Tuesday 22 September 2015

Electrical Problems in Heavy Equipment

Electrical problem is one of the most dangerous issues that a contractor or any construction-related company can face. Even some of the most expert technician, when faced with electrical problems blank out. With the project looming with the deadline, it is best to fix it fast. Unless you have purchased your machine from an online scam rampant nowadays which has a higher probability of unfixable parts, electrical issues in equipment can be fixed intuitively than with logic.

Axis Capital Group, Singaporean-based company which sells and rents capital equipment across Asia admits that in electrical issues of their fleet, the problem is considered hazardous and grave. Because of the lack of expert hands in their branch in Jakarta, Indonesia, the company even deploys their technician from Singapore to fix the issue.

The diagnosis can be different in each case. With mechanical problems, you can easily determine it through the noise, the condition of the hydraulics, shavings in the oil pan, smoke, idle movement and sometimes, even fire. In these cases, the problem can be easily identifiable. With electronics, it can be more drastic when the machine entirely stops. An expert technician studies schematics, mechanics, hydraulics and operations. In a sense, he never stops learning and reading.

Some companies employ substandard technicians to lessen employment cost. However, this trend is strongly not advisable- and in some cases, illegal without the license and permit- as it poses a very hazardous risk not only for the operator but for the overall project and can jeopardize the name of the company.

Your client may complain when you say that the usual diagnostic time would amount to 4 hours but this is the minimum time it would take for a technician to really know the problem behind electrical malfunction.

Electrical diagnoses and repairs are the inverse of mechanical. A mechanic may diagnose in a few minutes what’s wrong with a mechanical system. But the repair could take hours or even days. The electrical problem will likely require hours of diagnosis, but then only minutes to repair – often just a corroded connector or frayed wire.

One of the issues that technicians avoid studying schematics is because of the jargons that may have been taught to them in vague details. Since the world of electrical is as complex as the wires themselves, it can be understood that there are oftentimes a mix and match of standards in each company.

The only way for electrical issue to be solved is to get rid of ignorance and listen more to intuition. Feigning ignorance can just lead to a more serious problem.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

High Percentage of Skill Shortages Troubles Construction Industry

Skill shortages in the field of construction seem to have no plans of stopping. Despite the best efforts, there is still a big shortage and lack of skilled workers willing to work in this arduous kind of job.

http://files.emeraldcities.org/media/news/studies-express-concern-about-shortage-of-skilled-trades-workers-especially-for-green-construction/Workforce_graphic-process-s350x273.pngLet’s do the math and take Axis Capital Group’s statistics as an example. Since operating from 1999, Axis has grown to employ an estimated 150 machine operators, mechanical engineers and shipment crews and admin staffs. Among these employees in the main office in Singapore and office branch in Jakarta, Indonesia, more than 75% are now in their middle aged years. While the business is improving and growing, in 10 years, these middle-aged employees will be retiring. When that happens, those remaining 25%, assuming zero attrition rate, would already be middle aged and promoted. If there is still a shortage of skilled workers, there is a bigger risk of deterioration in the construction industry despite machines doing most of the labor works.

Manual labor is already being reviewed as one of the reasons which can greatly affect the already developing industry. In more studies, 47% of UK’s construction industry and related businesses were unable to fill the vacancies in the previous two years. While many leaders in this sector plea for help and complaints are already filing up for not properly marketing the benefits of the industry, experts say that the solution would be vocational training.

Companies should allot time, effort and budget for trainings and educational seminars for aspirants to be able to regain the number of workers. Companies should take advantage of the high rate of unemployment among young adults and offer benefits befitting for a regular employee and for the risk that they are to undergo when working as a construction worker.

Since, as analysts mention, that the need for manpower, the benefits they will be getting and the demand for workers are not highlighted in schools and universities and instead being belittled, construction companies should do their part to presenting a better image and marketing their names through these interactive seminars and trainings.

Since businesses are struggling to contain the shortage which seems to have no plans of abating, there is already a surge of significant pay growth in this sector of almost 5%.

While the business is continually growing, many companies are already imploring assistance to other sectors and even from the government to find other solutions for the increasing manual labor. If the shortage continues, global economy may also be affected overtime.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Capital Equipment Rental Remains One of the Biggest Industries


Thousands of start-ups are currently under construction and a thousand more are projected to materialize in a year or two. Along with this, there comes a high demand for heavy equipment for construction.

However, instead of buying heavy machineries which can be outdated overtime, many companies prefer to rent equipment from reputable sources in order to cut cost and ensure fully maintained heavy machineries.

Many rental companies across Asia have admitted to increase in revenue since the start of 2015, and the sustained increase of sales within 7 months of this year’s operation. Those with an increase include even mediocre sustaining construction and rental company, Axis Capital Group and have the greatest impact to stock market’s darlings, Komatsu and Deere&Co.

Companies have been aggressively pushing their way to the top and have been tightening their machineries. The biggest market review in Asia includes that of the developing city, Jakarta, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

According to many analysts, the high demand for heavy equipment rental trace back to the 2008 economic breakdown. Because of the uncertain economic outlook, renting heavy machineries seems the best option. Some construction companies are also hesitant to buy new machineries since emission control standards have boosted prices by 15% - 20% on prices of more sophisticated filters and other gear for the pollution reduction.

In the United States of America, 54% of rental profit comes from heavy machinery market. It also remains as one of the biggest industries in dire need of operators and workers. Jobs related to this industry may be a little bit tough and risky but it pays well. In the present times, there’s a lot more confidence but capacity expansion is slightly muffled by a lack of drivers. In this particular issue, a warning was released by analysts that the growth of the industry may waver when the number does not increase.
Companies are currently unthreatened by this debacle while the growth of the industry still promises big potential. The lack of manpower is being resolved through mass hiring and higher compensation.

Another reason for the recent shift toward new equipment relates to technology. Through ergonomic joystick controls, quick-change attachment couplers, and cab designs that lessen operator fatigue, technology has made earth moving machines more comfortable for operation while simultaneously bolstering the versatility and efficiency of the machines themselves. 

There is more to expect in heavy equipment’s future. What that is and how it can be realized are yet to be discovered.