Holiday Construction Operations in Woodinville? An Important Question

Holiday Business OperationsAs an independent contractor, you decide the hours of operation for your business. With Christmas quickly approaching, this leads to the question: should you engage in holiday construction operations?

Considerations for Holiday Construction Operations

Some businesses operate within one or two days of major holidays. Others even choose to work under limited hours on holidays to speed up the completion of time-sensitive projects. By holidays, we don’t just mean major ones like Thanksgiving and Christmas. We're also talking about other pertinent events throughout the year, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, etc. Continue Reading '

Excavators 101: General Information for New Contractors in Stanwood

excavatorsAll starting contractors eventually take on their first major construction project. Newcomers in the industry may not be totally familiar with some of the machinery they'll be using. Having a baseline knowledge of excavator general information is important for safely operating and handling the machine.

Parts of an Excavator

Excavators make up of these following components: House, bucket, stick, and boom.

  • House--this is the part that holds the engine, oil, and fuel.
  • Bucket--the attachment consisting of an enlarged scoop for digging and shuttling away debris. The bucket may be switched out with the breaker and hoe pack for breaking apart rockeries and concrete.
  • Stick--the elongated component that lifts the bucket.
  • Boom--the "neck" that connects the stick to the main excavator body

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Four Free 3D Modeling Software Solutions for Contractors Around Burlington

3D modeling softwareBefore partaking in the actual demolition and excavation of a site, contractors need to map a digital blueprint of what they plan to build. Traditionally, this was done using hand-drawn sketches. Nowadays, contractors have access to state-of-the-art construction software programs. We'll take a look at the top four free 3D modeling software for contractors.

Best 3D Modeling Software for Construction Projects

1. 3D Crafter

3D Crafter utilizes an easy-to-use drag-and-drop system for creating various 3D models and sculptures. This is a prime choice for developing images ranging from low-polygon models to more detailed 3D renderings. Developing 3D models also enables contractors to determine the equipment and type of excavators or breakers they will need for the impending project. Continue Reading '

How to Prevent an OSHA Audit in Bellingham

OSHA auditOsha audits can appear without announcement. If your construction business isn't up to local code, you can expect a heavy fine. How can you prevent a Department of Labor auditor from showing up and disrupting business operations? We'll explain why an OSHA audit occurs and how you can reduce the odds of an out-of-nowhere inspection.

Why OSHA Audits Occur

The Department of Labor consists of two divisions: OSHA and the Wages and Hour Division (WHD). OSHA oversees federal safety compliance guidelines. OSHA audits may be random or a response to an employee or client report of a probable safety violation. The average fine for a first-time offense is $12,000. Repeated violations can exceed that amount.

WHD, as you can probably guess, oversees worker salary to ensure employers are following salary and overtime pay requirements. Continue Reading '

Noise Control Methods for the Construction Industry in Monroe

Noise Control in ConstructionConstruction sites aren't exactly an area for peace and quiet. While loud noise is unavoidable, you can keep it within a reasonable volume. Here are a few construction noise control measures to keep in mind. This keeps complaints on the low end while also protecting crew members from future hearing loss.

Why Construction Noise Control Matters

Prolonged exposure to noise above 90 dBA can cause hearing loss. If you have to shout to talk to someone at an arm's length distance, then noise levels are dangerously high.

Use a decibel meter to determine the noise volume. Set up noise perimeter zones where the volume exceeds 90 dBA. You should designate all hard-hat areas as noise perimeter zones. Only staff working at the moment should be inside this area, and hearing protection should be mandatory. Continue Reading '

Avoid These Hydraulic Hammer Mistakes in Anacortes

hydraulic hammer mistakesThe hydraulic breaker and hoe packs on our excavator rentals can withstand tremendous abuse. Nevertheless, frequent hydraulic hammer mistakes during operation can greatly reduce the attachment’s lifespan. This is why all licensed operators should adhere to standard operating procedures for prolonging the machinery's life.

Common Hydraulic Hammer Mistakes

1. Not Using a Compatible Breaker

Accelerated wear can incur to the hammer or excavator if the hammer is too big for the excavator, and vice versa. Always match the size/weight of the hammer to the excavator's lift capabilities.

2. Not Using the Proper Setup

The operator must also set up the breaker and carrier for the specific application. You might, for instance, need to operate the breaker while it's partially or completely submerged in water. In this scenario, are you running an underwater kit on the system? Underwater operation requires both an underwater kit and an air compressor. Continue Reading '

Different Excavator Tail Swing Options

excavator tail swingUsing the right machine boosts productivity, cuts down on hazards, and minimizes downtime. This is exactly why you need to know which type of breaker and hoe pack is right for the job. You also need to know which excavator tail swing configuration is best when renting an excavator.

Excavator Tail Swing Options

Excavators have three different tail swing configurations: zero tail swing, reduced tail swing, and conventional tail swing.

Zero and Reduced Tail Swing Advantage

Zero and reduced tail swing excavators are for operating in tight and confined spaces. Zero tail swing means the excavator's housing doesn't extend beyond the vehicle's tracks when rotating. With reduced tail swing, the housing extends by no more than a few inches. Continue Reading '

At an Excavation Site, Safety Is Paramount

Excavation Site SafetyWe can't emphasize enough the importance of excavation site safety. Industrial equipment, such as the crane, bucket, breaker and hoe pack can pose a serious safety hazard to crew and pedestrians if you fail to adhere to safety guidelines. We'll go over the procedures for ensuring a safe working environment.

Follow These Excavation Site Safety Rules

Establish Pedestrian Exclusion Boundaries

Use fencing or bunting to provide a clear boundary between working and pedestrian zones. Also, a signaler should be present at all times to guide vehicle operators through blind spots.

Be Aware of Undercutting

Undercutting happens when the bucket digs into the ground beneath the excavator's tracks. This creates the dangerous risk of a cave-in. The excavator's tracks should always be perpendicular to the trench to prevent the floor from completely collapsing. Continue Reading '

Buying Vs Renting Excavator Equipment

renting excavatorAs a construction contractor, you have to decide between buying and renting an excavator. Of course, we have a bias towards renting given that we rent out excavation equipment, such as breakers and ho packs. Even so, we will point out the pros and cons of each.

To Buy or Rent Excavator Equipment?

Know Your Financial Situation

Is buying cheaper than renting in the long-run? It can be, but not always. Many variables are at play, such as how many projects you have secured, and your ability to consistently pay for equipment maintenance.

Renting definitely makes more sense for a short-term, seasonal, or one-off job. If you foresee consistent projects ahead, then buying may be more cost-effective in the long-run. However, you also have to consider ownership costs, such as maintenance, repairs, insurance, license fees, etc. The rental company foots these costs when you rent. Continue Reading '

Excavator Rental Tips

excavator rental tips monroe everett snohomishExcavators are one of the most common pieces of heavy equipment on a construction site. They are popular because they are useful for multiple purposes. Digging earth and moving large objects are among the most common uses. This versatility makes them an essential part of just about any major construction project. Since they are such an important part of a construction site, contractors are often interested in rentals for their business. Consider these excavator rental tips for your next project.

Difference Between an Excavator and a Power Shovel

An excavator consists of a boom, a dipper and a bucket. It also has a cab mounted on a rotating platform called the house. This part of the excavator sits atop an undercarriage that has either tracks or wheels.

These pieces of equipment are sometimes known as power or steam shovels. Excavators are an advanced version of the steam shovels once common on construction sites. Continue Reading '