Construction News Tracker Video: Kubota Enters Skid Steer Market Four Years after Track Loader Intro

Kubota unveiled its two new models of skid steers which incorporate new features like a sliding front entry door and unique cooling design; plus more construction industry news in the October 30, 2014 edition of Construction News Tracker

Manufacturers take on the highway fund fight...

Kubota jumps into the skid steer field...

And new building techiques support construction...

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

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is tossing its hat into the ring of support for improved infrastructure spending. Citing a University of Maryland study, NAM concludes that without better funding, the U.S. will face lower productivity, stiffer competition and slower job creating. In fact, the study claims that for every dollar in infrastructure spending over 15 years, we'll see a $3 return. Many NAM members rely on good roads and infrastructure to move products.

Kubota is jumping into the skid steer market with the unveiling of two new models offering 64- and 74-hp ratings. Product manager Tim Boulds outlines just some of the new Kubota features available. Cautiously entering the skid steer field, Kubota has incorporated new features including a sliding front entry door, easy access service points and unique cooling design to keep debris clear of the engine.

Talk about a small footprint. That's what the new Cat 303E CR mini excavator offers contractors. Its compact radius design limits tailswing to less than 5 inches, can easily be transported among jobsites with a wieght of only 7,782 pounds, and carries a blade of only 61 inches wide. The new Cat 303E CR is an expansion of the mini excavator lineup, with choices offered in class size, cab and canopy configuration, and operational safety.

New construction techniques being employed in construction are beginning to reap dividends. In Michigan, the DOT has taken the tech field under its wing by going paperless. The agency estimates it saved $180,000 on a recent (I 96) rebuild project and eliminated better than seven million pieces of paper. Michigan DOT managed 55 contractor and subcontractor firms along with 500 workers and 65 staffers using iPads and iPhone technology in survey software, electronic document workflow and much improved approval notices.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania DOT has decided to take its 558 bridges in the rapid bridge replacement program and use a public-private partnership. The move estimates it will reduce from 8 years to 4 the finalizing of contract procedures by using similar designs and finance as well as a 25-year maintenance plan. All the 558 bridges are considered structurally deficient.

Out west, Turner Construction is building a ndw courthouse for Stockton, Calif., and the company is using a drone to check progress. Every few days Turner enginerers employ a drone to document completed work, fine tune building techniques and help its marketing arm - one of the nation's largest. Turner officials say they learn new lessons from the drone video captured every time it flies.

Look for Buffalo, N.Y., to soon become the nation's leader in building solar panels and equipment. Ground has been broken for the new solar city complex and 3,000 jobs that go with it. Building on the site of a former stseel mill, it is seen as the largest in the U.S. with completion set for 2016. Besides the manufacturing jobs there will be those for support and services as well as installers in coming years - a real economic boon for the Buffalo area.

In closing, anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but no one can count the apples in a seed.