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MANUFACTURERS - JUNE 2015

A marketing agreement will see the Besser Co. sales organization promote the Rosetta Hardscapes product line to domestic and international prospects, augmenting the latter company’s sales efforts. The variety of Rosetta units and plant equipment offerings, Besser officials note, will appeal to producers throughout manufactured and ready mixed concrete.

“Rosetta enjoys a unique niche in the marketplace with wet cast products that look like authentic natural stone. We’re looking forward to showing our customers and prospects how cost-effectively they can complement their existing dry cast products and expand into new markets by adding these distinctive concrete units to their product line,” says Besser Director of International Sales and Applications Engineering Duane Rondeau.

“Many concrete producers are looking for new and differentiated products that will complement their existing lines,” adds Rosetta Hardscapes CEO Jeremy Manthei. “We are confident they will be surprised by how easily they can leverage current concrete production capabilities to produce units that mimic natural stone but are highly engineered and dimensionally consistent.” The Besser agreement is an opportunity, he adds, “to greatly increase the number of producers wet casting our retaining walls, steps, pavers, fire pits and fireplaces around the world.”

Like Besser, Rosetta Hardscapes is based in northern Michigan; both cite commitment to continuous research & development and one-stop solutions. Besser specializes in production systems, molds and services for manufactured concrete, and has equipment running in 130 countries. Rosetta provides solutions for hardscape projects that require coordinating elements, and is represented through concrete producers in the U.S., Canada, Germany, the Middle East and Korea, and are ever expanding their international presence.

To step up service to the Dakotas market, Lafarge North America is investing in a concrete dome cement storage facility and terminal on a new rail spur on the east side of Williston, N.D.—in conjunction with the East Valley Rail project of developer New Frontier LLC. The facility will support 30,000 tons of cement storage, transferring product more efficiently into the area and strengthening the company’s network of Dakota terminals and Bakken area presence. Beyond conventional concrete applications, Lafarge cement is used in the Dakotas to support the oil and gas industry with soil stabilization for roads and extraction sites, plus well drilling.

“This facility allows [us] to support the Dakotas in a sustainable manner in terms of a permanent solution and one that relieves truck traffic from the heavily trafficked Highway 2,” says Lafarge Dakotas General Manager Roy Sander.

Indianola, Iowa, volumetric mixing equipment leader Cemen Tech Inc. has named Connor Deering president and chief executive officer, and Mark Rinehart director of Sales & Marketing. 

Deering was most recently vice president of Sales and Marketing of Apache Inc., a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based belt and hose manufacturer, joining it from the Mueller Co. Gas Products and Services Division, where he was vice president and general manager. “Cemen Tech has an extensive history as the leader in the volumetric mixing industry,” he notes. “Our newly redesigned C860 [model] is an example of the quality product that our customers can expect to see in the coming years.”

Rinehart was most recently director of Technology for Ziegler Caterpillar and, according to Deering, “has been instrumental in the advancement of the technology offered on Cemen Tech’s mixers.” The manufacturer introduced the C860 at the World of Concrete in early February. The model offers GPS tracking and a new electronic control panel that will allow those in the field the ability to track the volumetric mixers’ exact flow of admixtures and water electronically.

Louisville, Ky.-based coal combustion products (CCP) processing and management specialist Charah Inc. has entered into an agreement covering output from the Brame Energy Center facilities in Lena, La., owned by Cleco Power LLC. Charah will sell high quality, ASTM C618 C-grade fly ash, bottom ash and circulating fluidized bed ashes from the power station to ready mixed concrete producers and other end users throughout the region, and provide routine ash landfill operations for any unsold CCP. The circulating fluidized bed ashes generated will also be beneficially reused in certain market segments, including oil field and manufactured aggregate.

Daimler Trucks North America plans to sharply increase production and employment levels at its Mt. Holly, N.C., truck manufacturing plant through mid-summer, adding a third shift and filling an additional 580 manufacturing and 25 related supervision, engineering and administrative positions by mid-July. The Mt. Holly plant manufactures Freightliner M2 Business Class medium-duty diesel and natural gas-powered trucks, plus an extensive line of 114SD and 108SD models for the severe-duty vocational truck markets. 

An addition of 600-plus new employees follows the manufacturer’s filling of more than 2,300 truck and parts facility positions during 2014. “Our vehicle manufacturing network is highly scalable and together with our component suppliers, we are fully prepared to handle current and projected new truck order levels,” says Daimler Trucks NA Chief Operating Officer Roger Nielsen. “The untapped capacity at the Mt. Holly plant provides us the capacity and leverage to meet customer delivery schedules in today’s fast-paced economy. Our customers represent the broad diversity and strength of today’s economy, with our trucks being deployed in construction, utilities, beverage hauling, food distribution, emergency response and a host of other applications.”

A strategic partnership between Cummins Inc. and Santa Ana, Calif.-based Agility Fuel Systems, a leader in natural gas fuel storage and delivery systems for heavy-duty trucks, is intended to drive adoption of the diesel fuel alternative. The partnership includes technology development and integration of software and hardware between the natural gas engine and onboard fuel storage and delivery system. Additionally, Agility and Cummins will integrate their sales and aftermarket support and distribution networks to further enhance the end-user experience. Customers will soon be able to have service performed and obtain replacement parts for their natural gas-powered equipment at authorized Cummins distributor and OEM truck dealer locations in the U.S. and Canada.

“Our goal has always been to deliver a diesel-like experience to the end user, making natural gas-powered vehicles as easy to operate and service as diesel vehicles. This partnership with Cummins is a key enabler. By co-developing differentiated and improved natural gas solutions, and utilizing the breadth of Cummins service network, we believe we can accelerate the adoption of natural gas as a fuel for more vehicles, including heavy duty trucks,” says Agility CEO Barry Engle, adding that terms of the agreement include a Cummins equity investment in his company.

Oklahoma-based Hilti, Inc. has been recognized as one of this year’s Best Workplaces and ranks 89 on the 2015 Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For.” A selection process created by Great Place to Work includes an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about the company programs and practices. Great Place to Work then evaluates each application using a unique methodology based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie. Hilti was also recognized with a “Great Rated!” designation, highlighting what makes the workplace culture great in areas like professional development and training, company atmosphere, benefits and rewards.

American Infrastructure, Allan A. Myers and Independence Construction Materials have unified under the Allan Myers banner, reflective of the original father and son team that founded the Worcester, Pa., business more than 75 years ago. The three companies known for heavy civil construction and materials production have combined to make the largest organization of its kind in the region.

“This marks a pivotal point. We are moving from a company rich in history to a company rich in possibility. Today, we are one in name, one in vision, one in purpose, and most importantly, one in people,” says CEO A. Ross Myers, grandson of the founder. “Our unity is what makes our company and people great. And it has, and will continue to be, the catalyst for the many great things I see ahead for all of us.”

Allan Myers has been responsible for creating the roads, bridges, treatment plants, residential, and commercial developments and pipelines that connect communities to services, clean water, and each other, he adds. The company will continue to employ more than 2,000 individuals, dispatched to projects sites in Pennsylvania, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Bloomington, Minn.-based Capital Safety, whose brands include DBI-Sala and Protecta, has acquired Python Safety Inc., a Woodstock, Ga., specialist in dropped object prevention solutions for tools and equipment.

“This acquisition is a natural extension for us and in line with our continued commitment to bringing workers home safely,” says Capital Safety CEO Stephen Oswald. “Struck-by falling objects is a leading cause of injury for workers and Python Safety’s portfolio of products are designed to prevent tools and equipment from falling. This deal enables us to bring a broader range of solutions to our customer base and helps them keep their employees safe.”

“As a combined organization, we will be able to leverage Capital Safety’s global organization and distribution channels with our core strength in drop prevention to broaden our reach and bring even more innovative solutions to a larger customer base,” explains Python Safety CEO Mark Caldwell. “It will also allow us a better opportunity to expand the definition of fall protection to include tools and equipment.”

TNT Crane & Rigging, one of the nation’s premier lifting services providers, has acquired Rocky Mountain Structures and its subsidiaries. Denver-based RMS is one of the largest crane and rigging services companies in the Rocky Mountain region, serving Colorado and the surrounding states. Founded in 1977, it has longstanding ties to the area and a well-diversified customer base which make the business a natural strategic fit for TNT.

The acquisition expands TNT’s contiguous geographic coverage, end-market exposure and fleet composition with the addition of three Colorado branches and 66 cranes. RMS serves the power, commercial and construction markets as well as other end markets throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. 

“[TNT] company is an industry leader with a proven successful track record for profitable growth [and] building a culture that puts its people first,” says RMS CEO Cody Gilliland. “This partnership enhances our ability to grow our business and creates opportunities for our employees. The economic outlook is solid for Colorado and the end markets we serve.’

“RMS provides further geographic expansion in the western U.S. as well as end market diversification through Colorado’s broad group of industry sectors,” adds TNT CEO Mike Appling. “The depth and breadth of our combined capabilities and experience is a tremendous benefit to all of our customers.” With the addition of RMS, he notes, TNT has 1,500-plus employees in 38 locations and a fleet of more than 620 hydraulic truck, all terrain and crawler cranes, plus a comprehensive inventory of gantry jacks, forklifts, rigging equipment, and tractor/trailers.


CONSULTANT CRAFTS LEED V4 SPECIFICATION TOOLS FOR PRODUCERS

Ron Blank & Associates, Inc. has launched a comprehensive program to help building product manufacturers in the era of the U.S. Green Building Council LEED v4 rating system. “The industry has changed significantly over the past decade. Building product manufacturers are under the gun to get their products specified in a highly fragmented marketplace. Architects are requesting Health Product Declarations (HPDs), LEED v4 product documentation, and up-to-date guide specs in order to specify building products. Manufacturers don’t always have specialists in house to develop this crucial documentation,” says Ron Blank.

The cornerstone of the firm’s marketing package is the architectural specifications program, featuring a team of architects who deliver proprietary building product presentations to the top design firms in the country. The presentations increase brand recognition for the manufacturer and help get their building products specified.

“With the ever increasing changes and advancement in building product technologies, education is key to allowing design professionals to adopt these changes effectively so that new challenges can be met and unforeseen consequences uncovered early and avoided in the future,” says Ron Blank & Associates Chief Operating Officer Landon Boone. — www.ronblank.com


caterpillar takes stake in peer-to-peer EQUIPMENT rental VENTURE

To help customers maximize the use and productivity of their owned equipment, Caterpillar Inc. is entering an agreement with Yard Club, a San Francisco-based startup that has developed an online peer-to-peer equipment rental platform. Caterpillar has provided strategic financing to Yard Club, and will launch the online ordering platform in specific metropolitan markets in conjunction with U.S. and Canadian Caterpillar dealers. The platform will include Cat and other brands of rolling stock.

“Peer-to-peer technology has changed other industries like transportation and lodging, and Yard Club has developed an innovative solution initially for the construction equipment industry,” says Caterpillar Americas Distribution Services Division Vice President Phil Kelliher. “Using this platform, a contractor can rent an excavator that’s in between jobs to another contractor who needs that machine. The Cat dealer will use this tool as another avenue to strengthen customer relationships by increasing the utilization rates of heavy equipment and lowering the total cost of equipment ownership.”

“The sharing economy is changing the way entire industries operate,” adds Yard Club CEO Colin Evran. “Our platform is at the forefront of that innovation in the equipment rental industry. Customers can access rental equipment with ease on the web and through mobile devices, while enabling fleet owners to earn income on idle equipment through peer-to-peer rentals.”

“This illustrates what our newly formed Analytics & Innovation Division is charged with: creating and investing in emerging technologies that can further enhance Caterpillar’s product and service development and our customers’ experience,” notes Caterpillar Vice President Greg Folley. “With all of the advances in peer-to-peer technology going on around us, we asked ourselves, why shouldn’t our customers have the ability to share assets to increase efficiency and lower the cost of ownership? Our agreement with Yard Club will help make this a reality.”

Since its founding in 2013, Yard Club has focused on San Francisco Bay Area contractors; with Caterpillar’s investment, the business is poised to further develop the rental platform and expand club member covers. Yard Club expects to have dealer and customer fleets installed on the platform and ready for rental by midyear.


PAVETECH SCHEDULES PICP MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT TRAINING COURSE

33 Pavetech 400Hardscape tool, equipment and supply specialist PaveTech Inc. will hold a Mechanical Equipment Training for Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement session this month at the School for Advanced Segmental Paving. The Franksville, Wis., facility is billed as the world’s first vocational school offering hands-on, best practices training and education for hardscaping professionals. 

Organizers have enlisted top experts and manufacturer representatives to cover a two-day curriculum highlighted by Mechanical Laying & Screeding Training plus Best Practices for Site Layout, Compaction and Screeding tracks, to include insights on proportional lasers. Additional School for Advanced Segmental Paving course information can be obtained from PaveTech’s Sam Sabean, 952/226-6400; [email protected]; www.pavetech.com.