Month: January 2016

Landscaping Pros Share Tips for Success

Dennis Elverman and Ross Swartz grew up across the pond from each other on the same stretch of rural county road near Wilmot, Wisconsin. Both men have had an impact on residential and commercial landscaping in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. Elverman is entering his 45th year as a professional landscaper this spring (28 as the owner/operator of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin-based Elverman Landscapes). Swartz has been working the family nursery and landscaping business (Paul Swartz Nursery) since the 1970s, and is entering the first year of a two-year term as the president of the Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association.

The size of their businesses may be different (Elverman runs a crew of three; Swartz runs numerous crews and a fully operational nursery), but many of the themes shared by each of them are universal to all landscaping businesses: hard work and reputation will take you places – as long as you’re prepared for what’s ahead and you’ve got a plan for managing the workload.

921F Tackles Busy Concrete Plant

Augusta Ready Mix has been in the concrete business for more than 30 years, and has grown along with its hometown of Augusta, Ga.

“I started Augusta Ready Mix with my dad in 1985. We were in the dump truck business before that,” explains Terry Davis, owner and co-founder. “We try to be a complete service for home building construction. We’ve got dump trucks. We’ve got concrete trucks. We provide concrete, fill material and mortar sand. We pump concrete. We’ve got front dischargers, rear dischargers, little 4-yard mixers. We have tried to innovate in this town with new ideas in construction.”
One can sense Davis’ pride as he stands before his central plant in Augusta, with concrete trucks being loaded at a constant pace in the background. The company has made a name for itself throughout the region for its service, responsiveness, and ability to deliver concrete in batches large and small to contractors in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).

Meet Ahmed Hassan & Sustainable Heroes

If this world has taught us anything it’s that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. For some, that hero is Ahmed Hassan, an experienced landscaping expert and TV host who initially rose to fame hosting a variety of HGTV and DIY Network shows.

A California native, Hassan has collaborated and worked on several landscape and construction projects throughout the country. Many of those projects are the work of his new organization known as, “Sustainable Heroes.” A freelance group of professionals including contractors, carpenters, landscapers, project managers, designers and more. The Heroes travel the country and choose humanitarian and sustainability projects where their charitable works will make a positive impact in the community.

Lowering Wheel Loader TCO

When trying to manage the total cost of ownership of your wheel loader, there are several things you can do that will give you an edge on your bottom line—and your competition. Here are ten considerations that can help you lower your operating and ownership costs and increase your profitability.

  1. Right-sizing Equipment. Maybe more so than any other piece of heavy equipment, the size of the loader—and the bucket—can have a heavy impact on upstream and downstream operations. Production in an aggregate or concrete mixing plant can be reduced if a loader bucket isn’t large enough to keep the hopper full. Similarly, in a mass earthmoving application, if a wheel loader can’t keep up with the dozers pushing material to it, then those dozers will be forced to wait.It’s also important to remember that bigger isn’t always better. A wheel loader or bucket can be too large, depending on the application. An oversized machine may have to sit idle waiting to refill a hopper, or waiting for more material. Be sure to work with your CASE dealer and choose the right-sized machine for your application.
  2. Know Your Engine. Today’s Tier 4 Final wheel loaders are equipped with a variety of engine types and after-treatment technologies, and knowing the differences, as well as the impact that they can have on your operation, is essential in managing your ownership costs.CASE has adopted Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology for use in its F Series wheel loaders. SCR lowers harmful emissions through a simple chemical reaction by introducing Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) into the exhaust stream. These systems do not require any kind of regeneration, filter replacement or other maintenance practices found in other systems. SCR allows the engine to run at peak performance, which provides faster throttle response while also maintaining lower temperatures and delivering up to 20% better fuel efficiency over other solutions. It also helps the engine run at lower temperatures, which ultimately extends the service life of components that surround the engine as they are not subject to as much heat stress.It’s important to understand how your after-treatment system works, and how it can impact your productivity in different applications. For example, long warm-up periods in the cold months, as well as any excessive idle times can have a negative impact on the efficiency of SCR-equipped engines. Besides the obvious fuel costs associated with long idle times, this practice also makes SCR systems run less efficiently. Operators will experience higher DEF dosing rates and more frequent fill-ups, so we always suggest using the auto-idle or shutdown features to limit idle times and improve engine efficiency—this will lower your fuel and DEF costs over the life of the machine.
  3. Matching Axles to Operation 
    Pairing the wrong axle/tire configuration to a specific wheel loader application can cause increased wear to the tires, and can put the axles under unnecessarily excessive load.  Properly managing this lowers costs over time and prevents potential long-term damage to the axles.CASE offers three axle options designed to meet the unique requirements of nearly all applications—limited-slip, differential lock and open axle.Limited-slip
    CASE offers a standard limited-slip axle—both front and rear—on our 521F, 621F, 721F, and 821F wheel loaders.

Power, Dirt & Intelligence

The contractor-dealer relationship can be the tipping point between success and failure for many construction companies – especially as it relates to equipment management. The growing adoption of telematics by heavy equipment owners is making it easier for contractors and their dealers to work together to ensure optimal uptime and efficient operation of each machine.   

Joey Coogler Jr., owner and operator of Coogler Construction in Columbia, S.C., is a recent believer in the power of remote monitoring. He founded Coogler Construction in 1994 with help from his father and brother Chris, who is now the vice president of the company. They started with a backhoe and a track loader and have since grown to 100 pieces of equipment spread across South Carolina.

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