Many people throughout the world have made hobbies and even careers out of repairing and restoring antique cars and trucks, but what about antique construction equipment? Due to the sheer size and weight of the machines of the past, it places of major limitations on their collect-ability to be sure. At least one man has taken it upon himself to collect them before we lose them all.
Jim Carter of Zionsville, Indianapolis finds, collects, preserves, and rescues old construction equipment that he has found throughout the country. He mostly prefers excavators, whether they’re of cranes, drag lines, or clam shells, but he does also have a few dozers and tractors. The videos below show a 4 part series of Dick Wolfsie’s interview of Carter, which aired on WISH in Indianapolis. In the videos, Carter shows off a 1968 Koehring 305 crane, which weighs 25 tons and still operates. While sitting inside the cab, Carter walks Wolfsie through the differences of today’s machines versus the older versions. The early machines, he says, is stone age technology, operating mostly with gears, brakes, and clutches, as opposed to the hydraulics and electronics of today’s equipment. Unsurprisingly and just like older cars, the more simply the machine is built, the easier it is to fix.
Cramer also explains in the interview that he’s a member of the Historical Construction Equipment Association, which is headquartered in Bowling Green, OH. The organization, which has roughly 4,000 members worldwide, also owns the National Construction Equipment Museum, also in Bowling Green. They also put on a yearly convention for antique equipment; this year’s will be near the headquarters from September 16-18.
Most of these antique machines are not useful on a modern job site, Carter explains, so many of them are scrapped, never to be seen again. We can only hope that we don’t lose the historical machines that built many of the buildings and infrastructure throughout the World.
The NFL is a cash cow and nothing makes that more evident than the soaring costs to build the newest NFL stadiums. The past four stadiums to open were the Minnesota Vikings’ US Bank Stadium (watch timelapse here), the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, the New York Jets/Giants’ MetLife Stadium, and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. All four surpassed $1 Billion in construction cost. The first stadium to open after the Millennium was the Cincinnati Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium, which only cost a miniscule (relatively) $455 million ($626 million in 2016 dollars) to build. The oldest stadium still in use by any NFL team is the Oakland Raiders’ Coliseum, which was completed in 1966 and cost $25.5 million ($186 million in 2016 dollars). That stadium also spent $200 million ($302 million in 2016 dollars) in renovations in 1995 and 1996. As you can see, dollars spent on NFL stadiums have increased significantly in the past few decades and there’s no end in sight.
Not all demolition videos can be implosions and that’s OK, because each type of demolition is its own art form. Sometimes contractors are bound by the constraints of the job, especially when located in an area with a large concentration of pedestrians and other public areas. That was the case for the construction site of the future One Vanderbilt Tower in New York City, which just completed the demolition of five different buildings covering an entire city block.
“They don’t build ‘em like they used to,” as people love to say. That phrase could definitely be applicable to the 93 year old Broadway Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas, that refused to fall even after it was lined with explosives. This certainly isn’t the first time a demolition has failed and it’s probably not the last.
The weight of dirt is serious business and the force it provides should not be underestimated. Depending on the moisture content, soil can weigh around 2,000 pounds per cubic yard. Many construction workers die each year from trench collapses due to improper shoring and benching techniques, but weight and force calculations are also extremely important in the design and construction of retaining walls.
Habitat for Humanity is one of the construction industry’s favorite volunteer organization and for good reason. Over the past 40 years, the non-profit builder has helped construct, rehabilitate, or preserve over 800,000 affordable houses for families in need. It’s truly an area that construction workers throughout the world can showcase their skills and donate their time, in order to give back to their community.
It’s not often that a gigantic pack of construction vehicles are seen on the same site together, been when they do, it’s pretty memorizing. Some of our favorite construction videos of all time involve more machines than you would think could fit in one space, like this 10 hour demolition of a Canadian Overpass or this video of 116 excavators working side-by-side in China. Very few jobsites have the luxury of throwing a bunch of machines and labor on a project, but, if performed correctly, it can get a job done pretty quickly.
Just because construction work happens every day, doesn’t make it any less thrilling of a job. Some people like to climb mountains, others like to climb building that are under construction and bridges that need maintained. Some people don’t like looking over balconies a few stories off the ground, yet many times construction and maintenance workers have to actually do work while dangling 500 feet up in the air.
Decades in the making, The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) officially opened its doors to the public on September 24, 2016. Contained inside are over 36,000 artifacts that document and promote the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history and is “the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture,” according to the museum’s website.
The Onion, the fake news site known equally for its amazing funny satire as its poignant social commentary, has been entertaining people and confusing others into thinking their content is real since 1988. In recent years, the Onion has evolved from simply print media, to audio and visual content, as well. In one of their recent series, Sportology, which parodies ESPN’s Sport Science, the company absolutely skewered the reported terrible working conditions that Brazilian construction workers faced while completing the venues for the 2016 Rio Olympics. 11 workers were killed over the course of the projects and there were many infractions reported that some workers had 23 hour shifts or worked 25 days straight.
Last year, we shared a video of 6 Scottish high rise buildings that were imploded simultaneously, which was one of our favorite demolition videos of 2015. The problem, however, was that only 4 of them actually fell completely, causing delays as crews had to use high reach machinery to complete the job.