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Is there any Future for the Electric Cars?

The vast majority of the Americans and the British find themselves environmentally concerned and so they would willingly buy an electric car, however under one condition: it can’t be more expensive than a conventional one. At least, according to a survey carried out for the Financial Times.
The consumers from both countries also agreed, that their interest in buying battery-powered cars has primarily come from the idea of saving on fuel costs, which was more important than any environmental issue. Out of the group of people who said they would eventually pay more for the electric car, most would agree to pay only between $ 1,000 and $ 5,000 (or, alternatively, £ 1,000 and £ 5,000 in the UK) above the price of the conventional car. It seems that the citizens tend to lose the idealistic attitude the moment they take their finance into consideration.
The results of the survey clearly indicate that there is not much space for the carmakers to maneuver as far as the prices of the electric cars go, especially when the global economic downturn has left the customers more tight-fisted than ever.
Although there have been serious doubts if the electric cars stand a chance of becoming cars of the future, the governments of the US and the UK have spent enormous amounts of money for the promotional campaigns and special subsidies for the first buyers. It seems like the history repeats itself: when the manufacturers have launched first hybrid cars into the market, the customers were also unwilling to pay any more for lower-emission, more-efficient models like Toyota Prius, although this would enable them saving money on fuel in the long run. Instead, the customers would ignore the efficiency and choose similar, conventional cars which were just cheaper.
Even though the electric car may face bleak future, the manufacturers are ready to take the risk and plan to introduce some models into the market very soon. Leaf electric car, the new product of Nissan and Chevrolet Volt, manufactured by General Motors will be on sale by the end of this year. Then, it can be verified whether the early social interest in electric cars was just a temporary fashion or it will turn into recurrent habit.

This is the guest post written by the team of CarTruckTrader.com. Visit them online if you want to find some fuel-efficient cars for sale.

How to become an excavator operator?

Large heavy machines, such as excavators, must be operated by people who are well trained and highly skilled. Due to the size and strength of the machines, the person operating them has a responsible task that requires patience and precision.

Requirements

The job of an excavator operator is suitable for people who are able to work as part of a team, and can precisely follow the instructions given by other members of the crew. Ideal candidates must be physically fit and have a good hand-eye coordination to properly control attachments (blades, buckets, scrapers etc.). The occupation may be attractive to those who enjoy working outdoors on practical, hands-on problems.

When it comes to education, a high school diploma or its equivalent, is often expected. The person should also hold a commercial driver license, have some experience in truck driving or operating some smaller machinery. What is also important, an excavator operator should be aware of the safety rules and potential hazards of the job.

Working conditions

Excavator operators mostly work on construction sites, but they are also needed in mines or for some forestry work. The conditions may be difficult sometimes as they have to be performed in various weather conditions. Noisy, hot, dusty or muddy environments are not unusual; however, most modern excavators have sound-proofed and air conditioned cabs which definitely improve the comfort of work. The operators also have to be prepared for long working hours, weekend shifts, night shifts and travelling to some remote building sites. Apart from operating the machine, an operator may also be responsible for the maintenance of the excavator, for example refueling, cleaning and lubricating or some emergency adjustments.

Does it pay?

As in every profession, the salary depends on the experience. The hourly wage starts at around $15, reaches the level of $27 after 5 years, and can rise even to $45 as the career progresses. Additional benefits can include medical and dental care, disability and life insurance, as well as contribution to 401(k) retirement plans.

This is a guest post written by the team of Mascus.com. Visit them online if you need to buy new or used excavators.

Green Machines – New Trend in the Construction Industry

An average construction machine needs 15 to 20 gallons of diesel per hour. Taking into consideration unpredictable fuel prices that may go sky high unexpectedly, it is no surprise that the construction machinery welcomes all ways to become independent of it. Of course, there are also the environmental issues at stake, especially reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, but the economic factor is the most crucial. That is why many manufacturers producing construction machinery work on new fuel-efficient solutions that could be advantageous for their vehicles.

Komatsu PC200-8 Hybrid

Komatsu PC200-8 Hybrid, source: http://www.komatsu.com/

The first green machine that appeared on the market is a hydraulic excavator – Komatsu PC200-8 Hybrid. It uses an ultracapacitor bank to store energy generated during the swing movement of the upper structure. The ultracapacitor bank converts it to electricity that is later used to power a motor which assists the engine. As a result, the machine is the most fuel efficient when the upper structure is in use. Depending on the task it performs, it can save 25 to 40% fuel compared to the non-hybrid model.

Another company that followed the green trend is Caterpillar. The company introduced the world’s first hybrid truck-type tractor known as Cat D7E. What is interesting, the dozer is even more powerful than the non-hybrid model, but uses 10 to 30% of fuel less. It is possible due to a combination of a diesel engine and an electric motor.

Kobelco SK-80H

SK80 Hybrid, source: http://www.kobelco-kenki.co.jp

Kobelco Construction Machinery launched its 8-ton class SK80 hybrid hydraulic excavator this year. For the time being it is available only in Japan. It uses 40% less fuel compared with a conventional machine of that size.  Energy savings are made by recovering energy from swing deceleration and recycling excess energy from engine idling.

Apart from fuel-efficiency, all the above mentioned vehicles share also another advantage – they are extremely quiet in operation, therefore perfect for use in urban areas.

Some other companies are also working on hybrid technologies to introduce them to their machines, but the process is not easy… Caterpillar needed 10 years to launch their vehicle onto the market.

This is a guest post by the team of CarTruckTrader.com. Visit them to find various new and used vehicles for sale.

Thinking of a Job as a Crane Operator?

CraneIf you would like to become crane operator, you should become familiar with all the pros and cons of the job, as well as requirements and contradictions. In general, the job of a crane operator is to lift, lower, and move a variety of heavy materials. It may seem an easy task at first sight, but in fact it can be very complicated and definitely requires precision and patience. The scope of operating skills depends on the type of the crane, but in general it is not only about moving the loads accurately. Some cranes run on rails, which means that the driver has to regulate the forward and backward movement of the whole crane, while others require that the cabin of the crane is also maneuvered.

Requirements

To operate a crane safely, a specialized training is indispensable. In some countries also a certification is required to be allowed to work in the job. To start your career, you can apply for an apprenticeship program. In the U.S. such programs are organized by the International Union of Operating Engineers and take up to 4 years. To take part in it, you need to be at least 18, hold a high school diploma and be in good physical condition. Certification is indispensable only in 17 states; nevertheless many employers expect it even if it is not required by law. The most popular are the certificates of National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. NCCCO currently certifies operators of mobile cranes, overhead cranes and tower cranes.

Prospective crane operators must have a basic understanding of math and physics as well as some mechanical aptitude. Additionally, operators should not be afraid of heights, as the crane cabin is usually situated high above the ground. Another necessary quality is the ability to judge distance and heights accurately and good hand-eye coordination as they need to manipulate various buttons, levers and pedals. To be a good crane operator one also needs the capability to work as part of a team because it is necessary to cooperate with workers outside the crane  who give hand signals, for example when hooking and unhooking the loads.

Does it pay?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salary for crane operators in 2008 was $45,430. Indeed.com claims that as for May 2010 the average salary was lower – $42,000.  The earnings are strongly connected to work experience. For example in the first one to four years an operator can earn $16.44 and $30.34 per hour, while with 20 years experience one can expect up to $41,78 (according to PayScale.com). The salary depends also on the region – the highest earnings are offered in Alaska, Nevada, Washington and New York.

Working conditions

Cranes

Crane operators can work at a variety of construction sites, but also in other places where moving of heavy items in necessary:  For example, in companies dealing with metal fabrication or transportation equipment. Cranes are also indispensable at major ports to load and unload cargo. The working conditions of crane operators vary. For example people operating overhead cranes can be exposed to the heat, smoke and gases generated by factories, while those working outside and operating by remote control are exposed to various weather conditions. Fortunately modern cranes have cabins that ensure both comfort and protection.

If you would like to know how it is like to be a crane operator, you should watch this video:

This is a guest post written by the team of Mascus.com. Visit them online if you need to buy new or used cranes.

Construction Jobs in the USA – Latest News

Associated General Contractors of America has just released data concerning construction employment in the U.S. in April. The news is encouraging – it turns out that 29 states gained construction jobs last month and there were 14,000 new jobs created nationwide. It seems that for the first time in 3 years, the industry is hiring. It is partly due to federal stimulus funds for infrastructure business building construction(American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and also because of the gradual recovery of the housing market. April’s figures could also improve because of the season – spring is the time when many projects kick off. When it comes to publicly-funded investments, the most money went for transportation and water supply construction.

The highest monthly increase nationwide in construction employment from March to April was recorded by Kansas (+8.7%, 5,000 jobs), followed by North Dakota (+6.5%, 1,300 jobs), Wyoming (+6%, 1,300 jobs), Oklahoma (+4.4%, 2,900 jobs) and Massachusetts (+3.8%, 3,900 jobs).

Hopefully these recent gains are a good starting point. Unfortunately, the last 12 months were difficult for the industry with 46 states and the District of Columbia losing construction jobs. The worst situation is in California. cranes There have been 400,000 lay-offs since the 2006 peak. The state lost some 1,900 construction jobs also in April, but this number is smaller than in March which may be a good sign. Other states where the industry suffered the most include: Nevada, Colorado, Vermont, Washington, Idaho, Texas and Florida. The unemployment rate in the construction industry is 21.8% which is more than twice the national average.

Experts warn that despite recent construction gains, the industry will not return to pre-recession levels fast. The Recovery Act is helpful, but there are many delays in passing infrastructure legislation and the housing market is still fragile. The industry representatives expect further public investments as they are the only chance in creating more jobs. For the time being tight credit and high vacancy rates restrict activity in the private sector.

This post was written by the team of PennySaverUSA.com. Visit them online to find construction jobs in the USA.

New Usage for Your Excavator…

Find Construction Job Employment Using the Internet

Nowadays, instead of hunting for jobs in newspapers, we search on the Internet as it seems to be the most up to date source of information about vacancies. We can browse pages with job postings, visit specialized forums, or explore career opportunities directly on the site of our perfect employer.

When looking for jobs in constriction, you can not only check the websites with online classifieds popular in your area, but also visit specialized job searching boards, such as  ConstructionJobs.com.

Here is a short video where the advantages of the site are explained:

Internet is a great place not only to search for vacancies, but also discover valuable advice on how to write resume and cover letter or prepare for an interview. It also enables to find information about the prospective employer. According to the U. S. Department of Labor, the average unemployed person spends only 18 minutes a day hunting for a job. It is definitely not enough, so if you are currently unemployed and determined to change it, get yourself together and make the most of the Internet!