As smart phones are starting to become more and more popular on construction job sites, not just any phone will do. It has to be able to survive the rigorous day-to-day activities that ordinary phones can’t. Tool giant, DeWalt, has recognized that trend and are now tossing their hat in the ever growing “tough phone” ring.
The DeWalt MD501 does not have an official release date yet, but is expected to retail in the typical $500-600 range, according to reports. The phone is powered by Android operating system and comes with all of the standard features we’ve come to know and love, but with a few extras for the hardworking construction crowd, including:
- Waterproof up to 6.5 feet (2m) for up to 30 minutes.
- Can work in temperatures from -4 to 140°F (-20-60°C)
- Can withstand drops from 6.5 feet (2m) on concrete
- Extra sensitive screen can sense pressure through work gloves
- An amplified loudspeaker, so you can hear over all of the commotion on a job site
- Bright View glass, which is easier to see in the sunny outdoors
- Wireless charging, so you don’t have to fiddle around with wires
- A radio, so you can listen to all of the classic rock your heart desires
- 7-8 hours of talk time
It’s nice to see construction industry leaders continuing to pay attention to the construction industries needs with regards to technology. Though it's not the most powerful smartphone on the market, it does provide extra durability. We have a lot of specific needs on our job sites, so customization is huge for company buy-in. For right now, it appears that this release will only be in the UK, as DeWalt has partnered with UK rugged phone manufacturer Global Mobile Communications.
DeWalt MD501 | DeWalt Phone
The construction industry has historically been slow to adapt to new technologies, but with a recent push from Silicon Valley, a lot of money is being poured into research and development. Just a few short years ago, robotics on the construction site was thought of as a pipe dream, but now there are several companies around the world that are making it a reality. It still may be years away from being adopted in a large scale, but the industry should begin to take note of the technological changes that are happening around them.
Robotics isn’t the only construction item that made headlines last year, there have also been advances in construction materials, Augmented and Mixed Reality, smart sensors, and RFIDs.
Below is our list of the best advances in construction technology from 2017:
Getting your communications right is critical on any construction site. For effective planning and coordination, for efficient management of different teams and for health and safety, having a reliable means of keeping everyone in touch at all times is essential.
Several years ago, Microsoft released their introduction into the mixed reality headset market with the Microsoft HoloLens. The headset, which looks like a pair of bulky, futuristic sunglasses, was touted as a game changer to many different industries. After teaming up with Trimble to directly tackle the construction industry and developing a couple construction technologies for the headset, construction companies have still been extremely hesitant to try out the technology.
Consistent documentation is one of the keys to running a successful and productive job site, but if you’re still using pen and paper, you’re falling behind. There are several web-based applications available to help you manage and organize your reports and photos in the cloud, including Raken, which has recently updated their web and mobile applications.
There is an opportunity to revolutionize the way we protect construction workers from fall hazards while dramatically reducing waste and inefficiency in the construction industry. The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ was designed and engineered with feedback from industry experts with one goal in mind: Reinvent the guardrail to eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, send zero waste to landfills, and improve workplace safety.
If you can believe it, we’re already in the middle of gift giving season as December is quickly approaching. Sorting through dozens of aisles in stores and hundreds of pages on line looking for that perfect gift for the construction professional in your life can leave you confused and frustrated. Construction Junkie is here to save the day with our 3rd Annual Ultimate Construction Holiday Gift Guide. Be sure to check out our 2015 and 2016 guide for additional ideas!
FieldLens, a web based application available on both Android and iOs, allows for real-time documentation of safety hazards, job site notes, and punch lists. The app eliminates the need to re-type your notes or send separate emails to the correct people, because it can create instantaneous reports on all the information you typed in to your phone or tablet on the job site.
Recently, Fieldlens added three new features that the company says are requested often
The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals. Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges.
It seems like every month there’s a new robot being debuted for the construction industry, with the promise of reducing costs and improving productivity and safety. There are robots for laying brick and block, placing concrete, and even self-driving mining trucks. The most recent robot to hit the job site is Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL).
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.