Old Virginia Brick Planning Plant Expansion

Old Virginia Brick will soon increase production at its Salem, Va., plant as a result of major improvements and expansion, according to company CEO Fletcher Smoak. The plant will have the capacity to produce an additional 17 million of its premier wood-molded brick annually, raising the total annual capacity to 60 million as a result of the $1.2 million production line expansion, due for mid-April completion.

“These improvements will enable us to offer a broader depth of inventory and to re-introduce an incredible line of distinctive colors we haven't previously had the capacity to promote,” said Chris Moore, vice president of sales and marketing. He added that the company will now be able to produce 30 colors, allowing it to offer the widest selection available in the wood-molded brick arena.

Hydro Mobile Introduces Training DVD

Hydro Mobile, the leading North American manufacturer of mast climbing work platforms, has introduced a training DVD for its P-Series products. The training aid provides complete instructions on how to assemble, disassemble, and operate the platforms; and demonstrates all the safety rules involved in the use of the P-Series in a clear and comprehensive manner.

The company continually stresses the importance of training through its Hydro Mobile University and DVDs. The manufacturer works closely with its customers to help them create safe working environments and get the most out of their mast climbing work platforms to maximize efficiency and minimize construction costs.

Founder of White Cap Industries Dies

Erving (Erv) Grosch, founder of White Cap Industries, died recently, leaving a huge legacy in the construction industry. Started in the 1960s, White Cap grew into the largest service-oriented retailer to the professional contractor in the world.

White Cap Industries is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Home Depot, with sales branches from coast-to-coast and estimated revenues in excess of $2 billion.

Mediation Is Favored Litigation Alternative

A study by PinnacleOne, Phoenix, Ariz., one of the nation's leading construction consulting firms, revealed that 54% of public owners have been involved in major disputes involving construction projects during the past three years. When disputes arise, these owners overwhelmingly look for an expedient resolution to avoid costly project delays. If prompt, field resolution is not possible, a majority of the owners view mediation as the preferred alternative to litigation.

“Given the challenges of construction and the litigious society in which we live, it is not surprising that public owners have become accustomed to construction project disputes,” said Joseph Seibold, executive vice president of construction claims services at PinnacleOne. “In fact, many view themselves as quite experienced and competent in their ability to manage and resolve these conflicts. However, even as their ability to deal with conflict increases, owners should look for opportunities to take proactive steps and prevent disputes from starting.”

These points, along with those below, are just a few of the findings in The 2006 PinnacleOne Pulse of U.S. Public Construction survey that examined the opinions of 166 public owners involved in construction projects throughout the United States.

  • Speed Trumps Merit. When resolving disputes on construction projects, 81% of public owners stress a fast resolution, preferably at the field level, to keep the job on schedule. Only 12% preferred to wait for a complete submittal from the contractor to fully evaluate the merits of the dispute.
  • Confident in Conflict. A majority (55%) of public owners describe their organizations as “very competent” regarding their ability to manage and resolve complex construction disputes. Only 6% view their organization as “not capable” of handling complex disputes.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution. When seeking to avoid litigation in construction disputes, 58% of public owners identify mediation as their preferred means of alternative dispute resolution. Arbitration (22%) and dispute review boards (7%) were far less popular alternatives.

Crane & Lifting Equipment Training Kits Available

Arxcis Inc., a leading industrial training and OSHA-accredited crane inspection provider, has transferred its popular training program from the classroom to a CD. The Hard Hat Training Series CDs are fully customizable, allowing instructors to use the information as is or tailor it for their unique applications.