Infrastructure Projects Will Boost Demand for Construction Gear

Now that the Trump administration has unveiled a few details about its infrastructure plans, EquipmentWatch’s Michael Quinlan Jr. sees the U.S. construction sector getting a shot in the arm.

“We certainly believe that whenever Congress approves infrastructure legislation for 2018, it will lead to a dramatic increase in construction activity in public education, roads, bridges, and other public structures,” Quinlan tells Icons of Infrastructure. He is an industry analyst at EquipmentWatch, a global source for heavy equipment data and intelligence. EquipmentWatch is part of Informa.

Quinlan believes the accelerated construction activity will boost the overall amount of construction equipment needed to complete infrastructure projects. “This will likely lead to large price and market activity swings for all relevant equipment, such as compactors, excavators, and paving equipment.”

EquipmentWatch (EW) produces database information products for the construction equipment industry. It provides heavy construction research and serves more than 15,000 professional, high-volume users of construction and lift-truck data. EW offers tools used to make decisions surrounding the purchase, valuation, operation and disposal of equipment.

All sorts of EW-tracked equipment are used in projects to enhance the infrastructure. These types of equipment can range from hand-held rammers to large excavators and pavement millers. EquipmentWatch provides data on the vast majority of these pieces of equipment.

Infrastructure project managers can use EquipmentWatch in a variety of ways. They can use the EW cost product (Rental Rate Blue Book) to get reimbursed from state departments of transportation, or use the internal charge-rate tool to calculate how much it costs to own and operate almost any type of equipment in their fleet, Quinlan tells Icons of Infrastructure.

Those managers can also use the Values tool as a benchmark to determine about how much they should pay for certain types of equipment or determine how much their equipment is worth based on the model year, meter reads, condition, and options/extras. Project managers can use the Retail Rental tool to see how much a certain piece of equipment costs to rent, on average, from an advertised rate perspective. The tool allows users to adjust by state/province in the U.S. and Canada.

Fleet and infrastructure project managers can obtain useful information from two EquipmentWatch awards platforms, the Highest Retained Value Awards and Lowest Cost of Ownership Awards. The Highest Retained Value Awards are presented to a specific series made by a manufacturer in a certain equipment type, which retains its value better than any other series. “If you are a project manager, you will likely be using the equipment around the clock and want something that endures heavy-duty wear and lasts, and that you can dispose of for a higher value. This is where the Highest Retained Value Awards are useful,” Quinlan says.

EquipmentWatch recently launched its second set of prizes called the Lowest Cost of Ownership Awards. These are presented to the product series with the lowest cost to own among a specific equipment type. One of the criteria for this awards program is the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) hourly ownership rate, which includes depreciation, cost of facilities capital, and major overhaul.

“Both of these awards are useful to use, in conjunction with each other, to determine which pieces of equipment will provide fleet and equipment managers and infrastructure project managers with the highest ROI and lowest costs,” Quinlan explains.

Artist wins new commissions for construction art at Informa’s 2018 World of Concrete

Artist Brad Burns creates art for construction industry leaders around the globe. Many of his paintings are displayed in public buildings, including city and federal government facilities. His work is featured in the office of at least one U.S. senator. Go here to view his site.

At the 2018 World of Concrete event in Las Vegas in late January, Burns earned several commissions. He says he also sold a variety of his latest construction prints and artwork at the show’s bookstore. Western Star Trucks sponsored the artist at the show.  Informa Exhibitions manages the World of Concrete event.

Burns has painted hundreds of construction-related pieces and has created dozens of in-house art collections, including large installations at Iron Planet, Ghilotti Construction, Preston Pipelines and Appian Engineering. Burns studied fine art at the University of California at Santa Cruz with an emphasis in painting and printmaking.

Burns has shown his work on the West Coast, the Southwest, Italy, France, Germany and China. He has shown primarily throughout the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area in private and corporate collections. His works are created on sturdy archival canvas with a protective UV coating that prevents fading and cracking.

Michael Keating has written about the government market for USA Today and more than 100 other publications and web sites. You can reach him at

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