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Heavy Construction News – Designing a geothermal drilling tool that can take the heat — ScienceDaily

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Sandia National Laboratories and a commercial firm have designed a drilling tool that will withstand the heat of geothermal drilling.

The downhole hammer attaches to the end of a column of drill pipe and cuts through rock with a rapid hammering action similar to that of a jackhammer. Downhole hammers are not new — the oil and gas and mining industries have used them since the 1950s — but the older design, with its reliance on oil-based lubricants, plastic and rubber O-rings, isn’t suited for the hotter temperatures of geothermal drilling.

“The technology behind the new hammer is fundamentally the same, but Sandia worked with Sweden-based Atlas Copco in material selection and dry lubricant technology that will work in the high-temperature environment,” said mechanical engineer Jiann Su, Sandia’s principal investigator on the project with Atlas Copco, which operates worldwide and makes specialized equipment and systems for drilling, mining and construction.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office funded Atlas Copco as prime contractor on the project, and the company partnered with Sandia as the subcontractor.

“Part of what the DOE’s Geothermal Program is looking to do is help lower the cost of getting geothermal energy out to customers,” said Su, a researcher in Sandia’s geothermal research department. “Some of reducing the cost is lowering exploration and development costs, and that’s one of the areas we’re helping to tackle.”

The Geothermal Energy Association’s 2016 annual production report said the U.S. had about 2.7 gigawatts of net geothermal capacity at the end of 2015. In addition, the U.S. market was developing about 1.25 gigawatts of geothermal power, and new renewable portfolio standards in states such as California and Hawaii could create opportunities for geothermal energy, the report said.

Su said the high temperature hammer could help reach those development goals.

New downhole hammer will be plus for drillers

Su considers the three-year project a success, and said the team and Atlas Copco are looking for opportunities to deploy the tool.

“We developed a tool that can be used in high-temperature environments that can help increase the drilling rates and the rate of penetration to maybe 5 to 10 times that of conventional drilling operations, so that’s a big plus for drillers,” he said. “It adds to the available options drillers have. This is not necessarily the final option for every drilling situation but it does provide a good option for the right situation.”

Atlas Copco turned to Sandia for its expertise in materials, understanding of how moving surfaces interact and high-temperature testing and operations. “Atlas Copco is the expert at designing and manufacturing the hammers, but Sandia is better equipped to handle the high-temperature challenges, the lubrication and materials,” Su said. “And high-temperature testing isn’t something that Atlas Copco typically does.”

A critical piece of the project was developing lubricious coatings, which help reduce friction between parts, important in geothermal operations. “As temperatures increase, the oils essentially cook and you get this sooty mess inside. It’s like running your car too long without changing your oil,” Su said. The hammer has internal moving components that require lubrication, similar to a piston in a car engine.

His team’s work on materials and lubricious coatings built on decades of Sandia research in those areas. The team worked with Sandia’s Materials Science and Engineering Center on a multilayer solid lubricant capable of operating at high temperatures. Similar solid lubricants are used commercially, for example, to improve the lifespan of moving components in cars, but Su’s team worked with a formula tailored to the operating conditions and base materials.

“If we were starting from scratch, the difficulty level would have been high, but since Sandia has a history of experience in that arena, we had some idea of what to start with,” he said. “It made things a lot easier.”

Development took three years

The project began by determining whether a high-temperature hammer was even possible. The Sandia team initially tested materials and coating combinations that would survive the expected environments while Atlas Copco designed a hammer without plastic parts, Su said. They proved the concept, and the project spent the next two years building hammers and a facility for high-temperature testing.

The hammers proved successful. “We were able to reach our drilling rates, the materials held up, the coatings worked well,” Su said.

Sandia’s new facility is designed to test hammers under real-world operating conditions, including temperatures up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees C). Conventional drilling generally sees temperatures of less than 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).

The high operating temperature (HOT) test facility, a three-sided open concrete structure, houses a 20-foot-tall drill rig, heating chamber and process gas heater. Researchers can simulate conditions deep underground and the elevated temperatures affecting the hammer and can drill into different types of rock, like the granite commonly found in geothermal-rich areas. The facility is instrumented to measure drilling parameters.

HOT was in itself a large project. “We took a little more time in the development process, but when we put it all together, everything worked pretty much as we expected it to,” Su said. The work required integrating multiple subsystems, including electrical, mechanical, pneumatic and control systems. Sandia also worked with Atlas Copco on what instrumentation was required to collect the necessary data.

“We’re using the facility for other activities that we’re doing now,” such as developing drilling automation, Su said. “That’s a plus for Sandia.”

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Delaware top court rules for Chicago Bridge

WILMINGTON, Del The Delaware Supreme Court ruled in favor of Chicago Bridge & Iron Co (CBI.N) on Tuesday in its in $2 billion dispute with Westinghouse Electric Co that stems from cost overruns at a pair of unfinished U.S. nuclear power plants.

The two companies have been sparring over a 2015 deal in which Westinghouse, a unit of Japan’s Toshiba Corp (6502.T), bought the Shaw nuclear construction business of Chicago Bridge.

Westinghouse later sought an adjustment to the closing deal price, sparking a dispute over accounting.

Westinghouse and Chicago Bridge agreed that an independent auditor would review post-closing adjustments to the deal price.

Tuesday’s ruling directed a lower court to enjoin Westinghouse from raising claims before the auditor about Chicago Bridge’s historical accounting before the deal was signed.

Chicago Bridge shares were up 14.5 percent at $16.50, on track for their biggest one-day percentage gain since October. The stock had tumbled 50.5 percent since May 8 as investors were anxious about the legal case as well was weak earnings.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Bernard Orr)


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LONDON (Reuters) – Stocks and the dollar fell on Monday while the yen, gold and sovereign bonds rose after North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test to date dampened investor appetite for risk.

Sunday’s test, and reports from Seoul that Pyongyang was making preparations for another missile launch, sparked warnings from Washington and drove South Korea’s stock market .KS11 1.2 percent lower. Japan’s Nikkei lost almost 1 percent.

With Wall Street closed for the Labor Day holiday at the start of a week likely to become increasingly dominated by a number of central bank meetings, the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell nearly half a percent.

It was led by a 0.6 percent fall in banks .SX7P.

“The markets’ reaction seems similar to when missile launches have taken place in the past. Investors sell stock, rush to safe havens, assess the situation, and then buy the dips as tension eases,” said Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at brokers FXTM.

The dollar, down 0.3 percent against the basket of currencies used to measure its broader strength, fell 0.5 percent to 109.72 yen JPY=, having been as low as 109.22 and off a whole yen from late on Friday.

Investors tend to buy the yen in time of political or market tension on expectations Japanese investors will over time repatriate their money.

The Swiss franc CHF=, also viewed as a safe place to park money, rose 0.7 percent to 0.9579 per dollar.

Driven by the Korean losses, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slipped 0.7 percent.

Yields on German government bonds, regarded as among the world’s lowest-risk assets, fell slightly. Benchmark 10-year yields DE10YT=TWEB were down 1 basis point at 0.37 percent while two-year yields DE2YT=TWEB dipped a similar amount to minus 0.76 percent, their lowest since April.

Safe-haven gold XAU= was up 0.8 percent at $1,336 an ounce, having risen to $1,339.47, its highest in nearly a year.

An employee of a foreign exchange trading company works near monitors showing TV news on North Korea’s nuclear test (R) in Tokyo, Japan September 4, 2017.REUTERS/Issei Kato

Tom Kendall, head of precious metals strategy at ICBC Standard Bank, saw potential for gold to rally further.

“We’ve got the geopolitics and we’ve also got a fairly benign interest rate environment. There’s still nothing threatening coming out of the Fed recently,” he said.

CENTRAL BANK MEETINGS

European Central Bank policymakers meet on Thursday, with expectations of any major shift toward reining in its bond-buying stimulus program fading in recent weeks.

The euro’s almost 14 percent rally against the dollar this year has stalled on signs that ECB officials were growing more concerned with the gains – and might wait far longer to tighten policy as a result.

The euro gained 0.4 percent in morning trade but is almost 2 cents below the 2-1/2-year high it hit last week. EUR=

“The trend in recent months has been for knee-jerk risk-averse reactions to geopolitical events to be followed by a gradual recovery in risk sentiment as global monetary accommodation has its usual pacifying effect in markets,” said Societe Generale strategist Kit Juckes.

“A repeat of that pattern seems eminently possible this week.”

The dollar took some support on Friday from a strong ISM report on U.S. factories, which produced the highest reading since April 2011.

That was just the latest sign that global production was gaining traction and added to bullishness on industrial metals. Copper CMCU3 climbed more than 1 percent to $6,920.25 a ton, its highest in three years. <MET/L>

In the oil market, prices were subdued as shutdowns of U.S. production following Harvey were balanced by an expected downturn in crude demand as the tropical storm knocked out refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.

Brent crude LCOc1, the international benchmark, fell 37 cents to $52.38 a barrel.

Additional reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydnet, Danilo Masoni in Milan, Dhara Ranasinghe, Saikat Chatterjee, Eric Onstad and Nigel Stephenson in London, editing by John Stonestreet

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Heavy Construction News – Scientist studies whether solar storms cause animal beachings — ScienceDaily

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A long-standing mystery among marine biologists is why otherwise healthy whales, dolphins, and porpoises — collectively known as cetaceans — end up getting stranded along coastal areas worldwide. Could severe solar storms, which affect Earth’s magnetic fields, be confusing their internal compasses and causing them to lose their way?

Although some have postulated this and other theories, no one has ever initiated a thorough study to determine whether a relationship exists — until now. NASA heliophysicist Antti Pulkkinen, who works at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has teamed with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW, to determine whether a link exists.

Strandings occur around the world, involving as few as three to as many as several hundred animals per event. Although a global phenomenon, such strandings tend to happen more often in New Zealand, Australia, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, said project collaborator Katie Moore, the director of IFAW’s global Animal Rescue Program. Headquartered in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, IFAW operates in 40 countries, rescuing animals and promoting conservation to secure a safe habitat for wildlife.

“These locations share some key characteristics, such as the geography, gently sloping beaches, and fine-grained sediment, which we think all play some role in these events,” she said.

Skewed Compasses

Another possibility is that these animals’ internal compasses are somehow skewed by humans’ use of multi-beam echo sounders and other sonar-type equipment used to map the seafloor or locate potential fishing sites, to name just a few applications.

“However, these human-made influences do not explain most of the strandings,” said Pulkkinen, an expert in space weather and its effect on Earth. “Theories as to the cause include magnetic anomalies and meteorological events, such as extreme tides during a new moon and coastal storms, which are thought to disorient the animals. It has been speculated that due to the possible magnetic-field sensing used by these animals to navigate, magnetic anomalies could be at least partially responsible.”

Indeed, magnetic anomalies caused when the sun’s corona ejects gigantic bubbles of charged particles out into the solar system can cause problems for Earth-orbiting satellites and power grids when they slam into Earth’s protective magnetosphere. It’s possible they could affect animals, as well, Pulkkinen said.

“The type of data that Antti has accumulated, together with the extensive stranding data at our disposal, will allow us to undertake the first rigorous analysis to test possible links between cetacean mass strandings and space-weather phenomena,” said Desray Reeb, a marine biologist at BOEM’s headquarters in Sterling, Virginia. Reeb approached Pulkkinen about launching a research effort after hearing his presentation about space weather in June 2015.

Massive Data-Mining Effort

With funding from BOEM and NASA’s Science Innovation Fund, Pulkkinen and his collaborators are carrying out a massive data-mining operation. The team will analyze NASA’s large space-weather databases, including field recordings and space observations, and stranding data gathered by BOEM and IFAW.

“We estimate that records on the order of hundreds of cetacean mass strandings will be available for study, thus making our analyses statistically significant,” Pulkkinen said. “We therefore expect that we will be able to reliably test the hypothesis. So far, there has been very little quantitative research, just a lot of speculation,” Pulkkinen continued. “What we’re going to do is throw cold, hard data at this. It’s a long-standing mystery and it’s important that we figure out what’s going on.”

The team expects to complete the study by the end of September and publish its findings in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal. Should the study reveal a statistical correlation, team members said the results won’t necessarily imply a causal link. However, it would provide the first thorough research into this hypothesis and offer the first step toward determining if it’s correct.

“Save More Animals”

“The results of this study will be informative for researchers, stranding network organizers, resource agencies and regulatory agencies,” Reeb said. “If we understand the relationship between the two, we may be able to use observations of solar storms as an early warning for potential strandings to occur,” added Moore, who said she “was immediately keen” to get involved in the study. “This would allow stranding responders in global hotspots, and really around the world, to be better prepared to respond, thus having the opportunity to save more animals.”

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Crews found the underground, arched door while working on a new entrance at 15th and High Streets as they demolished Long’s Bookstore, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

📅   Tue August 22, 2017 – National Edition
Emily Buenzle

>Crews found the underground, arched door while working on a new entrance at 15th and High Streets as they demolished Long's Bookstore, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The door had been walled shut and seems to lead west beneath High Street and through OSU's campus.

>Crews found the underground, arched door while working on a new entrance at 15th and High Streets as they demolished Long’s Bookstore, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The door had been walled shut and seems to lead west beneath High Street and through OSU’s campus.


A construction project at Ohio State University revealed a doorway to what might be a secret Prohibition-era speakeasy.

Crews found the underground, arched door while working on a new entrance at 15th and High Streets as they demolished Long’s Bookstore, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The door had been walled shut and seems to lead west beneath High Street and through OSU’s campus.

Keith Myers, associate vice president of planning and real estate for OSU, said he had heard rumors about a speakeasy in the bookstore’s basement, but “I never believed it,” he said. “I called it urban legend. I figured it was one more story in the storied University District,” Columbus Monthly reported.

But if you’re curious about what may be hiding behind the door, you’ll just have to wait. According to Myers, “There will be no Geraldo-style reveal.” Crews won’t have the chance to open the door until sometime next year, Columbus Monthly reported. “We don’t have time now,” Myers said. “We backfilled it. We need that site for laydown space [to put construction materials and equipment for project].”

“It’s probably more fun to speculate than to know anyway,” Myers continued. “I’m pretty suspicious that what we’re going to find is a whole lot of dirt. But who knows? The doorway is there, no doubt about it, and its construction is old.” 

According to Basil Long, Jr., a relative of the Long Bookstore’s family, the tale of a speakeasy connected via underground tunnel to OSU is likely untrue, and said he had never heard of a speakeasy located in the basement of the 108-year-old-bookstore. “I’m not at all sure it was a tunnel,” Long said. “I think it led to a storeroom that housed old military manuals…It certainly wouldn’t surprise me, [to learn of the existence of a speakeasy], but I have no reason to believe it.”

The construction site is a $30 million project that includes improvements to a 150-room hotel, parking garage, office building with retail space, dining and a pedestrian-centric plaza.


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As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

Heavy Construction News – Denver Airport Developing $1B Renovation Partnership :: Story ID: 34830 :: Construction Equipment Guide

 

📅   Wed June 21, 2017 – West Edition #13

 

A more than $1 billion partnership with Ferrovial Airports would renovate the Denver International Airport terminal.
(jviation.com photo)

A more than $1 billion partnership with Ferrovial Airports would renovate the Denver International Airport terminal.
(jviation.com photo)

 

DENVER (AP) A more than $1 billion partnership with a Spanish firm over three decades would renovate the Denver International Airport terminal by moving the security screening area and tripling the amount of space for shops and restaurants.

The project also would consolidate ticket counters, which become less necessary as more people check in online and use automated ticketing kiosks.

The airport would work with Madrid-based Ferrovial Airports on the four-year renovation project, airport officials told the Denver Post .

Ferrovial would then operate expanded concessions in the terminal over three decades.

Work could begin next summer. Airport CEO Kim Day has said she wants the renovations to include attractions such as a zipline or climbing wall in airport’s new main-level atrium.

The renovation also would feature Colorado-appropriate design features, such as wood paneling.

The airport and Ferrovial continue to negotiate how they will split costs.

The complex private-public partnership, in which a contractor not only rebuilds the terminal but operates part of it, would be the city’s largest such deal. Combining several projects into one and having the same team oversee the work offers advantages, Day said.

“Imagine if we had to do all of this, incrementally, through our normal process — and we’re disrupting passengers and airlines five or six times over the next 15 or 20 years in that terminal,” Day said. “This gets it done in an integrated way.”

The airport designed to accommodate 50 million passengers a year opened 22 years ago. Traffic last year topped 58 million.

The terminal project will be designed for 80 million passengers a year, Day said.

The proposed contract could be heard by a Denver City Council committee in July and approved in August, airport officials said.

For more information, visit denverpost.com.

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Heavy Construction News – History of mankind Documentary

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The Largest Heavy Equipment in the World: Earth Movers – HISTORY OF MANKIND DOCUMENTARY

The Biggest Heavy Equipment in the World: Earth Movers – HISTORY OF MANKIND DOCUMENTARY

This is a fantastic documentary for all of you Heavy equipment junkies, we hope you enjoy.

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Sea-Level Rise LogoAfter Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood experienced extreme foot-deep “sunny-day flooding” because of a king tide, city engineer Bruce Mowry and public-works director Eric Carpenter realized the city’s injection-well drainage system didn’t work.

The king tide triggered an aha moment for Mowry and Carpenter.

“We finally realized that the injection wells are overwhelmed when the tides are high because the pressure from the tide is pushing back on the well, and you can’t inject water above a certain psi, a certain head elevation, because you don’t want to destabilize the subsurface,” Carpenter says.

Environmental regulators liked the natural filtering system inherent in the 80- to 100-ft-deep injection wells, which didn’t require any pretreatment, according to city officials. But because there was no room for the water in the barrier island’s porous, coarse limestone during high tides, the water simply came back up.

Fairly quickly, the city began looking at the concept of treating stormwater and then releasing it into Biscayne Bay. It was a more costly solution, but one that would work.

Miami Beach is now on a mission to construct around the city about 70 pump stations to pretreat stormwater runoff before discharging it into Biscayne Bay. To date, about 30 pump stations are operational. At the same time, Mowry and Carpenter began looking at elevating some of the city’s most flooded roads.

The city’s first major project, in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood, involved raising what was considered the lowest road in Miami Beach, ultimately elevating it roughly 2.5 ft.


FLORIDA Miami Beach is forecast to experience a sea-level rise of between 0.7 ft and 1.4 ft by 2040.


Waiving the city’s standard procurement process and using instead  emergency-directive contracts using design-build delivery, Miami Beach hired Bergeron Land Development, a contractor already mobilized on a DOT contract near Sunset Harbour.

Importantly, says Mowry, much of the design around the existing retail development evolved as a result of input from the local business owners. By building a retaining wall around the development’s northern boundary and transforming what had previously been street parking, contractors and engineers effectively created an outdoor space that local restaurants can use for their patrons, an added value for those businesses.

Further, Miami Beach is raising a road and installing new stormwater and sewer drainage on the A1A state highway. The $25-million Indian Creek Drive/SR A1A Flooding Mitigation project also will establish a linear greenway on the west side of A1A, running along the Intracoastal Waterway, that will serve as a barrier wall for the city. The structure will allow water to flow into and out of its soil structure, effectively acting like an earthen dam, says Mowry.

At roughly 25% completion in early July, Mowry hopes the contractor, David Mancini & Sons, can complete the project in time for this year’s king tide in October. The city is leading oversight of the Florida Dept. of Transportation-funded project.

Overall, the city’s program of raising roads and other infrastructure to the elevated specifications and converting to a new stormwater drainage system should buy Miami Beach from 30 to 50 years, if current sea-level-rise projections are correct.

If those projections are wrong, that’s another story.

How Engineers Are Preparing for Sea-Level Rise

 


 


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Heavy Construction News – 2017-06-05 05:00:00

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📅   Mon June 05, 2017 – National Edition

 

J&J mounted its first stainless steel tanker on a 7-axle chassis that is designed to meet bridge laws Ohio.

J&J mounted its first stainless steel tanker on a 7-axle chassis that is designed to meet bridge laws Ohio.

 

J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers, a manufacturer of dump bodies, trailers, and oil and gas equipment, announced the completion of a new stainless steel pressure vacuum tank (PVT). The 130 BBL tank (5,460 gal. capacity) was mounted on a Peterbilt chassis and will be used by an energy company to transport fresh water, treated water, and/or production water for the oil and gas industry.

“The stainless steel configuration allows customers to choose an alloy that is corrosion resistant, stronger and one that provides a longer lasting alternative,” said Jason Cornell, sales manager at J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers.

J&J tankers can be built in various configurations with capacities ranging from 80 to135 BBL (3,360 to 6,000 gal.) and are outfitted with one-piece aluminum hose trays, anti-surge interior baffles, top and rear manways, and plug and play vacuum pumps. Some popular options include J&J Armor Coat along the full length of the tank, tool boxes and onboard scales.

For more information, call 814/444-3452 or visit www.jjbodies.com.

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Heavy Construction News – James G. Murphy Sale Breaks Records in Kenmore, Wash

 

📅   Wed June 21, 2017 – West Edition #13

 

Jeff Storey stands proudly after winning the bid on this 3,000 gal. watertruck/fire tender.

Jeff Storey stands proudly after winning the bid on this 3,000 gal. watertruck/fire tender.

On June 10, the James G. Murphy Company had a record-setting day at its auction site in Kenmore, Wash. This auction had something for everybody. The weather was great and the crowd was amazing.

The auction featured 18 dump trucks; 19 pup trailers; four Vactor trucks; and a 2008, 600-hp Peterbilt heavy haul truck.

Other notable machines for sale were eight excavators, including a Hitachi ZX450LC and a Hitachi ZX200-3; four John Deere 424H wheel loaders; two Komatsu D65PX-15 dozers; 13 classic John Deere tractors; 12 boats; and a massive assortment of equipment.

More than 200 vehicles, hand tools, power tools and other items also were available for auction.

The next sale will be on Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. in Kenmore, Wash.

For more information, visit murphyauction.com.

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Heavy Construction News – Construction Groups Split on Extending OSHA’s Crane Safety Deadline – #Construction #News

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The issue comes to a head today, June 20, when OSHA officials break their five months of public silence about crane policy and ask a panel of construction and safety experts.

📅   Wed June 21, 2017 – National Edition
Bruce Rolfsen

 

 

More than six years after OSHA’s construction crane rule was issued in late 2010, the agency is again asking if delay of the certification mandate should continue.

This time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is thinking of postponing enforcement for one year, making Nov. 10, 2018, the new deadline.

The issue comes to a head June 20, when OSHA officials break their five months of public silence about crane policy and ask a panel of construction and safety experts—the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health—if the deadline should be extended.

The 12-month delay would give the agency time to complete work on an updated rule (RIN:1218-AC96) and determine how the rulemaking would fit into the Trump administration mandate limiting new regulations.

In the meantime, OSHA would continue to expect employers to ensure crane operators are trained and competent.

James Headley, chief executive officer of the Crane Institute of America Certification, in advance comments to the committee, recommended against the delay.

“Now another extension is being sought when in reality we have a perfectly good operator certification requirement in place and have had since 2010,” Headley said.

A group backing the delay, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), told the committee in a written presentation that it “reluctantly” supports the extension because of OSHA’s need for more time.

Graham Brent, the organization’s chief executive officer, urged OSHA to issue a final rule before the 2018 deadline.

Type and Capacity?

At the heart of the delay debate is the question on how much testing is needed for certification and if OSHA should also decide if an operator is qualified.

While most construction contractors, crane rental companies and union operators back the certification mandate, support isn’t unanimous for what certification tests should cover.

Under the current rule (29 C.F.R. 1926 Subpart CC), OSHA expects operators to be certified according to the type of crane and the crane’s lifting capacity. Many industry members want OSHA to drop the capacity mandate.

For example under the current rule, an operator certified to run a mobile hydraulic crane would also need to be certified for the weight load. An operator certified to lift loads of five tons or less couldn’t handle a heavier load.

Many industry representatives have told OSHA they want the lifting capacity mandate dropped because testing workers on different capacity cranes would tie up the expensive machines for testing, instead of performing construction work.

Certification vs. Qualification

Also unresolved is OSHA’s qualification mandate.

The rule (29 C.F.R. 1926.1427) states, “An operator will be deemed qualified to operate a particular piece of equipment if the operator is certified.”

Company representatives have told the agency that employers should decide whether their operators are qualified, which could include factors such as experience and leadership—factors that aren’t measured for certification.

In December 2016, OSHA officials said they were nearly ready to release a proposed rule explaining the agency’s positions. However, before the proposed rule could be published, Donald Trump took office and OSHA has remained without politically appointed leadership since.

The June 20 meeting is scheduled because federal law requires OSHA to seek the recommendation of the advisory committee on any proposal to change OSHA construction regulations. While the committee’s approval isn’t required before issuing a rule, objections to portions of rules frequently result in revisions.

The meeting, starting at 1 p.m., will be a teleconference with the public able to listen in. Several interest groups have asked for time to make presentations.

(Source: Bloomberg BMA https://www.bna.com/construction-groups-split-n73014453536/)

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Jeff Martin Auctioneers Hosts Its Largest Public Auction – Heavy Construction News

Heavy Construction News

📅 Fri May 19, 2017 – Southeast Edition #11

 

Jude (L) and Joey from Gulfport, Miss., stand with a 2008 Komatsu PC130-8 hydraulic excavator.

Jeff Martin Auctioneers Inc. held its largest public auction to date on May 5 to 6, for a huge two-day late spring public auction held in Brooklyn, Miss. The next two-day public auction in Brooklyn, Miss., will be Aug. 11 to 12.

This public auction was held for multiple local counties and contractors who recently decided to liquidate excess equipment inventory due to job completion. There were a total of 1,500-plus items in all four rings. A total of 1,300 participated in live and online bidding; from 41 different states and six different countries.

Highlights from the auction included five 2017 Mack Granite GU713 TRI/A dump trucks, six 2013 John Deere 9560R articulated pull tractors, a 2010 Caterpillar 336DL hydraulic excavator, a 2013 John Deere 2112E ejector pull scraper and a 2011 John Deere 724K wheel loader.

Jeff Martin Auctioneers’ next offsite auction will be the Permian Basin Absolute Public Auction held in Stanton, Texas, June 21. This auction will feature heavy equipment, heavy trucks and heavy trailers.

For more information, visit jeffmartinauctioneers.com.

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The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

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Dairy farmers are busy with routines such as cleaning cowsheds, milking, and feeding, so it’s very difficult to determine the condition of cows. If this continues, they will remain too busy to ensure the quantity and quality of milk and dairy products. A group of researchers led by Professor YAGI Yasushi at the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University, together with Professor NAKADA Ken at Rakuno Gakuen University, developed a technique for monitoring health of dairy cattle with high frequency and accuracy in the farmers’ stead by using a camera and AI with the aim of realizing a smart cowhouse.

Hoof health is an important aspect of proper dairy cattle care. Injuries and illnesses of hooves, called ‘lameness’, if left untreated, will lead not only to declining quantity and quality of dairy products, but also to life-threatening disease. Thus, its early detection is very important. Indicators for lameness are manifested in back arch and gait patterns of cows. Methods for finding lameness by detecting back arch had been studied; however, that method was effective in detecting moderate to severe lameness.

This group established a method for the early detection of lameness from cow gait images with an accuracy of 99% or higher by using their own human gait analysis technique. Specifically, this group waterproofed and dustproofed Microsoft Kinect, a camera-based sensor capable of measuring distance to an object, and set it in a cowshed at Rakuno Gakuen University. Based on the large number of cow gait images taken by this sensor, this group characterized cow gaits, detecting cows with lameness through machine learning.

“Our achievements will mark the start of techniques for monitoring cows using AI-powered image analysis,” says Professor Yagi. “This will contribute largely to realizing a smart cowhouse interlocked with an automatic milking machine and feeding robot, both of which have already been introduced to some dairy farms, as well as wearable sensors attached to cows under study.” He continues, saying, “By finely adjusting the amount of expressed milk and the amount of feed as well as by showing farmers cow conditions in detail through automatic analysis of cow conditions, we can realize a new era of dairy farming in which farmers can focus entirely on health management of their cows and delivering high-quality dairy products.”

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Materials provided by Osaka University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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