Covid-19: How one month changed everything for global demolition

first_imgThe changes brought about by the global effects of Covid-19 happened almost too quickly for the demolition industry to take them in. This article explores how March 2020 unfolded.Very few – if any – Americans are unaware of “March Madness”.It is the term used to describe the frenzy of action that concludes the college basketball season, attracting more than 60 teams in the process.During the 2019 National Demolition Association (NDA) Convention and Expo in Colorado, anyone spending their downtime in the sports bar of the Gaylord Rockies hotel, with its 22 m (75 ft) television screen, would have been hard pressed to avoid the action however hard they tried.Fast forward almost a year to the NDA’s latest event, Demolition Austin, which started on February 22.Demolition Austin – the last event before Covid-19 went global History, or at least history viewed solely from a demolition perspective, will record Demolition Austin as the industry’s last event before Coronavirus became a global issue.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# ConExpo started as planned on March 10 but the Coronavirus situation in the USA changed rapidly during the weekDespite some distinctly un-Las Vegas like weather, causing unexpected pre-show mopping up operations on some of the many outdoor stands, ConExpo was off and running. It looked, as far as possible, business as usual.And, as far as possible, it was. Not all the planned press conferences and product launches went ahead, but enough of them did. The previously unasked question of “How is the Coronavirus affecting your global supply chain?” became a fixture, particularly to companies with manufacturing operations in China,.Then, as the week went on, Coronavirus cases were reported in Clark County, the area of Las Vegas that included the host venue of ConExpo. President Trump banned travel to and from Europe (apart from the United Kingdom and Ireland).In the event, ConExpo finished a day earlier than scheduled. Within a week, the US government was considering a $2 trillion economic stimulus package for its depleted construction industry.Europe considers its options as the Covid-19 pandemic worsens Back in Europe, the picture was even worse, with Italy, France and Spain all suffering desperately.By March 23, in the week when Italy’s Samoter exhibition should have been taking place, the Finnish Demolition Association reported on its website that the European Demolition Association set for Belgrade, Serbia in June had also been postponed.Official confirmation followed in April; other construction, demolition and recycling shows set for the coming months such as Hillhead in the United Kingdom and the German events IFAT and Steinexpo would suffer the same fate.At contractor level, site closures followed rapidly. In Britain, Cawarden was forced to close down the latest stage of a major project in the English midlands on behalf of retailer Debenhams; the Carey Group, parent organisation of Scudder Demolition, locked up its sites, like many of its contemporaries, in the interests of employee safety..Covid-19 factor kicks in as financial results announced As 2020 entered its second quarter, the financial impact of Covid-19 on manufacturers was already obvious.Metso, less than a year on from some high-profile acquisitions as it pursued an international growth strategy, found itself obliged to withdraw the financial outlook for 2020 that it had issued as recently as February. Wacker Neuson did likewise.Volvo Construction Equipment reported a 17% drop in global sales with all sectors apart from South America affected.As 2020 entered its second quarter, In the US, the government pushed through its Coronavirus relief measures as the country’s Associated General Contractors body reported a collapse in demand since February.Having battled for essential industry status and lobbied for government help for its 500-strong membership, an NDA survey found almost three-quarters of respondents suffered a work stoppage due to Coronavirus, with social distancing and remote working for office staff mandatory elsewhere.Trade association lobbbying and Coronavirus relief measuresIt is tempting – some might even say essential – to look for plus points and consolations among the chaos. Perhaps the major silver lining for demolition and recycling companies is that wherever they are in the world they are not alone.During the month of March, the European Demolition Association joined with more than a dozen similar organisations representing other parts of the continent’s construction industry across to start a debate aimed at achieving a meaningful intervention from the European Union and member states.In Britain, the National Federation of Demolition Contractors put a range of resources online for its members and made a particular point of encouraging those members and their families to look after their mental health during the weeks and months that lay ahead.And in North America, the NDA contacted President Trump directly to make sure that the hardship being suffered by its membership during the sudden shutdown was noticed in the corridors of power.Demolition New Orleans – how will the industry look in 2021? The 2021 NDA Convention and Expo is set for New Orleans from March 4 to 7.Later that same month, March Madness – which never happened this year as it became another in the long list of events that just could not go ahead – is scheduled to take place, its interest and excitement levels heightened by its 2020 sabbatical.If it does, it will be a sign of a sense of normality.It could be the “normal” we took for granted in late 2019 and the early weeks of this year.It might be a new and different norm as the demoltion industry – and society in general – emerges from its trauma.Time, as they say, will tell.Article first published in the April-May issue of Demolition & Recycling International Demolition Austin delegates outdoors at the NDA’s Live Demo event during the Convention and Expo, Feburary 23, 2020By the end of March, the world was facing a very different kind of madness. A BBC news report using data from Johns Hopkins University said that on April 2, only 18 countries worldwide were free of the virus, and they included seven of the 10 least-visited places on the planet.When NDA president Chris Godek cut the ribbon to perform the convention’s official opening, Covid-19’s major disruptive effects appeared to be to Chinese New Year celebrations.Few of those present at the Sunday Live Demo event, those viewing the indoor exhibits during the next two days, even those competing fiercely in the expo’s typically Texan Corn Hole Challenge, appeared to show any obvious awareness of it.The NDA concluded its annual gathering on February 25, with its traditional last night banquet.Three days later, the Deutscher Abbruchverband (German Demolition Association) started its yearly event in Berlin.But a characteristically comprehensive conference programme was missing an Italian speaker, who had been unable to travel due to the virus having spread to Italy, and the running order was rearranged as a result.Big name withdrawals – but ConExpo goes ahead  That weekend, preparations were already underway for ConExpo, which was due to open on Tuesday March 10.The event had some significant momentum behind it. In mid-January it reported the largest number of advance registrations ever for a single week, and publicity suggested it was heading for a series of new records – 241,500 sq m (2.6 million sq ft) of space; a connected campus of the Las Vegas Convention Center and nearby Festival Grounds.The event’s organiser, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) said: “A sizeable international attendance is expected from an estimated 130 countries.”In exhibition terms, it was a classic case of “build it, and they will come.”Then, just days before the show, Volvo Construction Equipment pulled out of the event.The announcement was arguably a shock even to the company itself – it was so close to the start of the event that the Volvo exhibits already in place could not be moved. Instead they stayed in situ for the duration. With no Volvo employees allowed to travel, the booth was manned by “locally hired independent staff”.Further withdrawals followed – Stanley Infrastructure, which includes the LaBounty demolition equipment brand, announced its non-attendance, as did Germany-based compact equipment supplier Wacker Neuson – but with 24 hours to go, the AEM was still bullish.Of the cancellations, only five had been from companies with floorspace of greater than 185 sq m (2,000 sq ft). Only 2.5% of the total sold space had been affected, while it had even been possible to resell some of the newly vacated slots.All eyes on Las Vegas Convention Center On the morning of March 10, ConExpo began on schedule. In the early hours leading up to the start, the local television news channel positioned a reporter at the site, who went on to confirm the 120,000 expected visitors and the small number of cancellations.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

Video: On the Internet, a viral video of Šmēdiņš and Norwegian…

first_imgA video in which Latvian beach volleyball player Jānis Šmēdiņš plays volleyball at the top of a mountain in Norway is becoming more and more popular on the Internet. Content will continue after the ad Advertising The Latvian “duo” duo Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Jānis Šmēdiņš visited Norway at the beginning of September, where they played a model game against Anders Mol and Kristian Sorum. The game took place in the northern archipelago of Lofoten, which is widely known for its many peaks, northern lights and its fishing industry. However, this time a volleyball court was set up by the sea, and the Latvian-Norwegian duo fought with 21:13, 21:17.However, the “entertainment” in Norway did not end there, as the Norwegians together with Šmēdiņš conquered one of the peaks as part of the filming of advertising and documentaries, while playing volleyball on the very top of the mountain. It is this intelligence has now become viral, gaining international popularity.“It simply came to our notice then. Such a pretty big event. At first it was just “hiking”. When we reached the bottom of the cliff, there was a bikini on the heels. Before that there was no fear of heights, but now that I was up there, I had unpleasant feelings. When I had to go down, when I was put down with a rope – I wouldn’t want to experience it anymore, ”Šmēdiņš told the LTV show“ Morning Panorama ”. At first “hiking” for about 40 minutes, then waiting for 40 minutes, because the Norwegians climbed to the top, but Sasha (Alexander Samoilov) refused. The climbing itself was not long, I climbed to the very top of the kayak and waited there for about 40 minutes while the Norwegians filmed commercials. I was put in two anchors, hooked to a rope and sat on the other side of the hill for 40 minutes. Well, I was leaning in when I had to go to the top. ”“It simply came to our notice then. When we climbed the first six meters, I realized that they were easy, but then you no longer see the mountain and only touch it. With my hands frozen, it was a challenge to climb up there. It wasn’t easy – would you do it again? Probably not. It was a good challenge, they wanted to try, they wanted to climb over themselves, ”adds Šmēdiņš. “We had five bombs with us and we didn’t drop anyone. At first we started to leave each other and catch them. Then we started passing, because at the top both platforms were sloping. One is higher than a meter, one and a half. It will be a documentary. We were interviewed a lot. 8 in the morning from home and in the evening from 20 to 22 only at home. There were a lot of videos. Most likely, the Norwegians will be the main ones and we will be in the background, some interviews. ”last_img read more

With most spots filled, Bills shore up backup needs in draft

first_img First Published: 26th April, 2020 10:32 IST SUBSCRIBE TO US LIVE TV WATCH US LIVE Brandon Beane’s objective upon arriving in Buffalo was to build competition at every position.Three years later, the Bills general manager took a significant step toward realizing his vision.With few trade-able assets, Beane mostly resisted the urge to trade up and down the NFL draft order as he had done the previous two years.And having addressed the team’s most immediate needs in free agency and the acquisition of receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade with Minnesota last month, Beane spent much of the three-day draft shoring up secondary positions.The standing-pat approach paid off in the early rounds.Without the benefit of a first-round pick, which Buffalo traded in the deal for Diggs, Beane targeted backup needs by selecting Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa and Utah running back Zack Moss on Friday.With Buffalo’s final five picks on Saturday, he turned his attention to adding competition at various positions — from drafting a quarterback, Georgia’s Jake Fromm, to adding a place-kicker in Georgia Southern’s Tyler Bass.Beane was able to stay patient in making his selections, knowing the Bills had fewer needs after spending the past two offseasons using Buffalo’s new-found salary-cap space to add veteran free agents.Beane also placed an emphasis on adding veteran players to fill immediate roster needs, because they should be more comfortable learning a playbook as opposed to counting on rookies to develop with the coronavirus pandemic cutting into offseason practice time.Beane acknowledged he wasn’t anticipating selecting a quarterback in the fifth round, but found Fromm difficult to pass up with the No. 167 pick.Fromm, who led Georgia to the College Football Playoff title game in 2018, isn’t expected to challenge Josh Allen for the starting job.And yet he provides Buffalo potential long-term insurance in a backup position with veteran Matt Barkley entering the final year of his contract.And even veteran kicker Stephen Hauschka was sent his latest reminder of his job not being secure with Bass being selected 188th overall. Hauschka struggled last season in missing six of 28 field-goal attempts, including two in a 19-16 loss to Cleveland.ON THE RECEIVING ENDAdding Diggs to a group of receivers that includes John Brown and Cole Beasley didn’t stop the Bills from stocking up on the position in the draft.Central Florida’s Gabriel Davis was selected in the fourth round (128th overall), and Oregon State’s Isaiah Hodgins was chosen with pick No. 207.Buffalo’s depth chart already includes returning backups Andre Roberts, Isaiah McKenzie, Robert Foster and Duke Williams.“Yeah, they’ve got deep guys, but you come to the NFL to compete,” said Davis, who set a single-season school record with 1,241 yards receiving as a junior last year.TRADER BEANEBeane was busy in his previous two drafts in Buffalo. In 2018, he moved up five spots to select quarterback Josh Allen with the No. 7 pick, and then moved up six spots to draft linebacker Tremaine Edmunds at No. 16.Last year, Beane traded up two spots to select tackle Cody Ford in the second round. He also gave up two fourth-round selections to trade back into the third round to select tight end Dawson Knox.Without revealing the details, the closest Beane came to making a trade was in the latter rounds. He said he had just finalized making a deal when the player he was targeting was selected.MOSS MEANS BUSINESSMoss’ physical straight-ahead running style is expected to complement starting running back Devin Singletary’s shiftier approach.Beane cited a statistic in which Moss broke at least one tackle on 38% of his carries, and has a chance to earn a job in short-yardage and goal-line situations.Moss, who set the Utah career record with 38 touchdowns rushing, said he enjoys bowling over defenders.“I like to be physical, trying to have defenses make a lot of business decisions in making tackles against me,” he said.KICKING ITBass became the 12th place kicker drafted by Buffalo since 1970s, and third since the Bills used a seventh-round pick to select John Potter in 2012. The Bills actually chose two kickers — Grant Guthrie in the sixth round and Stefan Schroder, 13th — in 1970.FINAL PICKThe Bills closed the draft by selecting Pitt cornerback Dane Jackson with the 239th pick. COMMENTcenter_img Written By FOLLOW US Last Updated: 26th April, 2020 10:32 IST With Most Spots Filled, Bills Shore Up Backup Needs In Draft Brandon Beane’s objective upon arriving in Buffalo was to build competition at every position. Associated Press Television News last_img read more

FOX Shocks continues awards for IMCA Modifieds, Stocks, Northern SportMods

first_imgEL CAJON, Calif. – FOX Shocks rewards many of IMCA’s most accomplished drivers in three divi­sions again this season.The El Cajon, Calif., manufacturer and fourth-year sponsor gives nearly $7,000 in product certifi­cates to eligible IMCA Modified, IMCA Sunoco Stock Car and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod competitors.“Racing is ingrained in our DNA and directly responsible for our success as a business over the past 40 years, so we’re eager to support our racers from the weekend warriors all the way up to the top tier professionals,” said Pat Macaulay, vice president and general manager of the FOX truck, off-road and track division. ”FOX is proud to partner with a racing organization that has such a rich heritage and vast field of competitors as IMCA. We look forward to another great sea­son of battles across all regions and classes. In the words of Bob Fox, ‘Good luck and good rac­ing.’”The top three eligible drivers in each of the five regions for Modifieds receive product certifi­cates for $300, $250 and $200, respectively. Certificates in the same increments go to top three eligible driv­ers in both Stock Car regions and in national standings for the North­ern SportMods.Drivers in all three divisions must display two FOX decals on their race car, compete with four Fox-manufactured shocks and return a completed sign-up form to the IMCA home office by Aug. 1.Product certificates will be presented during the national awards banquet or mailed beginning the next week from the IMCA home office.FOX had been in the shock-building business for nearly four decades before expanding into the dirt track racing market in 2013.Information about FOX shocks and dealers is available at the www.ridefox.com website, on Face­book and by calling 831 274-6500 or 800 369-7469.“FOX has a lot of great customers in IMCA racing and winning the Northern SportMod champion­ship at last year’s Super Nationals was certainly a validation of the hard work they have put in to strengthen those relationships,” observed IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “We will see if there are even more championships in store for Fox drivers in 2018.”last_img read more