April 2010 Business News

Business news from Vermeer, Caterpillar, Astec Industries, Ditch Witch, SAK Construction, MasTec, Akkerman, Volvo Construction Equipment, JCB, Advanced Drainage Systems, Pressure Pipe Inspection Company and PSI.

Vermeer, Caterpillar
Vermeer Corp., Pella, IA, has been selected by Caterpillar to continue as a Preferred Allied Vendor to The Cat Rental Stores for 2010.

Prospective vendors undergo an annual review by Caterpillar and selection is based upon a comprehensive review of the company’s product offerings, field distribution and support, training capabilities and results from a dealer survey. Involvement by Vermeer as an Allied Vendor dates back to the early days of the Cat rental program. 888.837.6337, www.vermeer.com

Astec Industries
Astec Industries reported 2009 fourth-quarter net sales of $177.9 million and a net loss for the fourth quarter of $15.5 million compared to net income of $8 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Net sales for 2009 were $738.1 million compared with $973.7 million for 2008, a decrease of 24.2 percent. Domestic net sales were $465.5 million for 2009, a 25 percent decrease compared to 2008. Domestic net sales were 63.1 percent of 2009 total net sales compared to 63.8 percent of 2008 total net sales. International sales were $272.6 million for 2009, a 22.7 percent decrease compared to 2008. Gross margins for 2009 compared to 2008 decreased 330 basis points. Income from operations decreased 89.2 percent from $91.8 million in 2008 to $9.9 million, including the intangible impairment charge of $17.0 million in 2009. The company reported net income of $3.1 million, compared with a net income of $63.1 million for 2008.

Domestic sales were $103.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, a 20.9 percent decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2008 or 58.0 percent of 2009 fourth quarter revenues, compared to domestic sales of $130.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, or 66.7 percent of 2008 fourth quarter revenues. International sales were $74.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, a 15.1 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2008 or 42.0 percent of 2009 fourth quarter revenues, compared to international sales of $65.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, or 33.2 percent of 2008 fourth quarter revenues.

Astec Industries is the parent of Astec Underground, American Augers, Astec Inc. and several other companies in the asphalt paving, and aggregate and mining industries. 423.899.5898, www.astecindustries.com

Ditch Witch
Ten dealerships were recently honored by The Charles Machine Works, manufacturer of Ditch Witch products, as members of the 2009 Crescent Club. From sales and marketing to parts and service, these dealerships exhibited extraordinary service to their customers, to the industry, and to the Ditch Witch organization in 2009.

Members of the 2009 Crescent Club are: Ditch Witch of West Texas (Amarillo, TX); Ditch Witch France (Ablis, France); Ditch Witch of Minnesota (Shakopee, MN); Ditch Witch Sales of Mississippi (Pearl, MS); Ditch Witch of South Dakota (Sioux Falls, SD); Ditch Witch of Virginia (Glen Allen, VA); Ditch Witch of North Dakota (Mandan, ND); Ditch Witch of Oklahoma (Edmond, OK); Ditch Witch of Michigan (Howell, MI); and Ditch Witch of Ohio, (Columbus, OH).

Criteria for membership are stringent and include measurable goals for all segments of the dealership, such as sales and marketing of the Ditch Witch product line, financial performance, personnel training and superior parts and service departments. 800.654.6481, www.ditchwitch.com

SAK Construction
Jack L. Lynch has joined the management team as safety director at SAK Construction LLC, a national pipeline rehabilitation and tunneling industries contractor headquartered in the St. Louis area. SAK serves a variety of city, county and state agencies; industrial sectors; municipalities; and water and sewer cooperatives coast-to-coast.

Lynch, a certified safety manager in the National Association of Safety Professionals, brings to SAK 14 years of experience in safety management in the pipeline rehabilitation industry. His work includes designing, building and implementing safety programs and training for crews working on cured-in-place (CIPP) pipe rehabilitation in California, and on the West Coast. In addition, Lynch served in industrial production management for 10 years with Rayloc Industries, a division of Genuine Parts Co., which is the nation’s largest distributor of NAPA auto parts. He is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the Associated General Contractors of America. 636.379.2350, sak-construction.com

MasTec Inc. has appointed Ray Harris as its president. He will be responsible for leading MasTec’s business development efforts and will report directly to Jose Mas, MasTec’s chief executive officer.

Harris brings to MasTec over 30 years of experience in the utility and energy industries. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of Mesa Power, founded by T. Boone Pickens to develop and finance wind and other renewable energy power projects. Harris is an engineering graduate of Auburn University. 800.531.5000, www.mastec.com.

Mark your calendars for Akkerman’s Demonstration Days and Manufacturing Open House on Sept. 29-30.

The two-day event will include equipment demonstrations, guided tours and an array of off-site activities – all in a small group format. Guests will enjoy complimentary meals, local ground transportation and accommodations.

For a schedule of events or to register, contact: landerson@akkerman.com or 800.533.0386.

Volvo Construction Equipment, JCB
Volvo Construction Equipment and JCB have entered into a framework agreement under which they will cooperate on the engineering and manufacturing of skid-steer loader and compact tracked loader products for distribution under their respective brands and through their respective global dealer networks. According to the agreement, the first mono boom Volvo-branded machines will be in production at JCB’s Savannah, GA, facility by the end of 2010. Volvo Construction Equipment will then transition skid-steer loader models over time from its Pederneiras facility in Brazil.

In other Volvo news, the company’s organization in China has kick-started the new year by receiving an order for 102 crawler excavators during a customer event day. The company says it was the first of 1,000 customer events and seminars planned in China for 2010. One customer ordered 10 units and 102 excavators, ranging from EC210 to EC700 models, were ordered by retail customers during the day.

The event was held at the Shanghai Test and Technology Support Center by Shanxi Woyuan Construction Equipment Co. Ltd., the dealer responsible for Shanxi Province in Northern China. The EC210 to EC360 models will be produced at the Shanghai plant while the larger models will be manufactured in Changwon, Korea. All machines are scheduled to be delivered to their end users by June. 828.650.2000, www.volvo.com

Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS)
Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) has completed the acquisition of the remaining 50 percent interest in StormTech LLC.

StormTech was created as a 50/50 joint venture between ADS and Infiltrator Systems Inc. to engineer and manufacture chambers for use in underground storm water retention/detention systems.

StormTech chambers are highly engineered to meet the demands of subsurface storm water management, and provide optimal underground detention for storm water runoff.

This summer, StormTech will launch an additional new product, the MC-4500 which will further expand the cubic feet of storage capacity per chamber.

The chambers are in adherence with ASTM standards and have been subjected to advanced in-ground testing protocols and high-level industry expert review. They have been evaluated to support HS-20 live loads following current AASHTO procedures for loads, structural capacity and factor of safety when installed per StormTech’s Chamber Installation Instructions. StormTech chambers are molded from polypropylene resin, which is inherently resistant to chemicals typically found in storm water runoff. 800.537.9520, www.ads-pipe.com

Pressure Pipe Inspection Company (PPIC)

Pressure Pipe Inspection Company Ltd. (PPIC) announced that it has reached a formal service distribution agreement with Advanced Engineering Solutions Ltd. based in England. Under the agreement, PPIC will be the exclusive North American service provider for the ECAT pipeline condition assessment tool, which provides accurate mapping of metallic pipe walls to predict remaining service life.

The vast majority of cities in North America rely on metallic pipelines such as cast iron, ductile iron and steel, for water distribution throughout their network. The challenge is that much of this infrastructure was installed over 50 years ago and it is difficult to determine the current condition of these assets. The signs of deterioration are increasingly showing up in the form of pipe ruptures.

Condition assessment programs using PPIC technology provide municipalities with critical information about the condition of their buried assets. The age of a pipeline asset alone does not mean that it automatically needs to be replaced.

ECAT uses high-powered magnets to create a magnetic field within a pipeline. The patented technology then calculates the rate and location of the field loss during the inspection. The magnetic waves travel through structurally weak areas of the pipe at a faster rate and allow for predictions to be made on the remaining life of the pipe.

ECAT services can be used for a targeted “spot” check or to assess the condition of a long distance of metallic pipeline. This non-destructive assessment process provides results for the entire diameter of the pipe, requires minimal site preparation and can be used on any metallic pipe with a diameter of 8 inches or greater. 214.377.5300, www.ppic.com

Troy Scott has joined Professional Service Industries (PSI) as the Environmental Services Department Manager in their Houston operations office. Scott is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and has 10 years of professional experience in environmental services.

PSI is a leading independent engineering and testing firm, which provides a wide range of environmental engineering and testing services, including environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing and engineering, industrial hygiene services, facilities and roof consulting, and specialty engineering and testing services. 800.548.7901, www.psiusa.com