10 don’t-miss construction stories from the summer of 2021
By Jenny LescohierSeptember 07, 2021
Summer represents something different to everyone, but in construction, it means work. If you were too busy doing your job these past few months to keep up with the news, no worries, we got you.
Here’s a rundown on the top 10 construction-related stories from CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365 since June:
1. Top 10 construction companies in the U.S. for 2021 - Where does your favorite brand fall on the list?
This annual ranking of leading construction equipment manufacturers reveals sales declined in 2020, but not as badly as expected due to new challenges the world has been facing.
The U.S. list comes from the ‘Yellow Table,’ an annual global ranking of the world’s top 50 construction equipment manufacturers by sales figures. This year it shows that sales for 2020 declined by 5.5% to $191.5 billion.
2. Elon Musk completes construction of Las Vegas Convention Center Loop - If you’ve ever been to a tradeshow in Las Vegas, then you understand the challenge of schlepping from one end of the convention campus to the other. It’s a distance of approximately one mile and a quarter, which when trekked alongside tens of thousands of other people can take a long time, sometimes 30 to 45 minutes.
Those days might be over, if Elon Musk, renowned entrepreneur and co-founder/CEO of Tesla, has anything to say about it. His venture, The Boring Company (TBC), completed construction of the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop in June 2021, introducing a 1.7-mile transportation system utilizing what will soon be autonomous Teslas to take people from end to end in as little as two minutes.
3. Design flaw in foundation eyed as cause of Florida building collapse - A design flaw at the bottom of a 135-unit condominium complex in south Florida might have caused the 40-year-old building to suddenly collapse on June 24, killing 98 people.
According to reports, faulty construction of the pool deck could have ultimately led to the destruction of a portion of Champlain Towers South, located in Surfside, FL, just north of Miami Beach.
The concrete of the pool deck was built flat instead of sloped, allowing water to collect and seep down to the parking garage below, where long-term corrosion is said to have compromised the integrity of the entire structure.
4. 6 work trucks made for construction - Looking for a new rig? A quick Google search will make your head spin, as automakers know
America loves its pickup trucks and everyone and their brother wants a piece of that (apple) pie.
But what’s worth looking at in a truck used for construction work? As mentioned, there is no shortage of choices on the market, and each make and model offers an abundance of options. At the end of the day, your truck needs to be easy and pleasing to use, tough enough to stand up to the task at hand, and ideally, offer enough fuel efficiency to leave some money in your pocket.
5. 10 top excavators for your fleet - Excavators are a mainstay on every construction job site. In fact, it’s probably safe to say if there were a symbol to represent the earthmoving sector, it would be the trusty excavator.
There are many sizes and configurations to choose from, but if you’re looking for a digest of the tried-and-true medium-size workhorses,
here’s a list of models from leading manufacturers that focus their efforts on productivity, fuel efficiency and ease of use with their latest designs.
6. VIDEO: Chevy Silverado gets dirty with ZR2 package in 2022 - Members of Team Chevy now have one more reason to love Silverado, as the Big Three automaker plans to introduce the ZR2 off-road package on its 2022 models of its flagship work truck.
With this move, Chevrolet aims to go head to head with the Ford F-150 Tremor and Ram 1500 Rebel. Until now, the ZR2 package was available only on the mid-size Chevy Colorado.
7. ‘Badass’ severe-duty Class 8 dump truck from Autocar - Autocar, LLC introduces the fourth version of its DC-64D severe-duty Class 8 dump truck, the ‘Badass,’ which it said is built to exceed industry standards for strength, maneuverability and visibility.
According to information provided by the manufacturer, the company trademarked ‘Badass’ to describe its line of trucks, which it claimed is North America’s oldest line of specialized severe-duty vocational trucks with a 120-year history.
8. How to keep your employees fresh and focused - New employees are a lot like fresh bread; the day they start, they seem very flexible and forgiving. After they’re around for a while, however, they can become stiff and maybe a bit stale.
There are many causes for this - including a lack of meaningful feedback or a roadmap for a success - but most are avoidable if leaders are strategic about keeping their team fresh.
9. Three contractors explain the why and how of grade control - Taking the plunge on machine control for your construction fleet is not a casual decision. There’s significant expense involved, not to mention the effort in getting staff to buy in as well as personnel training.
To get some ‘boots on the ground’ insight into the issue, we look to three contractors who’ve been using the Trimble Earthworks grade control platform.
10. Keystone XL oil pipeline terminated by TC Energy - TC Energy officially announced the termination of the $9-billion Keystone XL Pipeline Project on June 10, almost five months after construction activities were suspended following the revocation of its Presidential permit on Jan. 20 by U.S. President Joe Biden.
The 1,200-mile oil pipeline project was originally proposed in 2008 and was expected to carry 830,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil sands crude to Nebraska refineries, but the project was delayed for the past 12 years due to opposition from U.S. landowners, Indigenous tribes and environmentalists.