Feeling the pressure of 9 straight quarters with a decline in total revenue, Caterpillar has acquired the equipment sharing startup, Yard Club, to get help dig themselves out of the dirt. Their most recent quarter was the company’s first positive revenue quarter since November of 2012.
Yard Club is one of a few companies that have taken advantage of the rise of the “sharing economy,” allowing users to rent their idle heavy construction equipment to other peers. It’s truly a great concept, equipment is extremely expensive and any idle time greatly impacts the return on investment. Using web and mobile apps, the system gives companies an easy way to monetize and manage their fleet of equipment. For renters, it gives them more availability and competitive pricing for the equipment they need in a hurry.
Back in 2015, Caterpillar strategically financed Yard Club, for an undisclosed amount. The equipment giant needed only 2 short years for proof of concept before diving in head first. Caterpillar will now be able to profit off of one of the concepts that has led to a decline in new equipment sales in the past few years and it’s a step in the right direction in terms of technological advancement. According to Yard Club’s website, they helped manage over $120 million worth of equipment transactions across 2,500 construction professionals in 2016.
Full Story: Caterpillar acquired Yard Club, a marketplace for construction equipment | Tech Crunch
In what has become a popular trend for construction technology leaders, Procore recently held their yearly Groundbreak construction technology conference in Austin, TX from November 13-15. These yearly conference allow companies to reach a core of their user base and announce their past and future enhancements, in addition to performing hands-on training sessions with product experts. Construction Junkie was in attendance for this year’s Gorundbreak and we’ve got you covered with all the details.
This week, Procore held their annual construction technology conference called Groundbreak in Austin, TX. Through a series of keynote speeches and breakout sessions, Procore announced their latest releases and plans for the future. I was in attendance this week and I’ll have a full recap of the event coming soon. One of the company’s biggest announcements at this year’s Groundbreak was the release of a new product called Design Coordination, for Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) teams.
CAT phones has made our headlines in recent years by matching their rugged design with a suite of features that no other phone can match, like the built-in thermal imaging, laser measure, and humidity and VOC sensors that the Cat S61 has. Those past phones have been unlocked and compatible with certain networks of the user’s choosing, but their latest release is starting out only available on the Sprint Network.
It’s been a long time coming, but the world’s first 3D printed steel bridge has passed all of its required testing and is ready to be installed. But, before it gets to its final home, it will go on a short publicity tour.
As was announced at PlanGrid’s first annual Construction Summit in June of this year, PlanGrid has officially released it’s new product “Tasks,” which will replace it’s other product “Issues” moving forward.
Tracking your construction project’s submittals and their approval status can be a tedious and frustrating process, but thankfully several project management applications are helping solve that issue with technology. At the beginning of this year, PlanGrid announced the release of an automatic submittal log creator tool, which scans through your project’s specification book and creates a trackable log of each submittal. The company has recently added several new features to make the Submittal platform, which allows users to manipulate the submittal log, even more useful.
I’ve mentioned this several times before, but the single greatest thing technology companies can do for the construction industry is to allow cross-platform integration. That’s essentially what construction is at its core, anyway, a bunch of different entities working together for a common goal. Autodesk’s BIM 360, which already integrates 60+ different softwares into its platform, has recently added NoteVault to its list.
When we’ve talked about construction robotics in the past, it’s mostly been about really large machines working on exterior structures, like this brick-laying robot, or this self-driving track loader. A technology institute in Japan is busy working towards bringing robotics to the interior finish side of the construction world with the development of a drywall installing robot.
PlanGrid users may have noticed, or been frustrated with that fact, that some features that are available on the program’s Android and iOS apps are not available on the Windows app. Windows’ Surface tablets have become a popular option for construction teams in recent years, so those users will be happy to hear that the Field Reports function is now available on PlanGrid for Windows.
One of the very first articles I wrote over 3 years ago was about SAM, the Semi-Automated Mason, which is a bricklaying robot. Since that time, SAM, which is made by Construction Robotics, has seen several jobsites, according to their portfolio page. Their most recent project at the University of Nevada has put the technology back in the headlines.