Construction News Tracker Video: Wacker Neuson Unveils New Skid Steer

Wacker dealers got a sneak peak at the new skid steer that will be released at CONEXPO 2014 plus more construction industry news in the October 31, 2013 edition of Construction News Tracker

Cat third quarter numbers reflect a slowing market...

Temporary political truce produces little gain...

Flooded Colorado road repairs underway...

Manufacturers begin CONEXPO sneak previews...

That and more on Construction News Tracker brought to you by Caterpillar and produced by

Third quarter revenue reported by Caterpillar shows a drop in sales of 18% and profit of 44%. The world's leading equipment manufacturer will trim its 2013 financial outlook by 3.5% - the result of a softer U.S. and global economy. Holding its 2014 revenue outlook flat, the company says there are some encouraging growth signs, but it's too early in the game to make a prediction.

During a recent company event we asked Cat CEO Doug Oberhelman about one important segment of the company's future growth market - China.

With the government shutdown over and a shaky political truce underway, the net result for construction from the brinksmanship shows little was gained. Of utmost importance is a provision that bans any new direct federal construction project for 2014 if it was not already funded under 2013 fiscal year appropriation. Secondly, the beleaguered Olmsted Lock and Dam project on the Ohio River gets a financial boost to $2.9 billion, not in new funds but a raise in the cap that can be spent.

Bill Reopening Federal Government Prevents New Construction Starts

The extension of the present funding until January 15 also gives the Federal Highway Administration $450 million in emergency relief to rebuild flood damaged roads in Colorado.

Ravaging waters destroyed about 200 miles of state highway and damaged 120 bridges in mid September - much of it in mountainous areas that have cut off communities. The Colorado DOT has a number of state and local crews along with local contractors working to rebuild the areas in which 1,800 homes and businesses were destroyed. With winter approaching, they hope to have at least temporary repairs completed by December 1st.

At Wacker Neuson's annual dealer meeting recently it used the occasion to offer a sneak peak at new skid-steer loaders that will be unveiled publicly at CONEXPO next March. It's taken the company 10 years to develop equipment for the U.S. market in house and will include two skid steers and two track loaders in a variety of packages and prices. CONEXPO is set for March 4-8 in Las Vegas.

Competition in the construction equipment market is heating up. SDLG, the Chinese subsidiary of Volvo, is new to the North American market joining other Chinese equipment makers like Scania, Shantui and Luigong.

SDLG expands into North America

Initial steel pilings that will support a new Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River in New York are being driven into the riverbed. The $3.9 billion span will have eight lanes and be able to accommodate light rail and express traffic as well as bikes and pedestrians. A consortium of contractors including Granite, Traylor Brothers, Flour and American Bridge along with other from the design-build team. A completed Tappan Zee is expected in 2018.

ARTBA has a series of regional meetings on tap for the construction industry in December. They want to talk about the 2014 U.S. Transportation market forecast, MAP 21, political strategy related to upcoming budget talks and local construction ideas. It all beings December 2 in Austin, Texas, with regional meetings to follow in St. Louis, Charlotte, N.C., and Baltimore. Industry execs and others interested in participating should contact Ed Tarrant at ARTBA:

In closing, of course life is bizarre. The more bizarre it gets the more interesting it is. The only way to approach life is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the movie.