Basic Traffic Rules for Heavy Machineries

It is a usual site to see a tractor or a wheel loader on high ways and it is common etiquette to give a respective distance from it to avoid collision or getting into an accident with it. However, there are only a few of us who knows traffic regulations for these heavy equipment.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia has done a detailed description on the basic rules to follow and pay attention to when we are driving a heavy machine on public road. The company itself has a day-to-day experience on these tractors and who is best to know it than them.

Here are some of the rules to review:

1. Mud

Some of the materials being handled in the construction site are muds and dirt. It cannot be avoided that lump excesses of mud may be dropped on the highway. Although a small pound of grime does not seem harmful, it can also cause accidents, sometimes even fatal ones. Drivers and truck owners are responsible for mud or dirt dropped on the roads and also contributes to the accident. Authorities have already warned heavy equipment owners to take extra precaution on the dirt they have on their trucks.

2. Trailer Lights

One of the common complaints of other drivers is the failure to signal of many heavy machinery drivers. Although lights are not a legal requirement on trailers used only in daylight, this does not apply to direction indicator lights. These must be fitted and kept in working order on trailers built since 1990 and used on public roads.

Turning to the left (and especially to the right) without indicator lights can cause a serious accident which would be avoided by taking just a few minutes to fit and connect a light board.

3. Speed Limit

Different countries and cities have different speed limits and as a rule, drivers should follow it, neither to exceed nor to drop down too low. Most tractors on the market now have a 40kph or 50kph top speed, somewhat more than the 32kph (20mph) legal limit for most tractors on public roads.

4. Weigh Limit

According to reviews of safety precautions and road regulations of the government of Singapore, “the maximum gross train weight (GTW) is 24,390kg.” However, it can also be different in other countries. Road controlling authorities (RCAs) have the power to further restrict the size and weight of vehicles which can use particular roads if those roads are unsuitable for vehicles of standard maximum size or standard maximum weight limits.

Getting Rid of Heavy Equipment Mistakes

Heavy machineries are too large to miss but its size also makes it harder to pinpoint the little scratches and defects that may come undetected while the agent is introducing it to you. But it is not always the company that is at fault here as we are aware of the complaints we are getting from customers who seem extremely dissatisfied with their machines when everybody else are saying its perfect. Well, ok, it may be that the company has some flaws of their own but it does not save you the responsibility of reviewing and scrutinizing your purchase before taking it off the shelf. No worries though. Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia takes it into our job description to inform our clients what they have to look out for when they are looking for when you are choosing your equipment.1. Test the Equipment Before Buying

If you are seriously thinking about buying the heavy equipment, you should test operate it. This will give you the overall perspective if the equipment really performs and functions properly.

2. Research about it

When you are told that the unit you are about to buy is brand new, you don’t want to look foolish and just believe everything he just said. Doing a quick research before you buy the machine can reap you benefits of getting the best one out of the fleet. It can also keep you from scam dealers and low quality equipment.

3. Don’t give your Information right away

The seller’s duty is to give you the information about the general condition of the equipment they are selling. Your duty as a buyer is to get as much detailed information on the heavy equipment as possible. Asking for advices, talking to friends and family who bought the same equipment or just going online and look for the information you need on particular equipment will provide you details on what you should look for.

4. Consult an Expert

For someone who has little knowledge in heavy equipment, it is better to bring a trusted and experienced individual to do the inspection for you or you’ll get swallowed whole by some pretentious knowledge by the agent.

5. Buy only from trusted distributor
Be wary of buying from unknown sellers even though they are offering low prices. Review their qualifications and make a lot of research about the seller to keep you from future trouble.

Equipment Theft: How is it Possible and How to Prevent It

adfeat001Heavy equipment is obviously big, loud and hard to operate if you don’t have the skills. How is it possible to steal it then? When you think of the increasing demand of equipment and specialized market, it can be understandable why equipment theft is one of the leading robbery cases in the world today.The leading countries and cities in construction and infrastructure industries are the prevalent victims of equipment theft. From more than ten states in America to Europe, Japan and Singapore, billions of dollars are lost annually because of this issue.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore and distributor to neighbor Asian countries has stated that backhoes and skid steers are some of the most popular equipment to be stolen. The company has already reported more than 10 equipment lost since its operation in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2013.

For most analysts, thievery is not only done by amateur scammers who seek opportunities to steal just some machine to sell. Sophisticated criminal groups know what type of machine is in demand in the market and what cost more in the international trade. These fraudsters are also operating with the most discreet and strategic plans, professionals and experts in the field.

For equipment owners, extra precaution is needed to prevent thievery.

• Keep pertinent details and information on all your equipment. Anything that can help identify a machine would help in the investigation if the equipment is stolen.
• Register your equipment with an organization that maintains databases of heavy equipment ownership, theft information, etc.
• Do background and reference checks on all potential employees. Some thievery is done by an insider so you also have to be careful who you employ
• Keep a log book on whoever enters and exits the place where you keep your machine
• Try to keep a site’s perimeter fenced and equipped with well-secured gates. You can also hire a trusted security personnel
• Keep your site well lit at all times, or install motion-activated lighting.
• Make sure all keys are removed from equipment when it’s not in use and kept in a lock box or other secure location. Keep a record of keys and a sign out/sign in sheet.
• Install gauge protectors and panel locks on your equipment, or install engine immobilizer systems to make it hard for fraudsters to disconnect batteries or fuses. It is also good to invest to a more advanced security gadget. A GPS tracking device can greatly help.

Heavy Equipment Training Simulators

Training and simulation is a must to all heavy equipment operators. Since their jobs are perhaps the most crucial one in construction and their tools are undeniably the heaviest to control, ample amount of training and the long years of perfecting the craft are needed.

Large manufacturers of heavy equipment operating in many countries have provided sufficient training grounds for their workers. Different organizations are also taking advantage of simulations training and its benefit to lure more workers into the job since the scarcity of construction warnings are threatening many companies to foreclosure.

Trained employees are needed to increase productivity but it can also be a challenging task to find one. With all the risk and associated cost, many heavy equipment companies dive in just to meet the demands of the fast-pacing infrastructure world. Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia is one of the increasing numbers of companies who are also conducting simulation and training with the aid of high end devices provided by the leading technological companies.

Mining operations have the highest demand of operators among all the construction works being prodded for training. Extensive use of mechanism has driven the production of equipment which is heavier, larger, more powerful and more complex. As a result, these machines have become harder to operate. Hydraulics and electric-cable driven machines remain to be a struggle for operators as it is more difficult to position and orient.

To date, graphical simulations are being provided which promise lesser risk and realistic experience. Trainings are now held in a room with what seems like television screens, some of which are showing 3D experiences. The virtual environment is designed after the actual job site and the control panels are built in complete replicate of the actual ones in the machines. Trainers can also control the simulation process to which operators can be trained to make split-second decisions when faced with life-threatening situations in the workplace.

In a lot of reviews, Komatsu has just started its 3D simulator training for engine maintenance. Caterpillar and Mitsubishi have already started theirs and have been in a better shape with their arduous workers. The training may be tedious and takes longer hours of being baked under the sun and on the heat of machineries around but for worthwhile experience, those who passed the training are able to demand higher salary wage and have a good chance of being promoted.

Welders, Welding, Welded

Nothing cripples a construction project than a broken machine. Welders are always there to fix that broken machine to use in no time.

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The vital process of welding is the formation of two metals together. Since its discovery, it has already been considered economical. Welding has built the machineries and molded bridges. It has provided weapons for the historical times and today, it has provided us with modernity.

Welding touches all kinds of process from manufacturing, construction and repair. Programs and licensure are needed to be able to pass as a legitimate welder. As the work also entails great risk, proper training and sufficient expertise are required for mastery.

According to Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia, many people mistake those tradesmen who weld as welders. In reality, welders can be narrowed down to boilers, Fitters, Ironmakers, Pipe Fitters etcetera. Regardless of the title, these crafts are still essential for the proper operation of a heavy equipment to push through.

The working condition of welders may be in either a clean facility or outside a dusty construction site. They are always on call. Heavy equipment industry requires welders who are not sensitive to grease, dust and sweat. An expert welder can work under strenuous task, extreme working conditions and complicated locations. Sometimes, they have to work in the midst of distractions and noises, howling bosses and demanding clients. There are times that they have to deal with fraudulent materials and are expected to make it work.

The pay varies widely based on the skill level and technical knowledge required by the work. The criticality of the welding and the level of inspection and quality control are also important factors. Geographic location will influence wages as well. Some welders working in small private shops doing low skill level work may barely make over minimum wage, while highly skilled construction workers receive an hourly rate.

Employers generally look for applicants who have good mechanical aptitude, a clean driving record, are free from substance use, and who have a strong credible reference to vouch for their work ethic. Of course being polite, clean cut, fit, and alert helps as well. Employees are frequently required to supply their own hand tools but there are also a lot of companies who provide their welders with materials.

The only complaint of welders is the big risk of the job for their health. Since the task requires physical labor, workers should be physically and mentally fit.

Heavy Equipment on Technological Advancement

The construction industry market has become increasingly aware of the growing demand for high end technological advancement of modern heavy equipment as shown in the dependency on machineries that has more technological features. The industry has been able to sustain and adhere to the demand but the growing challenge is also requiring more advanced ideals for materialization.Axis Capital Group, Singaporean based company which sells and rents heavy and high quality construction equipment has expanded on its growth in the past 5 years and is still expecting a more productive growth in the coming years because of the big shift to the business. Technology has been one of the main factors for the company’s growth. The adaptation of technology and its integration to the equipment being used is enough bases for the great potential of the company.

Furthermore, growing market in many developing nations and cities are also contributing to the determining factor of strength in the industry. Markets and construction supply in Jakarta, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuala, Lumpur Malaysia demand a more advanced system for machineries that can address the issues towards urbanization.

The variety of technological innovations within each subcategory also had an impact on consumer interest and sales. Taken as a whole, these advancements enabled operators and crews to significantly reduce the time and labor required to complete associated jobs through developments that improved operational efficiencies and extended the productivity of a single operator. Moreover, fraudulent caprices of manual labor are reduced due to the more precise operational systems of machineries.

Radio remote control systems and remote monitoring were two advancements in earth moving equipment that both helped influence the shift in requests for new machines.

Radio Remote Control System has been a product of Bobcat in 2008. This technology has enabled skilled operators to maneuver any skid steer or compact track loader equipped with Joystick control and wheel steer. Today, most models of this radio remote control system have been upgraded and are reviewed to boost productivity while allowing the operator to work safely and more comfortably.

Remote Monitoring, on the other hand has been released by John Deere with a service called “JDLink” combining remote monitoring and preventive maintenance functions to improve the quality of equipment. Here are the few functions of this DJLink:

• Machine location
• Geo-fencing which is a GPS location-based service warning users if equipment enters or exits a fenced area
• Machine hours
• Maintenance planning
• Service ADVISOR Remote (alerts your dealer to maintenance issues, providing more timely responses when service is necessary)

Proper Maintenance of Undercarriage in Heavy Equipment

Undercarriage for trucks and wheel loaders cost 20% of the total equipment but when it breaks or malfunctions, the cost for repair can be 50% more.

Even though it is one of the most undermined machine parts, the undercarriage plays an important role in the total functionality of construction equipment. However, one of the major complaints of equipment manufacturers is the fragile capabilities of their undercarriages despite the best product parts used. Its system can wear easily as it is the main support of a particular machine. Proper maintenance and regular care for undercarriage is greatly advised by manufacturers to prevent future issues.

Ignoring undercarriage management can be catastrophic as well as costly.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment from its offices in Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia to other parts of Asia-Pacific region points out that proactive management begins good operating guidelines and maintenance practice, even if it means you have to search every crook and canny of each of your equipment for even the slightest scratch. Included in daily monitoring and review should be the quality of the machine, and its parts’ capabilities and fitness and making informed decision about it.

The moving components of the undercarriage are wear items. That means they are expected to wear over time after being used multiple times depending on the frequency of use and the quality of parts used. The bottom rollers carry the weight of the machine while it is traveling and digging while the front idler holds the chain in proper position and alignment and acts as shock absorber and chain tensioner.

Quality control should make sure the other features of the machine are also functioning well. Reversal can wear off the undercarriage easily and excessive speed makes it even faster. The transmission controller should make sure the reversal is at minimum speed limit by programming it beforehand.

The use of telematics in today’s machineries can also be very helpful. It can monitor the machine’s working time versus its idle time. Periodic undercarriage measurement can be scheduled based on actual working hours (not hour-meter readings). And if the system also reports forward-travel time versus reverse-travel time, and if reverse operation seems excessive, then perhaps the operation needs revamping to ease stress on the undercarriage, or maybe operators need more training.

While other undercarriage components may not need a daily inspection like tracks, regular monitoring of the components can help identify potential problems early. Idlers, rollers and sprockets are all components that should be checked.

Workforce Shortage Results to Illegal Migrant Labor

Construction companies may be a little bit desperate at this time of need. Without realizing it, the industry is already doing actions which go against governing laws of different countries. While the public remains oblivious to the growing issue of the saturation of manpower in construction industries, a lot of workers take advantage of the demand to apply, albeit illegally, in various construction-related businesses in the last couple of years.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment based in Singapore has reportedly exiled eight illegal workers who tried to apply to the company’s sub office in Jakarta, Indonesia. The workers were of Malaysian and Thailand nationalities.

In Singapore, the leading country in construction industry, similar cases were also filed. Fraudulent workers are known to have come from Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. In addition, the expansion of the middle class and women’s increasing entry into labor market has triggered a rise in demand for foreign manpower.

Singapore allows migrant workers in the country provided that they pass the visa requirements:

1. semi-permanent residents with semi-permanent work permits who are allowed to take any job anywhere in Singapore (valid for five years);
2. foreign professionals with annual permits called employment passes which are issued only for specific jobs and for a specific duration (valid for one to five years);
3. Seasonal workers with short-term permits usually valid for two years (subject to renewal).

Some illegal migrants enter the country by sea or through the assistance of fellow illegal workers. Since the fluency of native language is required for those in construction sector, these illegal migrants first apply for a tourist visa in the country, mingle with the locals and finally applying with knowledge of basic sentences and jargons.

Malaysia has the similar issue with the increasing illegal labor. Over-dependence on foreign workers and the negative impacts induced have become a serious social problem.

In legit cases, there are also countries that are left with no choice but to employ foreign workers. Japan is even reviewing and revising its bylaws to allow foreigners into their construction industry. The country may let more foreign workers from Asia work at construction sites under an on-the-job training system ahead of the construction boom. At present, some 70% of foreign construction workers under the on-the-job training program are from China.

Equipment Theft: How is it Possible and How to Prevent It

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Heavy equipment is obviously big, loud and hard to operate if you don’t have the skills. How is it possible to steal it then? When you think of the increasing demand of equipment and specialized market, it can be understandable why equipment theft is one of the leading robbery cases in the world today.

The leading countries and cities in construction and infrastructure industries are the prevalent victims of equipment theft. From more than ten states in America to Europe, Japan and Singapore, billions of dollars are lost annually because of this issue.

Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital equipment in Singapore and distributor to neighbor Asian countries has stated that backhoes and skid steers are some of the most popular equipment to be stolen. The company has already reported more than 10 equipment lost since its operation in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2013.

For most analysts, thievery is not only done by amateur scammers who seek opportunities to steal just some machine to sell. Sophisticated criminal groups know what type of machine is in demand in the market and what cost more in the international trade. These fraudsters are also operating with the most discreet and strategic plans, professionals and experts in the field.

For equipment owners, extra precaution is needed to prevent thievery.

• Keep pertinent details and information on all your equipment. Anything that can help identify a machine would help in the investigation if the equipment is stolen.

• Register your equipment with an organization that maintains databases of heavy equipment ownership, theft information, etc.

• Do background and reference checks on all potential employees. Some thievery is done by an insider so you also have to be careful who you employ

• Keep a log book on whoever enters and exits the place where you keep your machine

• Try to keep a site’s perimeter fenced and equipped with well-secured gates. You can also hire a trusted security personnel

• Keep your site well lit at all times, or install motion-activated lighting.

• Make sure all keys are removed from equipment when it’s not in use and kept in a lock box or other secure location. Keep a record of keys and a sign out/sign in sheet.

• Install gauge protectors and panel locks on your equipment, or install engine immobilizer systems to make it hard for fraudsters to disconnect batteries or fuses. It is also good to invest to a more advanced security gadget. A GPS tracking device can greatly help.

Green Equipment for Green Construction

Singapore is said to be one of the catalysts in green construction. 80% of the city’s infrastructure is currently using ecological systems and processes. In a few years, the overall outlook of the nation’s building and construction industry is expected to go all green.

With this prediction, it is also expected that the machines, tools and plans set to produce eco-friendly solutions should also be eco-friendly. Problem is, most machineries nowadays are far from that outlook.

Heavy equipment continues to contribute to pollution using dangerous diesel to work. A single bulldozer can emit pollutants equivalent to the particulate matter emission of 50 cars. Noise pollution is also one of the main problems in operating these big and heavy trucks.

Since its expansion to Jakarta, Indonesia, Axis Capital Group has attended some seminars and also headed a few in Singapore discussing the possibility of using a more proficient system, fuel method and operations of heavy equipment. Axis, being able to sell and rent capital equipment branded with John Deere, Mitsubishi, Caterpillar and Hyundai among others has the opportunity to take part on the reviews created by these big names in heavy equipment manufacturing regarding the integration of more natural materials in their system.

These private companies are also developing a new market of environmentalists, minimizing complaints and advocating a more valuable cause. Warnings of natural destruction have already been taken at heart.

Just recently, Volvo developed green-friendly options for construction companies and contractors. Volvo’s going green initiative promotes the use of bio-degradable hydraulic fluids, high-pressure diesel injectors (which cut harmful nitrogen oxides and non-methane hydrocarbons by 38 percent), optimized air management systems, measures to reduce hydraulic oil spillages, and the reuse of equipment components to conserve resources. As with all trends, other construction equipment companies are sure to follow suit to stay relevant in the market.

Construction equipment manufacturers are stepping up and pioneering some of the latest in energy-saving technology.

Japan’s top construction equipment makers, Hitachi and Kobelco, both have working excavator prototypes that feature hybrid-drive systems.

The government is also taking actions on a safer and healthier approach in heavy equipment use and its emissions.
Building and Construction Authority in Singapore is the one responsible for the growth and development of the nation’s green industry.

America also has their own authority in implementing eco-friendly approaches in heavy equipment. The US EPA has developed the Clean Construction USA program in order to reduce the impact of nonroad diesel engines, fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. The program has set new emission standards for new construction equipment engines.