Industry News

Case Leads Construction Industry into Biodiesel

In response to rising fuel prices, future fuel supply concerns and its customers' owning- and-operating costs, Case Construction Equipment has become the first construction equipment manufacturer to approve the use of B5 blends (5-percent biodiesel and 95-percent petroleum-based diesel) in all of its mechanical engines.

The global full-line manufacturer also announces the use of B20 blends (20-percent biodiesel and 80-percent petroleum-based diesel) is possible on all Case engines other than electronic engines and those in the Case 410 and 420 skid-steer loaders. Owners should see their local Case dealer for more information on specific biodiesel applications.

"Our customer-focused strategy helps us understand just how important lower owning-and-operating costs are to the people who buy our machines," says Jim McCullough, president of Case Construction Equipment. "We're taking every step we can to help customers be more productive, competitive and profitable. We're also well aware of the finite availability of fossil fuels; for all these reasons, we are investigating a variety of alternatives like biodiesel."

Biodiesel, which is produced from vegetable-based oils derived from renewable resources such as North American-grown soybeans, is used in various processed mixes with standard petroleum diesel. It has been heralded as an alternative fuel with the ability to lower emissions and help reduce dependence on imported oil.

"We do not intend to stop at B5 and B20 in our quest to help customers reduce their operating costs," McCullough says.

"Case is committed to working with its partners to push toward higher-level biodiesel blends that will be compatible with future low-emissions-compliant engines.

"We've initiated aggressive field tests to evaluate the performance of Case engines with 100-percent biodiesel," he says.

While the long-term effects of biodiesel in higher-blend ratios have yet to be confirmed with current production engines, Case is continuing to study the impacts of those applications.

Case will also continue to work closely with the Engine Manufacturers Association's Biodiesel Task Force subcommittee, which works to advance biodiesel research.

"Our research, and our work with the Biodiesel Task Force and other organizations, will build the foundation of our future with this fuel source," McCullough says.

B5 blends must meet the requirements of U.S. Standard ASTM6751 on the base biodiesel stock. When using blends higher than 20 percent, equipment owners should consult their Case Construction Equipment dealer.

Ingersoll Rand Awarded Miltary Contracts
Branch wins contracts from U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army
The Ingersoll Rand Equipment & Services branch in Milwaukee, WI, recently won contracts from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.

The U.S. Air Force has awarded two air compressor contracts worth $15 million to Ingersoll Rand Equipment & Services Milwaukee.

Ingersoll Rand will supply spare parts for the air compressors.

"These contracts are the result of a total team effort, and we are pleased to have been selected as the U.S. Air Force supplier of models 135, 250, and 675 portable air compressors," says Joe Fleischman, government sales manager for Ingersoll Rand Equipment & Services Milwaukee.

The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) awarded a contract to rebuild 11 Ingersoll Rand portable air compressor units.

The U.S. Army contract also includes furnishing new pneumatic construction tools and padlocks.

NAPA Announces 2007 Annual Meeting
Jim Collins to be keynote speaker in San Francisco
The National Asphalt Pavement Association announces it will hold its 52nd Annual Meeting February 18–21, 2007 at the San Francisco Marriott in California. The Annual Meeting will be preceded by committee meetings, February 16-18.

Best selling author Jim Collins (co-author of "Built to Last" and author of "Good to Great") is the scheduled keynote speaker. Collins will challenge attendees to think about the timeless principles that distinguish great organizations from good ones.

Drawing upon his 15 years of research, Collins will weave together stories and examples that illustrate the principles and encourage attendees to consider how they can apply them within their own spans of responsibility to create a pocket of greatness.

After the opening event, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in timely workshops on hot topics in the hot-mix asphalt (HMA) industry. HMA producers, contractors and equipment suppliers from around the world will be on hand for the general sessions featuring exceptional speakers who will address current industry issues and future trends.

ARTBA Attorney: Need for NEPA REFORM
Lawyer remarks to American Bar Association
A U.S. House of Representatives task force established to consider reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has put forward several important proposals that could help ensure decisions made by federal, state and local government agencies to add new highway capacity are not subject to endless legal challenge, an American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) staff attorney said June 2.

ARTBA's Nick Goldstein delivered his remarks before an American Law Institute/American Bar Association environmental litigation conference in San Francisco. He was part of a panel analyzing the recent draft report by the House task force, which contained more than 20 recommendations for updating NEPA.

NEPA is a 1969 law that regulates the environmental review process all transportation projects must undergo before construction can begin. NEPA's original intent was to protect the environment by ensuring the public has a role in the federal decision-making process and in minimizing the environmental impacts that result from federal activities. Provisions in the law, however, have been increasingly used by anti-growth groups to shut down or delay transportation improvement projects.

Goldstein said the NEPA task force report contained a number of valuable ideas for improvement, such as eliminating duplicative reviews and curbing excessive and frivolous environmental litigation. The report calls for establishing lead agencies for conducting environmental reviews and a 180-day time limit for filing project-related NEPA lawsuits. Such a statute of limitations, Goldstein said, would lead to more certainty in the transportation planning and help speed the delivery of highway improvement projects.

Goldstein also highlighted a number of the positive environmental reforms ARTBA worked to achieve in the 2005 federal highway and transit program reauthorization bill, SAFETEA-LU.

Online Training for Asphalt Industry
Pavia Systems offers education on the web
Using its online learning management software, Pavia Systems allows users to manage their own learning while employers track their process from the web.

The Pavia Online Training Center offers a host of system features designed to effectively manage and track users through the training process. Features include:

  • Quizzes. Each course contains online quizzes to track learning and measure progress.
  • Certificates. Once a course is completed, users can print a certificate to verify completion.
  • Supplemental resources. Additional materials such as handouts and PowerPoint presentations are available.
  • Multilingual delivery. Courses can be produced in other languages.

Launched in spring 2006, the initial course catalog includes courses developed in partnership with NAPA (National Asphalt Pavement Association). Learn more at www.hotmix.org or www.paviasystems.com.

Contractor Awarded "Best of the Best"
Ace Asphalt recognized for workplace safety
Ace Asphalt of Arizona Inc. has been honored with the 2005 "Best of the Best" Business Award for Workplace Safety from SCF Arizona. The award recognizes innovation, financial investment and rigorous training commitments in improving on-the-job safety and security and in reducing the number of injuries and time lost by employees.

After being honored as a nominee for this award in 2004, Ace Asphalt recognized the opportunity to improve its safety practices this year.

"We knew what we had to do to achieve this and we put the right things into place in order to accomplish this goal," says Scott Montanye, safety manager for Ace Asphalt. "We've really worked hard and are using this as a benchmark for continued success in this area."

"We place great emphasis in the safety ethics and practices of our employees," adds Tim Drexler, president & CEO of Ace Asphalt. "When put into effect, we become more than just a client of our customers, we become an example … and that's important to us."

 

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