Industry News

House Passes Highway Bill
TEA-LU authorizes $283.9 billion through 2009

The process of reauthorizing the federal highway program moved a step closer in early March with the House passage of the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy of Users (TEA-LU) (H.R. 3).

The bill, which was approved by a vote of 417 to 9, authorizes $283.9 billion for federal surface transportation programs for fiscal years 2004 to 2009. The money will be split as follows:

  • $225.5 billion for Federal Highway Administration programs
  • $52.3 billion for Federal Transit Administration programs
  • $3.2 billion for National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration programs, and
  • $2.9 billion for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration programs

By comparison, TEA-21, the highway authorization law enacted in 1998, authorized a total of $218 billion for highway and transit programs. Prior to the enactment of TEA-21, funding for the federal highway program was less than $20 billion per year. In FY 2005, however, the federal government will spend more than $34 billion on roads.

TEA-21 expired in 2003 without a new highway authorization law having been put in place. Since then, money has continued to flow to the program thanks to a series of short-term extensions, the most recent of which expires at the end of May. The Senate is currently working on its version of the highway bill.

Information provided by the Associated Equipment Distributors.

Astec expands sales force

Astec's Competitive Parts Department has expanded its sales force. According to Landon Hartman, parts director, "We have increased sales tremendously. In response to this growth, we've added Mike Nix to our outside sales team."

As a Competitive Parts Sales Manager, Nix will travel California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. His experience with almost every aspect of manufacturing during his 24 years at Astec makes him an invaluable resource for parts customers.

Nix will travel his territory by truck, carrying a full supply of parts with him. He can perform a variety of tests such as density testing on silo cones and drum shells. Like all Astec parts representatives, he will work with owners of any brand of asphalt plant.

Speed enforcement key to cutting construction zone deaths and injuries

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) urges state and local police departments to step up their enforcement of speed limits in roadway construction zones to help reduce deaths and injuries.

Rich Wagman, 2005 chairman of ARTBA, notes that a highway worker or motorist is killed in a roadway construction zone every eight hours. He says more than 50,000 Americans are also injured in road construction zone accidents each year.

"Getting motorists to obey posted speed limits is a key to enable them to recognize and respond to changes in traffic patterns in work zones," said Wagman. "If motorists heed work zone warnings, we can significantly cut the high number of worker and motorist deaths."

Wagman says ARTBA is seeking a provision in the pending federal highway and transit program reauthorization bill that would increase funding for speed enforcement activities at roadway construction projects receiving federal aid. The provision, he says, was included in the highway bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 2, 2005.

Crafco acquires PaveTech

Crafco Inc. has acquired substantially all the assets of PaveTech International, located in Cincinnati, OH.

PaveTech's purchase brings to Crafco a product line consisting of PavePrep brand Geo-Composites, a broad line of bridge joint systems, mastics and high friction surface treatments.

Crafco will be offering these products through its worldwide network of distribution as well as previous distributors of PaveTech.

Paladin acquires Sweepster LLC

Paladin, a manufacturer of construction equipment attachments, has acquired Sweepster LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of two brands of light construction equipment attachments, Sweepster and FFC. This marks Paladin's fifth acquisition since October 2003 and reflects the company's aggressive expansion strategy and goal to become the industry's largest independent manufacturer of full-line attachment products.

Sweepster and FFC will become a part of Paladin's Light Construction and will join this group's existing leading brands of attachments including, Bradco, McMillen and The Major. Attachments manufactured by the five light construction brands will be sold and distributed through a new sales and product support organization that is being formed by combining inside and outside sales personnel from Sweepster, FFC and Paladin's Light Construction Group.

O'Leary named president of FP2

William F. "Bill" O'Leary, Prime Materials and Supply Corp., has been named president of the Foundation for Pavement Preservation (FP2).

FP2, a nonprofit foundation established in 1992, provides resources to advance knowledge for managing and preserving pavements.

Pavement preservation is a planned system of treating pavements at the optimum time to maximize their useful life, thus enhancing pavement longevity at the lowest cost. Experience shows that spending a dollar on pavement preservation eliminates or delays spending $6 to $10 on rehabilitation or reconstruction costs.

"FP2 supports research to educate government and industry professionals in the economical, safety and performance advantages of pavement preservation," O'Leary says. "We strive to continuously improve the quality and understanding of new technologies through education, research, international education and public-private partnering."

O'Leary succeeds William E. Ballou, who has retired.

O'Leary's professional experience is rich in the area of pavement surface treatments and pavement preservation. He is president of Prime Materials and Supply Corp., established in 1987, an asphalt emulsion manufacturer with two facilities, in Houston and Port Neches, TX. Prior to his tenure at Prime, O'Leary was employed by Elf Asphalt and Bituminous Materials Group, where he served as regional manager for asphalt emulsion facilities.

New show for transportation industry

Intertraffic North America — a comprehensive conference and exposition to bring together suppliers and customers for the transportation construction and traffic management industries — will be held September 27-29, at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD. The event is being organized by ARTBA and Amsterdam RAI.

Representatives from firms involved in transportation infrastructure, intelligent transportation systems, parking, traffic safety, control and management will be exhibiting at the event.

The National Association of County Engineers (NACE) will help develop the conference program.

For more information, visit

Associations elect new leaders

The Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association (AEMA) elected John Carrick, Jr. as president for the 2005-2006 term.

The Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association (ARRA) elected Stephen Damp as president for the 2005-2006 term.

The International Slurry Surfacing Association (ISSA) elected Nigel Kerrison as president for the 2005-2006 term.

Ingersoll-Rand Highlights Paving in Latest Seminar

In early February, Ingersoll-Rand Philadelphia offered a Paving Seminar to Philadelphia, Allentown, South Jersey and Delaware paving contractors. Approximately 250 people attended the event.

Seminars, given by Blaw-Knox Paving and Compaction experts Steve Neal, Dale Starry and Mike Watts, covered best paving practices, achieving mat quality, compaction patterns and principles, basic paver maintenance and paving safety.

"Events like this show that we're a business partner with a goal to work side by side with our customers to improve their efficiency and profitability," says Andy Gaslevich, sales representative.

In addition to the seminars, attendees had a hands-on equipment walkaround and question and answer session. Attendees had a chance to look at an ABG Titan 326 paver, a beige PF-4410 (one of the first beige Blaw-Knox pavers to come off the line) loaned to IRES-Philadelphia for the show by Anderson Equipment of Pittsburgh, PA, a PF-5510 with an Omni VII screed, DD118HFA and DD158HFA compactors, an RW-195 Road Widener, MC-330 Material Transfer Vehicle, and various utility equipment.

Also on display was the Ingersoll-Rand "Titanium" chopper made by Orange County Choppers from the television show American Chopper.


New website helps fill construction jobs

Construction companies who are currently spending large sums of money on help wanted ads, professional recruiters and general career database memberships now have an alternative means of finding the most qualified job candidates, thanks to, an online recruiting website geared toward the construction and mining equipment industry.

The website, which launched earlier this winter, matches construction and mining equipment positions with experienced professionals, including field service representatives, sales managers, chief operating officers, and even company presidents.

Companies pay a yearly fee and a nominal resume review fee to view an extensive database of qualified applications. If the company is unable to find the proper candidate for a postion, will convert the subscription fee to a retainer with an experienced construction equipment industry recruiter. Once the recruiter fills the position, the company pays only an agreed-upon salary percentage, and the company still has full use of its subscription to recruit for other positions throughout the year.

Red Letter Dates

May 2005

23 Porous Asphalt Pavement Seminar, Red Lion Hotel, Portland Convention Center, Portland, OR. For more information, visit or call (888) 468-6499.

25 Porous Asphalt Pavement Seminar, Doubletree Hotel, Minneapolis Park Place, Minneapolis, MN. For more information, visit or call (888) 468-6499.

26 Porous Asphalt Pavement Seminar, Chicago Marriott O'Hare, Chicago. For more information, visit or call (888) 468-6499.

July 2005

17-21 AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance, The Mountain Club on Loon, NH. For more information, visit

September 2005

11-14 American Public Works Association (APWA), Minneapolis, MN. For more information, visit

27-29 Intertraffic North America, Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD. For more information, visit

November 2005

17-19 National Pavement Expo West (NPE West), Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas. For more information, visit or call (877) 250-8268.

February 2006

15-18 National Pavement Expo (NPE), Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, NC. For more information, visit or call (877) 250-8268.