February 2014

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend the SEAA Convention & Trade Show - back to top

  1. Learn from noted authority, George Hedley, who will be the opening and closing keynote speaker.
    • An ace-high construction business building expert, top construction industry speaker, & professional business coach
    • The recognized authority on growing a construction business for consistent bottom-line results, profits, & loyal customers
    • Author of bestseller, Get Your Business To Work! and The Business Success Blueprint Series For Contractors!
    • Recipient of the “Construction Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Ernst & Young and Venture magazine
    • Builder of 500+ projects valued in excess of $500 million
    • Executor of 10,000+ subcontracts
  2. Participate in the informative workshop sessions.
  3. Network with other members and industry representatives.
  4. Explore new equipment and processes.
  5. Try your shot at the SEAA Golf Tournament.
  6. Go fishing with the Striper Express on Lake Texoma.
  7. Find out the Project of the Year award winners.
  8. Talk with industry vendors and service providers.
  9. Get tips on growing your business and building customer loyalty.
  10. Have fun!

SEAA 2014--Bigger & Brighter - back to top

You and your business will benefit from this SEAA Convention and Trade Show! Here are some highlights. Details are available in the convention brochure.


Opening Keynote: Commit To GROW Your Business!


Your steel & construction business won’t grow without focusing and doing what it takes to build a profitable company. Learn why company owners get stuck and stop growing, and what you can do to take your company to the next level. George Hedley will show you steps every successful business must take to grow.


Closing Keynote: Commit To Build Loyal Customer Relationships!


Deepening your existing customer relationships will grow your business and generate lots of referrals. Learn how to focus your marketing and sales efforts on building loyal customers and giving them what they want. Learn the ‘nuts and bolts’ about how to stay in touch with customers, get customers to call you, earn referrals, set yourself apart from the competition, track customer contacts and become a trusted partner.

George Hedley, keynote speaker for SEAA’s 2014 convention, works with contractors to build profitable growing companies. www.HardhatBizSchool.comGH@HardhatPresentations.com


Frank discusses the most common employer mistakes of the past 80 years and how to avoid them.
Frank Kollman, Attorney At Law, Kollman & Saucier, P.A. • Timonium, MD 21093 • 410-727-4300 fkollman@kollmanlaw.comwww.kollmanlaw.com

Learn how to be proactive and optimize their company’s opportunity for success in prosecuting or defending construction claims.
Terry L. Salazar, Attorney At Law, Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser, P.C. • Dallas, TX 75201214-880-1857 • tsalazar@qslwm.comwww.qslwm.com
Bradford L. Bright, Vice President, Veritas Advisory Group, Inc. • Dallas, TX 75201 214-720-1995 • bBright@VeritasAG.comwww.veritasag.com

Innovative concepts give way to organizational best practices daily through powerful individuals, projects teams and business units
Gregg Schoppman, Principal, FMI Corporation • Tampa, FL 33606 813-636-1364

Details are available in the convention brochure.


2D erection plans can be effective enough, but knowing when to take the extra step and develop a 3D erection plan can be the key to a successful project.
Justin Mitchell, P.E., Preconstruction Engineer, L.P. R. Construction Co. • Loveland, CO 80537
800-577-1844 • jmitchell@lprconstruction.comwww.lprconstruction.com

OSHA’s Directorate of Construction will address questions and concerns from the Steel Erection industry. Please send in your specific questions to SEAA to be answered during this meeting.
Dean A. McKenzie, Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, Office of Construction Services, Directorate of Construction, Washington, DC 20210 • 202-693-2020 • www.osha.gov
Jim Maddux, Director, Office of Construction Services, Directorate of Construction • Washington, DC 20210 • 202-693-2020 • www.osha.gov

In 2014, AISC will begin a transition from a checklist-based program to a Standard-based program for AISC-Certified Erectors, based on quality management principles. The presentation also will share insights and lessons learned by program participants and developers.
Jacques Cattan, Vice President, American Institute of Steel Construction • Chicago, IL 60601
312-670-2400 • cattan@aisc.orgwww.aisc.org

Details are available in the convention brochure.

Don’t Miss These Events at the SEAA Convention! - back to top

  1. National Roll-out of the SEAA Ironworker Craft Training Program ! –SEAA leaders have been working with NCCER to develop this valuable training program. Now you can learn all about it.
  2. Mechanical Bull and Entertainment with Thom Shepherd during the Opening Reception & Trade Show on Wednesday, March 12. Check this out at www.thomshepherd.com.
  3. Dallas Cowboys Stadium Tour MORE THAN JUST A STADIUM! This tour of AT&T Stadium will appeal to people of all interests and ages. From its stunning sweeping architecture to the luxurious suites – experience a world of facts and figures about the world’s largest domed structure.
  4. George R. Pocock Memorial Golf Tournament A day at The Tribute is like visiting Scotland –without the travel! Patterned after legendary courses in Scotland and designed by renowned golf architect Tripp Davis, The Tribute’s 18 holes simulate some of the most famous and difficult holes of the Scottish links, including St. Andrews.
  5. Tea Luncheon & Trolley Tour Exploring Historic Mckinney, Texas –Step back in time with the costumed interpreters who recreate a living historical museum, including blacksmith demonstrations, traditional cooking, animal care, and general daily life. Delight in the charming downtown square with its many boutique shops and restaurants.

Use Your Bid As Bait To Win More Work! - back to top

By George Hedley—SEAA Keynote Speaker for 2014 Convention in Dallas, TX

  • “It’s impossible to compete in this tight construction market as there’s always too much competition.”
  • “The only way I get any jobs is when we leave too much money on the table.”
  • “I get tired of cutting our bids to beat the competition.”
  • “How can we ever make enough money to survive?”

Does this sound familiar? I have been hearing these same complaints about the construction business since 1977 when I started my general contracting company. It seems as if nothing changes as contractors continue to compete against low-price competitors.

Bid like you fish!

Before you go fishing, you need the right bait to get fish to bite. Think of your bid as tasty bait customers will want to bite so you can land a juicy contract. When you fish, your goal is to catch either the big one or lots of fish. So you look for the secret fishing holes where they bite. When looking for profitable projects to bid to, you must seek opportunities that will give you the best chance to make the most money. When you finally catch a fish, reel it in, weigh it, and decide if you want to keep it. After you submit a bid and get the call to cut your bid or match a better price to get the job, it is your choice to accept their offer as well.

When you go fishing and they aren’t biting, what do you do? You try different fishing techniques, change your bait, or move on to another fishing hole. But stubborn contractors don’t look elsewhere when they don’t land enough contracts. Most contractors just keep bidding to the same customers over and over, using the same bait and proposal strategies as they’ve always used. Contractors often think if they bid enough the same way, eventually they’ll get their share. This effort won’t get you positive results you want. Like fishing, you must change your estimating and bidding strategies to get the big ones to bite more often. You have to use the right tackle, different techniques, and tastier bait to get the fish to think your bait is better than your competition, or look for better fishing holes.

Bid-Hit Ratio

Bid-Hit ratio is the rate at which you successfully bid or propose on projects. For example, a 5 to 1 Bid-Hit ratio states for every five jobs you bid or propose on, you are awarded only one. In a survey I conducted of over 2,000 construction general contractors, subcontractors, and design-build companies, less than 10% know and track what their ‘Bid-Hit’ ratio is. To me, this is like going fishing and not really caring if you catch any fish!

Do you know what your ratio is? In order to determine how many jobs to bid, what type of jobs to go after, and which customers give you a higher percentage of their work, you must know your Bid-Hit ratio for these different categories. Track it by types of projects, customers, job type, job size, and project location. As you study your Bid-Hit ratio trends, you'll find certain customers give you more work than others and you'll find you do better with certain kinds of jobs.

Offer what customers want

Think about what you include in your typical proposal or bid: price, terms, scope of work, specification section number, inclusions, exclusions, a list of the plans and specifications, and payment provisions. These facts and figures don’t take into consideration what your customer really wants. Sure they want a low price based on an "apples to apples" scope of work, but what else?

Things customers may value more than price:

  • Ability and experience: Understanding the plans & specifications, reputation for excessive change orders, in-house design & value engineering, and experience in similar type projects.
  • Customer service: Trust with a delicate customer, service department, flexibility, and response time.
  • Solid workforce: Properly trained professional field crews, foremen who can make decisions, large enough crews, ability to make the schedule, and quality workmanship.
  • Image: Great safety record, maintaining clean jobsite, jobsite image and uniforms.
  • Financial security: Financial strength & bonding capacity, payment schedule and need for cash.

Every project has unique requirements which are often more important than price. Before you start working on an estimate for a customer, Always ASK – ASK - ASK the decision maker what’s important on this job. Then, custom design your bid proposal accordingly. Highlight the differentiating factors and make it clear that their priorities are the same as yours. You have to be competitive, but you often get chosen because of what else you offer to your customers. “If you don’t offer anything more than your competition, you only sell price!”

Use your bid as bait!

Remember your bid is bait to go fishing for a contract. The main purpose for your bid is act as bait to get a meeting with your customer. At this meeting you can discuss the project in depth, review how you can help your customer meet their goals, explain why you are the best choice, review pricing options, get a second chance to be the selected contractor, and get last look. Getting last look is your second chance to match the price of the lowest bidder, only if you want to. It is very difficult to accomplish all of these actions over the phone.

Not all of these tactics will work for you. But, try them and you’ll like the outcome as they improve your Bid-Hit ratio and help you get more work. To get a copy of ‘Winning Ways To Win More Work!” email GH@HardhatPresentations.com. When you’re not getting the results you want, change your tactics, try some different bait, and find a new fishing hole as you look for profitable work. By trying new ideas, you can make estimating and bidding a fun and challenging experience with a great return. Have fun fishing!

Keynote speaker for SEAA’s 2014 convention, George Hedley works with contractors to build profitable growing companies. He is a professional business coach, popular speaker and best-selling author of “Get Your Business To Work!” available online at www.HardhatPresentations.com. To sign-up for his free e-newsletter, join his next webinar, be part of a BIZCOACH program, or get a $100 discount coupon for online classes at www.HardhatBizSchool.com, e-mail GH@HardhatPresentations.com.

Experience Striped Bass Fishing with SEAA - back to top

Striper Express Guide Service will escort and coach us for fishing on Lake Texoma, the striper fishing capital of the United States. This venue boasts the best-documented spawn and highest angler success rate for striped bass in freshwater. Add the legendary expertise of Striper Express fishing guides, and you’ll easily experience phenomenal catches. Novices can learn quickly and land bass in numbers never attainable anywhere else in the US. With top-water lures, hungry striped, and expert guides, Striper Express offers your fishing dream come true!

The fishing registration fee of $200 per person covers gear, bait, ice, fuel, drinks, sandwiches, fish cleaning, and round-trip shuttle service from the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco. Please check the box on the registration form if you plan to use the shuttle service. Registration Cut Off Date: March 6, 2014.

Remaining sponsorship opportunities can showcase your company with our exclusive signage and convention recognition. This is an excellent opportunity to market your company by becoming a sponsor while helping SEAA with excursion incidentals. All sponsorships are assigned on a first-come policy.

Request for Member Input- back to top


Your input requestedSEAA is seeking member input in order to improve the information provided to members in the eNewsletter, Connector magazine, and other forums. Please answer this short 4 question survey to help us determine preferred topics, relevancy, and frequency.




OverviewSEAA is in the initial phase of creating, in conjunction with NCCER, a Craft Training Program for Ironworkers. The program consists of core knowledge areas such as basic math, tools, rigging, material handling concepts, plus Level 2 and Level 3 courses. Training and Testing Centers will be located around the country.


  • Address labor shortage by preparing qualified workers
  • Industry recognized credentials
  • Consistent, economical, convenient instruction
  • Provides Safety and Business advantages
  • Decrease turnover and absenteeism
  • Increase work quality and productivity

Want more information?

SEAA wants to communicate with the correct person in your company about this new program and how it can supplement your corporate training initiatives. Please take this 7 question survey to help us provide you with the necessary information.



March 10th Deadline to Comment on Injury Tracking Proposed Rule - back to top

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that the comment period on the proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses will close on March 10, 2014.

The proposed rule would amend OSHA's recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers are already required to keep.

Comments may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov/#%21home, the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for more details.

OSHA Proposes to Extend Compliance Date for Crane Operator Certification Requirements - back to top

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a proposed rule to extend the compliance date for the crane operator certification requirement by three years to November 10, 2017. The proposal would also extend to the same date the existing phase-in requirement that employers ensure that their operators are qualified to operate the equipment.

OSHA issued a final standard on requirements for cranes and derricks in construction work on August 9, 2010. The standard requires crane operators on construction sites to meet one of four qualification/certification options by November 10, 2014. After OSHA issued the standard, a number of parties raised concerns about the qualification/certification requirements. After conducting several public meetings, OSHA decided to extend the enforcement date so that the certification requirements do not take effect during potential rulemaking or cause disruption to the construction industry.

Comments may submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details and additional information about this proposed rule. Comments must be submitted by March 12, 2014.

OSHA held three stakeholder meetings on operator certification/qualification issues in April 2013 and posted detailed notes of the meetings at https://www.osha.gov/cranes-derricks/stakeholders.html, a Web page devoted to the stakeholder meeting. A list of frequently asked questions is also posted on OSHA's Cranes and Derricks in Construction Web page to provide additional clarification and address some comments and concerns raised by stakeholders.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov/index.html.


PRODUCT RECALL – Certain Self-Retracting Lifelines Identified in Notice - back to top

Guardian Fall Protection recently discovered a potential performance problem with 20’ & 30’ Edge Series Self-Retracting Lifelines (SRL) in complying with ANSI Z359.14--2012 requirements for 40°F cold conditioning tests.

There have been no reported injuries due to this issue. Guardian has found some non-conforming performance results in freezing temperatures that have now been addressed and remedied.

As a result of the non-conformance, and in order to take the most prudent course of action possible, Guardian has elected to recall a specific range of serial numbers that fall in the non-conforming production batch.

Failure to return the specified units may result in serious injury or death.

See the full length recall notice issued by Guardian Fall Protection for all the serial/model numbers of equipment affected by this recall.

Take immediate action to keep your employees as safe as possible while on the jobsite!

2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference Mobile App Released - back to top

Planning your conference experience is now easier with the 2014 NASCC mobile app! By using this interactive digital show guide, you’ll be able to see detailed information on each session and create a personal schedule, scout exhibitors you’d like to visit and connect with other attendees. To download this free app, simply search for “NASCC” in the Android Market or the Apple Store, or download it from https://crowd.cc/stl-cfrn. This year’s NASCC: The Steel Conference takes place in Toronto, March 26-28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Key features of the NASCC mobile app include: multiple ways to browse sessions (by day, track, topic or speaker) and ease of bookmarking and prioritizing them; locating booth placement on the show floor, searching exhibitors by name or product category and viewing their website; an easy-to-create personal schedule, as well the option to set reminders and add notes on each session and exhibitor meeting; finding an attendee to send a personal message; and receiving notifications on conference updates.

The Steel Conference is the premier event for engineers, fabricators, detailers and erectors to learn about structural steel design and construction, to interact with their peers and see the latest products for steel buildings and bridges. The Steel Conference offers more than 100 technical sessions, an extensive tradeshow with more than 200 exhibitors (featuring products ranging from structural software to machinery for cutting steel beams) and plentiful networking opportunities.

The Steel Conference also incorporates the Structural Stability Research Council’s Annual Stability Conference, the Technology in Steel Construction Conference (TSCC) and the World Steel Bridge Symposium.

For additional information and to register for the conference, visit www.aisc.org/nascc.

Skyjack Recognizes the Oldest Working Platform - back to top

Skyjack announced the winner of its Quest2013 to find the oldest working machine produced in its 30-year history.

Skyjack launched the year-long search  at last year's Rental Show in Las Vegas and included most regions of the world, including South America and Asia.

Finally the oldest surviving machine, a SJ006-10, was tracked down in Skyjack's home country of Canada. Kraner Electrical, a Guelph, Ontario-based company, had purchased the used SJ006-10 at Bolton Auction House in May 1996. But the machine, with a serial number of 00E, originally dates back to 1985.

Skyjack awarded Kramer its prize of a new SJIII 3219 scissor lift (19-ft working height) at this year's Rental Show in Orlando. Matthew Kraner also picked up a commemorative Quest13 jacket in front of the winning Skyjack SJ006-10 scissor lift.

Volvo Rents Renamed as BlueLine Rental - back to top

Platinum Equity, which recently acquired Volvo Rents, has renamed the business BlueLine Rental. BlueLine president Scott Hall commented, “With Platinum Equity’s support, we have new opportunities to grow and build on the fundamentals that have made us so successful – our commitment to service and the way we treat our valued customers and employees.”

“We have worked closely with the management team to ensure a seamless transition and we are excited to help the business achieve new levels of success,” said Louis Samson, the partner at Platinum Equity Partner who led the transaction team.

BlueLine rents Volvo compact equipment--including backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders, compact wheel loaders, compact excavators and compaction equipment – as well as other small and medium-sized equipment. The company operates from more than 130 locations in North America.


AISC Offers Free Arc Welding Safety Webinar February 28 - back to top

To help steel fabricators and erectors learn about the fundamentals of arc welding, AISC is offering a free webinar on February 28, 2014. The presentation will discuss safety hazards (welding fumes and gases, arc rays and electric shock), OSHA regulations, ANSI standards and general business practices. To register for the webinar, go to www.aisc.org/weldingsafetywebinar.

Carl J. Peters, director of technical training for The Lincoln Electric Company, will present the webinar and answer your questions live following the webinar. Anyone can tune in; all you need is a computer and an Internet connection.

The 75-minute webinar will begin at the following times, relative to time zone:

9:30 a.m. PST
10:30 a.m. MST
11:30 a.m. CST
12:30 p.m. EST

There is no fee to attend the webinar but registration is required. Registrants will receive access to a PDF file of the presentation slides prior to the webinar as well access to view the webinar recording.

To learn more about AISC’s live webinars, visit www.aisc.org/webinars. For more information on safety in the fabricated and erected structural steel industry, visit www.aisc.org/safety.

CFSEI Expo Scheduled for May 19-20 in Memphis - back to top

The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI) will host its 2014 CFSEI Annual Expo and Meeting on May 19-20, 2014 at the historic Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The Expo is designed for architects, builders/contractors, building officials and engineers, with an educational program geared toward both skilled cold-formed steel (CFS) framing professionals as well as newcomers. The Expo will provide opportunities for education and networking as well as an exposition featuring state-of-the-art innovations, technologies and principles in cold-formed steel framing. The two-day conference is the only one of its kind dedicated to the cold-formed steel framing industry. 

Several topics that impact the cold-formed steel industry will be covered:

  • ASCE 7-10 wind loads
  • Blast design
  • Mechanical bridging and bracing
  • Metal buildings
  • Cold-formed steel studs
  • Updates to the AISI Brick Veneer Cold-Formed Steel Framing Design Guide
  • Preview of AISI S310-13, North American Standard for the Design of Profiled Steel Diaphragm Panels, which will be published later this year; and a look forward to the Diaphragm Design Manual that is due out in early 2015
  • and many more.

CFSEI is adding a new Cold-Formed Steel Design Forum to this year’s Expo, providing an opportunity for attendees to engage in discussion with a panel of experts who are in the trenches of cold-formed steel design.  

The winners of the 2014 CFSEI Design and Distinguished Service Awards will be announced at the Expo. Nominations are currently being accepted through March 15, 2014 in four categories: design excellence, construction innovation, residential design and construction (new category), and distinguished service. For more information on the Expo program or awards, please visit www.cfsei.org.

The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute comprises hundreds of structural engineers and other design professionals who are finding a better way to produce safe and efficient designs for commercial and residential structures with cold-formed steel. CFSEI members work together to develop and evolve industry standards and design methods, produce and issue technical bulletins, and provide seminars and online training to improve the knowledge and skills base of engineers and design professionals. For more information, visit www.cfsei.org.

Steel Joist Institute 2014 Webinars Schedule - back to top

The Steel Joist Institute (SJI) has announced the schedule for the 2014 Webinar Series.  Participants can earn 0.15 CEUs, 1.5 PDHs or 1.5 LUs. Click the buttons below to register for the webinar or to be notified when registration is available.

March 19

Designing with Steel Roof Deck (In partnership with the Steel Deck Institute)


April 16

Floor Vibration in Steel Joist and Concrete Floors


May 21

Floor Vibration in Steel Joist and Concrete Floors


June 18

Joist Girder To Column Connections


July 16

Joist Girder To Column Connections


August 20

Part 1 Evaluation and Modification of Open Web Steel Joist


September 17

Part 2 Evaluation and Modification of Open Web Steel Joist


October 15

SJI Technical Digest 2 – Bridging


November 19

SJI Technical Digest 2 – Bridging