliary jack and two 12 volt ports.
 Seven inch, LCD color monitor with Ecology Guidance.
 Separate full color rear view monitor standard.

Additional Features/Benefits
 Swing out, hydraulically-driven cooling fan, with wider fin spacing and auto-reversing fan for ease of cleaning.
 Gull-wing engine doors provide quick, convenient access for daily checks and service items.
 Full rear fenders optional.
 DEF tank features a convenient sight glass to discourage overfilling.

The WA320-8 and every other Komatsu Tier 4 Final construction-sized machine, whether rented, leased or purchased, is covered by the Komatsu CARE® program for the first three years or 2000 hours, whichever comes first. Komatsu CARE includes limited scheduled factory maintenance, a 50-point inspection at each service, and one complimentary Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter exchange in the first five years. With select labor, fluids and filters covered by Komatsu over this period, Komatsu CARE lowers ownership costs, raises resale value and improves equipment uptime and availability. For full program details, refer to the Komatsu CARE reimbursement letter.
Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment. Komatsu America Corp. also serves the forklift and forestry markets. Through its distributor network, Komatsu offers a state-of-the-art parts and service program to support its equipment. Komatsu has proudly provided high-quality, reliable products for nearly a century. Visit the website at www.komatsuamerica.com for more information.
Note: All comparisons and claims of improved performance made herein are made with respect to the prior Komatsu model unless otherwise specifically stated. Materials and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Komatsu America Corp. is an authorized licensee of Komatsu Ltd. KOMTRAX® and Komatsu CARE® are registered trademarks of Komatsu Ltd. All other trademarks and service marks used herein are the property of Komatsu Ltd., Komatsu America Corp., or their respective owners or licensees.

Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. Honors Guild Excellence Awardees

May 10, 2016 7:03 pm

In 2004, Kirby-Smith developed its own internal award program with the goal of promoting continued education in its parts & service departments. For over 12 years, the Guild Program has helped ensure that Kirby-Smith Parts and Service Employees are continually among the best and brightest in the industry.

2015 was a banner year for the Guild, which set two new records with 52 winners in 6 separate branch locations, both the most in the program’s 12 year history.

The year also marked the first time the Abilene branch featured a Guild Awardee. Randy Dennis, recipient of the award in Abilene, spoke on the journey the Abilene branch has taken to get to this level.

“Since Kirby-Smith acquired the branch, the business has grown and we have learned to move at a much quicker pace. We have even had to add staff to keep up with the demand. Programs like the Guild help make sure that we take care of our customers the right way, and I think that will continue to drive our growth in the future.”

To be a member of “The Guild,” the company requires each participant to attend 40-plus hours of technical training each year and score 100% on quarterly exams. Tom Montgomery, Vice President of Customer Care, spoke to the importance of the Guild Program.

“If we do not strive for the highest level of professional expertise, then we will fail to provide the highest level of service to our customers. The Guild Program is a way to honor our parts & service technicians who work to grow their knowledge and experience, so that Kirby-Smith can continue its great tradition of providing exceptional service to our customers.”

The Guild Program is managed by Product Trainer, Jay VanDuzer, who is quick to praise the benefits the Guild has brought Kirby-Smith, as well as the dedication of his Guild Members.

“The Guild Program is a win-win-win,” says VanDuzer. “The customer wins by receiving a more knowledgeable technician who is able to accurately diagnose and repair the equipment the first time. Kirby-Smith wins by providing the best service and parts support for our customers. Finally, our technicians win by increasing their knowledge, as well as receiving modest monetary recognition for their efforts. Our parts personnel and technicians commit a significant amount of their ‘off-time’ towards improving their knowledge and skill, reflecting the professional standards expected of Kirby-Smith employees. Kirby-Smith truly has a very high quality of employees and our Guild members represent the best of the best.”

The 2015 awards banquets were held in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas, Abilene, Amarillo, and St. Louis. Over $18,000 in cash and awards were distributed during these events.

Guild Excellence Award Winners:   

Service – Construction Category:

  • 1st place – Ron Hagood – OKC
  • 2nd place – Paul Cheek – Dallas

Service – Crane Category:

  • 1st place – Gary Cox – OKC
  • 2nd place – Dale Schmidt – St. Louis

Parts Category-

  • 1st place – Mark Foster – OKC
  • 2nd place – Bob Weaver – OKC
  • 3rd place – Ben Stoner – Tulsa

About Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc.

Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. was established in 1983 and is recognized as one of the premiere new and used heavy construction equipment and crane dealers in the country. Kirby-Smith Machinery and their hundreds of dedicated professional employees are committed to providing reliable new and used equipment for sale and equipment rentals, responsive service and equipment parts for multiple makes and models. Kirby-Smith has 10 branch locations in Oklahoma, North Texas, West Texas, Kansas, and Missouri. For more information about Kirby-Smith Machinery, call us at 888-861-0219 or visit our website at www.kirby-smith.com

 

Media Inquiries:

Andrew Clouse

Marketing & Business Development Associate

Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc.

405-495-7820

aclouse@kirby-smith.com

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