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tunnel boring machines make the impossible a reality PG.16




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COVER STORY 16 The “Iron Ladies” Big jobs call for big equipment. Tunnel boring machines are making the impossible a reality on some of Canada’s most prominent jobsites.

DEPARTMENTS 5 Comment 5 reasons to go to a trade show this year



News Industry news

14 Construction Stats The latest news in building permits and construction employment

58 Funny Photo Funny Photo contest

COLUMNS 56 Software



Site-friendly technology

60 Risk It’s about the design

62 Contractors and the Law Discretionary clauses


Index of Advertisers

features 22



Machine control is a highly effective tool, but productive use may require changes to your processes.

A look at online buying trends in the construction industry.

Explosives demolition experts are a rare and interesting breed.

The Devil’s in the details

Buying equipment online

Master blasters


ConExpo 2014 Show Preview Find event details, schedules and a sneak peek of new products. / 3

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The Freightliner 114SD truck enables these guys to handle demanding paving jobs with greater efficiency. It offers a 114-inch BBC cab made of corrosion-resistant aluminum, reinforced with e-coated steel. It has a contoured hood slope for superior visibility and a 50-degree wheel cut for better maneuverability. Add key weight-saving components and our proprietary SmartPlex™ Electrical System, and you’ve definitely got the latest and greatest equipment for any construction job. To learn more, visit Competitive financing available through Daimler Truck Financial. For the Freightliner Trucks dealer nearest you, call 1-800-FTL-HELP. FTL/MC-A-1168. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Copyright © 2013. Daimler Trucks North America LLC. All rights reserved. Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

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5 reasons you should go to a trade show this year


Get the latest construction news! Follow us on Twitter @OnSiteMag

rade shows are getting a lot of bad press these days. Compared to online advertising or other forms of marketing, they’re not the cheapest means for a company to get the word out about its products. But from a contractor’s perspective industry trade shows are still a gold mine. Fresh back from World of Concrete in Las Vegas last month, and already prepping for CONEXPO in March, I’m telling you from first hand experience that construction trade shows offer a whole lot more than free t-shirts and toy dump trucks. Here are five reasons you should hit the road and check out an industry event: 1. Face Time—No, I don’t mean that cool app on your iPhone. I mean actual one-on-one time with a real person. Email is great, but actually talking to a product manager or sales rep in person will give you an opportunity to ask lots of very specific questions about the equipment, software or services that you’re looking to acquire. 2. One Stop Shop—The cost of flight, hotel and show entry might seem steep initially, but if you’re planning to make a significant investment in new equipment, the trip might save you money in the long run. Instead of traveling to multiple dealers to test drive competing technologies, you are able to compare and contrast all the leading equipment in the same day. 3. Kick the Tires—If you’re going to be operating a machine for 12-hours per day, it’s a good idea to climb into the cab and make sure it’s

comfortable before you buy it. While sitting in the driver’s seat, you’re also much more likely to think of job-specific questions. 4. Educational Opportunities—Most trade shows also offer educational sessions. These seminars typically surround new technologies, techniques or best practices. Get your questions answered by an expert in the field, and potentially share ideas with other attendees. 5. Connecting with Decision Makers—Large industry events bring together decision makers from all over the world. Take advantage of this by scheduling meetings with the key people you can’t typically get to see due to distance. No matter whether you conduct your construction business from the kitchen table, or from behind a desk, make time to get out of the office and indulge in some old-school face time. Kick some tires, test drive some new technology, and ultimately make some new contacts.

Corinne Lynds / Editor / 5

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CONTRIBUTORS / Fax: 416-510-5140


PUBLISHER | Peter Leonard (416) 510-6847 EDITOR/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR | Corinne Lynds (416) 510-6821

JIM BARNES / Contributing Editor

ASSISTANT EDITOR | Patrick Callan (416) 442-5600 x3524

Proven by more than two decades of use in the field, machine control is well known for the productivity and profitability it brings to a jobsite. However, it is not a bolt-on system. Do it right and you will reap the benefits.

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | James A. Barnes ART DIRECTOR | Melissa Crook (416) 442-5600 x3260 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER | David Skene (416) 510-6884

SALES & MARKETING COORDINATOR | Kim Rossiter (416) 510-6794 PRODUCTION MANAGER | Barb Vowles 416-510-5103 CIRCULATION MANAGER | Selina Rahaman (416) 442-5600 x3528

DAVID BOWCOTT / Senior vice-president, national director large/strategic accounts, construction and infrastructure services, Aon

“Our study indicated approximately 33 per cent of the 15 projects were delayed (or potentially delayed) by a design risk event. This means design issues were the leading risk event causing delay to Canadian P3 projects over the past several years.

Published by BIG Magazines LP, a division of Glacier BIG Holdings Company Ltd. 80 Valleybrook Drive, North York, ON M3B 2S9 BIG Magazines LP Executive Publisher | Tim Dimopoulos Vice-President of Canadian Publishing | Alex Papanou President of Business Information Group | Bruce Creighton SUBSCRIPTION RATES Canada $81.00 per year, Outside Canada US$139.00 per year, Single Copy Canada $13.00. On-Site is published 7 times per year except for occasional combined, expanded or premium issues, which count as two subscription issues. PRIVACY NOTICE From time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods:

MATTHEW SWANSON / Associate lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

Phone: 1-800-668-2374 Fax: 416-442-2191 E-mail: Mail to: Privacy Officer, 80 Valleybrook Drive, North York, ON M3B 2S9

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the contracting parties and set out the standards upon which they are required to act. In some circumstances, contracts grant one party the right to make a decision on a specified matter using their discretion.

On-Site receives unsolicited materials (including letters to the editor, press releases, promotional items and images) from time to time. On-Site, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, re-publish, distribute, store and archive such unsolicited submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensation of any sort.

DISCLAIMER This publication is for informational purposes only. The content and “expert” advice presented are not intended as a substitute for informed professional engineering advice. You should not act on information contained in this publication without seeking specific advice from qualified engineering professionals. Canadian publications Mail Sales Product Agreement 40069240

JACOB STOLLER / Principal of Stoller Strategies

Established in 1957, On-Site is published by BIG Magazines LP a division of Glacier BIG Holdings Company Ltd.

“Contractors aren’t reputed to be early adopters of IT.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canada Heritage.

This might explain, at least partially, IT’s diminutive presence at Construct Canada in Toronto last December—amongst hundreds of booths, only a scattering featured IT products.

Inc. ISSN: 1910-118X

Content copyright ©2014 by BIG Magazines LP, may not be reprinted without permission.


Canadian Construction Association

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Even engines as powerful, efficient, and reliable as the Detroit™ DD13®, DD15® TC and DD16® aren’t worth much if they aren’t running. That’s why we created the Detroit Virtual Technician™ onboard diagnostic system. In the event of a fault code alert, the engine notifies you and our Customer Support Center in seconds. Engines can’t fix themselves, but with Virtual Technician and hundreds of authorized service locations we’re almost there. Demand uptime. DDC-EMC-OTH-0124-0213. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Detroit Diesel Corporation is registered to ISO 9001:2008. Copyright © Detroit Diesel Corporation. All rights reserved. Detroit™ is a brand of Detroit Diesel Corporation, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

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Teens to the rescue?

World of Concrete celebrates 40 years of excellence World of Concrete 2014 boasted another strong turnout as more than 48,000 attendees and 1,250 exhibitors were on hand for the show at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Jan. 20 to 24. Since relocating to Las Vegas in 1976, one year after the inaugural show in Houston, Texas, World of Concrete has continuously set records for attendance and square footage. The 2014 edition occupied 570,000 sq. ft. of space. Several outdoor exhibits and demonstration areas gave attendees the chance to view the latest equipment in action and test new products under real jobsite conditions. Popular returning events included the John Deere Operator Challenge, Western Star Serious Trucks Challenge, MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block & International Masonry Skills Challenge, SAIA’s Safety Boot Camp, and more. The 12th annual Most Innovative Products contest showcased the best new products of 2014. Attendees browsed product entries at participating exhibitors’ booths and cast their votes at the show and online. Winners will be announced at Four luncheons and forums took place during the week. At the Concrete Homes Luncheon & Forum, Hanley Wood’s chief economist Jonathan Smoke described

current market conditions in states that have the greatest risk of damage because of natural disasters such as high wind loads and severe seismic activity. He forecasted that 73 per cent of single-family starts in 2014 will be located in these high-risk areas, suggesting growth for concrete home building systems as local jurisdictions adopt stricter building codes. This year’s show saw the first World of Concrete Legacy Award handed out to Bob Weatherton. In his honour, a $5,000 scholarship was created for students considering a career in the concrete industry. Four grand prize awards were also given out to recognize hardworking crews in the construction industry through the “Crews That Rock” contest. Webcor Builders and JT Wimsatt Contracting Company Inc. won in the commercial/for-profit category, while Denes Concrete Inc. and Gerace Construction Company Inc. won in the community service/non-profit. The results from World of Concrete India (which took place in Hyderabad, India in October 2013) were announced during the show, as well as more details on the launch of World of Concrete Europe in April 2015. World of Concrete 2015 is scheduled for the Las Vegas Convention Center from Feb. 3 to 6. Seminars will run from Feb. 2 to 6.

A three-day exhibition aimed at attracting students from Grade 7 to 12 to a career in the construction industry is set for southern Ontario in early April. Co-sponsored by Employment Ontario and the Ontario Construction Secretariat, Future Building 2014 will present an optimistic outlook of the jobs available in Ontario’s industrial, commercial and institutional construction industry. “Students who learn a trade have excellent prospects of quickly establishing themselves in a viable, sustainable and honourable career,” says Sean Strickland, CEO of the Ontario Construction Secretariat. With the baby boom generation already beginning to retire in droves, Ontario’s construction industry is in immediate need of workers to step in and fill the void. Estimates suggest the shortage could reach as high as 100,000 workers over the next five years. “A skilled labour shortage is a real threat to our long-term economic health,” said Strickland. “When the province is working, it grows. A stable and growing labour force is one of the foundations of economic prosperity.” The 11th edition of the biennial Future Building exhibition will take place from April 8 to 10 at the Mainway Recreation Centre in Burlington, Ont. 


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Want to be a part of something big?

March 4-8 | conExpo-con/aggÂŽ | Las VEgas | Booth 12621 Our largest exhibit ever featuring the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest thinking. Yours. Share your photo with us and be featured bigger than life at the show.

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Hiring numbers lower than expected in Canadian construction industry

interim, Hays advises to hire slightly less experienced candidates with transferable skills that can be trained and mentored. The main drawback, however, is that employers will have to invest more in their human capital to achieve the desired results. construction employers predict business activity will increase in 2014. When asked about potential causes for skills shortages, 27 per cent cited lack of training and professional development, while another 44 per cent think too few people are entering the labour market. Hays recommends creating more partnerships between colleges and construction companies, arguing a drastic increase in guaranteed apprenticeships will help promote the construction industry to the younger generations. To help fill the job shortages gap in the

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Union Station revitalization project makes significant progress A major milestone in Toronto’s Union Station revitalization project has been reached as the last of 48 vertical steel columns that will support the glass atrium over the GO Transit train shed roof was put in place. The revitalization of the train shed is a key component of Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan to improve how people move in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s. Featuring a large glass atrium as the centrepiece, the train shed is undergoing its first renovation since being built more than 80 years ago. The atrium will replace the centre 5,000 m2 of the 35,000-m2 roof. Once complete it will stand 13 metres above track level to allow for sunlight and air circulation throughout the shed. Construction on the train shed began in January 2010 and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2016. To watch a time-lapsed video of the vertical steel columns being installed visit: Mgj_e88GGA4

Photo: Metrolinx

A new survey from Hays Canada has discovered that despite a severe skills shortage, many Canadian construction industry leaders over-estimated their business and hiring prospects. Polling more than 400 Canadian construction employers in November 2013, Hays’ 2014 Salary Guide also found an eight point difference between forecasted and real decreases in business activity last year, translating into fewer people being hired for permanent positions. And, seven per cent of construction businesses expected to decrease permanent headcount in 2013, when in fact 20 per cent did. Nonetheless, business leaders remain optimistic: 66 per cent of Canadian

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Montreal highrise achieves LEED gold

News Briefs >> Lafarge Canada Inc. has acquired eight manufacturing plants from James Dick Construction Ltd. in an effort to bolster its ready-mix concrete business in Ontario. Located in Alliston, Bolton, Brampton, Caledon, Hamilton, Oshawa and Scarborough, the plants will operate as a separate brand within Lafarge Canada Inc. under the James Dick Concrete name. They will continue to focus on the markets and projects they have traditionally supplied.

>> Canam Group, a maker of steel construction components, has acquired a 66 per cent interest of Massif Technologies, an engineering firm that specializes in wood structures. Massif Technologies consists of a group of engineers and technicians who specialize in designing non-residential buildings featuring a wooden frame or wood components. The company, which has offices in Quebec City and Saguenay, also has expertise in project management.

>> Strongco announced the grand opening of its newest location in Saint-Augustinde-Desmaures, a suburb of Quebec City on January 13. The $8.6-million investment in the new facility will replace the old SainteFoy branch, better positioning the company as a leader in the Quebec region. On eight acres, the 40,500-square-foot facility will have 10 service bays to significantly increase the company's capacity. The new facility will employ approximately 40 people, including 15 trained technicians.

>> With construction now complete, the Honourable Nick McGrath, Minister of Transportation and Works cut the ribbon and officially opened the Conception Bay South (CBS) Bypass extension. The $25.3-million project spans from Legion Road to Seal Cove representing a total distance of

5.6 km. The provincial government contributed $18.8 million and the Government of Canada contributed $6.5 million through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund.

>> Stephen Carpenter, founder of Enermodal Engineering in Waterloo, ON— Canada’s largest green buildings consulting firm—has been awarded with the nation’s highest civilian honour: the Order of Canada. A founding father of green building in Canada, Carpenter was recognized for his visionary leadership in the development and stewardship of Canada’s green build industry. Since being introduced in 1967, only 116 engineers have received the Order of Canada.

Proment Corp. has announced that its Vistal II highrise building in Montreal, Que. has been certified

>> The Canadian Association of Women in

LEED Gold by the Canada Green

Construction has received $249,000 in funding from the Government of Canada through Status of Women Canada to promote women into leadership roles within the Canadian construction industry. The money will be used for a three-year project to research and develop an action plan for construction industry employers, unions, alternative unions, and open shop contractors across Canada to improve women’s advancement.

Building Council, following on the

>> With PCL Construction quickly approaching the $10 billion in annual revenue mark, the company announced the evolution of its senior executive management with the unveiling of the Office of the CEO. Office members include: Paul Douglas (president and CEO), Dave Filipchuk (president and COO, Canadian & Australian operations), Shaun Yancey (president and COO, U.S. operations), Ian Johnston (COO, heavy industrial), Rob Holmberg (COO, buildings), Luis Ventoza (COO, civil infrastructure), Gordon Panas (CFO), and Steve Richards (general counsel).

heels of the Vistal I tower, which received the same certification in 2011. Projects become LEED certified by earning points in six green building categories: sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and operations design and innovation. The condominium association at Le Vistal has hired an engineer to ensure that all mechanical and geothermal equipment remains in good working order to meet projected energy savings. Vistal I and Vistal II boast energy bills that are 35 per cent lower, as well as superior indoor air quality with a minimal presence of contaminants.  Proment is currently working on the Pointe-Nord development, a LEED gold waterfront community on Nun’s Island near downtown Montreal. 

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CONSTRUCTION STATS A selection of data reflecting trends in the Canadian construction industry

$ billions 8.2 7.8

Building permits down Contractors took out $6.8 billion worth of building permits in November, down 6.7 per cent from October. This decline follows an 8.0 per cent gain the previous month. Despite this monthly decrease, the total value of permits continued to show a slight upward trend on the strength of eight monthly increases since the beginning of 2013. Lower construction intentions, particularly for the residential sector in Quebec and Ontario, were behind the decline in November.

7.4 7.0 6.6 6.2 5.8 5.4 5.0 4.6 4.2 3.8 3.4 3.0

N J 2008

J 2009

J 2010


Seasonally adjusted


N 2013

J 2012


Note(s): The higher variability associated with the trend-cyde estimates is indicated with a dotted line on the corrent reference month and the tree previous months.

Employment thousands 17,900

Investment in non-residential building construction up


Investment in non-residential building construction reached $12.9 billion in the fourth quarter, up 1.1 per cent from the previous quarter. It was the second consecutive quarterly increase and was led by higher spending on commercial building construction.

17,500 17,300 17,100 16,900 16,700 16,500

DJ 2008

J 2009

J 2010

J 2011

J 2012

D 2013

Employment billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted 14.0

Employment down in December Employment fell by 46,000 in December, the result of declines in full-time work. The unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 7.2 per cent as more people searched for work. Dampened by the decline in December, employment gains in 2013 amounted to 102,000 or 0.6 per cent. Employment growth averaged 8,500 per month in 2013, compared with 25,900 in 2012. Employment gains in 2013 amounted to 102,000, or 0.6 per cent, the slowest December-to-December growth rate since 2009. In 2012, growth was 310,000 or 1.8 per cent over the 12-month period.



11.0 10.0


IV 2008


IV 2009


IV 2010


IV 2011


IV 2012


IV 2013

Source: Statistics Canada

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With his fleet running 10-12 hours a day, six days a week, transporting critical fuel supplies to customers throughout Southern California, Jaime Dueñas needs trucks he can count on—and the Cat® Truck delivers. “There’s no comparison,” he says. “It’s constantly being driven and constantly doing what we expect it to do.” That includes impressing the drivers at California Fuels and Lubricants with its steering, handling and more. “I’ve been a truck driver for 15 years now,” says Jose Esparza, “and it’s one of the better trucks I’ve driven—by far.” Learn more—and see how the Cat Truck is hard at work for California Fuels and Lubricants and others—at The Cat CT660…

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© 2014 Caterpillar Inc. All Rights Reserved CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow” and the “Power Edge” trade dress, BUILT FOR IT, as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.

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ost blame politics for Albert Mathieu’s failure to realize his dream, a tunnel underneath the English Channel. The 19th century French engineer’s proposed method was somewhat unorthodox. He proposed horse-drawn coaches, illuminated by oil lamps that could be used as far as an artificial island mid-Channel where the horses would be changed and work resumed until their arrival in Calais, France. Two hundred years later, tunnel builders are having more success working underground, thanks in large part to modern methods and machines.

Tunnel boring machines are at the heart of several major Canadian construction projects

WE CALL HER “BIG BECKY” By 1994 the “Chunnel” was an accomplished fact, using six open-faced tunnel boring machines (TBMs) at Shakespeare Cliff near Dover, and on the French side with six earth pressure balance TBMs named (in characteristically French fashion) after women: Brigitte, Europa, Catherine, Virginie, Pascaline and Séverine. But TBM designers tell us we have reason to be entranced by the “iron ladies” here in North America, too. One of the largest, says Lok Home, president and principal owner of The Robbins Company in Solon, Ohio is “Big Becky,” at one point the world’s largest hard rock TBM. “Most tunneling in rock is done by drilling and blasting because it’s generally much cheaper per meter

Big Becky waits patiently inside Niagara hydroelectric tunnel.

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Onserisci riat. Onse Ut ra volo

Engineers pose with Big Becky to celebrate “breakthrough.”

FACT! Rest landem is 45% illa borectio omni borectio omni di derum ut.

of excavation. In long tunnels, anything over five kilometres, the world uses tunnel boring machines. And Big Becky is one of the best.” At just over 10 kilometres in length, the hydroelectric tunnel under the City of Niagara Falls, Ont., completed in 2013, needed a TBM with enough strength to help clear about 1.6 million cubic meters of rock and debris. Operating as deep as 140 meters and powered by 15 electric motors generating 4.7 megawatts or 6,375 horsepower, Big Becky would go on to bore a tunnel 14.4 metres in diameter—as wide as some flatbed trucks are long. Certainly the politicians were impressed. They called it “an engineering feat,” which helped to feed an additional 150 megawatts to the city’s aging generating station, or enough to power 160,000 homes. But that didn’t mean it was easy. Comprised mainly of sedimentary rock, Niagara’s geology generated much discussion among the owners and designers about the best kind of TBM to use: a TBM that has no shield and leaves the area behind the cutter head open for rock support, or a closed TBM that erects concrete segments to support unstable tunnel walls behind the machine as it cuts. They ultimately decided on an open-type or main beam TBM, relying on the selfsupporting properties of the geology itself. Why this decision was controversial, says Home, became apparent when weak rock at the top of the very wide diameter tunnel began caving in. “The cutter head as it was cutting was ingesting more rock breaking out immediately above it.” Not that this was the TBM’s fault, he stresses. “The TBM actually set some records and did really well in the project.” The subsequent charge order, everyone agreed, occurred because they “missed the fact that this rock wouldn’t self-support.” So, instead of redesigning “Big Becky,” contractor Hatch Mott MacDonald focussed on redesigning the rock support mechanism at Niagara, (changing the scaling system and work platforms). They also changed the depth at which the TBM would work, reversing the project’s “unique” decision, to bore down deep to get under / 17

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the old Niagara Gorge, which was there before the last glaciation” and “bore up into the formation that did self-support.” Once complete, the tunnel was fitted with an impervious membrane, concrete lining and pre-stressed by high-pressure grouting. Theoretically, what you’re trying to do by lining the tunnel in this way, is to return the geology in which the tunnel sits to a state as close to the one that existed prior to the boring, explains Home. Thus, if there’s a water buildup it will circumvent the tunnel with the lining absorbing the pressure and other stresses. According to Homes, the Robbins Company in the 1950s “manufactured the first successful tunnel boring machine,” defining success in conventional terms as completion of project on time and on budget. It is not defined, Home emphasizes, by the complete absence of equipment break down. In tunnel building “machines are always going to break down,” he says, particularly when cutting through hard rock. “These are highly complex machines and even today it would be highly unusual if you didn’t have some break downs over several miles. These include minor breakdowns like valves or major breakdowns like main bearings.”

Powered by 15 electric motors generating 4.7 megawatts, Big Becky bore a tunnel of 14.4 metres in diameter.


Following its much talked about takeover of TBM manufacturer Lovat Inc. in April 2008, Caterpillar will phase out its TBM group by mid-2014. The company made the decision last year, says group president Stu Levenick, because “the tunneling business no longer fits” Caterpillar’s “longterm strategy.” Gary Benner general manager for Technicore Underground Inc. in Toronto, suggests there might have been another reason for the closure. “I think they’re finding THAT INTEGRATES WITH YOUR ACCOUNTING SYSTEM. that the tunnel business is not like other businesses.” “When you’re in equipment supply you’re talking about loaders and backhoes, and when one breaks you simply bring in another one. But when a TBM breaks it’s underground and you have to design in them the ability to repair them underground.” Motors are easily replaced underground and the hydraulics easily repaired. All the cutting Estimating Dispatching Safety GPS Mobile teeth are designed to be replaced as you go, too. Apps Job Costing Equipment Fuel Tracking Cloud Benner’s biggest concern while tunneling is the Maintenance Hosting TBM’s main bearing. “If that goes, you’ve got to extract the machine.” It’s for this reason that ƒƒUsed by 40,000 construction professionals a ll # 1 H TBM’s are rarely off-the-shelf designs, but are 19 ƒƒWorld-class 24/7 instant customer support rth instead designed for a specific project. A case in ƒƒConstruction-friendly desktop & mobile apps point: Ontario’s 10-year Hydro One project. ƒƒLow risk—Software comes with a “It has a ridiculously tight corner on it, 12-month money back guarantee! so we designed the TBM with double articulation so it could get around this corner. It’s not something you would do normally and has ut h H 45 never been done before that we know about.” 6 a ll # • 800-683-3196 Another job getting a lot of mainstream ink in Ontario is excavation of soil and rock






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265 lb-ft torque. 8.9 L/100 km. Our strengths at work.


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©2014 Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. *Based on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standard Testing of 2014 model year Sprinter 2500 Cargo Van, 144" wheelbase, standard roof, at 50% load capacity, and at highway/city speeds according to the standards of the “CONTROL OF EMISSIONS FROM NEW HEAVY–DUTY MOTOR VEHICLES [Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations – Part 1037]” as conducted by Mercedes-Benz in September 2013. Combined fuel rating based on driving cycle of 55% city/45% highway. Your actual fuel consumption may vary. Not for comparison purposes. Fuel efficiency test results determined using Government of Canada approved test methods are not available. **National MSRP is shown and is intended for information purposes only. Prices do not include taxes, levies, fees, freight and delivery charges, insurance and licence fees, as well as any other products or services not listed that may be available to you through your selected Mercedes-Benz dealership. Vehicle prices subject to change. Dealer may sell for less. These prices do not apply in provinces with total/all-in pricing requirements. Please contact your local dealership directly for exact pricing details and total pricing applicable in those provinces.

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Inspector and Big Becky get up close and personal.

beneath the Western Gap, a 400-foot channel in Lake Ontario separating Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport from the mainland. A 660-foot pedestrian tunnel the size of a truck tunnel, the Billy Bishop features a 100-foot elevator and moving walkways at one end and a steep bank of escalators at the other. The biggest impediment, says Benner, is not all that Lake Ontario water sitting above the heads of the crew nor is it the surrounding geology. “Our biggest challenge really is getting down through the man-made stuff, wooden piles and old sheet piling.” Hydraulic breakers and grinders enabled Benner’s crews to eventually hit more manageable solid rock. But the really unique part of the job, was drilling seven tunnels all interlocked and filled with concrete to create an arch that would provide the Toronto Port Authority assurance the roof of the tunnel bored from below would remain stable. From there, two Canadian-made tunnel boring machines “Chip and Dale”—took over. Weighing 90 tonnes and worth $2 million apiece, the TBMs measure 6.5 feet in diameter and 36 feet in length, excavating at a rate of 39 to 49 feet per work day once it’s jacked into the ground. “To advance, the TBM uses a gripper system that pushes against the side walls of the tunnel using the friction of the gripper to allow the machine to go forward,” Benner explains. Retraction of the propel cylinders at the end of a stroke repositions the gripper assembly for the next boring cycle. The grippers are then extended, rear legs lifted and boring resumed.

Firms like Underground Consulting do a great job on major tunneling projects such as the Billy Bishop airport, but on some jobs, says Calgary Tunneling project coordinator Alan Cluett, you have to think small. And that can mean very small, using an unmanned, remote controlled micro tunneling machine (MTBM) to install pipe in ground conditions below a water table. Or you could install a larger pipe jacking system, like the one Cluett’s company Calgary Tunnelling used to build a water runoff system at the Calgary International Airport Runway Development Project. “We’ve done a crazy amount of work there putting some large diameter 2,400 mm concrete pipe and some 2,100 mm concrete under the road and the fuel lines. Because of those diameters we needed an Akkerman TBM for that.” To bore both tunnels Cluett’s crews relied on Akkerman’s 5000 Series, a complete, all-in-one pipe jacking system containing TBM, hydraulic power unit, skid base sections and a thrust yoke. It features a pumping unit with two independent hydraulic systems, one to supple oil to jacking cylinders and another supplying oil to the TBM and conveyor circuits. A manned machine, the TBM’s drum roller and conveyor are activated using stick controls with the driver checking its position at the end of each cycle against a laser beamed from the front of the tunnel. “He checks his point to see where he’s at and then makes small adjustments to articulate the head in whatever direction he wants to go,” says Cluett. While there are many variables, he estimates a TBM will, under decent soil conditions, cut through 12 to 20 metres in a day. Every bit as important as the TBM to cut through clay are the backup systems used to cart it away. That’s because the operator can see the clay fall onto the conveyor but has no control over it once it is transferred into the bucket or haul carts for removal. That job falls to the train operator. “When the bucket is close to being full he’ll give a signal so that the operator knows to stop the drilling, shut the conveyor belt off so that the train operator can drive the train out and can be emptied.” TBMs of this size won’t get you through every soil condition, especially in Calgary where soil conditions vary from wet, runny sand to dense clay and hard rock—all in a single stretch of airport runway. “Look at your desk and imagine that’s a rock. When you get to that kind of material you can’t bore through it. You drill and blast.” when asked if TBMs are still the way to go, Cluett responds: “you bet”. Assuming they’re approved, environmental concerns around the Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines will make TBMs and their much smaller footprint a necessary part of the construction equation. “There will be a lot of streets and a lot of roads. That means a lot of crossings and a lot of TBM work.”

ALL TUNNELS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL “Not every tunnel has to go under a mountain. If you want to cross a major highway with a large diameter concrete storm line we’re the guys you get.”

David Godkin is a B.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to On-Site. Send comments to

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The Devil’s in the Details Machine control is not a bolt-on tool—productive use may require changes to your processes BY JIM BARNES


roven by more than two decades of use in the field, machine control is well known for the productivity and profitability it brings to a jobsite. However, it is not a bolt-on system that requires no thought. Do it right and you will reap benefits. Growth in Canada is accelerating, according to Wes Rains, sales and service, SITECH Western Canada Solutions Ltd. in Edmonton. “In the last two years, it has surged. In western Canada we have seen a huge increase in sales since late 2011, early 2012. I think that has to do with the industrial economic boom here in Alberta and in B.C.” Private industry is showing a burgeoning interest in contractors who use the technology. “In the past, we would usually be approached by the contractors themselves, looking for a way to reduce costs. More and more, the oil companies and land developers are approaching us, gathering information and building that into their specs and tenders,” says Rains. “Right now, we think the market adoption rate is 10 per cent,” says Dan Hendriks, vice-president and regional manager, Geoshak Canada, Concord, Ont. He notes with the spread of systems to a greater variety of construction equipment and the pending introduction of lower-cost, simpler systems, that number could reach 40 per cent over the next few years. “In the past, dozers and graders have been our primary market,” says Hendriks. “However, we're selling a lot of excavator systems

now. We put systems on concrete machines and on drilling machines—it's becoming ubiquitous.” “Now, the technology isn’t such a mystery,” explains Rains. “The individuals in the survey firms have a better understanding. More and more, digital data is readily available.”

CRAZY ROI The big story in machine control is cost savings—machine time, fuel, labour and materials, among others. "We do ROI calculations for customers every week,” says Hendriks. When he tells a contractor that the technology will pay for itself in five miles of road, he says the levels of skepticism are high. “The truth of the matter is the ROI is crazy. It really can pay for itself that quickly.” “In the past, [cost savings] were taken on faith,” Rains says with a laugh. Even then, “a lot of contractors could see the benefits—just in rework, fuel savings and manpower.” Now, says Rains, “I am seeing guys actually doing the numbers. Some of the contractors have their ducks in a row before we even get there… ‘This is my labour cost per hour, this is what it costs per month and I will have the system paid off in two months.’” In some cases, machine control is the only way to get the job done on time, considering the labour shortage in surveying and engineering, especially in western Canada. “They just can't keep up,” explains Rains.

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Machine control offers value in the materials that are being excavated, placed or moved.

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Contractors have to assess ROI carefully. “I think there is a ‘disconnect’ between what the technology delivers to a customer and what they perceive it to deliver,” says Hendriks. “Many people understand the technology as a survey tool, so they look at their survey budget and expect that to cover the investment in machine control. The real value of the technology is control over the materials that they are excavating, placing or moving.”

HAVE A PLAN The technology is straightforward, but implementation demands some thought. “Have a plan,” says Rains. What are your staff requirements? Should you hire staff to manage the systems and data, or go to an outside source? “Up until a few years ago, we didn’t have many of those outside sources. Most survey companies didn’t really understand it, didn’t seem to feel that there was really a need,” says Rains. “Now, there is everything from private individuals who can tackle data for you, to survey companies that can provide survey, data and management services.” “We are seeing more construction surveyors getting involved,” says Hendriks. “In many cases, they see the writing on the wall. As opposed to going out and knocking in stakes all day, they invest in software and capabilities to offer those services to customers investing in machine control.”

Plan for smooth implementation. Few contractors have much time to play around with new technology on a job. “If you are bidding on work that is going to require machine control, contact your dealer. Start to look at pricing, look at availability, find out what the requirements are to get all the data and processes in place. Hit the ground running,” says Rains. One decision will be between a 2-D system for checking grade and a 3-D system that can process entire jobsites. 2-D systems are based on technologies such as lasers, sonics or cross-slope. The 3-D systems are based on GNSS (global navigational satellite systems), typically referencing the U.S.-built GPS satellites as well as the comparable Russian GLONASS system. Hendriks says he sees contractors moving up from 2-D to 3-D systems all the time. Once they have a little experience, they are often willing to invest in a more capable system. Do not over-spec, cautions Rains. It depends on your application. For many jobs, 2-D is “more than sufficient. GPS poses more challenges in many ways including costs, planning and prep time. 2-D can be very quick and cost-effective.” “Over the past year, we have seen contractors putting their GPS systems on the shelf and going back to a 2-D solution for building pads, gravel spreads, oilfield leases and pipeline work. It’s simpler and more straightforward,” says Rains. / 23

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“There is a lack of understanding on aspects of the requirements for setting the survey up properly—calibrating the equipment and maintaining it,” says Rains. “These are things that will affect your overall performance and accuracy. We still find ourselves explaining the need to keep everything in check with regard to the plans and doing things right. “It’s a communications issue, all the way along.” Everyone from the surveyor who sets up the site initially Although using machine control takes a little training, it is very simple to use and to the mechanics maintaining your equipment down to the makes all operators more productive. operator has to ensure that things are performing the way NOT MAGIC they should. One issue is the data the site model is built on. You do not need a PhD to get it working. “The product is kind of “It is not magic,” says Rains. “I run into a lack of understanding contractor-proof, in a way. Almost anybody can grab one of these on what’s required to make it work. At the beginning of the job, things and make it productive,” notes Hendriks. have conversations with all the parties involved. Get the proper However you approach the technology and integrate it into data and site calibrations. Ensure that the data you are using is your process, machine control could well offer you a very impresaccurate. You can’t just show up and expect it to work.” sive ROI. “You are only as accurate as the drawing,” emphasizes “Companies have to pay attention to how they are positioning Hendriks. Working through the data on your own can actually give themselves moving forward so they are still able to compete. I think you benefits, he says. “If you have knowledgeable people who are the people that do not use this technology will have a tough time putting those models together, they can find errors in the design getting work in the future,” says Hendriks. before the equipment is mobilized. They can address them with the owner and the engineer before errors become problems.” Jim Barnes is On-Site’s contributing editor. Send comments to Site calibration is what connects the model to the equipment on-site.

Back to base networked base stations, operated by

will need to choose between net-

the system manufacturer or perhaps a

positioned 25 base stations across

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large owner. What is best?

Ontario for one of its products. “A cus-

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to be working, how many sites do you

can obtain their corrections virtually.

real-time kinetic systems (RTKS) and

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differential GPS (DGPS) to boost the

structure do you need?” asks Rains.

rigorously tested. Customers who

accuracy of the GPS signal. These sys-

“Standalone base stations are the

move around a lot can access any of

tems are what make your machines

most common approach,” particularly

those base stations as long as they

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areas. “In urban areas, (networked

Why subscribe to a networked

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systems are) much more common.”

system? Convenience is one factor.

required to supply the high-accuracy

In some cases, “The owners might

station yourself: “You just turn it

operations such as mines and plant

on, and you are good to go,” says

standalone base station and set it

sites, the equipment is used by all

Hendriks. There are also savings

up for every job. Others subscribe to

parties involved,” says Rains.

in purchase and maintenance costs.

Many contractors buy their own,

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Hendriks says his firm has

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Without going into the physics, 3-D


24 / FEBRUARY 2014


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rom flights to event tickets, to books and office supplies, making purchases online has become the norm. And it’s not only the travel, retail, and goods and services industries that are cashing in. Buying construction equipment, whose prices tags command up to seven figures, is also gaining some serious traction in online sales. A Canada Post analysis of online shopping trends reveals that Canadians spend more time online than any other country—45.6 hours per month—which amounted to $22.3 billion spent on retail ecommerce in 2012. Sue McGregor, managing director of Canada for IronPlanet, a global online marketplace for used heavy construction equipment established in 1999, says just like everything else, buying construction equipment online, both new and used, is picking up steam. IronPlanet has seen a 176 per cent increase in registrations over the past five years in Canada. “What we’re seeing in Canada is year-over-year double-digit growth in both the number of our registered users and items they

A look at online buying trends in the construction industry BY PATRICK CALLAN

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Photo: IronPlanet

Online buying helps reduce shipping costs.

How to buy:

bought over the last five years,” she says. “It’s a pretty steady trend that we’re seeing.” And despite the baby boomer laden Canadian construction industry—who didn’t grow up with the Internet and online shopping like their younger counterparts, the millenials—many from the older generations are quickly adapting, says McGregor. “The millenials get it. They were raised with computers; it’s normal for them to buy online,” she says. “But we are seeing a lot of baby boomers converting to buying online, especially once they have made their first purchase and it was a positive experience.” Peter Blake, CEO of Ritchie Bros., Canada’s leading online auction website for construction equipment, echoes McGregor’s remarks. “You’d be surprised how nimble people can be when the tool is easy to use and it helps them in their world to do what they need to do,” he says. Convenience and time-savings are key drivers when it comes to buying construction equipment online. “They don’t have to travel and they can shop any time they want,” says McGregor. “And it’s becoming more competitive. Not having to have that overhead or the yards and the brick and mortar buildings to conduct a sale.” Since the Canadian population is most dense around major urban centres and because many construction projects happen in very remote parts of the country, the costs of shipping and researching new equipment can get pricey quick. Online buying is a viable option to help reduce those costs. It also makes a significant difference when it comes time to off-load old equipment, too.

Ritchie Bros 1. Visit and create account 2. Register for upcoming auctions 3. Bid online or in real time on auction day 4. *Full payment: VISA, MasterCard or wire transfer 5. Collect equipment or arrange delivery IronPlanet 1. Visit and create account 2. Search for equipment and review inspection reports 3. Bid before or on auction day 4. *Full payment (wire transfer preferred) into secure account within three days 5. Accept delivery *Financing options available (see websites)

“Selling online where they don’t have to move it and incur big transport costs to get it to sale is very appealing to people, and I think that’s why we’re seeing the increased demand to sell online,” says McGregor.

MEETING CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS Like IronPlanet, Ritchie Bros. has also witnessed a surge in online buying activity in recent years. Following a slow start out of the gates back in 2002 when the company first began offering the service, there has been a steady increase in online sales year after year, says Blake. / 27

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BUYING ONLINE Ritchie Bros. made its name through live auctions, but online sales are quickly becoming a big part of the business.

By the Numbers:

IronPlanet year-over-year gains in 2013 in Canada • 22% in new registrations • 135% in new sellers • 72% in number of items sold • 198% in merchandise value of items sold Ritchie Bros. • $53 million (US): record for online sales at one auction (Orlando, Fla. February 2013) • $36 million: Canadian online sales record set at the Edmonton, Alta. auction in 2013 • $1.4 billion: Amount of equipment sold online in 2013, (an 8% increase from 2012 and the highest amount the company has ever sold online in one year) • 44 auction websites worldwide

Photos: Ritchie Bros.

“It started off slow and now it has become a really significant part of our business in terms of the ability to offer that service to customers,” he says, adding about 37 per cent of Ritchie Bros.’ total sales in 2013 came from online bidders. He attributes a large portion of that success to giving sellers more control over the price and process of selling. “When we looked at the market we discovered about half the people really wanted more control.” But not everyone feels comfortable participating in traditional unreserved auctions— where everything sells to the highest bidder on auction day—so there was a need to provide an alternative. In 2013, the company launched a website called Equipment One as a secure online marketplace designed for people who prefer to buy and sell equipment privately. Whether using Equipment One or placing a bid online during one of Ritchie Bros.’ auctions, having the information available online speeds up the process by providing things like pictures, inspection reports, and data, which allows people to do their research well in advance of the auction day, says Blake. “The vast majority of people that end up buying online still have gone and done the inspection, they just don’t necessarily want to show up on auction day,” he says. “They’ll come upwards of seven days prior to the sale, do their homework, and find the three or four

they want to bid on and bid accordingly online.”

THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS Bidding on a piece of construction equipment, whether new or used, is no small endeavours. Buyers are likely to invest tens of thousands, or even millions, of dollars on any given purchase or combination of purchases. And with that comes a certain amount of risk, which companies such as IronPlanet and Ritchie Bros. strive to remove from the equation by offering safeguards to ensure the quality of the equipment. This is primarily done through the inspection process. When a potential seller approaches IronPlanet, one of their territory managers will arrange to see the equipment and then evaluate it based on a number of factors such as condition, year, make, model, and number of hours logged. “They’ll go through the piece, start it, run it, check functionality of every aspect, take upwards of 100 photographs of each area, rate each area for condition and functionality, and pull fluid

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samples and analyze them,” says McGregor of the inspection process, which takes up to eight hours. “We post the whole inspection report on the website. They actually get more information than you would at a physical auction when you see it roll across a ramp because we’re going right through the whole piece in detail.” Ritchie Bros. also conducts its own inspections on every piece of equipment that shows up at their gates looking to be sold. The inspections are done free of charge and are then posted online as well. Blake says although the inspection process is an invaluable reference guide for potential buyers, it should not be used as a substitute for an actual physical inspection. Instead, the two should be used in tandem. “You can’t ignore the fact that condition is everything,” he says, especially when it comes to pieces of equipment with 5,000 to 6,000 hours under their belt. “You can evaluate certain things based on photos and reports, but buying sight unseen is a very risky thing.”

CLEARING THE HURDLES Instilling the confidence that what you see online is what you’re going to get remains a significant challenge, says McGregor, which

is why IronPlanet guarantees the accuracy of its inspection report. “We’re saying it’s going to be in the condition that we’ve said it’s going to be in, and if one of our guys missed something, or we misrepresented something, there is a dispute procedure team that will go through and look at the data and rectify the situation,” she says. From a seller’s point of view, the biggest concerns are the financial transaction and the transfer of the equipment from the seller to the buyer, she says. “We’ve got people in all those areas to support that transaction—whether it’s pickup support, logistics or finance—and a process laid out so that the seller knows we have received the funds in trust and they can release the piece to the buyer,” she says. “There has to be a real solid process around that transition, from seller to buyer, and also to know that the person’s not going to default on payment.” From the buyer side, Blake says it is always buyer beware, and despite the guaranteed inspection reports, you still need to read the fine print. “You want to make sure that you are dealing with an organization that you know is going to deliver, and that whatever you are buying is the same thing you get in the end,” he says.




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Photo: IronPlanet

Experts agree that online inspection reports are valueable for research, but they should not substitue for a physical inspection of the equipment before making a purchase.

“Condition is very much a driver of value, so deal with a reputable company and use a well-known auction site.”

BRAVE NEW ONLINE BUYING WORLD Just as easily as Canadians can arrange a vacation halfway across the world with the click of a button, so too can the sale of heavy-duty construction equipment take place from opposite ends of the globe. At any given Ritchie Bros. auction about 50 per cent of the items sold are destined to leave the province, state or country that

the auction is in. “It’s very much a global market,” says Blake, noting Dubai as an example of a market that is starting to be more active. “The comfort level of people buying from far flung and global in our environment is very good and very strong.” However, he reiterates that online buying should still be used with caution. Even those buying from places like Dubai will typically have a local, trusted contact stop by an auction to physically inspect the piece before making the final purchase. “The online world is a tool to help people gain comfort with what they are buying,” he says. “It’s important you provide choice: the choice of buying it online or seeing it on-site and inspecting it.” McGregor agrees providing a service for buying construction equipment online is essential and that there will always be a place for human interaction, as well as some good old fashion tire kicking before finalizing the sale. “These are big ticket items. We’ve sold pieces of equipment for over $1 million,” she says. “There still has to be somebody to get out there and walk them through the process to get them comfortable to understand how it’s going to work and to mitigate any fears or risks they may have.”




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hey are the gunslingers of the demolition industry. Itinerant marksmen brought into town to vanquish structures that have cast a long, dark shadow over the landscape for too long. Even the language they use is reminiscent of the old west: “We don’t demolish buildings. We shoot `em.” And just like the Wyatt Earps of the old west, the names of Jim Redyke, Merritt McAlinden and Richard Gustafson are legendary. The difference is they are still standing; still doing the necessary work that is modern day explosives demolition. Not everyone can do the job. Not everyone who needs their help gets it. That, says demolition expert Jim Redyke, is because not every structure lends itself to explosives demolition. “First of all you’ve got to have sufficient room around it. And the storey height needs to be enough so that there’s a cost benefit. If you can take it down with a smaller machine then that’s easier for the demolition contractor. The difficulty occurs when the structure gets a little higher.” If your high reach excavator’s not high enough, call his company, he adds.

Founded in 1975, Dykon Explosive Demolition in Tulsa, Okla. has taken on complex explosive demolition projects throughout North America, Saudi Arabia, Korea, South Africa and Aruba. Dykon has shot everything from highrise buildings to smoke stacks and bridges, to piers, heavy steel power and boiling houses. In each case, Redyke says where you place a charge and the delay pattern as a structure implodes are critical. Case in point: Macey’s Department Store in downtown Houston, Texas this past fall. “Sometimes you start at one end and shoot it from there,” he says. “Macey’s was 300 foot square and twelve stories high and we fired it in the middle. We did a series of circles so that the middle dropped down and all four corners fell into the middle.”

TIMING IS EVERYTHING But Macey’s wasn’t the biggest explosive demolition Dykon has taken on. That honour went to the coal fired Lakeview Generating Station east of Mississauga, Ont. At 1,200 feet long, the plant’s four smoke stacks—the Four Sisters—were shot on June 12,

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Photos: Dykon Explosives Group

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2006. The power plant fell the following year. Here, says Redyke, the delay pattern was critical. “To fell a structure you’re removing the support columns. And removing them with explosives sometimes on multiple floors and the timing and sequence to remove all that is based on the direction in which you want that to go.” Each stack at the Lakeview Generating Station was designed to fall in an easterly direction, one every four seconds. Just as important was the size of the explosive material used to determine both the extent of the blast and the amount of “fly” or extraneous material, that is likely to be ejected into the surrounding area. Figuring this out requires a test blast. “You’ll blow a series of holes in one of the columns and then put different quantities of explosives in each hole so we can determine the minimum amount of explosives needed to take it out.” The nature of the application determines the type of explosive used. The industry’s material of choice remains dynamite, especially in concrete demolition and large, complex applications. RDX, typically used in military demolition applications in the form of

linear shaped charges (LSC), also plays a major role in construction demolition. Often dynamite and LSCs are used together—LSCs to partially cut through the supporting steel legs to weaken a tower or smokestack, for example. “Then you strap some dynamite to the back of that piece and kick it out,” says Ron Elliott, president of International Blasting Consultants Ltd. in Coquitlam, B.C. In the absence of both LSC and dynamite the supports “might jam, but not move,” he adds.

HOLD THE SHOT! HOLD THE SHOT! Scott Gustafson says bridge demolition—his company Demtech Inc.’s specialty—depends almost exclusively on LSC explosives. “LSC doesn’t fragment the steel. It basically just cuts a steel member off like a cutting torch but at a speed of about five miles per second.” In box beam bridges built of angle iron and steel vertical plate the charge is placed in the middle of a bridge’s horizontal panels, rather than at the joints where gusset plate and reinforcement are more resistant to the blast. / 33

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“That said, LSC is very precise material. It has to be applied with a lot of care or you won’t really get Main building, Lakeview Generating Station, the results you’re looking for; you might not get the Mississauga moments before demolition blast. severance on a beam that you need.” Where a building under demolition will implode by design in any one of several directions, a bridge typically falls in just one direction: straight down. In fact, Gustafson’s biggest problem is not direction: it’s large, heavy structures over navigable waterways, and the narrow 12-hour window that explosive demolition companies have to shoot down a bridge. “The 12-hour window doesn’t start when you start the blast, it starts when you close the bridge off. So you’ll lose a couple of hours in the morning and that makes it really difficult.” Another challenge is protecting surrounding structures, traffic and people. To protect crowds from The “Four Sisters” Lakeview Generating concrete fly, supporting columns are wrapped in Station begin their tumble. geotechnical fabric, filter cloth or multiple layers of chain link. Manufacturers are constantly looking at ways to improve these products, says Redyke. “The geotech cloth has gotten better and better over the years. And as you learn to do this you make some other adjustments that help. For example, you also put an additional curtain around that to minimize as much of that throw as possible.” During implosion of the Lakeview Generating Station more than a thousand bystanders were on hand for the event while media helicopters buzzed overhead. Because it was a structural steel project, the first line of defense was large heavy plywood constructed boxes wrapped in heavy conveyor belting, enclosing the charge area. The same approach is adopted when demolishing structure steel bridges. The plywood box absorbs fragmented steel “flying from the backside,” says Gustafson. when simple human stupidity kicks in, says Gustafson. Some peo“On the other side you have the copper fragments that come ple just can’t resist stepping out on their porch to take “that Kodak off the linear shaped charge and when it explodes those LSC fragmoment”—or worse. ments are moving 28,000 feet per second. At close range they can “In Pennsylvania years ago there was a little mom and pop do collateral damage to another bridge, utilities or fiber optics.” grocery store set right on the end of a 13-arch concrete bridge we Or people. were demolishing. The owners posted notices telling people not to Keeping people at least 1,000 feet from the blast site is your park there and somehow someone the night before had parked in number one job, says Gustafson. Prior to a blast, police, local offithe parking lot.” cials, contracting personnel and Demtech staff set up safety perimFiguring he had secured the area and that the vehicle would eters and monitor the blast area visually and by radio. Occasionally survive Gustafson began the 10-second countdown. “The count local residents are told they must evacuate their homes because of is always a silent count at around five or six and everyone goes their proximity to the blast site. silent and all of a sudden I hear a guy yell, `Hold the shot! Hold Yet sometimes even your best efforts come to naught, especially the shot!’” At that moment, a man emerges from between two

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buildings and starts running down the hill towards the blast area screaming: “That’s my car, I gotta get my car!” “One of two cops watching from a safe area nearby does a flying tackle on this guy and buries his head in behind a doghouse. The cop speaks through his mic and says, ‘I’ve got him secure. Go for the shot.’”

NO HALF MEASURES, PLEASE Sometimes problems occur with the shot itself. One thing to avoid is setting too large a charge. Gustafson says you want to maintain integrity through certain parts of the building to make it collapse where and how you want it to. Vince Alvernaz, division manager for Demolition at Pacific Blasting in Burnaby, B.C. says another real concern in the industry are charges that fail to bring an entire structure down. “Depending on where the failure in a structure occurs your only recourse may be to bring in an excavator to complete the job.” Sometimes even this isn’t enough, adds Jim Redyke. “I shot a grain elevator once and there wasn’t enough material in the hinge to push it over and it squatted. It sat on an angle and they had to

I shot a grain elevator once and “ there wasn’t enough material in the hinge to push it over and it squatted. It sat on an angle and they had to bring in a crane and a wrecking ball to take down the rest of it.

bring in a crane and a wrecking ball to take down the rest of it. So it’s not always an excavator.” Alvernaz says one of the most unique explosive demolition jobs Pacific Blasting has ever taken on was Pacific Palisades Hotel, a triple tower complex in the heart of Vancouver that required six months of planning before the shoot could begin. The challenge was to implode one tower without damaging the other two. This meant physically separating it from the other two so that the parkade and the complex’s glass roof swimming pool— a mere 25 feet away from the building—were protected. “We had to put impact walls through the parkade, around the structure and over the roof of the pool.” Impact walls (I-beams) filled with timbers, limited the amount of concrete fly ejected at the time of the detonation at Pacific Palisades. Of utmost importance is the component on the other end of the blast: the detonator. Gone are the days of the plunger box, says Jim Redyke. In its place are electronic detonators with programmable computer chips. “It really improves timing accuracy and is very useful in big jobs where a few milliseconds make the difference. Manufacturers are always looking to develop new and improved products .” Interestingly, experts say that outside of rock blasting very little formal schooling is available, or needed, in explosives demolition. Technical schools may provide a single chapter on explosives demolition or offer a video on the use of LSC charges. Gustafson says students don’t get taught a whole lot about it. “Pretty much most of it is hands on.” Jim Redyke says he was fortunate enough to work with someone knowledgeable about explosives demolition. And because so few companies are interested in this line of the demolition business, he doesn’t see sufficient demand for formal training to warrant it. “Now we do safety training, but basic technique no one wants to share that. What I know I wouldn’t want to teach at a school because why would I want to educate my competition?”

David Godkin is a B.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to On-Site. Send comments to

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Photo: Melanie Collison


lberta’s legendary winds thin the reek of burning steel as welders slice apart High River’s 1892 CP bridge over the Highwood River. Blocking uprooted trees, the landmark bridge pushed the raging Highwood into High River’s low-lying downtown during southern Alberta’s devastating flooding last June.

Before dismantling the 1892 CP bridge, workers hung tarpaulins to keep lead paint out of the Highwood river. / 37

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“There are not a lot of iconic things left in High River,” says Karen Lawrence Stevenson, who grew up in High River, a town of 13,000 about 64 kilometres south of Calgary. “It’s sad to see it (the bridge) go. What’s left?” Stevenson fondly remembers her rite of passage at age 13—the first time she jumped from the bridge into the cold mountain river below. The Highwood’s flowing capacity is expected to double with the bridge and its footings gone, the banks carved to remove that pinch point, and 70,000 tonnes of flood-borne gravel, rock and debris scraped out of sharp meanders upstream. That material will be used to armour dikes. Normal flow for the Highwood in June is 30 to 70 cubic metres per second. The peak last June approached 1,800. The meltwater slammed southwest High River like a tsunami. Within hours it filled the northeast like a swimming pool six metres deep, says the town’s communications manager, Joan Botkin. With snow again piling up in the mountains and another winter’s runoff fast approaching, High River is strengthening its dikes west of the train bridge. It’s debating the best fix for a highway along the north boundary—opened eight months before the flood—to help it block water out instead of damming it in. And, anxious to launch long-term flood prevention action, the provincial government is hosting consultations on a proposed 500-cubic-metre capacity diversion channel around the town. That project would cost between $100 to $300 million. The channel and a dry dam west of Calgary are among $830 million in projects recommended by the province’s flood advisory panel.

High River was the hardest hit among 30 communities when a storm system snagged on the Rocky Mountains and dumped 325 mm of rain in a 540-kilometre sweep from Edmonton south to the U.S. border. High water in six major rivers draining the eastern slopes killed four people and displaced up to 200,000. It did at least $6 billion worth of damage to towns, ranches, First Nations lands, highways and bridges. High River was completely evacuated by combine harvester, helicopter and boat after the power went out; cellular and landlines crashed, and the water treatment system flooded. Ten days later, the first residents were allowed back. One neighbourhood at a time over the next three weeks, locals learned just how bleak their prospects were for recovery. Few houses were untouched. Alberta Health deemed 558 homes “not fit for habitation.” Public facilities—town and Municipal District of Foothills offices, the hospital and clinics, schools, longterm care homes, the recreation centre—were badly damaged. Everything was coated in thick sludge contaminated by E. coli from the feedlot and manure-treated fields west of town. Devastated homeowners dumped two years’ capacity into the landfill in the space of two weeks, throwing out appliances and mattresses, treasured photos, winter clothes, and everything used or stored in their basements, garages and sheds. To help volunteers clean up the overwhelming mess, the province hired Tervita—a waste management company cobbled together in 2012 from CCS Corp., HAZCO and 11 acquisitions— for a $45-million contract.

The High River Baptist Church, extensively renovated and expanded in 2008 and 2009, was demolished Nov. 8, 2013.

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RIGHT: Town council has decided to return one gentrified neighbourhood to an undeveloped state so the river can wash over it freely. LEFT: Hundreds of houses in High River were initially coded red—unfit for habitation.

“It wasn’t put up for tender because we were in a state of emergency,” says Kim Capstick, the province’s flood recovery task force spokeswoman. “The tender process takes months and months and simply wasn’t an option. We needed to get help to people right away.” Starting in July, Tervita hauled debris and cleared sludge from neighbourhoods, storm sewers and storm ponds. It began work on the river, cleaned up parks and graded land downtown for a temporary business park created of sleek fabric structures by Sprung. Tervita installed waste bins and diesel generators for the long process of emptying and drying 350 of the ruined houses. (The province covers only primary residences, so condo complexes containing most of the ineligible units had to contract their remediation independently.) As winter approached, Tervita started on the most difficult 24 homes and began demolishing up to 30 houses and buildings that would cost more to salvage than they’re worth. Some still await a final decision. Newly elected town councillor Cathy Couey says her priority was to restore hope among residents who feared the coming of spring, starting by improving communications between officials and citizens about work to prevent future flooding. Ironically, a huge dump of snow trapped residents in their homes the week administration unveiled its flood mitigation plans. High River is still planning to double its population by 2030. Projects on the drawing boards or already underway are to provide housing for more than 2,500 residents by the end of 2014. A temporary neighbourhood of 226 accessible units is under construction to meet immediate needs. Meanwhile, about 1,000 residents are spending winter in

hastily built modular housing camps, one just up Highway 2A and one near Calgary. Their future is uncertain, many having received no insurance settlement for overland flooding. Of the estimated $6 billion in damage, $1.7 billion is insured losses. Ottawa has promised $2.8 billion to Alberta, with a substantial advance to come by March. The province has asked for $3.1 billion. “Disaster relief is cost-shared with the federal government up to 90 per cent,” says Capstick.

The tender process takes months “and months and simply wasn’t an option. We needed to get help to people right away.

Within six months the province had allocated $110 million for erosion control, repairs, and protection of high-risk transportation infrastructure in cities, towns and rural areas along the Highwood, Bow and Elbow Rivers which swamped downtown Calgary. High River will tender its $2.2-million portion: $1.2 million for diking and $950,000 for embankment work around where the bridge was. The massive repairs required on the town’s sewage infrastructure, at a cost of up to $10 million, are a whole separate problem. More than 92 per cent of the 985 kilometres of highways damaged were open in less than six months, “which is quite remarkable,” says Capstick. Of the 80 schools damaged by flooding or rain only three stayed closed, two in High River and one in Calgary. Highways and bridges were damaged throughout the western / 39

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Three weeks after the Highwood River froze, welders begain to cut apart the foundational bracing.

two-thirds of the MD of Foothills, which sprawls across 3,600 square kilometres south of Calgary. The MD provides primary services for 20,000 people. In the first days after the flood, crews worked 20 hours per day on preliminary repairs. Within three weeks, highway construction contractor Volker Stevin replaced the Sheep River bridge between Turner Valley and Black Diamond on the west side of the MD. Residents in the towns three kilometres apart had quickly wearied of a detour that took an hour to drive. “The flooding completely washed out four bridges, and probably another 20 had varying degrees of damage,” says Mike Gallant, head of public works for the MD of Foothills. “By Black Diamond, the river cut a new channel and isolated seven families. We had that road temporarily repaired within a week, but a proper repair will cost millions, and you have to have [the federal] department of fisheries and oceans and Alberta Environment’s permission to go into the river” to fix it. “West of High River, on River Road, we had 50 homes with no way in or out, so we went to work right away. We started work at both ends.” Initial repairs proceeded quickly, says Capstick, because Alberta Transportation has ongoing contracts with builders. “There’s still lots to be done to finish the repairs but we had to get the roads and bridge open,” she says. The MD has since contracted Volker Stevin to do a further $287,000 in bridge repairs. The province has hired international engineering giants AMEC and AECOM to assess a raft of proposed flood reduction projects. They will compare impacts on watersheds and future flooding, looking at such aspects as structure types, locations, impacts on property values and relocation of utilities. For all participants, the agenda is driven by a fast-flipping calendar as Alberta recovers from the most costly natural disaster in its history.



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WHAT’S INSIDE THIS ENVELOPE • Name Badge • Barcode on your badge embedded with any education purchased New for 2014, we are not issuing Education tickets. Your badge barcode will be scanned in the Education Areas to verify education purchased and classroom entry. If you add education after your badge has arrived in the mail, you are required to visit the registration counters onsite to exchange your new badge. EXHIBIT HOURS Tuesday, March 4


Wednesday, March 5


Thursday, March 6


Friday, March 7


Saturday, March 8


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Tuesday, March 4


Wednesday, March 5


Thursday, March 6


Friday, March 7


Saturday, March 8


SHOW BADGES & LANYARDS Attendees and Exhibitors must wear the official CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2014 Show Badge to access the exhibits and meeting space locations. Lost badges are charged a replacement fee equal to the amount originally paid. Lanyards can be picked up in the registration areas and near the shuttle and taxi areas. SUBSTITUTION & CANCELLATION POLICY Badges and Education sessions are nonrefundable, however, substitutions are allowed. Bring the badge to the Platinum Hall Registration to exchange. A session that has already taken place cannot be substituted. Photo identification is required. BADGE/REGISTRATION QUESTIONS The Customer Service team at Experient, the Official Housing & Registration vendor, can be reached Monday–Friday, 8:00am–5:00pm Central Standard Time. Email: Phone: 800-424-5247 or +1 847-996-5878


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Hotels & Transportation HOTEL SHUTTLES Shuttle service is available Tuesday through Friday from 6:30am–6:00pm and Saturday 6:30am–4:00pm. Shuttles only service Official Show Hotels. Visit or for additional information. LAS VEGAS MONORAIL Running from 7–2am Tuesday through Thursday (7–3am Friday through Sunday and 7am– Midnight on Mondays), the Las Vegas Monorail travels along the east side of the Strip and connects the Las Vegas Convention Center to a variety of hotels. Purchase your tickets at: TAXI Taxi cab service is located across the Gold Lot, in the Blue Lot and at the Southeast Entrance of the South Hall. PARKING Limited parking is available at the hotels surrounding the Las Vegas Convention Center and are on a first-come; first-serve basis. CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE has a comprehensive transportation program that includes the Las Vegas Monorail, the complimentary show hotel shuttle service or taxis to get to and from the Convention Center. Exhibitors and attendees are encouraged to use these services.

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T28 T28 Concrete Concrete Overlays Overlays for for Highways, Highways, LocalLocal Roads, Roads, Streets Streets and and Parking Parking LotsLots

T20 T20 Troubleshooting Troubleshooting Concrete Concrete Surface Surface Defects: Defects: Causes, Causes, Prevention, Prevention, and and CureCure

T12 T12 Control Control and and T13 T13 20142014 OSHA OSHA Prevention Prevention of of Requirements Requirements for for Concrete Concrete Cracking Cracking Crane Crane Operator Operator Certification Certification


W44W44 Who’s Who’s W42W42 Reduce, Reduce, Responsible: The The Reuse, Reuse, Recycle Recycle Responsible: Concrete Concrete Pump Pump with with HighHighSafety Standard, Standard, Percentage Percentage RAPRAP Safety ASME B30.27 B30.27 Asphalt Asphalt Plants Plants ASME

T33 T33 BestBest Practice PracticeT35 T35 Concrete Concrete T36 T36 What’s What’s NewNew for Compaction for Compaction of ofPavement: Pavement: HowHow in Tower in Tower Crane Crane Asphalt Asphalt Pavements Pavements to Get to the GetBiggest the BiggestStandards? Standards? PartPart 1 1 BangBang for the forBuck the Buck in Street/Local in Street/Local RoadRoad Applications Applications

T25 T25 Key Key Performance Performance Indicators Indicators for Asphalt for Asphalt Contractors Contractors


3:00-4:00 3:00-4:00 PM PM

1:00-2:30 1:00-2:30 PM PM

W56W56 Working Working “In Tune” “In Tune” with with a VSIaCrusher VSI Crusher

W64W64 Laydown Laydown BestBest Practices Practices




T16 T16 The AASHTO The AASHTO T17 T17 Reliability Reliability Equipment Equipment Measures Measures for for Management Management Effective Effective Training Training Technical Technical Services Services Program Program


T38 T38 Equipment Equipment T34 T34 Health Health CareCare Transactions Transactions in in Reform Reform and How and How the Balance the Balance Sheet Sheet YourYour Decision Decision and P&L and P&L Will Will Affect Affect YourYour Company Company

W61W61 Optimizing Optimizing FuelFuel Economy: Economy: Tips Tips and Tricks and Tricks

W58W58 Construction Construction Technology Technology Forecast: Forecast: What’s What’s HereHere and and What’s What’s Coming Coming

W54W54 Your Your Equipment Equipment W51W51 Profit Profit System: System: Manager: Manager: Fireman Fireman An Idea An Idea to to or Leader or Leader Capitalize Capitalize On On

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T26 The T26Cloud: The Cloud: T32 T32 Changing Changing Field/Office Field/Office The Partnership The Partnership Communication Communication Payoff Payoff T27 Federal T27 Federal Employment Employment Law Boot Law Boot CampCamp for Executives for Executives and Managers and Managers

W45W45 Concrete Concrete W46W46 Equipment Equipment W43W43 Lower Lower Costs Costs and Asphalt and Asphalt Metrics Metrics and and While While Increasing Increasing Recycling Recycling for Small for Small Benchmarking— Benchmarking— Profitability? Profitability? to Medium to Medium Size Size Know Know WhatWhat to to Yes You Yes Can! You Can! Demolition Demolition and Site and Site Measure, Measure, Know Know WorkWork Contractors ContractorsWhatWhat to Expect to Expect

T37 High T37 High Performance Performance Maintenance Maintenance and Lubrication and Lubrication for Construction for Construction Equipment Equipment

T29 T29 Paydirt: Paydirt: MassMass Excavating Excavating

W63W63 Safety Safety of of W62W62 Using Using Recycled Recycled Shingles ShinglesEquipment Equipment Around Around In Asphalt In Asphalt Power Power Lines Lines

W55W55 You Are You Are W128 W128 NewNew WhoWho You Hire: You Hire: Reporting Reporting Contractor Safety Safety Requirements Requirements in in Contractor LEED—What LEED—What Will Will it Management it Management TakeTake to Grow to Grow YourYour Business? Business?

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T39 T39 EOBR EOBR Defined: Defined: Successes, Successes, Challenges Challenges and and Embracing Embracing the the Change Change

T30 T30 T31 T31 AWPAWP Safety Safety Training — Relieve — Relieve Use of Use Pavement of Pavement Training Preservation Preservation HighHigh Anxiety Anxiety Treatments Treatments in in the US the US

T24 T24 The Aging The Aging T22 T22 T23 T23 Actions Actions Speak Speak World-Class World-Class T19 T19 Go Green Go Green T127T127 Beating Beating the the T21 T21 BankBank Financing Financing and Other and Other Capital Capital Workforce: Workforce: HowHow to to WithWith ColdCold Central CentralLouder Louder thanthan Maintenance Maintenance PricePrice Objection Objection FleetFleet IdeasIdeas Retain Retain Employees Employees of Asphalt of Asphalt Planning and and Recycling RecyclingWords...Creating Words...Creating in Construction in Construction Planning All Generations All Generations Implementation Implementation a Positive a Positive Safety Safety Industry Industry Culture Culture

T14 T14 Automated Automated T15 T15 Telematics Telematics in inT11 T11 Economic Economic Grade Grade Control Control GPS GPS Transition Transition for Fleet for Fleet Update: Update: Going Going Up Up Managers Managers for the forRebound the Rebound


ForFor fullfull session session descriptions, descriptions, visit visit

W126 W126 Top 10 TopLosses 10 Losses W66W66 W67W67 Evolution Evolution of of W65W65 HowHow to Thrive to ThriveW70W70 Filling Filling the the W68W68 Milling Milling for for W69W69 EU, REACH, EU, REACH, 4 Regulations 4 Regulations Coming Coming Out of Out a of a Skills Skills Gap Gap with with Smoothness Smoothness and YOU and YOU in Crane in Crane & Rigging & Rigging On The On Surface: The Surface: Tier Tier and Project and Project Specific Specific Recession Recession Technology Technology Conventional Conventional Earth Earth Requirements Moving Moving vs. Tractor vs. TractorRequirements Pulled Pulled Scrapers Scrapers

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W49W49 Effectively Effectively W50W50 Creating Creating a a W52W52 Concrete Concrete W53W53 Cranes— Cranes— Culture Culture of Quality of QualitySurface Surface Defects: Defects: A Walk A Walk Through Through TimeTime Countering Countering in Your in Your Asphalt Asphalt Causes, Causes, Prevention, Prevention, —Technology —Technology and and Community 10:00-11:30 10:00-11:30 AM AMCommunity Operation and Cure and Cure Regulatory Regulatory Opposition Opposition to Your to YourOperation Project Project

8:30-9:30 8:30-9:30 AM AM

W41W41 Horses Horses for Courses for Courses - SandSand Washing Washing Equipment Equipment Selection Selection Old vs. OldNew vs. New


3:00-4:00 3:00-4:00 PM PM

1:00-2:30 1:00-2:30 PM PM

T18 T18 Performance Performance Benchmarks: Benchmarks: Productivity Productivity to to 10:00-11:30 10:00-11:30 AM AMthe Max the Max

8:30-9:30 8:30-9:30 AM AM

T10 T10 You Can’t You Can’t Change Change WhatWhat You You Don’tDon’t Measure— Measure— EasyEasy Measuring Measuring Immediate Immediate Results Results in Quarries in Quarries



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1:00-2:30 PM

10:00-11:30 AM

8:30-9:30 AM


3:00-4:00 PM

1:00-2:30 PM

10:00-11:30 AM

8:30-9:30 AM


F117 Process Improvement: Out With the Old and In With the New

F109 Conveyor Design

TH93 Noise and Dust: A Sound Approach to a Cloudy Issue

TH73 Driver and Job Site Safety— Something We Can All Live With


F110 Below the Surface: Energy Efficiency at Your Road Materials Asphalt Plant

F101 Porous Asphalt—An Environmentally Friendly Pavement

TH94 Tack & Bond Coat

F104 So You Think You’re A Lift Director?

F114 An Examination of Crane Accidents

F113 Performance Screening of Concrete Materials and Proportions Using Thermal Testing

TH89 The Mechanics of a “Super Lift”

F103 Innovations in Steel Fiber Construction

TH96 Recent Advances in the Design and Construction of Roller-Compacted Concrete Pavements

TH88 Ten Tremendous Tales of Pervious Concrete

TH74 Key Issues in Crane Safety


in Crane in Crane & Rigging & Rigging

TH78 Stop Chasing TH81 “Crack” and Start Managing the Code On Your Density Concrete Delivery Ticket

TH71 The Benefits and Bonuses of Paving


Practices Practices

TH86 Understanding and Lowering Your Facility’s Energy Costs


3:00-4:00 3:00-4:00 PM PM

F105 Position Your Company for Success with GPS Technology for Earthmoving Equipment

TH97 Intelligent Machines Lead to Bigger Profits

TH75 Paydirt: Mass Excavating Alternatives for Mass Profit


and YOU and YOU

F119 Get Lean and Green with Lean Construction

F118 Breaking Through the Growth Roadblock...

F112 BIM 101— Horizontal

F111 When Your Organization’s Performance Warning Light is Flashing

F107 Where’s My Tax Reform and What Should I do...

F102 Seamlessly Connecting Design to the Field

F123 The Accidental Boss

F116 Effective vs. Efficient—Doing the Right Things!

F108 Positive, Empowering Performance Reviews—No Surprises!

TH100 Influence – A Powerful Avenue to Success

TH83 Expand Your Market with InPlace Recycling


F121 Hiring Commercial Drivers

F129 What’s Hitting in New OSHA Regulations

F122 Personality and Human Error

TH99 Federal Drivers’ Hours of Service Regulations in the Construction Industry

TH91 Finding the Needle in the Haystack: OSHA and the Silica Rule

TH125 Responding to OSHA/MSHA Document Requests

TH84 Equipment Safety for Operators Mounting and Dismounting


For full session descriptions, visit

F120 Volt Meter Diagnostics

F115 Managing Electrical Diagnostics

F106 Making a Business Case for Telematics Regardless of Your Fleet Size

TH95 Unstoppable Sales & Marketing Practical Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

TH87 Preserve and Transition Your Company and Wealth

TH90 Fuel and Fuel System Contamination

TH98 Strategic Maintenance Issues – An Executive Approach to Equipment Maintenance

TH85 Businessto-Business Negotiating for Long-Term, TH80 Sustainability’s Profitable Impact on the Supply Relationships Chain TH92 From Owner/ Manager to Leader: What Makes the Top 2% Successful

TH79 Competitive Edge: Using IT Innovations...

TH82 Repair/ Replace/Rebuild: Planning for Effective Decision Making in Relation to Equipment

TH77 G.R.E.A.T. Teams—Build HighPerformance Project Teams TH124 Doing Business Across State Lines


TH72 Prevailing Wage Jobs: Winning Bids, Keeping it Simple and Staying Compliant


TH76 The Effective Movement of Oversize/ Overweight Equipment


ForFor fullfull session session descriptions, descriptions, visit visit

4 Regulations 4 Regulations Coming Coming Out of Out a of a Skills Skills Gap Gap with with Smoothness Smoothness On The On Surface: The Surface: Tier Tier and Project and Project Specific Specific Recession Recession Technology Technology Conventional Conventional Earth Earth Requirements Moving Moving vs. Tractor vs. TractorRequirements Pulled Pulled Scrapers Scrapers

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Attachments Earthmoving Machinery Lifting (Aerial & Cranes)

Gold Lot Silver Lot 1-2 Silver Lot 4 Central Hall 1-2 Gold Hall North Hall LVH Hotel Center


Gold Lot

Gold Hall







LVH Hotel Center








North Hall




Silver Lot 2

Central Hall 1

Grand Lobby


Show Store

AGC I.T. & Business Solution Pavilion NRMCA International Mixer Driver World Cup

Innovations Theater

IFPE Technical Conference

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Education Program





Silver Lot 3

Bridge Meeting Complex

Central Hall 3-4-5


International Trade Center

Registration Area


Central Hall 2

Blue Lot

Blue Lot


IFPE 2014 (co-located event) Engines& Components

Platinum Hall South Hall 3-4

Silver Lot 1

Concrete Production & Paving Industry Services Information & Business Solutions Safety & Traffic Trenching & Shoring Trucking & Hauling Utility Equipment

Aggregates Processing Asphalt Production & Paving Drilling Equipment Engines & Components

Las Vegas Hilton

Silver Lot 3-4 South Hall 1-2 South Hall 1-2 Lobby LVH Hotel Center

Platinum Lot Central Hall 3-5 Platinum Hall LVH Hotel Center

MARCH 4–8, 2014 • 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM TUESDAY – FRIDAY • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM SATURDAY


IFPE (2nd Level)


C-30000 C-40000 C-50000 G-70000 L-20000 H-100-799 N-10000 S-60000 SL-60000 S-80000 SL-80000 P-90000

Silver Lot 4

South Hall (2nd Level)

Indoor Central Hall 1 Central Hall 2 Central Hall 3-5 Gold Hall Grand Lobby LVH Center North Hall South Hall 1-2 South Hall 1 Lobby South Hall 3-4 South Hall 3 Lobby Platinum Hall

Booth Number Series Key

South Hall (1st Level)

South Hall Lobby


Lift Safety Zone

Intrashow Shuttle


Shuttle Bus


Private Shuttle Drop-Off/Pick-Up

Internet Kiosks

Food & Beverage

Crane Rodeo



Platinum Hall





Platinum Lot

Outdoor Gold Lot Platinum Lot Silver Lot 1-2 Silver Lot 3 Silver Lot 4

G-1000-2999 P-7000-9999 S-3000-4999 S-5000-5999 S-6000-6999





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PRODUCT SHOWCASE All terrain crane Link-Belt will be unveiling its second all-terrain crane built specifically for the North American market at CONEXPO. The new 210-ton ATC-3210 crane transports in a three-axle dolly configuration with a three-piece hydraulic fly, auxiliary lifting sheave, hook block and ball and main and auxiliary winches. Designed with extensive customer input, the ATC-3210 meets Tier-4 final and EPA 2013 on-highway requirements. Booth: Gold 1747

Foldable boom

Increased fuel economy

Enerpac’s SBL100 Hydraulic Gantry boasts a 1,200-ton lift capability and a gantry system that provides a safe, efficient way to lift and position massive loads in applications where traditional cranes will not fit. This threestage gantry is currently the largest in Enerpac’s range and has unique features such as a foldable boom that facilitates easy transportation. Booth: Silver 3749

The 9A series product line from Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas Inc. is designed with quality and comfort upgrades in mind, as well as the new industry standard interim Tier4 engine. Booth: North 10052

Heavy-duty paver The BOMAG Cedarapids CR552 mainline paver delivers the power and production required for full-width paving applications such as airports, interstates and highways, industrial paving projects, and major county road and highway construction. The paver’s heavy-duty frame, bogie pivot, kingpin and bogie bearings, offer a hopper load bearing capacity of up to 27 tons. Booth: Central 50675

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Torque-free digging Little Beaverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MDL mechanical drills feature a 360-rpm operating speed with a compact design to access areas unreachable by skid steer-mounted augers. The drills are safe for one-man hole digging applications, and ideal for a variety of industries, including landscape and building contractors, rental centers, fence and sign installers, and parks and recreation departments. Four models are available in the line, each featuring a powerful overhead valve gas engine. Booth: Platinum 9138

Portable design DSC Dredgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Shark Class cutter suction dredge is a tough, portable design most commonly used for sand and aggregate production. It features standardized systems throughout all of the various sizes and configurations. The operating systems are all PLC based and offer the operator an ergonomic and user-friendly control panel. Booth: Central 30040

High efficiency Asphalt Drum Mixers Inc. has designed its EX Series asphalt plants with single-drum counterflow technology. The plants offer high efficiency and a compact design for contractors with low to medium production needs. They also produce 100 to 425 tons per hour at a very low cost per ton and claim the longest aggregate drying and mixing times in the industry. Booth: Platinum 8610

Small demolition robot The Brokk 50 demolition robot has been redesigned to make it faster and more powerful while keeping it compact and easy to maneuver. With a height of 34.4 in. and weight of 1,100 lb., the Brokk 60 is a small remote-controlled demolition machine that is ideal for construction work where space is limited. Booth: Platinum 8547 / 51

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Equipment that pays off! Move your business forward with trusted Wacker Neuson products. The Wacker Neuson brand has a solid reputation for long service life, outstanding reliability, low operating costs and ease of use. With over 300 products spanning all phases of the construction process, we have the products and innovative technology to improve your bottom line.

Come see us at CONEXPO! Booth 4452


4.02.08 updated

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All-purpose skid steer CASE Construction Equipment has launched the SR210 radial-lift skid steer, a new Tier 4 Final model that features EZ EH controls and improved torque, breakout force and standard auxiliary hydraulic flow. Weighing in at 6,970 lb., the SR210 is an all-purpose skid steer that offers standard (24.2 gpm) and high-flow auxiliary (33.2 gpm) hydraulics for excellent power and attachment versatility. Booth: North 10403

Texture cure machine

Lightweight drill

Guntert & Zimmerman’s updated TC 1500 is a technologically advanced texture cure machine that includes relocatable jacking columns, and many few features such as cure spray hood with quick width change feature, standard cure tote usability and EGON Plus+1 controls. The four-track TC1500 can be equipped with 90 degree steering which allows the machine to travel and steer across bridges and self-load for transport. Booth: South 61115

Fein Power Tool Inc.’s Slugger JCM 200 portable magnetic drill is a two-speed, fully automatic power feed for cutting up to 2 in. diameter, 2 in. D.O.C. holes using Slugger Carbide annular cutters in its QuickIN tool holder system. At 35.7 lb. it is one of the lightest 2-in. diameter capacity power feed drills available. Booth: Platinum 7351

Improved ergonomics Doosan’s upgraded interim Tier-4 compliant (iT4) DL2003 wheel loader offers increased horsepower and performance improvements that enhance its capabilities for moving materials in highway, street and paving projects, as well as building, site development and livestock production applications. It is engineered with a breakout force of 22,230 lb., a full-turn tipping capacity of 17,110 lb., and a dump height of 9 ft. 6 in. Booth: Gold 1501 / 53

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CONEXPO 2 014 On-grade drill E-Z Drill’s Model 110B Drill is a downsized version of the company’s Model 210B on-grade drill. It operates on the subgrade and fits in a 3-ft. patch. A minimum of 50 cfm is required to run the pneumatic system, which drills holes from 5/8 in. to 2 in. in diameter to a depth of 12 in. A patented roller bearing feed system eliminates carriage friction during drilling, allowing an operator to drill faster with a smaller drill motor. Booth: South 61330

Low-level scissor lift The Hy-Brid HB-1430 low-level scissor lift by Custom Equipment is designed for work at heights up to 20 ft. The lift platforms are 25-in. wide by 60-in. long, with a 30-in. slide out extension to increase the length. It can accommodate two people at a time and hold up to 670 lb., allowing users to place tools and materials on the platform as well. The Hy-Brid HB-1430 is best suited for construction, drywall, electrical, HVAC, industrial manufacturing, painting and plumbing. Booth: Gold 1725

Redesigned cab Caterpillar’s D Series skid steer loaders feature a completely redesigned cab with first-in-class features, new lift arm design for improved sight lines, and increased engine performance. The four newest D Series models are replacements for their B3, C and C2 Series predecessors. The Cat D Series line now encompasses six skid steer loader models ranging in rated operating capacity from 1,800 lb. to 3,700 lb. Booth: Gold 1015

Increased dumping height The Roll-Out Bucket by Paladin Attachments features a smooth, single radius shell design for maximum material roll and optimal fill rates, and up to an 89 per cent dump height improvement. A 93-degree dump angle provides maximum load placement flexibility, and twin, dual-cushioned cylinders tip the bucket on its edge effectively doubling the working dump height of the bucket. Booth: North 12203

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CONEXPO 2 014 Tension fabric buildings Combining superior quality rigid frame engineering with tension fabric, Legacy Building Solutions has launched a line of fabric buildings to incorporate structural steel beams instead of open web trusses. This provides a high level of flexibility for a wide range of applications, including storage of corrosive materials, equipment sheds, vehicle maintenance shops, and commercial and industrial warehousing. Booth: Las Vegas Hotel 616

Compact track loader Featuring a four-cyclinder, turbocharged Perkins 804C-33T diesel engine, the new 71-hp Terex PT-75 compact track loader is the newest member of the Terex line of Tier 4-interim compliant compact construction equipment. With an 8,972-lb. operating weight and machine width of 70-in., this track loader can maneuver and operate in confined or congested work sites. Booth: Gold 1047

Vertical shaft crusher Cemco Inc.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Turbo 80 VSI Crusher is a vertical shaft crusher for processing a variety of aggregate materials and industrial minerals. Available in two models, the Turbo 80 offers a mid-sized option to process materials up to 4-in. wide into a uniform, cubical, crushed, high quality product. The single-drive motor weighs 19,000 lb. and has up to 400 hp, while the dual drive Turbo 80 is available with up to 600 hp and weighs about 25,000 lb. Booth: Silver 5069

Superior tank construction Philippi-Hagenbuchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HiVol Water Tanks offer a unique design to optimize capacity and enhance travel safety. Built for any make or model of offhighway truck, the HiVol water tank series serves as a solution for a range of applications, including road construction, dust suppression, fire protection, and wash down. Booth: North 10610 / 55

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SOFTWARE By Jacob Stoller

Site-friendly technology comes to Construct Canada


ontractors aren’t reputed to be early adopters of IT. This might explain, at least partially, IT’s diminutive presence at Construct Canada in Toronto last December—amongst hundreds of booths, only a scattering featured IT products. However, regulators, suppliers, and large clients are forcing the issue, and digital documents are rapidly becoming the de facto standard. The challenge for contractors is that resistance remains high among the rank and file, especially in the field, and many of the digital systems still face a steep adoption curve. Several vendors who appeared at the show are targeting this problem, tailoring their solutions to the archetypical site supervisor who has been in the industry for a few decades and has no time for technology.

DIGITAL DEVICES Austin, Texas-based Motion Computing Inc. is taking direct aim at the adoption issue with a family of site-friendly tablet computers. As Canada country manager Scott Ball explains, construction workers tend to leave their personal devices in the truck for a number of reasons—connectivity to the web is unreliable, particularly in sub-basements and in remote areas, many mobile apps call for too much keyboarding, or the device is likely to get damaged. “Our biggest competition is pen and paper,” says Ball. “What people will do is take a piece of paper with them, gather their information, and then come back to the truck, turn the computer on, and sit there and type.” The Motion Computing devices support the standard Windows operating system,

and are available with large touch screens for viewing and editing drawings. They are also robust enough to withstand tough job environments. The connectivity issue is handled through an offering called LINCWorks, a family of portable networking gear that sets up a wireless network on the jobsite and links it to the outside world. “It’s wireless, cell, and mesh all in one,” says Ball. “It allows us to create a mesh network over a site, but also connect out to the cell environment.”

DOCUMENTATION MADE EASY Defects that were missed and then covered up can be a supervisor’s nightmare. Luis Pascual, who began his career as an electrician, knew all about this when he co-founded Vancouver-based Multivista Construction Documentation. The Multivista application stores inspection photos and indexes them to the working drawings so they can be readily viewed in context. When the company was developing the product, the question of compliance came up. Would contractors be consistent in taking photos and storing them in the system? “Execution is critical—if you miss a certain section of wall, or if you miss a certain area of the building, then the software isn’t going to save you,” says Ben Morse, business development representative at Multivista. To fill this need, the company now offers a complete photo documentation service. For the typical client, Multivista photographers snap hundreds, or even thousands, of jobsite photos at specified points on a periodic basis.

The photos are then stored in the cloud along with their respective drawings, accessible through a web interface. “We’re allowing people to keep doing what they're doing and what they're good at,” says Morse.

OLD SCHOOL MARKUPS Doing markups on screens isn’t for everyone, particularly when the drawings are very large. Recognizing this, Toronto-based Inktronic Technology (ITI) has brought the digital world right onto hard copy drawings. ITI’s software creates a “smart print” of the drawing, which allows a digital pen to recognize its location on the drawing. Because the pen “knows” its location on the drawing it is able to track and record all markups made on it. The marked information can be sent back to the central project repository using a Bluetooth connection, or a docking station, where it is archived instantly. The software is hosted in a secure cloud so drawings can be accessed through virtually any digital device. Markups from different sources take place concurrently. “A team member can be working with pen and paper in the field, while another is working on the same drawing at the same time on their computer in a site trailer or back at the office,” explains Nicolle Brown of ITI. “There is a big push for the industry to adopt digital processes, but many people still prefer traditional methods. We see our product as the bridge between the two.” Jacob Stoller is principal of Toronto-based consultancy Stoller Strategies. Send comments to

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Set Yourself Apart NEW 2-Year

Standard Warranty

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SEND US YOUR FUNNY PHOTO CAPTIONS and if we think you’re the funniest, you will be the winner of a limited-edition die-cast model of a Mack Truck. (Comparable alternative model may be awarded.)


March 21, 2014

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THIS MONTH’s winner is:

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14-02-06 2:38 PM

RISK By David Bowcott

It’s about the design


ecently our construction and infrastructure team at Aon did some data mining in the area of project delays with a focus around Canadian P3 projects. We’re lucky enough to have leading market share within the Canadian marketplace that allows us to see trends even our largest clients cannot. The intent of this study was simple: discover that the leading causes of project delays within the Canadian P3 market to date are. We took the 121 P3 projects that we had in progress or had been completed and then isolated any projects that had significant risk events manifest. The events either lead to a delay on the project, or had the potential for leading to a delay. Of interest, there were 15 projects in total that had such an event. I’m not going to go into the various risks that manifested on these 15 jobs, but instead focus attention on the leading risk event that led to delay (or the potential for delay): design risk. Our study indicated approximately 33 per cent of the 15 projects were delayed (or potentially delayed) by a design risk event. This means design issues were the leading risk event causing delay to Canadian P3 projects over the past several years. Knowing design risk is likely the top risk you will face in any project (even those with a strong track record of success, like P3s) what is your firm doing to manage this important risk? This message is to both contractors doing design-build work and to owners procuring their design and farming out construction via the design-bid-build model. Whether it’s the contractor or the owner procuring design, the entity responsible for procurement needs to ensure they have top-level best practices for pre-qualifying, procuring and managing design risk during construction and into operations.

The following represent some highlevel practices for you to consider when managing design risk on your next project: 1. Pre-qualify design consultants. Key areas that should be addressed via a Design Professionals Prequalification Form: a. Experience (years in business, areas of expertise, human capital data, project lists) b. Financial information on design firm c. Information on insurance coverage d. Types of design performed in-house and types subcontracted (if subcontracted what are their prequalification practices) e. List of preferred design subcontractors f. Client list g. Claims, disputes or litigation h. Software used i. Information on management and key employees (ideally the team being dedicated to your project) 2. Review proposed design contract: a. Look for limitations of liability b. Determine adequacy of contract performance security (parental guarantee, letters of credit, insurance) c. Look for insurance requirements d. Confirm what information you are expected to provide and ensure you can provide it e. Confirm scope of service is in line f. Confirm charges for project changes g. Confirm or insert schedule/timeline h. Determine what obligations you have to maintain contract compliance 3. Insurance a. Review the design firm’s insurance program (carrier, limits, retentions, exclusions. Is there any limit erosion on the practice policy?) b. Review design subcontractor insurances c. Review any project specific insurance covers (carrier, limits, retentions, exclusions, etc.)

d. If you are a contractor confirm your professional insurance coverage and ensure coverage dovetails with design firm cover and project specific covers 4. Relationship building with design firm a. Visit the design firms offices and meet key management b. Meet and get to know the team dedicated to your project c. Develop relationship with top management of company 5. Quality assurance/quality control a. Ensure you have strong QA/QC protocols in place to ensure construction is compliant with design and design specifications 6. General questions to ask a. What issues does the design firm see as important with your project? b. How does the design firm gather information about your needs or goals? c. How do they make decisions and establish priorities? d. Who are the members of your team? Do they separate relationship and design roles? e. How busy is the design firm and in particular the team on your project? The above is by no means an exhaustive list of best practices when procuring design, but it does provide some key areas you should investigate. If design is a major risk on all project delivery models, finding the right partner will be vital to the success of your project. Once you’ve found that partner, ensure you are comfortable with their risk management practices, contract terms, and on-going design and construction execution practices.

David Bowcott is senior vice-president, national director of large/strategic accounts at AON Reed Stenhouse Inc. Send comments to

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February 2014

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14-02-07 12:02 PM

CONTRACTORS & THE LAW By Matthew Swanson & Grant Mayovsky

Discretionary clauses:


ontracts define the rights and obligations of the contracting parties and set out the standards upon which they are required to act. In some circumstances, contracts grant one party the right to make a decision on a specified matter using their discretion. These clauses, called discretionary clauses, often use terms such as “sole discretion,” “sole and absolute discretion” and “unfettered discretion.” Depending on the parties’ intention, as disclosed by their contract, these clauses are measured by different standards and impose different obligations, including obligations to act reasonably and in good faith. It’s important to understand what these standards are, and how they are applied.

DISCRETIONARY CLAUSES Discretionary clauses can be divided into two categories: those that impose an objective standard and those that impose a subjective standard. In determining the standard and scope of discretion provided by a clause in a contract, the courts look to the intention of the parties as disclosed by their contract. The courts are hesitant to allow a party to have absolute and unfettered discretion and, in the absence of explicit language, the courts often impose an objective standard of reasonableness. The courts have noted this interpretation imposes the least hardship in that it produces a result that is not unfair or unjust to either of the parties. Generally, an objective standard of reasonableness will be imposed when a discretionary clause relates to matters

Unfettered discretion, reasonableness and good faith that can be measured or assessed objectively, such as operative fitness, structural completion, mechanical utility or marketability. On the other hand, a subjective standard will generally be imposed when a clause relates to matters that are not easy to objectively measure. Such matters include those involving taste, sensibility, personal compatibility or judgment of the party with the discretionary power.

explained as requiring a party to act with regard to the interests of the other party (although one need not prefer the interests of the other party over their own), with proper motives and in a manner that is consistent with the reasonable expectations of the parties under the contract. A failure to act in good faith, like a failure to act reasonably, can give rise to a breach of contract.


“A failure to act in good faith, like a failure to act reasonably, can give rise to a breach of contract.” HOW MUCH DISCRETION IS THERE? In circumstances where a discretionary clause is measured by an objective standard, the party exercising discretion should not base its decision on a collateral purpose. If such discretionary clauses are to have purpose and substance, the discretion afforded by them must be exercised in a reasonable way, not arbitrarily or capriciously, but for good reason. Acting on a collateral purpose may very well give rise to a breach of contract. In addition to this objective standard of reasonableness, and even where a discretionary clause could be measured using a subjective standard, the courts have, in some cases, imposed an obligation to act in good faith. While good faith can be a difficult concept to define, it’s often

When negotiating discretionary clauses, the parties should seek to add as much certainty and clarity as the situation allows. They should consider the appropriate standards upon which the exercise of discretion will be measured and incorporate those standards into the contract. Where this has not occurred or where there remains some uncertainty, advice should be sought as to one’s rights and responsibilities under the contract. It must be remembered that discretionary clauses often impose obligations of reasonableness and good faith and that the courts are hesitant to allow a party to have absolute and unfettered discretion. Caution is required in order to ensure that one is acting within the bounds of its contractual obligations.

This article is for information purposes only and may not be relied on for legal advice. Matthew Swanson and Grant Mayovsky are partners at the law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. They both practice in the area of commercial litigation with an emphasis on contract and construction disputes.

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On-Site February 2014  

Published seven times per year, On-Site is written for contractors in the Canadian heavy construction market. Editorial coverage includes jo...

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