Heavy Equipment Vehicles In The Construction Industry

Construction is vital to society as food and water is vital to survival. Construction is accountable for building houses, buildings, schools, bridges, roads and facilities. Without these, civilization as we know it will cease to exist.One of the most imperative jobs within the construction industry is the operation of heavy equipment. Heavy equipment refers to heavy-duty vehicles that are intended for accomplishing construction tasks, most frequently involving earth-moving. Most heavy equipments have the mechanical advantages of a simple machine. However, the ratio between force applied and force exerted is multiplied to the extent where these seemingly simple machines turn into purposeful giants in the construction world.Most heavy equipments employ hydraulics as their primary source for power transfer. This is when a hydraulic fluid – which is a high pressure liquid – is transmitted throughout the machine to different hydraulic motors and cylinders. Fluid is directly or automatically controlled by means of control valves and distributed via hoses and tubes. Simply put, hydraulic machinery are machines and tools that use fluid power to perform simple, yet essential, tasks.Hydraulic-operated machinery include excavators, backhoes, shovels, loaders, fork lifts, bulldozers and cranes. These hydraulic machines are astounding in their strength and agility. For instance, a 28-ton excavator can scoop out more than a cubic meter of dirt, which weighs approximately 1 to 1.5 tons. It can then move its load around with no difficulty whatsoever.Sans heavy equipment, simple construction tasks such as these would be tedious, expensive, even hazardous. Longer hours on the job would mean more expenditures. Extremely hard labor may translate to health risks, lower workers’ morale and frequent resignations. Enter heavy machinery and taks can be completed faster, safer and more precisely. These colossal machines have indeed made their mark in the construction industry. And an enormous mark at that!

Why Do Managers Not Manage?

We need to set the scene and understand what management means. At its core management is about achieving targets or goals within budget by developing people.Good theory but in the real world, sometime things just come up and managers now go through this thought process -“The team is at maximum capacity at the moment and this thing is really important…….””As the manager, I must make sure that this issue is resolved…..””Jean should do this but it will take too long to explain it to her…..”Ben is not experienced enough yet,”I’ll just get it done myself…..”All these are seemingly good reasons for the manager to do the task but it is likely in business that this type of task will raise its head again, so when it does who is likely to end up doing it? After all, the manager has already established the route for an effective solution and everyone seems happy; The manager gets the issue resolved quickly and the staff members don’t have another item on their already full To-Do list.This is part of the Activity Trap and it acts as a spiral because ownership of tasks seems to create even more tasks. The manager is now spending more time on tasks which leaves less time for developing the team to take on those challenges in the future.Some managers fall into another trap which exacerbates the situation. A staff member might highlight a problem that stops them achieving their objectives and so escalates the problem to the manager. The manager dutifully fixes that problem and again establishes that process for solving that sort of problem.Example, Jean says complains that the IT department is not responding to requests for help and asks the manager for get involved. The manager contacts the IT department to see what is happening and sure enough the problem is more quickly resolved. Jean is happy because now she gets her PC fixed.The real issue from a managerial point of view is that Jean is in no better position to solve the next IT problem but does know where to go to get it fixed – the manager did such a good job last time!!Another common contributor to the Activity Trap occurs when manager tackles the symptom and not the problem.For example, the manager would like to ask Gerry to do some photocopying but is nervous because Gerry seems to be a little negative when asked to do photocopying. The last time Gerry just said he was too busy to do it right now so the manager did the photocopying as the job was urgent but suspected that Gerry was not that busy.The manager fixed the symptom, the short term issue was solved and the photocopying was done but what will happen next time? It is likely that the manager will just do the photocopying again. What the manager should do is fix the real problem that Gerry is either unaware that photocopying is his job or does not realise that his attitude towards the task causes problems. However this takes more time.”Just” jobs “Oh, I’ll just get the photo copying done, it only takes 5-6 mins” – These “just” jobs don’t seem significant on their own but they mount up when they occur on a daily basis.There are approximately 20 days in a month so…20 days X 6 minutes = 120 minutes or 2 hours per month.12 months x 2 hours = 24 hours or 3 working days per year for a single “just” jobImagine a discussion between the manager and the director “I won’t be managing the department for the first three days of this year because I thought I would get all my photocopying duties for the year out of the way!!”Clearly this is nonsense however we all seem happy to do 5 minute “just” jobs!We can begin to see common traps that managers can fall into, so how do they
break the Activity Trap when things still need doing?A sales person is accountable for hitting targets by developing the client relationship, understanding needs and providing solutions but they are also they own the problems that stop them from achieving those targets such as competitive pressures, client problems and internal communications issues.Consider a sales person, who is given products to sell that were half the price and twice the performance of the competition. How many sales people would we need? – certainly fewer.The issue of problem ownership is true of all roles within organisations so the first step for the successful manager is to resist the desire to solve problems on behalf of their team but to ask the team member how they believe that this problem should be solved.As the team members are closer to the detail, more often than not they know the right solution and so the manager merely needs to agree and review the outcome.After two or three similar conversations, the staff member will begin to think about the solution before they call the manager and eventually will just fix future problems for themselves. If the manager really does have to fix the problem then at least the suggestion of the solution should come from the staff member which empowers them for next time.If management is about achieving results by developing people then the key role of a manager is to monitor and review their staff so that the team are continually being developed towards the achievement of their goals.This vital function is often one that is postponed or even cancelled because managers are already too busy with the activity trap, which is ironic because if the staff were more experienced, competent and empowered, they would be able to do the things that the manager is doing!Monitoring and reviewing of the team members need to be scheduled in the diary and protected against the bombardments of unscheduled requests on the manager’s time.We recommend that a manager should spend one hour at least on a regular basis using a structured approach (see the Mdina Online Ability Measure – http://www.mdina.co.uk) of uninterrupted quality time to discuss and review the staff member’s performance.It is by using this process that managers will develop the competence, responsibility and accountability in the team to help them achieving their goals.As good practice managers should trying to develop greater responsibility of trusted team members for succession planning.Summary There is only one person that can break the activity trap so if a manager wants to manage more and “do” less then here are some golden rules:-o Recognise the Activity Trapo Ask staff for solution to problems that they are accountable for solvingo Tackle root causes not skirt around problemso Most issues reoccur so take time to get the process right with the right person solving the problemo Monitor and review the team members as the number one priority in the management role

Is a Lack of Management Confidence Hurting Your Business Performance?

Recently when I was talking to someone about management confidence they asked What difference does confidence make to business performance? Good question. In this article I’m going to answer that question and highlight why management confidence is a critical issue – not just for the business owner or manager, but for the businessLet’s begin with what confident managers actually do. In short, confident managers take actionThey use a planned and structured approach to doing things like;
• Identifying, writing and agreeing performance objectives
• Discussing how the objectives contribute to the business goals
• Monitoring and measuring performance so that they can provide ongoing, regular and specific feedback on performance
• Identifying and acknowledging outstanding performance, and taking action to deal with areas for improvement
• Discussing the employee’s development aspirations and objectives
• Discussing the employee’s job satisfactionBecause confident managers take action, confident managers get resultsSo how does this confidence and action impact business performance? There’s a whole body of research that tells us that employees who are effectively managed are more productive, and teams that are effectively managed are more profitable. Research also shows us that one of the key reasons for lost productivity – and one comprehensive piece of research suggests that in the UK and US at least 18% of time spent at work is unproductive – is because of poor employee supervision. And of course this is not taking into account the negative impact that a lack of effective management has on employee satisfaction and engagement. In short confident managers take action to manage effectively and effective management positively impacts business resultsOf course confidence also impacts the manager themselves
So how does this confidence impact the manager? Let me ask you a question. As a manager, who would you prefer to work with and manage:A) A group of people who are clear on what’s expected of them, who get the feedback they want and need and who are consequently willing and motivated to perform wellOrB) A group of people who don’t know what’s expected of them, who don’t know if they are performing well or not and who consequently just don’t care?I know it’s a stupid question, but I want to illustrate the importance of the management role because effective management of people is both a critical commercial issue – because it’s about the business results – and a satisfaction issue, for both the employee and the manager So, how do managers get to be confident? In any field, in any area, the way we build confidence is by taking action and getting results, reviewing those results and then taking action again. By way of illustration I’d like you to think of something you are confident in. It might be that you’re a confident driver, tap dancer, parent, it may be that you are confident in the technical aspects of your job, for example you might be a confident auditor. Now I would like you to think about how you became confident in that areaI’ll bet my bottom dollar that you built that level of confidence by taking action, by reviewing what you did and then by taking action againAnd of course it’s by taking action that managers sky rocket their management confidence