Industry News

Forecast Reports Cautious Optimism for 2007
Spending on new and used equipment expected to increase
CIT Construction, a unit of CIT Group Inc., a global provider of commercial and consumer finance solutions, released the results of its 31st annual CIT Construction Industry Forecast. Among its conclusions, the survey found that a majority of respondents were cautiously optimistic about 2007, while many expect to increase spending on new and used equipment in the coming year.

CIT Construction surveyed more than 900 contractors and equipment distributors throughout the country by telephone on their perceptions of the state of the industry and trends for the coming year. The complete Forecast can be found at www.CIT.com.

"The CIT Construction Industry Forecast highlights the fact that the U.S. construction industry remains cautiously optimistic about 2007," says Ron Riecks, president of CIT Construction. "While the level of optimism varied across the U.S. many respondents indicated they planned to increase their spending on new and used equipment in the coming year which portends to more activity in the industry. I interpret this as good news for CIT and the construction industry as a whole and look forward to a busy 2007."

Educational Opportunities at WOA Expanded
Certification courses plus small contractor, CEO sessions planned
The World of Asphalt 2007 Show and Conference will offer more educational programming to help meet the training and professional-development needs of asphalt, highway maintenance and traffic safety industry professionals from companies large to small.

World of Asphalt 2007 will be held March 19-22, 2007 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta and will feature exhibits of the latest asphalt-related equipment, technologies, products and services.

In addition to education sessions over four days, World of Asphalt 2007 attendees can participate in a continuing-education tour of the research and testing facilities of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT).

World of Asphalt 2007 attendees will have access to two industry conferences: the Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) Asphalt Pavement Conference and the People, Plants and Paving Training Program. The programs have been designed by a cross-section of asphalt industry experts to ensure sessions meet industry needs.

Two new education tracks will be included in the 2007 People, Plants and Paving Training Program, one focused on small contractor needs and one providing upper level management with the latest on industry trends to help them better manage their companies' future.

World of Asphalt 2007 will also host two certification courses to provide additional value to attendees: the Traffic Control Technician Course of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and the OSHA 10-Hour Course for Construction Workers, a safety course developed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Select sessions of World of Asphalt education will be available in Russian and Spanish in recognition of the increasingly global nature of the show.

"Our goal is to provide knowledge-sharing opportunities that meet the 'real-world' needs of a broad range of industry professionals," says Show Manager Melissa Magestro. "And, it's not only learning in the classroom; the networking among peers is also invaluable."

Details and registration forms are available online at www.worldofasphalt.com, or contact World of Asphalt by phone at (800) 867-6060 or fax (414) 272-2672.

AGC Addresses Needs of Highway Program
Future transportation challenges outlined
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) met in San Francisco at its midyear meeting and discussed the future of the Federal-Aid Highway Program. Congress established the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission recognizing the need to develop a national plan for addressing the nation's future transportation needs. AGC invited Steve Heminger, a member of the National Commission and Executive Director of the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to discuss the challenges facing the nation and how the National Commission will address them.

"We held four sessions at this midyear meeting where AGC contractors addressed our aging transportation infrastructure, congestion, the projected increase in freight movement resulting in more truck traffic and the need for better intermodal connections for the nation," says AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. "Our nation's quality of life and world competitiveness will be negatively impacted without increased funding to protect and develop our nation's transportation system."

Heminger heard AGC contractors suggestions about the need to look at the declining funding for highway, bridge and transit projects and to be creative in finding ways to address this shortfall.

AGC recommended that a variety of funding sources be tapped including port fees, tolling and other impact fees but that the user fee concept, which has been successful in financing the construction of the Interstate system and related roadways, should not be abandoned. User fees include taxes on gasoline, diesel and other motor fuels paid by motorists. AGC recommended that user fees based on the number of miles driven rather than the amount of fuel used should be considered.

In his presentation, Heminger noted that, "Congress has run out of solutions to our transportation woes and established the commission to look for new approaches."

Vögele Breaks Ground
Chambersburg plant expansion will serve Wirtgen "Three Amigos"
In early spring 2007, Wirtgen America Inc. will break ground for a 30,000-square-foot expansion of its Vögele America Inc. plant at Chambersburg, PA.

"This expansion will better enable distribution and service of all Wirtgen America Inc. 'Three Amigo' products of Wirtgen recycling, Hamm compaction and Vögele America asphalt paving products in the eastern United States," says Stu Murray, president of Wirtgen America. "It's part of Wirtgen Group's continuous expansion in North America and will bring both Hamm and Wirtgen product inventory and parts into Chambersburg for distribution throughout the Northeastern market areas.
"The result will be an ultramodern, regional product storage, prep and parts facility for all three product lines, based at our Vögele America factory in Chambersburg," he says.

The new building will be separate from and adjacent to the Vögele America Inc. design and manufacturing facility in Chambersburg. The existing plant includes 60,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehousing and office space on 10 acres of land. It was built specifically for the design, assembly and support of asphalt pavers in North America.

The new building will house five service bays for equipment predelivery prep, as well as service and manufacturing, along with a 40' by 60' training facility, all on one level. It will also contain office space.

Murray added the existing Vögele America product line will be expanded to include new small paving machinery that will be introduced in November 2006, as well as two all-new highway pavers available in the second quarter of 2007.

Appointments
Vögele America Inc., a subsidiary of Wirgten America Inc., appoints Brodie W. Hutchins as general manager.

Wirtgen America Inc. names R. Wayne Evans the new vice president of business development, pavement technology.

Ingersoll Rand names Daniel Sandonato vice president, global marketing road development.

Bomag Americas appoints G.E. (Jerry) Randecker as president. Randecker succeeds Charles M. (Mike) Simpkins, who is retiring after more than 15 years with the company.

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) elects Dr. C. Michael Walton, professor of civil engineering and the E.H. Cockrell Centennial chair in engineering at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin, 2006-07 chairman.

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) appoints Richard C. Moore, president of Lehman-Roberts Co., Memphis, TN, as the chairman for the 2007 World of Asphalt Show and Conference.

 

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