I just reread George Hedley's book, Get Your Business to Work. Hedley, a former contractor, offers seven steps to earning more, working less, and living the life everyone wants. Rather bold statements in economic times that are challenging your core business as never before.
I've been listening to Hedley for years at various World of Concrete seminars and other events. His insights have helped contractors pause, identify, and examine some of their common habits that can often inhibit business growth. Hedley says it's never too late to try to improve. The starting point is to make a “DO Manual.” Hedley suggests focusing on the “important procedures that will make the biggest difference to your bottom line.”
While Hedley writes about profit, margins, bids, and other managerial controls, I suggest you review your employee tool crib or job lockbox. It's hard to be efficient, create quality walls and projects, and be safe unless your workers have the right tools. And when times get tough, tools are often not updated enough.
The tool companies aren't slowing down innovation. In fact, some of the tools I've had a chance to try this summer are not only more efficient, but safer. Mason contractors should take a look at the six new SDS tools DeWalt plans to offer this fall. Their new products include two 1 ¾ -inch and two 1 9/16-inch combination rotary hammers and two chipping hammers.
All the new tools feature DeWalt's SHOCKS active vibration control previously found only on larger hammers. The design is said to reduce vibration by up to 50%. Another shared feature is DeWalt's new motor technology that allows the manufacturer to use a smaller unit without sacrificing power. In the limited time I tried the D25831K 1 ¾-inch combination rotary hammer, I found the unit easy to handle and powerful. It's the kind of tool that makes workers just as productive at the end of the shift as at the beginning.
While the new rotary hammer series intrigued me, I was impressed by DeWalt's dust extraction system. I tried the cordless D25302DH Dust Extraction System and the D25301D Dust Extractor Telescope. These two product introductions complete the DeWalt product line for cordless and corded L-Shaped rotary hammers.
Even after drilling eight to 10 holes in quick succession, the dust collection system kept the test area clear of fugitive dust. The reason for this performance is that DeWalt engineers opted to use HEPA filter technology. HEPA is the acronym for High Efficiency Particulate Filters, a term coined in WWII at the Manhattan Project. Filters of this design were used to protect researchers from airborne nuclear dust. Now masons and laborers can be assured that their PEL's (permissible exposure limits) will be at acceptable levels when drilling and affixing anchors.
While purchasing a new rotary hammer and dust control system does not guarantee success, developing crews that are efficient, safe, and productive is the first step. So the next time you get a chance to walk your jobsite, watch what tools your crew is using and remember the right tools make a difference.
To learn more about these tools, visitwww.dewalt.com.