Prices for materials used in construction and for nonresidential building construction both increased more than overall prices for “final demand” in January, according to an analysis of retooled federal data on producer prices released on February 19 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). As a result, margins remain very tight for most construction firms even as private-sector demand for construction continues to grow.
The advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index recently released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) decreased 4.3 percent in January, after edging 0.8 percent lower in December. In January, the index equaled 124.4 (2000=100) versus 130.0 in December. The all-time high was in November 2013 (131.0). Compared with January 2013, the SA index increased 1.2 percent.
For all of 2013, tonnage was up 6.3 percent, slightly better than the 6.2 percent originally reported. In 2012, the index increased 2.3 percent.
SC&RA regrets to inform members and friends of the death of William A. Hoffman, Jr., on Feb. 11 following a brief illness. Many in the Association knew him for his service to SC&RA as a member of the Board of Directors in the mid-60s and as Chairman (1978-79).
The regular registration cut-off date is Feb. 21 for the SC&RA 2014 Specialized Transportation Symposium, March 19-21, at the Omni Houston Hotel, Houston, Texas. After that date, fees increase by $50 for all levels of registrations, and attendees names will no longer be included in the booklet distributed at the event. Act now to save money and make sure current and potential customers and business partners know you are at the Symposium so they can seek you out.
Only five of 90 booths remain available for the Products Fair Friday, April 25, 9 a.m.-noon, during the SC&RA Annual Conference in Boca Raton, Fla. Booth fees include one complimentary registration to the Annual Conference, April 22-26. Click here for an exhibitor registration form, exhibitor rules and the current Exhibit Center Floor Plan.
SC&RA is sponsoring a meeting of the Florida Crane Owners’ Council Inc. (FCOC) on April 22, 8 a.m.-noon, at the Boca Raton Resort, Boca Raton, Fla. The event will feature a “Discussion and Demonstration of New Permit Applications System (PAS) which replaces the existing Automated Permit Application Submission System (APASS).” The speaker will be Tim Lattner, P.E., Director, of the Office of Maintenance, Florida Department of Transportation. There is no cost, and SC&RA members already in town to attend the SC&RA Annual Conference are welcome.
Please join us in welcoming the following new members:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the comment period on the proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses will close on March 10 rather than the originally scheduled date of March 8, which falls on a Saturday. The proposed rule would amend OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers are already required to keep.
On Feb. 12, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a proposed rule to establish a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for all national commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. The clearinghouse would help improve roadway safety by making it easier to determine whether a truck or bus driver is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to comply with federal drug and alcohol regulations, including mandatory testing.
On Feb. 12, the National Safety Council announced its preliminary estimate that approximately 35,200 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in 2013. This is a three percent decrease from 2012. Crash injuries requiring medical attention also are estimated to have fallen by two percent since 2012 to a total of 3.8 million.