Caterpillar brings on-highway CT series truck production in-house

Sources: Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill.; CP staff

Transitioning from a contract with Navistar International Corp., Caterpillar will begin designing and manufacturing its Class 8 on/off-highway truck line at a three-year-old Victoria, Texas, plant presently used for hydraulic excavator assembly. The line spans two mixer and dump-suited models, the set-back axle CT660 introduced in 2011, and set-forward axle CT681, which entered production in late 2014. The heavy haul-grade CT680, available as a tractor or straight truck, debuted earlier this year.

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Meticulous sand & gravel stockpiles spell high performance concrete for California

Sources: Polaris Materials Corp., Vancouver, B.C.

Polaris Minerals has inaugurated its Port of Long Beach terminal, south of Los Angeles, unloading 77,000 tons of aggregate using a computerized conveying and stacking system designed to maintain fine and coarse grades’ integrity when stockpiled in large quantities. The materials were dispatched from the Orca Quarry, a Vancouver Island deposit Polaris is developing with an eye to construction prospects in the Los Angeles Basin, San Francisco Bay area and other port-served Pacific Coast markets.

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Utility, energy projects spike construction start figures for first half of 2015

Source: Dodge Data & Analytics, New York

Total construction starts on an unadjusted basis reached $336 billion during the first six months of this year, up 23 percent from the same period in 2014, Dodge Data & Analytics reports. Excluding electric utility and gas plant category activity, figures for the first half of 2015 would be up a more moderate 11 percent from the same period a year ago.

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LignoTech-backed $110M venture to stabilize global supply of key water reducer ingredient

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Rayonier Advanced Materials, Jacksonville, Fla., and Borregaard ASA, Sarpsborg, Norway, have effected a letter of intent to develop a 150,000-metric-ton capacity production line for lignin, a cellulose-derived raw material where global supply and demand imbalance invites price spikes of products including concrete admixtures. Their 45/55 joint venture will be based at the Fernandina Beach, Fla., cellulose fiber processing plant of minority partner Rayonier.

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Nichiha RoughSawn fiber cement panels play to reclaimed-wood trend

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Fiber cement siding specialist Nichiha USA plans mid-year rollout of RoughSawn panels, first shown in May at the 2015 American Institute of Architects convention in Atlanta. Part of the company’s Wood Series line, the cladding’s rough-around-the-edges texture and earthy, weathered colors emulate the look and feel of aged barn wood. The effect is conducive to achieving a vintage or rustic look for commercial and residential projects, product developers note, while maintaining modern performance and durability.

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Construction index: Nonresidential work unhampered by labor pinch, rising costs

The nonresidential construction sector continues to grow at a solid pace, reflecting 18 months of improving activity despite rising construction materials and labor costs, along with a slight decline in regional economies where most activity is taking place, according to the Nonresidential Construction Index Report (NRCI) for Q2 2015 from Raleigh, N.C., management consultant FMI.

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Customer demands drive central mixed upgrades at five Ameron Hawaii alleys

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In two retrofits and two transit-to-central mixed conversions, Tracy, Calif.-based Con-E-Co dealer DHE Inc. has installed Model 12 tilt mixers at the Ameron Hawaii batch plants on Oahu and Maui islands, while also delivering a new Model 12-equipped Lo-Pro 427CM plant. The move to central mixed production at two locations was partly driven by performance requirements for a major bridge deck contract, and to address increasing demand for specialty concretes.

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Cemex teams with UN, conservation groups on natural site protection

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A joint project between Cemex S.A.B. de C.V., the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Conservation International, and The WILD Foundation aims to promote awareness of natural sites of great relevance the world over. Announced on 2015 World Environment Day, it will also see Cemex release Earth´s Legacy: Natural World Heritage, the third volume of the producer’s Nature Series, which builds on the producer’s 20-volume Conservation Series dating to 1993. The new book will sport impressive images from some of the world’s most respected conservation photographers, coupled with background on 100-plus sites warranting protection.

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U.S. Concrete grows D.C., Garden State RM businesses; completes precast production exit

U.S. Concrete Inc. closed its third and fourth deals of 2015, capping the first half by acquiring the assets of DuBrook Concrete Inc., Chantilly, Va., and Colonial Concrete Co., Newark, N.J. With three ready mixed plants and a 42-mixer fleet in northern Virginia, DuBrook is strategic to Superior Concrete Materials, U.S. Concrete’s long-held Washington, D.C. business. The Colonial transaction adds three sites and about 40 mixers to the New Jersey flagship, Eastern Concrete Materials.

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Agencies issue proposed rule, guidance on contractor ‘Blacklisting’ EO

The federal agencies charged with implementing President Obama’s July 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order have released their much-anticipated proposed rule on this directive. The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a 106-page proposed guidance document, and the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), issued a 131-page proposed rule, governing the terms of the so-called “Blacklisting” Executive Order (EO).

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