Industry News: US New Home Starts Jump to Fastest Pace in 4 Years

With new housing starting to increase the excavating business should see the same results.  Most excavators will be slow in the winter which will allow companies to make improvements to their machines.  Updating your seat is an important aspect in fixing up your excavator, loader, backhoe and skid steer. Feel free to contact an application specialist at Industrial Seats with any questions about replacement seats.  In the meantime, check out article below from Construction Equipment Guide:

US New Home Starts Jump to Fastest Pace in 4 Years
By: CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER – AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. builders started construction last month on the most homes and apartments since July 2008, more evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on homes in October at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000. That’s a 3.6 percent gain from September.

Single-family home construction dipped 0.2 percent to an annual rate of 594,000, after hitting the fastest rate in four years in the previous month. Apartment construction, which is more volatile from month to month, rose 10 percent.

Applications for building permits, a sign of future construction, fell 2.7 percent to 866,000, after jumping 12 percent in September to a four-year high. Still, permit applications to build single-family homes rose to their highest level since July 2008.

Housing starts are 87 percent above the annual rate of 478,000 in April 2009, the recession low. That’s still short of the 1.5 million annual rate considered healthy.

The housing market has been making consistent gains this year, helping prop up an economy that’s being squeezed by a global slowdown and looming spending cuts and tax increases.

Builder confidence rose to its highest level in six and a half years, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo. Their index of builder sentiment rose to 46 this month, up from 41 in October. It was the highest reading since May 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.

Readings below 50 signal negative sentiment about the housing market. The index has been rising since October 2011, when it was 17. It has surged 27 points in the past 12 months, the sharpest annual increase on record.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose 2.1 percent to 4.79 million in October, the National Association of Realtors said. Sales are near their highest level in five years, excluding temporary spikes in 2009 and 2010 when a homebuyer tax credit boosted purchases.

A key factor fueling the gains is a gradually improving economy, which has increased the number of people looking for homes. At the same time, fewer homes are available for sale. The low supply is helping push up prices.

In addition, mortgage rates have hit all-time lows. And rents are rising, making the purchase of a single-family home or condominium more attractive.

Though new homes represent less than 20 percent of the housing sales market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the home builders group.

Region: National Edition | Published On: 11/26/2012

Feature of the Month: IRON HORSE Pedestal Seats

Pedestal seats can be found in a variety of different applications.   These seats are great for commercial duty applications that require a seat to be mounted down such as control room seating and specialized heavy equipment (draglines, overhead cranes).   Mission critical applications require extreme comfort for their operators.   The high-end pedestal seats such as IRON HORSE Seating™ Pedestal Seats will have ergonomic features such as gas assisted height adjust, 360 degree heavy duty ball bearing swivel with locking points that can be customized, and fore/aft sliderails.  The IRON HORSE Seating Pedestal Seats come in a variety trims (automotive grade leather, butter soft Italian leather and super durable MicroFiber) with more than 100 colors to select from as well as multi-density foam to make for a more productive work environment.  Custom embroidery is available as well.

The pedestal seats are designed to fit a wide range of operator sizes and have heavy duty construction to handle operator weights up to 400lbs.  Other comfort features of the pedestal seat are the infinitely adjustable air lumbar, infinitely recline adjustment, height and tilt adjustable headrest to dial in the most comfortable position for the operator.   Optional height and tilt adjustable armrest are offered that flip up out of the way to make it easier for the operator to get in and out of the pedestal seat.   Check out some of the  IRON HORSE Seating™ Pedestal Seats on www.industrialseats.com

DANGER – HAZARDOUS SITTING CONDITIONS AHEAD

As truck drivers travel thousands, if not millions of miles, they might laugh to see a yellow caution sign on the roadside reading “Hazardous Sitting Conditions Ahead.”  But, instead of ahead on the road, maybe this sign is referring to you and YOUR back, hips and overall health.  The truth is, drivers spend many hours every day in the exact same position, where muscles, ligaments and vertebrae discs are continually under stress and pressure.  While for many years, people have neither put much thought into nor have they cared if a truck driver might permanently be injured by age 40 to 45.  The fact is, when reviewing OSHA’s injury list, truck drivers near the top for employees spending the most time away from work due to injury.

As this may appear to be doom and gloom, it really does not have to be.  In reality, seating companies have taken notice of this problem and people have changed the mindset of a seat is a seat.  A seat truly is not just a seat, if it is built with engineering and safety in mind.  A truck seat should not only be constructed for functionality, but rather should be built with Ergonomics in mind.  Ergonomics, as the dictionary defines is, “The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.”   When evaluating truck seats, you should really look at how the seat is constructed and make sure the seat offers you a variety of flexibility to customize your riding conditions.

While some truck seats are still made with the “seat is a seat” mindset, there are other companies that have risen to a higher standard.  Sears and National have both done an exemplary job of providing features such as:  double-locking slides/isolators, internal end stops within the suspension, adjustable seat cushions and armrests, vibration reduction, and adjustable lumbar.  National has developed a truck seat with its proprietary BackCycler™ technology.  The BackCycler™ is an air driven, spinal motion system. The slow, pulsing action facilitates blood flow and reduces disc pressure.  Sears has its ever popular Elite 80 seat with many of the above features.  Truck seat features continue to improve and while these seats may appear expensive, the investment in a high quality, ergonomic seat, where you spend many hours every day, is much less expensive than back surgeries and a lifetime of chiropractic care.

See our next posting, as we’ll review various truck seat features and what the advantages of each are.  How tough seats are built to last.  Why are adjustable seat cushions and armrests important?  What are isolators – and why are they needed?  How can a seat keep a driver healthier and safer?  For additional information or if you would like these answers ahead of our posting, please feel free to contact United Group’s seating specialists at 800-223-7003 or email us at customerservice@industrialseats.com.

Tradeshow Recap: GIE+Expo 2012

Last week the Industrial Seats Team was out in Louisville, Kentucky for GIE+Expo.  The show featured 750 exhibiting companies throughout 500,000 sq. ft. inside the Kentucky Exposition Center and in the turf area outside.  We met with dealers, retailers and distributors and showcased our line of turf seats that fit into light construction and landscape equipment. One of the popular seats on the stand was the Grammer MSG65, pictured below.  This low profile mechanical suspension seat was also available for test rides in the outside exhibit area.

In addition to the MSG65, the booth featured a full range of aftermarket turf seats to fit all budgets and attendees were able to test out the various mechanical and air options first hand.  Wednesday the show featured a new Dealer Preview Day and over the course of the week meetings with our suppliers, customers and key industry contacts provided great us with great industry knowledge.

Didn’t make it to the show? Contact us for more information on our full line of turf seats and dealer programs.