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Special Care and Maintenance for Heavy Equipment and Machinery

August 31, 2019

Heavy equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, drilling machines, and the like take the brunt of use and abuse in harsh job site conditions. Dirt, mud, rocks, cement, boulders, and other construction site materials make them dirty and can sometimes damage them. But even if these massive pieces of machinery are built to withstand harsh on-site conditions, operators should still do their part in servicing and maintaining the equipment in their custody. It is to ensure that it remains functional for the rest of the job as well as for future use.

Establish a routine

Maintenance should not be a one-time thing when the equipment has already broken down. You must establish a maintenance routine that you should strictly follow. You should check any type of machine for leaks, damage, broken parts, fluid levels, and tyre conditions, etc. on a daily basis. Do this before you start using the equipment. If any issues need addressing, you can fix them so that when it is time to operate the machine, everything will work fine. You must also do monthly maintenance checks and follow manufacturer instructions. You can also adjust the servicing and maintenance depending on the condition of the job site.

Follow manufacturer’s care instructions

Each item of equipment comes with servicing and maintenance instructions. They are in place to help operators perform tasks appropriately. Stick to the guidelines firmly. But you must also assess the overall condition of the site and how the weather can affect the equipment. You can make adjustments accordingly, but still adhering to general instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer. The manufacturer put a schedule in place for how often you should replace air filters, tyres, etc. But if you work in harsh conditions, you can replace the air filters more often than suggested. A specific type of heavy-duty equipment performs particular tasks. If you use it for other things besides its intended purpose, you will encounter problems later on. Only use the machine for what it is meant to do.

Proper storage

Some types of heavy machinery are seasonal, so if it is not in use, you should store it properly. Having a dry and secure location to keep the equipment from the elements – dirt, dust, and adverse weather conditions – should be part of your plan. Keeping the machinery away from moisture and direct sunlight will preserve its good condition. Even if you don’t use the heavy equipment for long periods, you must still perform maintenance checks to ensure that it is always ready anytime you have a need for it. Build a shed where the equipment can fit so you can protect it from sun, rain, snow, and moisture. 

If you work in a Lancashire plant hire company, make sure to keep these maintenance tips in mind to ensure that the equipment you are handling remains in the best of shape, even after years of use. If you own it, then all the more reason that you should maintain it so that it serves you for a long time to come. 

Business

Crane Purchase vs Hire: The Best Option for Your Business

August 31, 2019

Using the appropriate equipment for your business in Lincoln will help ensure that you will get the job done fast and effectively. It will satisfy your clients and turn them into loyal customers. They will also spread kind words about you. One of the machines that you may need for your company is a crane. You have the option to buy or hire one. Each of these options has its pros and cons.

Crane hire pros

  • Get the latest models. Every time you hire a crane for a project, you can get the newest model with the most modern features. It’s an advantage because you can enjoy the efficiency and convenience that the latest features bring. 
  • Many options. You can select from comprehensive models of cranes and use one that will best fit the specific project that you have. 
  • Easily change according to your needs. If you are handling various projects or your needs suddenly change, you can quickly replace the crane you hired for something that will be more effective for the task. 
  • Cheaper initial cost. Hiring a crane costs less than buying a new crane. 
  • No machine depreciation. Like any equipment, a crane will depreciate over time. If you upgrade in the future, you may be able to sell your machine at a low price, or if it’s too old, it may even be hard to sell it. 

Crane hire cons 

  • Training operators to work on the crane. You need to train an operator to run the specific crane model that you hire. However, some crane hire Lincoln companies include an experienced operator with their rental. If you don’t want the inconvenience of training an operator, find a crane rental that comes with one.
  • The rental cost can be high in peak season. During peak season, the rates for rental are higher. Plus, it will also be challenging to find available cranes to hire because of the demand. 

Crane purchase pros

  • Tax deduction. The machines that you purchase and use for your business are tax exempt. You can enjoy a tax deduction for buying a crane. 
  • Long-term savings. While the initial cost is higher, you will save in the long run because there are no rental fees to pay. 
  • 24/7 access to the equipment. Even if it’s the peak season, you don’t have to worry about the availability of the equipment since it’s already yours. 

Crane purchase cons

  • Repair and maintenance costs. Aside from the initial cost, another out of pocket expense is the cost for repairs and maintenance. 
  • Crane operator licensing and training. You will hire your own operator, and you will be responsible for their training and licensing. 
  • Value depreciates over time. The machine will depreciate as time passes by. You will also have no access to the modern features that the newer models have. 
  • Storage cost. You also have to find storage to keep it while not in use.

Buying a crane is a smart move if you have continuous projects that require constant access to a crane. However, if you only have a few projects now and then that require the use of a crane, rental is a more practical option.

Business

The Importance of Drilling Fluid in Trenchless Pipe-Laying

August 31, 2019

Horizontal directional drilling has been around for several decades, and practices have changed since the earliest adoption of this technique. Trenchless pipe drilling and installation typically involve using some form of drilling fluid to facilitate the smooth movement of the drill head underground. In the past, water mixed with polymer got the job done. But drilling companies today are adopting advanced drilling fluid techniques for a good reason.

Why is drilling fluid essential to the success of a project?

Specially formulated drilling fluids play a vital role in the drilling process, which is not achievable using water. These functions are:

  • Ensure that the borehole is stable
  • Suspend drill cuttings, dirt, and spoils
  • Facilitate the movement of cutting heads outside the borehole

What these functions mean for directional drilling companies, is that the fluid also protects the drilling equipment. If for example, you are drilling clay-based soil, using water will cause the clay to swell, which will eventually stick to the tools and halt the drilling process.

Drilling fluid is mostly composed of water and additives like polymers and Bentonite. These additives will affect the hardness and pH level of the fluid. Other properties that drilling experts take note of in choosing the right drilling fluid are density, viscosity, fluid cake, filtration loss, and gel strength.

Understanding what type of fluid to use before drilling

Since the properties of drilling fluid have a direct impact on the result of the drilling process, it is critical to pay attention to selecting and managing the right type of fluid. There are significant ramifications if the contractor chooses the wrong kind of fluid. Contractors are aware the drilling fluid is costly, and there are instances when companies have had to back out because fluid disposal proved to be too challenging.

Why is fluid disposal an issue? Drilling fluid is considered a hazardous product of an industrial process. There are strict regulations in place to ensure that drilling companies follow the right protocols in fluid disposal. Therefore, project managers need to figure out factors such as water source, fluid disposal, and whether or not the project can do without using a specially formulated drill fluid.

Knowing the properties of the soil

In choosing the right drill fluid composition for a project, contractors agree that the primary consideration is the soil condition. For directional drilling purposes, the soil is categorised as either non-cohesive or cohesive.

Non-cohesive soil pertains to ground with loose particles such as gravel or sand. On the other hand, cohesive soil has better structure and retains its shape. Examples of cohesive soil are shale and clay. When working with sandy soil, drilling fluid requires Bentonite additive because it forms the filter cake, which in turn stabilises the drill path.

These general principles guide contractors in choosing the right type of drilling fluid to use, but there are also special conditions. Sometimes, the ground condition can change in the middle of a project. In such instances, contractors typically consult an expert to assess the ground condition and come up with the most suitable drill fluid formulation.

Business

What is a property survey and why do I need one?

July 23, 2019

What is a property survey and why do I need one?

When purchasing a property it is always advisable to have to have a survey carried out so you are aware of any areas of concern such as damp, electrical problems or structural issues.   Many home buyers, however, choose not to go ahead with a property survey as they do not wish to pay the extra cost and believe instructing a surveyor will delay the home buying process. Neither is a reason to decide against having a survey carried out.  The survey report will highlight any major faults with the property and may recommend additional investigations this making you aware of potentially costly repairs and allowing you the opportunity before exchange to renegotiate the purchase price.   

TRUE Solicitors outlines the different types of property surveys available and which is most appropriate to your needs. 

What is a property survey? 

A property survey is conducted by a professional chartered surveyor to examine the condition of the property that you are buying. The surveyor will complete an inspection of the property, reporting back on any issues, such as structural problems or any major repairs.   They may, for example highlight the need for an electrical re-wire or need to fix a leaking roof. The report will also state things such as the type of glazing and type of brickwork included in the property. 

Why do I need to get a property survey? 

Although it isn’t mandatory to get a property survey, it is a wise investment to avoid unwanted issues which could end up costing you thousands in the future. 

If issues are highlighted in the survey, you will be recommended to obtain specialist quotations so you are aware of the likely repair costs.  This will afford you the opportunity to renegotiate with the seller on the price you have agreed to pay. For example if the property needs an electrical re-wire that will cost £5,000 and the property has been down valued accordingly, it is common practice  to ask the seller to reduce the price accordingly, or ask them to complete the work before exchange.. 

Whilst a survey is recommended for every homebuyer, it should be viewed as a necessary expense for those buying a property that: 

  • is a listed building
  • has a thatched roof or timber frame 
  • is an old or unusual build 
  • is in poor condition 

Which type of survey should I get? 

There are different types of property survey available. They differ according to the level of detail that they go into. You can choose from the following survey types: 

  1. Mortgage Valuation 

A mortgage valuation is technically not a survey and is required by all mortgage providers, in order for them to assess how much the property is worth. It allows the lender to ensure that the value of the property provides an adequate level of security against the loan. A mortgage valuation will only report back on obvious major issues with the property, and will not provide any further detail on how much it will likely cost to remedy such problems. The cost of a mortgage valuation typically starts at around £350 and will increase in accordance with the size and value of the property. 

  1. HomeBuyers Report

A HomeBuyers report is a more detailed report and will highlight any structural issues such as damp or subsidence, as well as any other issues to the interior and exterior which may not have been obvious to the naked eye. The report doesn’t however go as far as to look under the floorboards or behind walls. 

A HomeBuyers report uses a traffic light system to highlight the condition of the different parts of the property — green indicating that everything is in good condition, orange showing some cause for concern, and red indicating that there is a need for serious repairs. 

There are two different types of Homebuyers Report: 

HomeBuyers Report (Survey Only): This option costs around £350 and will check for major issues, but will not offer a valuation of the property.   

HomeBuyers Report (Survey and Valuation): This option costs around £450, but along with a full inspection of the property it also includes a valuation and an insurance reinstatement value. 

  1. RICS Building Survey 

A RICS Building Survey is a good option if you are buying a property that is particularly old, large or you are planning major renovations.  

The Building Survey has the same traffic light rating system as a HomeBuyers Report, highlighting any major issues. The survey does however go into further detail by checking behind walls, inspecting between floors and above ceilings, as well as checking over the attic. The report will also provide advice on the repairs needed, including estimated costs and timings, along with what further damage is likely to result if you fail to carry out the repairs. The report varies in cost depending on the size of the home, it typically costs between £500 and £2000. 

Do I need a survey if I am purchasing a new build property? 

New build properties are not without fault, a ‘snagging’ survey should be carried out to identify any minor or major defects prior to you moving in. The cost for a snagging survey is usually around £300 to £600. 

It is best to complete a snagging survey before exchanging contracts, if the property developer allows you access to the site. This way you can arrange to have any problems fixed prior to you moving in. If the developer won’t give you access then you should arrange for the snagging list to be completed as early as possible after moving in. 

Where do I find a good surveyor? 

When looking to instruct someone to complete your property survey it is essential to check that the surveyor is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA). You can use their websites to search for recommended surveyors in your area. Your property solicitor, mortgage lender or estate agent will be able to recommend a good surveyor to you. 

If you’re looking for a residential conveyancing solicitor, get in touch with our friendly team today. We offer you fixed fee, stress free conveyancing, whether you’re buying or selling, remortgaging or transferring equity. 

Sources: 

https://www.comparemymove.com/chartered-surveyors/what-is-property-survey

https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/what-sort-of-survey-should-i-have/

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/a-guide-to-homebuyer-surveys-and-costs

https://www.rics.org/uk/upholding-professional-standards/sector-standards/building-surveying/home-surveys/

Business

Relationship Retention – Tips To Maintain Professional Coworking Connections

July 20, 2019

The increasing popularity of coworking spaces in Australia and around the world speaks to the changing patterns of work in the digital age. Growing numbers of flexible and freelance workers, as well as entrepreneurs and startups, is a sign of an increasingly dynamic and shifting segment of the workforce. This situation, while a natural outgrowth of advances in communication technologies, offers both opportunities and difficulties for maintaining professional connections.

Whether you are coworking in Melbourne or elsewhere, using coworking spaces as a networking tool is a great way to maximise the time you spend in a work environment. You may be looking for some advice on how to forge and maintain connections when you are working among colleagues and acquaintances in coworking spaces. 

Let’s look a closer look at some essential tips to help you to establish yourself in your industry and propel your business to further growth.

Consistent Connection

Working in a coworking space is a natural and organic way to get to know other professionals, whether they are working in your industry or not. The dynamic group of flexible workers who populates each coworking space will usually be composed of similarly minded and motivated entrepreneurs who are just as interested in succeeding as you are.

Connecting with your coworking colleagues during lunch breaks or downtime is a great way to forge connections that could potentially provide new opportunities for your business. While it can be useful to simply work alongside other people to break the isolation of freelance work, it is worthwhile to leverage some of these connections to get insight into how you can improve or where you might look for new clients.

Bring Something To The Shared Table

To establish and maintain the connections you forge in coworking space, you need to have something to offer. Be open to collaborating with others on their projects and be ready to provide insights and advice into your colleagues’ work-related problems. Being a person who has solutions or good ideas is a great way to demonstrate that you are a serious and emerging player in your industry. Your colleagues will notice this and will be interested in helping you succeed, especially if they see that you are taking your work seriously. You will meet all sorts of different people in your coworking space and maintaining connections with each of them can bring unexpected benefits to your own business. Just be prepared to assist others in the same way as they help you.

Practice Good Coworking Etiquette

Part of being someone who your fellow professionals want to be involved with is practising good etiquette in the coworking space. Whether you are at home in Melbourne or abroad, be aware of the etiquette and cultural norms that are appropriate for your location. Beyond that, a healthy dose of common sense can keep you in your colleagues’ good graces. Try to be friendly and polite with your colleagues and make sure to keep your phone calls in quiet areas to a minimum, the same as you would expect in any office environment. Treating your colleagues with the same respect that you expect to receive from them is sure to assist you in maintaining professional connections.

Keep In Touch

Coworking spaces are ultimately what you make of them. If you go into work in a communal space every day with a positive and motivated attitude, you are sure to attract like-minded professionals into your network. Make the effort to socialise with your colleagues in a formal but also in an informal way. Keep in touch with people outside of the office but be courteous and respectful. By following these tips, you are sure to stay connected with a vibrant and insightful cohort of coworking professionals.

Business

How can you exploit data to make well educated business decisions?

June 27, 2019

Historically, the value of a business focussed mostly on the health of the most recent balance sheet. Essentially accountants could, at a glance, determine asset strengths and liability weaknesses, then offer an informed viewpoint as to what actions were needed to improve things. As a process of its time, this worked fine.


But fast forward to the present, and although financial statements retain all their validity, the balance sheet does not declare the value of the business’ data — arguably one of the most important and under-utilised asset. The value of data cannot be understated, as the opportunities it offers are immense. Sitting in the depth and breadth of transactional information, customer activity, purchasing, stocking detail etc, there is value to be found through a variety of applications and interpretations of this data. You just need to have to right tools to extract its gold mine potential in order to make your business greater. Moreover, data is an asset that does not depreciate, but grows day-by-day, almost effortlessly. This is something that is extremely exciting for the future of any business, large or small. 

Businesses must decide how best to work the data and bring home the spoils. Right now, you may be thinking about whether your current systems are up to the mark. Are they already maxed out in terms of harnessing the power of your data? Do you have absolute confidence in the quality of information you have available? Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and the impact on your business model. A review such as this can highlight weaker areas of your business model that, once addressed, can push your company up to larger successes.  

Buying, stocking and distributing goods, in a trade, wholesale or even retail sector has moved on considerably since the dawn of the internet. Customer service expectations have been transformed to an on-demand model — a business that cannot fulfil an order quickly will be abandoned by a customer more than happy to shop elsewhere. Customers not only want to know your stock position, but they want and expect you to be looking after them pro-actively. Pro-active customer service requires quality communications to suit their needs. These processes are vital in order to make them feel important. But in order to achieve this, your systems need new levels of capability. Without it, you may find customers heading over to your competition instead.

In the same way that systems have become more sophisticated, more capable and more functionally rich, there is also an expectation to see greater ease of use and more flexibility. If applications are not intuitive then they simply won’t get used. Browser-based deployment and fully mobile-enabled capabilities are must-haves. At no point should a user be required to re-key data. Every application should be seamlessly integrated with one another.

Using data to make decisions is about having the relevant information you need available in an instant. More than that, you want the data to be presented ‘dashboard style’ for easy, timely decision-making and be able to highlight the opportunities within the complete picture, risk-free. Whether the task at hand is to spot gaps in buying patterns and sales trends, or to create effective new campaigns, being able to have your finger on the pulse has become mission critical. Those empowered and duly authorised to make the right informed decisions at the right time will be able to enjoy increased job satisfaction. At the same time, the business will be able to operate with renewed and profitable vigour.

Warehouse management specialists, Kerridge Commercial Systems have been at the forefront of developing fully-integrated solutions to the manufacturing and distribution sectors for over 40 years. The company’s latest generation of advanced applications incorporate all the requirements for efficient trading with comprehensive CRM, data analysis, and decision-making capabilities. Tony Pey, Head of Product Marketing, says: “Our solutions have been finely developed in partnership with our customers over many years. Right at the forefront now in terms of applications that can help businesses make timely, well-informed decisions, our Vecta sales analytics and CRM solution is immensely capable. It enables the user to stay in the driving seat and run the business their way. Implementation is straightforward — Vecta is easy and intuitive to use and results can start to kick in within days of going live.”

What does the future of data management hold then? In short, the bar is likely to go up even further as competitive pressures grow. It is particularly exciting that businesses are employing young, enthusiastic, IT-savvy staff, who have a greater awareness of the potential of technology. Particularly, this generation of staff know how to make the most from the applications and tools available. Bringing this to the forefront means that any business can not only improve decision-making processes but have the implicit trust and confidence that the information before them is accurate and reliable. Together with the need to serve customers to the levels now demanded, this is what it’s all about — with a stronger balance sheet and healthier P&L to show for it.

Business

What Makes Good Employees Quit?

June 10, 2019

Getting good employees is not easy but sometimes hanging onto to them proves even harder. If, as a manager, you find that the good ones regularly slip through your fingers, it could be down to one of the following:

1) Same old tasks, just a different day
You’ve probably heard of the contemporary adage which states that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life and perhaps the opposite was the case for the employee in question. Seeing that the average person dedicates a third of his/her lifetime to the workplace, repetitive tasks and the absence of new challenges can be suffocating. Consequently, workers head for the exit door in search of newer experiences. 

2) Too much work
On the flip side, maybe the heat is just too much to handle so they are forced out of the kitchen. While it proves to be an oxymoron seeing that hard work is one of the pillars of a great employee, too much work with little free time to spare will have many packing their bags. 

3) Under-appreciation
At the core of every human being lies a desire to see their efforts recognized maybe in a complimentary or monetary fashion or both. If employees are promised the appreciation they deserve but aren’t getting at your company somewhere else, they won’t be staying for too long. Citation Heath & Safety Consultants substantiates that sentiment echoing that employees are any company’s biggest asset and the best should consequently be treated as such.

4) Office politics
An employee with a penchant for office politics is one you shouldn’t have around as they normally don’t make good workers. Those that do work silently under the radar with their productiveness evident in their actions rather than in their words. A case of incessant office politics breeding a hostile environment of rumor mongering and backstabbing will scare off your brightest gems. 

5) A glass ceiling
Without a concise career progress path mapped out, it’s hard to hold on to your best staff. These employees usually want something more than just a job. They want a career; one with promises of opportunities somewhere down the road. If instead such workers feel confined by an impenetrable glass ceiling or obscure progress paths, they’ll jump ship sooner rather than later.

Sometimes though, it all boils down to the simple matter of pursuing greener pastures. Your best worker could just have been lured away by the carrot dangling of a heavier paycheck or more promising perks.

Business

Ideas For Creating A Better Working Environment In Your Office

May 6, 2019

How your office operates on a daily basis and how long you’re able to retain employees over the long-term is ultimately in your control. Be glad to know there are ways in which you can create a better working environment in your office so that you can ensure everyone is thriving.

It won’t be long before you’re noticing that people are working harder and getting along better. It’s up to you as management to figure out how you can make sure your employees enjoy coming to work each day and that they keep motivated to want to help you reach your goals.

Request Feedback from Employees

A good place to start is to reach out and get feedback from your employees on the matter. Touch base with them by offering an engagement survey through Inpulse.com. This will allow you to get a better feel for what they think you could be improving upon and help you to gather reasons as to why they’re satisfied or not. You can then take their responses and make changes based on their input and ideas. Collecting this information will be better than playing guessing games or making assumptions about what it is they want when it comes to a work environment.

Arrange & Decorate the Office for Maximum Productivity

You can attract potential candidates and keep your employees encouraged to perform well by arranging and decorating your office for maximum productivity. For instance, there are certain paint colors, and furniture arrangements you can implement that will help you to accomplish this goal. Also, make sure the lighting is optimal, and you have plenty of options for illuminating your space and the individual conference rooms and offices. The more attractive your office space is, the more likely it is that your employees will want to come to work each day and put forth their best effort.

Hold Regular Team Meetings

You can also gain better insights as to what your employees need and want by holding regular team meetings. Create an enhanced working environment in your office by communicating clearly with your staff and allowing them the opportunity to clear the air with you and their colleagues about certain matters. Team meetings are a great place to discuss important topics such as roles and responsibilities, finances and future projects.

Make Time for Teambuilding & Relaxation

You can also create a better working environment in your office by making time for teambuilding activities and encouraging taking breaks once in a while. For example, you can dedicate a room to activities such as ping pong and other games to help your employees clear their heads and engage with others for a bit. In addition, schedule regular teambuilding events so your staff can get to know each other better and start to build trust amongst one another. The more you do outside of required work projects, the more likely it’s going to be that they’ll be able to collaborate and get along when they do have to work together on assignments in the office.