This rolling-news story will be updated daily with information from around the world. If you have news you would like to share, contact: andy.brown@khl.com, mike.hayes@khl.com, murray.pollok@khl.com, or any of your KHL contacts.

Riwal aids care home visit (6 April)
Riwal provided its expertise and equipment to help a man safely visit his elderly mother in isolation in a nursing home in the Netherlands. Read the full story here.

Survey: Over 25% of US construction firms laying off workers (6 April 7:46am CDT)
Over a quarter of US construction firms have had to lay off jobsite workers due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to results of a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) released 3 April. Full story here.

Iberdrola to invest in the face of COVID-19 (6 April)
The Spanish utilities company has promised to inject €10 billion into the country’s economy, announcing plans to deliver a number of solar projects this year. Read the full story here

COVID-19 affecting Egyptian construction (6 April)
Construction progress has reportedly been delayed on the Egyptian government’s new US$58 billion administrative capital 45km to the east of Cairo, and other projects. Read the full story here

Ramirent remains in operation (6 April)
While Finland-based Ramirent’s depots and offices remain open in the nine European countries where it operates, the company has implemented various measures to safeguard people’s health. Read the full story here.

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Europe’s rental associations club together (6 April)
Europe’s national rental associations have joined forces to tackle the coronavirus crisis. Read the full story here.

Joint statement on UK health and safety (6 April)
Health and Safety Executive joins trades unions and employers to provide clarity on COVID-19 as it effects construction sites remaining open during the pandemic. Full story here

Cummins cuts pay (6 April)
US-based engine manufacturer Cummins is temporarily cutting salaries in response to lower demand caused by the coronavirus crisis, according to the company’s latest update. See the full story here.

Build UK demands construction site access (6 April)
IPAF has supported Build UK, which has written to the UK Government in an attempt to secure permission for construction, associated trades and supply chain workers to travel and maintain access to active construction sites during the coronavirus outbreak. Full story here

Sarens says great majority of its sites still open (6 April)
Sarens said the great majority of its projects worldwide were still open and that it hoped to see restrictions on other sites being lifted, as has happened on its Chinese projects. More here.

CNH updates European production status (6 April)
CNH Industrial said on 3 April that the majority of its European assembly operations will remain suspended until April 17, In light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full story here.

Ainscough Crane Hire gets Key Worker status (4 April)
UK mobile crane rental company Ainscough Crane Hire has been given Key Worker status for Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) assets, including National Grid, Network Rail, Cadent Gas, United Utilities, and so on. The company issued an update outlining its operating activity during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. See the full story here.

Aggreko offers fleet of small gensets to UK government (3 April)
Aggreko has offered the UK government up to 1,300 small generator units without charge to support temporary COVID-19 testing sites across the UK. Read more here.

US coronavirus relief package now covers self-employed contractors (3 April 9am CDT)
Construction contractors all over the world are struggling with the economic effects of work stoppages resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. To help mitigate the crisis in the US, government has expanded unemployment benefits and has made special loans available to small businesses. Full story here.

Loxam issues COVID-19 update (3 April)
Loxam said on 31 March that 10% of its French network remained open to serve customers in support of the health crisis or to ensure the continuation of public services. It said the network will progressively reopen as soon as activity on its customers’ worksites resumes.Full story here.

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Wind turbine manufacturers halt production in Spain (3 April)
Two of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in Europe have ceased operations at their factories in Spain. More here.

Hitachi details status of production facilities (3 April)
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd said the COVID-19 outbreak has affected its production activities globally, although its seven plants in Japan are operating normally. Full story here.

New global construction growth forecasts (3 April)
The forecast growth for the construction industry in 2020 has been downgraded to 0.5%, according to a GlobalData report. Construction in Western Europe is expect to shrink by 1.9%. More here.

Brazil’s rental association calls for ‘essential’ status (3 April)
ALEC, the Brazilian equipment rental association, has written to federal, state and municipal governments highlighting the industy’s “essential” support for key infrastructure and arguing that it will help maintain Brazil’s stability through the COVID-19 pandemic. More here.

Broshuis suspends production (02 April 17.23 BST)
Dutch trailer maker Broshuis has temporarily stopped production at its factory in the Netherlands as a result of the Coronavirus Covid-19. The factory was shut down on 30 March. Broshuis cited tighter government regulations, making it too difficult to control safety, plus a growing inability of suppliers to provide crucial parts. Read the full story here.

Manitex addresses COVID-19 (2 April)

Manitex International reports that production and deliveries were minimally affected by COVID-19- related disruptions and precautions for the majority of the first quarter. However, the state- mandated closure of the company’s Italian facilities on March 21, 2020 will keep the facilities closed until April 9, at the earliest. North American operations have remained open with production levels being matched to maximize production efficiency and customer order patterns, which remain subject to change in this evolving situation. Full story here.

US unemployment claims break records while construction slows (2 April)
More than 6.6 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment last week, some of them construction workers who are off work due to increasingly strict shelter-in-place orders resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Full story here. 

AGC says demand has collapsed (2 April)
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said conditions for contractors had deteriorated rapidly since February and called on Congress to urgently pass measures to boost infrastructure, compensate firms for delayed federal work and provide pension relief. More here.

Vertex offers its equipment (2 April)
Russia-based aerial platform rental company Vertex is providing 40% of its fleet free of charge to help built medical facilities to help fight the spread of COVID-19. More here.

NDA asks for COVID-19 feedback (2 April)
US National Demolition Association aims to get true picture of effect on member companies. Full story here

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Nationwide aerial platform lockdown advice (2 April)
UK-based Nationwide Platforms is advising its MEWP operators how to shut down and islolate their equipment, if projects they are working on are stopped due to spread of COVD-19. The rental company said in statement, “As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we are entering into a difficult period as many of our customer projects are now on hold for the next few weeks.Full story here 

Eyewitness: Australia’s construction & rental sectors (2 April)
Tim Nuttall, Managing Director of Access Hire in Australia, has written a very useful account of what is happening in Australia’s construction and rental sectors during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read here.

GAM in Spain supporting critical industries (2 April)
Spain’s largest rental company, GAM, is working to serve critical industries and customers such as hospitals and pharmaceutical firms. More here.

Hannover Messe moved on a year (2 April)
The Hannover Messe industrial manufacturing, automation and logistics exhibition, due to take place this April and then rescheduled for July, has been postponed for a second time. This vast German show was rescheduled last month from April to mid-July but the ongoing Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic has precipitated another postponement, until 2021. Read the full story here.

North America’s top contractors aim to minimize exposure to coronavirus (1 April 2:43pm CDT)
North America’s top construction firms are continuing to work where it’s allowed but are utilizing a variety of measures to keep employees safe in the face of the worldwide health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Most have teams dedicated to the daily assessment of risks to workers. Full story here

Alimak issues caution regarding global supply chain
In a statement released on April 1, Alimak Group highlighted how COVID-19 has impacted business and announced its Chinese organization is fully back in operation and approaching normal capacity. The company warned, however, “The spread of COVID-19 from Asia into Europe and the Americas will therefore have a material impact on demand and on the supply chain, and will restrict service delivery in the first quarter. Alimak Group also expects the challenging market conditions to prevail in the second quarter, at least. However, currently it is not possible to quantify the full financial effects that the pandemic may have on Alimak Group.” Read the story here.

Facebook halts work on US data center 
Social media giant Facebook has halted construction on a new $750 million data center in Alabama, due to COVID-19. On a post on Facebook about the project the company wrote that, “To help protect the health and safety of construction crews during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are significantly reducing construction activities at our site.” More information here.

CCA: Canadian construction sites should remain open (1 April 7:47am CDT)
The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) on 26 March issue a statement that compliant construction sites should remain open during the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Full story here.

BAM reopens in UK and offers update on European sites (1 April 1:10pm GMT)
Dutch construction firm BAM has announced that it will restart work at a number of UK sites. The company stresses that these have been deemed critical to the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. In its statement, BAM added that a resumption of work has only been agreed “following extensive checks and agreements with our project teams”. More here.

Trump pushes for $2 trillion infrastructure package (1 April 7:02am CDT)
The lastest US economic relief package in response to the coronavirus pandemic could include $2 trillion for infrastructure, if President Donald Trump gets his way.  Full story here.

Virus planning at SSAB (1 April 2020)
Steel maker SSAB has implemented a series of actions in response to the impact of the Coronavirus Covid-19. Primarily the measures have been to reduce the spread of the virus and protect its workforce, the company said. The Swedish producer of high-grade steel used in crane manufacturing described the measures as short-term. It is also accommodating reduced demand and said it needed to make financial savings. The total saving was expected to be more than SEK 1 billion (US$ 91.5 million). See the full story here.

Palazzani sales continue (1 April, 12:00 GMT)
Italy-based tracked platform manufacturer Palazzani is reporting new equipment deals, as it works amid the challenges from COVID-19. Blu Garden, from Monticello Brianza, Northern Italy, has ordered a 25m working height TSJ 25 model. Meanwhile, Palazzani is working with its local community to help those most affected by COVID-19 and is supporting the AiutiAMObrescia (WeHelpBrescia) fundraising campaign. Full story here.

John Deere suspends production at Dubuque plant in US for deep clean (1 April)
John Deere suspended production of construction and forestry equipment at its Dubuque, Iowa, plant on 30 March following confirmation that an employee had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The company continues to operate as an ‘essential’ business.  More here.

Burma Plant Hire shuts depots (1 April, 11.15am GMT)
Burma Plant Hire in South Africa has closed its Rustdal, Benoni and Kathu depots, following the announcement by the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on 26 March that the country was going into lockdown. Read the full story here.

ERA launches coronavirus information page (1 April, 10.30am GMT)
The European Rental Association (ERA) has launched a page on its website with links to information provided by rental associations, news updates relevant to the sector, important policy information and other associated information. Read the full story here.

Teufelberger-Redaelli to reopen (1 April 2020)
Rope maker Teufelberger-Redaelli, based in Austria and Italy, said it will be fully operational again from 6 April. In Italy the government closed production from 26 March to 3 April in a bid to help stem the spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19. The company said the primary impact of this on its business was to require adjustment to delivery dates for its steel wire and synthetic fibre ropes used on cranes, cable cars and many other applications. Rope production in Austria will continue as usual, the company said, other than the week of 6 to 13 April (closed for Easter holiday). Full operations are scheduled to begin again from 14 April.

MHM providing emergency service (1 April, 9.20am GMT)
UK-based rental firm MHM Plant has put in place measures to maintain an emergency service. While all its depots are now closed, the company can still be contacted for requirements such as power generation, site lighting and fluid storage. Read the full story here.

Concrete industry in Latin America fights Coronavirus (31 March, 11:05am CDT)
Companies within the concrete industry in Central America and South America are joining the effort against the Coronavirus pandemic by offering their help in various ways, including participating in public space laundering operations. Full story here.

Exlusive: how is China’s construction equipment industry recovering? (31 March)
SHI Yang, research director at Off-Highway Research’s Chinese office, tells KHL about the challenges faced by the country’s construction equipment industry as it recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak. “The construction equipment industry in China has now moved back to normal production. However, while supply is restored, there are still great uncertainties on the market side.” More here.

Manitou maintains closures (31 March, 11:30 GMT)
In light of the continuing crisis caused by COVID-19 and in accordance with local recommendations or regulatory obligations, Manitou will continue the closure of its manufacturing activities in France, Italy and India. In its updated statement the company said it will not be possible to reopen the sites before the second half of April and the re-starts will be gradual. Full story here.

UK’s CPA advises on leaving tower cranes out of service (31 March)
Safety advice has been issued by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) on how to safely leave tower cranes out of service, potentially for several months, due to the coronavirus. The CPA’s Tower Crane Interest Group (TCIG) information comes as construction sites around the world are being mothballed and left and unattended. See the full story here.

Deep impact of COVID-19 on Europe (31 March, 11.00 GMT)
A survey by CECE (Committee for European Construction Equipment) of its members has revealed that 30% of them are already closing factories. The survey also divulged that 40% of respondents foresee a decrease in construction sales of between 10% and 30%. Read the full story here.

Metso: operations in China retuning to ‘normal’ (31 March, 10.55 GMT)
Metso has announced in a statement that the Chinese factories it uses were successfully restarted in February and are now running at a normal capacity. The company added that, “The order intake from China in the first quarter is estimated to be on the planned level, while sales in China will be lower than planned, having a minor impact on Metso’s financial performance.” However, it did list some countries were operations are being particularly badly affected by COVID-19. Full story here.

HRIA says rental is ‘essential’ (31 March, 10.15 GMT)
The Hire and Rental Industry Association Australia (HRIA), Elevating Work Platform Association of Australia (EWPA) and Telescopic Handler Association of Australia (TSHA) are lobbying to get rental services classified as ‘essential’. Read the full story here.

Herc rises to the challenge (31 March, 9.45 GMT)
Herc Rentals in the US remains in operation, with its depots still open and staff continuing to work. Considered an ‘essential service’, Herc is conducting its operations in support of critical industries and services during the coronavirus crisis. Read the full story here.

Layher provides e-Learning (31 March, 09:30 GMT)
Layher France is offering free e-learning courses to scaffolding professionals who are in isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak.The scaffolding manufacturer, which has its headquarters in Germany, has set up the video conferences and learning to help widen and share knowledge in the industry. Full story here

Pettibone issues COVID-19 update (March 30, 5pm CST)
“After careful deliberation amid the developing COVID-19 situation, Michigan-based Pettibone/Traverse Lift, LLC has announced it will continue in-person operations for essential employees. On March 23, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-21 (the Order) requiring that all non-essential businesses cease in-person activities. The Order includes an exception for operations employing “critical infrastructure workers.” Under the Order, Pettibone is an excepted business.”

NFDC - Look after your mental health (30 March, 17.00 GMT)

The United Kingdom’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors has stepped up its Coronavirus-related communications to members, including guidance on maintaining good mental health during the outbreak. Full story here

New federal guidance suggests US construction could continue (30 March, 8:30am CDT)
US construction officials say new federal guidance should signal to state and local officials the need to allow construction activity to continue, or resume, during the Coronavirus pandemic. Full story here

Help available in CARES Act, says NDA (30 March, 2.55pm GMT)
The US National Demolition Association says it has identified a range of provisions in the government’s $2 trillion Coronavirus relief package that can benefit contractors. Full story here

US$3 billion to boost African economies (30 March, 2.30 GMT)
The African Development Bank has announced that it has raised US$3 billion in a three-year bond to help alleviate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods and Africa’s economies. “These are critical times for Africa as it addresses the challenges resulting from the Coronavirus. The African Development Bank is taking bold measures to support African countries. This $3 billion Covid-19 bond issuance is the first part of our comprehensive response that will soon be announced,” said Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group.

European construction: ’Urgent measures required’ (30 March, 12.30 GMT)
Fifteen European construction organisations have issued a joint statement calling for urgent measures to protect workers’ health, support economic activity and help the sector to recover in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Full story here.

New Zealand stops all but ‘essential’ construction (30 March)
New Zealand has entered ‘Alert Level 4’ in its response to the COVID-19 strain of the Coronavirus and has told all but ‘essential’ businesses to shut down. More here.

Skanska AB says ambition is to keep sites open worldwide (30 March)
Global contractor said it is taking precautionary steps to try to keep as many of its sites open as possible. Full story here.

JCB to produce ventilators (30 March, 11:00 GMT)
UK manufacturer is poised to re-start production at its excavator cab factory, closed as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, to join the national effort to manufacture ventilators. The company received a direct appeal from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this month to help plug the national ventilator shortage and to help save lives of Coronavirus patients. Following the approach, JCB chairman Lord Bamford immediately mobilised a research and engineering team to examine potential ways to assist. Read more here.

Liebherr issues situation update (30 March 11.00 GMT)
Crane and construction equipment manufacturer Liebherr has issued a statement in response to the impact of the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. “Bottlenecks in regions and countries severely affected by the coronavirus are currently the prime cause of problems in the supply chain. This has resulted in the temporary shutdown of certain factories or an adjustment in production capacities.” Full story here.

Business and financial update from Manitowoc (30 March 10.00 GMT)
Global crane manufacturer Manitowoc said the Coronavirus Covid-19 has begun to impact its global operations and supply chain outside China. Manitowoc has issued a business and financial update in response to the ongoing Coronavirus impact. While the Chinese crane factory was closed for several weeks earlier in the first quarter of the year, it has since resumed normal operation, the company said. Now there is “temporary suspension or plans to suspend normal manufacturing activity at our production facilities around the world.” On 30 March manufacturing in the USA was ongoing and plans were to continue. Read the full story here.

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’Week three of lock-down in Italy’ (30 March)
Roberta Prandi, an Associate Publisher at KHL Group and Diesel Progress magazine, has written an update on the situation in Northern Italy, where she is based. Read here.

Russian rental sector faces up to crisis (29 March)
The Russian Rental Association has kindly allowed us to publish an article from its website about the response to COVID-19 from Russian rental companies. Read the translated piece here.

Kennards adapts to coronavirus (30 march, 10.00am GMT)
Australia-based rental company Kennards Hire is currently keeping all of its Australian depots open, while a number of its New Zealand branches have been temporarily closed, in accordance with government requirements. Those that remain open in New Zealand are dedicated to supporting essential services. Read the full story here.

New dates announced for postponed Bauma CTT Russia (29 March)
Due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the Russian construction market, and directives from the government of the city and region of Moscow, Messe München felt it necessary to postpone bauma CTT Russia, which was set to take place in May. The organization has now announced that the trade fair, to take place at Crocus Expo in Moscow, will be held from September 8 to 11, 2020.

Homeland Security says US crane, rigging and transporation is ‘essential’ (29 March)
US Homeland Security agency said the crane, rigging, and specialized transportation industry and its workers constitute ’Essential Critical Infrastructure’, reported the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA). Full story here.

Australian construction body welcomes NSW stance on pandemic (27 March)
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has welcomed New South Wales government’s commitment to continue infrastructure and construction sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. IPA’s Executive, Adrian Dwyer, said NSW’s stance should be mirrored across the country; “Today’s message from the NSW government that it remains focused on the continued delivery of projects in response to COVID-19 is welcome news for a sector that continues to provide an essential economic service during these unprecedented times.” Full story here.

Exclusive insight into Chinese construction recovery (27 March)
To get an insider’s view of what is happening on Chinese construction sites, KHL spoke to Mr Chai Zhao Yi, managing director and chairman of Pangyuan Rental, the largest tower crane rental company in China. The recovery is happening, but as Mr Chai explains, it won’t happen overnight. Read the full interview here.

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18,000 U.S. construction bids still active (March 27, 12:06pm CST)
Dodge Data & Analytics has created a new section for its construction.com website that highlights active construction opportunities across the U.S. In recent days, some areas of the country have halted construction activity completely, but there remains 18,000 active bidding opportunities across the U.S., with 1,600 in California, 1,200 in Texas and 1,150 in Pennsylvania. Read teh full story here.

NFDC states case for contractors (27 March, 15.15pm GMT)
UK’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors makes Coronavirus help available to member firms. Full story here

SC&RA seeks clarification from Homeland Security (27 March 10.40 GMT)
International trade association Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) has reached out directly to the US Department of Homeland Security to confirm the US crane, rigging, and specialized transportation industry and its workers as essential critical infrastructure. Read the full story here.

Free face masks from ZMGLIFT (March 27, 9:41am CST)
Chinese manufacturer ZMGLIFT is offering face masks to anyone around the world and will ship the masks for free. The company has prepared 2 million face masks in support of battling the spread of COVID-19. “We have contacted thousands of companies since last week and have arranged packages to be delivered to more than 80 countries,” the company said in a message to KHL. “In order to help more companies, if anyone needs masks, they can contact us and we will courier them for free.” Contact information is as follows: yuan@zmglift.com (www.zmglift.com).

Point of Rental offers app for free (27 March, 14.29pm GMT)
With more people working from home and self-distancing rules in effect in countries around the world, Point of Rental is offering its Rental eSign app to new customers free of charge for the next three months. It said that the app, which works with any rental software and allows customer signatures to be collected remotely, could help limit users’ exposure to things such as shared pens. After the three month period customers will be able to choose whether to pay to keep the app or let their accounts expire.

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US VP Pence appeals to equipment manufacturers (27 March 7:40 CDT)
US Vice President Mike Pence phoned in to a meeting of the Associated Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Board of Directors on 25 March urging member companies to offer the supplies and equipment they might have in storage or be able to produce or deliver to aid in the COVID-19 response effort. Full story here.

New dates for ESTA Awards and meetings (27 March 12.30 GMT)
European crane and transport association ESTA’s postponed 2020 Awards dinner and meetings will now take place on 13 and 14 October. The prestigious awards evening of the European Association of Abnormal Road Transport and Mobile Cranes (ESTA) will remain at its original venue, the Postillion Hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In addition, note that the newly scheduled Amsterdam event will now incorporate the ESTA Autumn meetings, an event previously arranged to be in Helsinki, Finland, on 15 October. See the full story here.

Sinoboom offers PPE equipment (27 March, 11:50 GMT)
Chinese manufacturer is offering face masks and other PPE equipment to its partners and friends in the industry worldwide to help confront the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “During the crisis we were able to support Wuhan hospitals and health staff with deliveries of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), this included face masks, gowns and gloves. Now we want to make that equipment available to any of our friends that need it,” said Susan Xu, president of Hunan Sinoboom Intelligent Equipment. Read more here

AJ Networks forges ahead in S Korea (27 March, 11.40am GMT)
All of AJ Networks’ depots remain open to serve construction sites in South Korea, the majority of which are continuing to operate. Read the full story here.

LafargeHolcim sees recovery in China (27 March 11:00 GMT)
Swiss materials producer LafargeHolcim has announced that in China, it is witnessing the recovery of the construction sector first-hand; all of its plants outside of Hubei Province are now operating again following the COVID-19 outbreak. “Currently” the company added, “the development of the Coronavirus pandemic and its implications for the business are volatile and very different from country to country. Read the full story here.

Rental demand drops in Turkey (27 March, 10.30am GMT)
While there has been an increase in demand for some equipment types, generally the demand for rental equipment across Turkey has fallen, and rental firms are expecting customers to cut contracts short. Read the full story here.

Balfour Beatty to keep sites open (27 March 10.00 GMT)
The UK’s largest construction firm, Balfour Beatty, has announced it will keep its sites open, where possible, during the coronavirus lockdown. In a statement, the company said work would continue on sites where it was able to maintain safe standards of working, as set out in the Construction Leadership Council’s Safe Operating Procedures (SOP). Full story here

Contractor Veit joins US essential list (27 March)
Minnesota-based contractor exempt from state’s ‘Stay Home Executive Order’ and remains open. Full story here

Komatsu announces temporary plant closures (27 March)
Komatsu is temporarily closing its manufacturing facilities in Europe, Brazil and India. Its factories in Japan continue to function, as do its Chinese facilities which were fully functional by 17 February. Full story here.

 

 

Almac closes operations (26 March)
Italy-based MEWP manufacturer Almac has closed its facilities in compliance with the latest government decree for the containment of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. They will remain closed until 3 April 2020. ”To grant the best continuous support to all our customers and partners, Almac will assure the full operations of the sales, after sales remotely, but no spare parts deliveries, and administration departments by smart working. Be assured that our team will always meet the Almac standard of professionalism during these challenging days.”

Manitou ceases operations in Italy and India (26 March)
Manitou Group has followed government COVID-19 containment policies in Italy and India by temporarily ceasing its industrial activities in those two countries. The shutdowns follow those in France, announced 17 March. Concerning distribution, the company said in a statement, ”business is also very slow in most geographical areas due to the globalisation of containment policies and market uncertainty.” Full story here.

Scanreco reduces working hours (March 26, 18.00 GMT)
Scanreco, a Swedish OEM supplier of radio remote control systems to international crane and machinery manufacturers has announced that since Monday 23rd March, 2020, it has reduced working hours for all employees at its headquarters in Sweden due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company says its main focus is to keep production running without disruption in order to meet customer demands, ensuring that its customers receive their orders as planned. As such, order-desk are running normal working hours Monday through Friday, however, response time may be a little longer than usual, Scanreco said. Customer support for service and repairs will have reduced opening hours. The company says these are temporary measures that are possible following the Swedish government passing a bill enabling organisations to temporarily cut back on work time in order to maintain work force while adapting to the Coronavirus situation. Scanreco said it plans to resume business as usual as soon as possible.

Genie to suspend manufacturing in certain areas (March 26, 1pm CST)
Terex Corp. will suspend Terex AWP/Genie manufacturing in certain areas due to COVID-19 concerns and government mandates. Most are estimated to reopen by April 16. Read the full story here.

Commercial vehicle driver regulations waived in USA (26 March)
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a waiver from certain regulations for commercial vehicle drivers in the USA. The waiver applies to interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s licence (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders and to other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). It is in response to the declaration of a national emergency. Full story here.

Klubb continues production (26 March, 15:17 GMT)
French vehicle mounted platform specialist Klubb remains open for business. Company president Julien Bourrellis, said, “It is a war in France, and as our president Macron said, ’This war is not only against the Coronavirus but also an economic war’. We continue to produce for the moment. We have of course reinforced sanitary measures for the teams of technicians who continue to work on our four production sites in France and in the UK.” Bourrellis added, ”I would therefore like to thank our 360 technicians who continue to produce our machines and our 50 collaborators who are working remotely. I am proud of them. I would also like to thank our 150 European suppliers who continue to supply us with all the difficulties that this entails. I would also like to thank all of our customers who trust us and congratulate those who continue to work. We fight daily so that this pandemic does not turn into a major economic crisis and does not kill the aerial platform industry.”

Carey Group - a statement from the founders (26 March, 14.27 GMT)
The brothers who founded the Carey construction and demolition business in 1969 have issued a statement following the announcement on Tuesday that all its job sites would close by the end of this week. Full story here

No change to UK lifting regs (26 March 12:00 GMT)
There has been no change to UK LOLER regulations that require lifting equipment (cranes and MEWPs) to be inspected up to every 12 months, despite the spread of COVID-19. The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that following the UK Government’s recent announcement of measures designed to contain the outbreak of the Coronavirus, it is aware of concerns relating to the examination of equipment that is subject to statutory inspection time limits. However, it is not considering issuing exemptions or relaxation of the requirements. But the organisation added, “We recognise this is a fluid situation and this position is constantly under review.” Read the full story here

Caterpillar responds to crisis (26 March)
Caterpillar said on 26 March that the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to impact its supply chain, although it continued to run the majority of its US operations and in other parts of the world, where permitted. However, production at some facilities has been suspended. Full story here.

NY-based Durante Rentals opens back up (March 26, 8:17am)
Durante Rentals, the New York-based equipment rental company that temporarily closed its doors last week due to COVID-19, is back open for business. ”We are taking every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of both, including: Deep sanitization of all equipment and facilities; No-contact pickups and deliveries; Phone-only booking.”

Events rental hardest hit in Spain (26 March, 12.40pm GMT)
Events-related rental companies have been the hardest hit in Spain so far, though companies supplying construction contractors are also feeling the strain with the closure of some jobsites. Read the full story here.

UK MEWP rental company suspends training, depots remain open (26 March 11:45 GMT)
Nationwide Platforms, the UK’s largest access equipment rental company, has postponed all its training courses but its depots remain open. “We have made the decision to temporarily postpone all training courses until the 23 April,” said the company. Nationwide depots are still running under government guidelines. “In support of the national interest, we have a clear policy of supporting the UK’s emergency services and critical infrastructure and will continue to do so throughout the COVID-19 crisis.” Full story.

EDA calls for ‘Safety First’ approach (26 March, 11.41am GMT)
The European Demolition Association has issued a statement to public bodies, customers, stakeholders and its own industry on how Coronavirus is affecting demolition, decontamination and recycling. Full story here

Exodus Machines set to reopen (26 March, 11.05am GMT)
US equipment supplier deemed “essential” after temporary shutdown. Full story here

Netherlands construction tries to keep going (26 March)
“The construction and infrastructure sector wants to keep working safely during the corona crisis”, said Maxime Verhagen of Bouwend Nederland, the country’s construction association, ”I am grateful to the ministers, Rijkswaterstaat, Rijksvastgoedbedrijf and local authorities for doing everything they can to ensure that work continues in a responsible manner. The sector is vital for the Dutch economy must therefore be kept afloat as much as possible.” (Rijkswaterstaat is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and Rijksvastgoedbedrijf is the government body that manages state-owned infrastructure and buildings.) See more on the Bouwend Nederland website.

Demand slows for Vp plc (26 March, 10.00am GMT)
UK-based rental company Vp plc has begun to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with revenues taking a hit towards the end of March 2020. Read the full story here.

Call for EU Stage V delay (26 March, 9:00am)
Construction equipment associations in Europe have sent a joint letter to the European Commission (EC), requesting a delay in the implementation of emissions regulations, due to the coronavirus emergency. In the letter, sent by CECE, CEMA, EGMF, EUnited Municipal Equipment & Cleaning, Europgen and FEM, the industry bodies asked for a moratorium on the application of 2020 and 2021 deadlines for exhaust emissions from NRMM (non-road mobile machinery). Full story

JCB suspends UK production until end of April at least (25 March)
UK manufacturer is suspending UK production until at least the end of April as a result of the coronavirus crisis and will continue to pay employees unable to work. Senior JCB directors will not be taking a salary until further notice, said the company. More here.

ARA seeks $20 billion support for rental sector (23 March)
American Rental Association said ”there is an overwhelming need for the federal government to aid all businesses”. Full story here.

Digital issues of all KHL magazines
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Loxam supporting priority sectors (25 March, 3.25pm GMT)
Europe’s largest rental company Loxam has seen a fall in activity in the European countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak – France, Italy and Spain – but is turning its focus to supporting priority sectors. Read the full story here.

Germany keeps construction open (25 March)
The three largest contractor associations in Germany – ZDB, HDB and BVMB - have jointly welcomed a German government decision for construction to continue despite the COVID-19 crisis. “We very much welcome the decree issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Home Affairs (BMI) and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) on the continuation of construction work in building construction, road construction and hydraulic engineering”, said Reinhard Quast, President of the Central Association of the German Building Industry (ZDB). Read here.

Mateco meets cross-border challenges (25 March,12:24 GMT)
The Europe-wide access rental company is facing different regulatory conditions and employee needs around the continent as it continues to do business. Mateco said several countries have closed borders with neighbouring countries and further measures are likely to follow. “This development also has an impact on our business,” explained Armin Rappen, CEO of mateco Group. “At the same time, we are striving to minimise the negative economic impact of this situation on mateco and to be there for our customers. Full story 

China ‘speeding up’ construction (25 March)
China has resumed construction on just under 90% of ‘key projects’ according to an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and as reported on China.orgFull story.

UK construction ‘can continue if done safely’ says CECA (25 March)
The UK’s Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) said today it had received government advice that construction in England can continue if it can be done safely and in accordance with Public Health England (PHE) guidance. More here.

Sir Robert McAlpine to shut down UK sites (25 March, 11:00)
One of the UK’s largest building contractors will shut down almost all of its sites with immediate effect, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In a statement about the situation, the company’s CEO, Paul Hamer, said the latest government measures make it unfeasible to continue on all sites, apart from those where safety can be guaranteed and where critical work is taking place. He said, “As of today…most of our sites will be closed to all but essential safety and security employees. The only sites that remain operational are those where it is absolutely safe to do so and where critical work, such as building hospitals continues, or where we are putting safe shutdown plans into operation.” Full story

Brazilian rental company adjusts to COVID-19 (25 March, 10:52)
RCB Plataformas is experiencing a mixed reaction from customers as they come to terms with the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Marcello Plonski, who is manager of a branch close to Sao Paulo city, with 350 MEWPs in its fleet, said like many other countries across the world, the country is already experiencing a slowdown and a number of customers are asking to terminate their contracts and asking for payment delays. But he adds, “It is a bit of a strange situation because, we have customers who are still demanding and asking for new rentals and, on the other hand, we are having unexpected returns.” Full story 

ELS maintains production (25 March, 10:49 GMT)
Turkey-based access equipment manufacturer ELS Makine is still in production, as the country experiences the same growing restrictions found in other European nations. “Although the effect of coronavirus (COVID-19) is limited in our company, it continues to affect our society, especially our dealers, suppliers and customers,” said Büşra Örs, ELS corporate communications specialist. Full story 

LEEA highlights importance of e-Learning (25 March, 10.35am GMT)
The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), a global representative body for all those involved in the lifting industry, has emphasised the importance of continued learning and training, saying that e-learning is a great option to prepare the industry once the virus disruption is over. Read the full story.

NDA: ‘Dear Mr President…’ (25 March, 9.54am GMT)
US National Demolition Association steps up federal lobbying activity as it seeks to secure essential status for demolition and remediation during the Coronavirus update. Full story here

NDA calls on members to help hospital (25 March, 9.45am GMT)
The National Demolition Association (NDA) in the USA is helping to collect personal protective equipment (PPE) for a hospital in Seattle and is asking its member demolition companies to do the same for their local communities. Read the full story.

Zeppelin sees demand rise for some equipment (25 March, 9.20am GMT)
In Germany, Zeppelin Rental’s main country of operation, demand for rental equipment has remained stable and even increased for certain types of equipment as customers try to complete projects more quickly before construction sites are potentially shut down. Read the full story here.

Carey Group starts sites shutdown (24 March)
United Kingdom-based business, which includes Scudder Demolition, to close job sites by Friday. Full story here

Enforced site closures in UK ‘not legitimate’ (24 March)
The Construction Equipment Association (CEA), a trade body representing the UK’s construction equipment industry, has been informed that British police officers have been visiting construction sites across the country, requesting they cease their activities. The organisation stressed to its members that this action is not consistent with current government advice. Full story here.

UK manufacturer Niftylift temporarily closes factory (24 March)
UK access equipment manufacturer Niftylift is shutting down its UK production facilities for three weeks, the company has announced. ”In light of the UK Prime Minister’s announcement on the 23rd of March, regarding non-essential work, Niftylift has temporarily closed its UK production facilities in line with the 3-week shut down dictated by the UK Government. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but we will continue to provide essential service and spare parts support during these difficult times. Full story here.

Digital issues of all KHL magazines
If getting paper issues of your usual KHL magazines is a problem, remember that you can register at no cost to receive digital issues of all KHL publications. Visit here to add digital versions to your paper subscription, or subcribe for the first time.

Aggreko discusses power contract for postponed Tokyo Olympics (24 March)
Aggreko is to discuss its $200-250 million power contract for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games with the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) following the decision to postpone the event to 2021. Read the story here.

HAE EHA seeks clarity - is rental defined as essential? (24 March, 2.20pm GMT)
Following UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest announcement that only ‘essential’ businesses should remain open in the UK, Hire Association Europe (HAE) and Event Hire Association (HAE EHA) has been looking to obtain greater clarification from the government on whether the rental sector is considered essential.

As things stand, it appears that any organisation supporting the NHS, rail, petrochemical, military, government and utilities will be defined as essential. UK rental firms have been supplying HAE EHA with examples of the essential support they offer. Although HAE EHA has not yet been able to get clarity on the definition, it is working to do so and will update its members accordingly.

In the meantime, rental companies are advised to follow social distancing guidelines, for instance replacing face-to-face interaction with telecommunication and implementing strict hygiene protocols.

Rental news round-up (24 March, 12.20 GMT)
Hope is to be found in the fact that life is beginning to return to normal in China, with rental firms such as Shanghai Horizon seeing activity levels recovering. However, many countries are in the throes of the coronavirus crisis, so a round-up of some of the latest updates from rental companies in those regions can be found here.

Construction ‘as usual’ in UAE (24 March, 12.10 GMT)
The construction industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is continuing as ‘usual’ despite the impact of Coronavirus, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. Read full story here.

FIEC calls for urgent support for construction (24 March)
The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) has called for immediate action from the EU Commission to support the construction industry through the COVID-19 crisis. The Federation - whose members are 32 construction associations in 28 countries - said the EU needed to ensure that COVID-19 is considered a force majeure, to eliminate penalties for companies that have to suspend work; and to increase European funds to cover the increased costs of the work. Full story here.

APEX and International Rental Exhibition both postponed to September (24 March, 8.30am)
The aerial platform exhibition APEX and the International Rental exhibition (IRE), which were scheduled to be held on 9 to 11 June 2020 in Maastricht, The Netherlands, are being postponed to 8 to 10 September because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Full story here.

UK construction facing dilemma says BuildUK (24 March, 9.00am)
BuildUK, one of the largest trade bodies representing the UK’s construction and building sector, said the industry was facing a dilemma following the announcement of far stricter restrictions on travel and business to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the story here.

Columbian infrastructure chamber warns of disruption (23 March)
The Colombian Chamber of Infrastructure (CCI) called on the government to be prepared for disruptions to construction projects resulting from COVID-19; ”The current situation could lead to the declaration of force majeure in contracts, with consequent impacts on the dynamics of project execution.” Read the story here (in Spanish).

US construction officials, unions rally to continue working (March 23, 6:13 p.m. CDT) 
Construction industry and union officials are jointly appealing to government at all levels for its work to be designated “essential” and exempt from shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Several states have already ruled work will continue despite shelter-in-place orders. Read the full story here.

Skyjack’s Illinois parts center to remain open (March 23, 2:54pm CST)
Skyjack faced a setback this week when the Governor of Illinois announced an immediate “stay at home” order, effective March 21 - April 7, requiring all non-essential businesses to cease operations. Skyjack’s North American aftermarket parts and product support operations are based in St. Charles, IL. The company announced on March 23 that following a “thorough review,” it was determined that Skyjack’s St. Charles location falls under a business classification deemed “essential,” so the company will continue operations. Read the full story here.

JLG to temporarily shut down in US, ramp up China (23 March, 17:00)
The company said it plans to shut down manufacturing operations in the US and Mexico from 30 March to April 10 April, with plans to reopen 13 April. In France, the manufacturer’s operations will discontinue until 6 April. Its manufacturing plant in China, however, is in full operation and is increasing production to meet global capacity targets. Its Romanian plant also remains open but with limited capacity. Read the full story.

Amman adopts flexible manufacturing (10.00am, 23 March)
Ammann has said that its deliveries of parts and products have so far remained on track, despite the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19. Stating that it remained “open for business”, the company said its factory in Shanghai, China, is back to full operations after being closed for weeks due to the pandemic. However, the Switzerland-based manufacturer said it was no different from other businesses that are experiencing production challenges. Full story here.

’Business as usual’ - Keltbray (23 March)
One of the world’s largest demolition contractors has announced it is largely business as usual during Coronavirus and it will stay open through the outbreak for as long as it is safe. Read the full story here

GSV reorganises for virus (23 March 14:38)
Denmark-based rental company GSV Materieludlejning has been adjusting to the coronavirus with a new way of working. Dan Vorsholt, company CEO, said, “Soon after the first announcement from the government we set up a new way to work. We have revolving teams, so, team one works in week one, and team two works in week two, and so on.” At the weekend the facilities are not used and are prepared for the following working week, ensuring there is 48 hours before the next team takes over, therefore reducing the risk of infection.

Loxam statement
”All our agencies are mobilised to respond to your requests by email or by phone at the usual numbers…In the current context, we are adapting our system day after day, depending on the situation. Rest assured that our teams are fully committed, to support you in this event that we all hope to overcome together as soon as possible. We thank you for your loyalty and your trust. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.” 

Putzmeister Brazil statement (23 March)
Putzmeister Brazil announced that it continues with its commercial operation and the supply of spare parts, despite the Coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile, the company states that orders will be handled exclusively remotely. Due to exceptional circumstances, the company says there may be delays in deliveries, since many logistics channels are closed between component manufacturing countries and Brazil, in addition to possible transportation restriction measures imposed by the Brazilian government. Spanish story here, and Portuguese here.

HSE postpones all training (23 March)
The Health and Safety Executive in the UK has postponed all its face to face training and events as a result of concerns over the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. HSE said, “The health and safety of our customers and staff is our main priority and pausing face-to-face training will help us to maintain this. By moving bookings to later in the year, we can ensure that we provide you with the world-class expertise you expect to help you make meaningful changes to your business and keep your workforce safe.” For the latest updates, check the website for HSE course status.

ATN factory closure (23 March, 11:47 GMT)
To comply with government requirements, French aerial platform manufacturer ATN has shut down its factory until 31 March. As a result, only spare part shipments will be possible. The main focus in coming weeks is to ensure the safety of all ATN employees. See full story 

Italy aerial production on hold (23 March, 11:20 GMT)
Tracked platform manufacturers in Italy are working amid factory closures and component delays to honour deliveries. Hinowa, Platform Basket and Palazzani provide details about their situations in one of the most affected countries in Europe so far. Full story here

Aggreko taking prompt action (23 March 2020)
Aggreko said it had not closed its offices or depots around the world in response to COVID-19, although an increasing number of its staff are working from home. It said it was in a strong financial position – with immediately availably liquidity of £606 million - and had taken prompt action, including a reduction in discretionary spending, hiring freezes, travel restrictions and limiting fleet capital expenditure to secured orders and to meet known demand. Full story here.

Vinci says French projects on hold (23 March, 10:20 GMT)
Vinci group, the parent company of Vinci Construction, has revealed that a large number of projects in France have been halted since 16 March as a result of virus containment measures. Read the full story in detail here.

KHL Group statement on Coronavirus (20 March, 1.30pm GMT)
KHL commits to providing seamless news on events as they unfold, and introduces a high-frequency newsletter, Construction & Coronavirus, to cover the outbreak and its impact on construction. You can register for that here. Read the full statement here.

Speedy’s positive momentum slowed by coronavirus (23 March, 10.00am GMT)
UK-based rental company Speedy Hire has begun to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, at the end of a strong financial year. Read the full story here.

Hiab operates at reduced capacity (23 March, 9.14 GMT)
In midst of the worldwide Covid-19 outbreak, crane manufacturer Hiab has said that operational capacity at some of its locations had been reduced. 

While all of its production and service workshops are still operating (as at 23 March), some are doing so at a reduced capacity and the company has said that customers should contact their local Hiab representative for any sales or service assistance. See the full story.

Tadano Faun and Tadano Demag limit operations (March 23)

Tadano Faun and Tadano Demag will limit its operating activities from now until the end of April, the company announced on Monday, March 23.

Plant holidays have been agreed for its operations until March 31, 2020. From April 1 to 30, 2020, Tadano Demag will then then introduce short-time working for large parts of our sites in Lauf and Zweibrücken, Germany.

In a communication from Jens Ennen, CEO, Tadano Demag, and Kenichi Sawada, CEO, Tadano Faun, the companies have also begun home working for many employees.

“Business trips, training and face-to-face meetings of all kinds are suspended until further notice to protect your and our health,” the email said.

As well, the company expects delivery delays of cranes.

“These are to be considered on a case-by-case basis, so that it is not possible to provide a general estimate of the length of the delay. We will contact the affected customers immediately and find a solution together. If you have any questions, please get in touch with your usual contacts,” the companies said.

While Tadano will endeavor to maintain the service and spare parts supply to its customers, there will be restrictions on cross-border deliveries and service operations in general.

From May 2020, the company is preparing to increase its production and support to the normal level as quickly as possible after the Covid-19 crisis.

“However, we will have to adapt our operating activities to the situation as it occurs,” the company said.

SC&RA asks for Essential Critical Infrastructure designation (March 23)

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to confirm the U.S. crane, rigging, and specialized transportation industry and its workers as Essential Critical Infrastructure.

In the March 19, 2020 “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response,” the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

This list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others. The industries they support represent, but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.

GSV reorganises for virus (23 March 14:38)
Denmark-based rental company GSV Materieludlejning has been adjusting to the coronavirus with a new way of working. Dan Vorsholt, company CEO, said, “Soon after the first announcement from the government we set up a new way to work. We have revolving teams, so, team one works in week one, and team two works in week two, and so on.” At the weekend the facilities are not used and are prepared for the following working week, ensuring there is 48 hours before the next team takes over, therefore reducing the risk of infection.

Putzmeister Brazil statement (23 March)
Putzmeister Brazil announced that it continues with its commercial operation and the supply of spare parts, despite the Coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile, the company states that orders will be handled exclusively remotely. Due to exceptional circumstances, the company says there may be delays in deliveries, since many logistics channels are closed between component manufacturing countries and Brazil, in addition to possible transportation restriction measures imposed by the Brazilian government. Spanish story here, and Portuguese here.

HSE postpones all training (23 March)
The Health and Safety Executive in the UK has postponed all its face to face training and events as a result of concerns over the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. HSE said, “The health and safety of our customers and staff is our main priority and pausing face-to-face training will help us to maintain this. By moving bookings to later in the year, we can ensure that we provide you with the world-class expertise you expect to help you make meaningful changes to your business and keep your workforce safe.” For the latest updates, check the website for HSE course status.

ATN factory closure (23 March, 11:47 GMT)
To comply with government requirements, French aerial platform manufacturer ATN has shut down its factory until 31 March. As a result, only spare part shipments will be possible. The main focus in coming weeks is to ensure the safety of all ATN employees. See full story 

Italy aerial production on hold (23 March, 11:20 GMT)
Tracked platform manufacturers in Italy are working amid factory closures and component delays to honour deliveries. Hinowa, Platform Basket and Palazzani provide details about their situations in one of the most affected countries in Europe so far. Full story here

Aggreko taking prompt action (23 March 2020)
Aggreko said it had not closed its offices or depots around the world in response to COVID-19, although an increasing number of its staff are working from home. It said it was in a strong financial position – with immediately availably liquidity of £606 million - and had taken prompt action, including a reduction in discretionary spending, hiring freezes, travel restrictions and limiting fleet capital expenditure to secured orders and to meet known demand. Full story here.

Vinci says French projects on hold (23 March, 10:20 GMT)
Vinci group, the parent company of Vinci Construction, has revealed that a large number of projects in France have been halted since 16 March as a result of virus containment measures. Read the full story in detail here.

Skyjack parent company looks to manufacture ventilators (20 March, 12:53pm CST)
Skyjack issued a statement regarding COVID-19, stating face-to-face communication is limited at this time, but the company is available via phone and e-mail. President Ken McDougall also said, “Ultimately, the extent of disruption remains hard to quantify. We do not have a full view of the implications and consequences because the virus is still affecting new areas every day.” Read the full statement here.

According to Guelphtoday.com, the CEO of Linamar said the shutdown of automakers will have an effect on  operations, and the company hopes to shift its focus to manufacturing much-needed ventilators.

Cummins reassures customers (20 March, 15.30 GMT)
Engine manufacturer Cummins has reassured its customers that it can and will continue to support them in the ongoing pandemic. In a statement addressed to customers, Alok Joshi, executive managing director at Cummins Distribution Europe, said, “Cummins continues to monitor the situation and any reports or requirements from the World Health Organisation and government organisations across the region.

“We have also activated our Global Crisis Response Team to ensure that we are taking appropriate measures to protect our customers and employees from the virus.” See the full story.

Steelwrist UK remains operational (20 March, 15.03 GMT)
Pat Bulcock, the managing director of quick coupler and tiltrotator manufacturer Steelwrist UK, has said that the company will continue to operate for as long as the Coronavirus situation allows. Pat said: “We are fortunate that our industry is an incredibly strong and a welcoming one, full of resilient people that can make good times out of bad.” See the full story.

KHL Group statement on Coronavirus (20 March, 1.30pm GMT)
KHL commits to providing seamless news on events as they unfold, and introduces a high-frequency newsletter, Construction & Coronavirus, to cover the outbreak and its impact on construction. You can register for that here. Read the full statement here.

SC&RA sets up Crisis Command Center (20 March, 15.00 GMT)
Industry association SC&RA has created a Covid-19 Crisis Command Center: www.scranet.org/covid19 to help its members navigate and understand new enforcement and changes due to the pandemic. In the USA this includes news on oversize and overweight (OS/OW) permitting policies and office procedures, OSHA guidance, and updates from the FMCSA on CDLs. More on this story here.

Bronto Skylift continues production (20 March, 15:18 GMT)
The Finland-based truck mounted platform manufacturer said as of now its factories remained open and its main priority was safeguarding its employees while they remained at work. The company said in a statement, “To date, our operations have not been affected by the epidemic in terms of disruptions or delays concerning material flows or production plans. Should the epidemic affect our operations in some way, we shall promptly inform all stakeholders whom this may concern.” See the full story.

Royal BAM stops work on Belgian sites (20 March, 15:05 GMT)
Dutch contractor Royal BAM group has taken the step to shut down all its construction sites in Belgium, as the Coronavirus; COVID-19 strain continues to strain the industry.

Demand remains stable for Boels (20 March, 2.50pm GMT)
So far, demand for equipment has remained stable for Boels Rental, despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to the company’s CEO Pierre Boels. “In most branches, our customers remain fully operational for now, which keeps the demand stable,” says Boels. “But we also see an increase in demand by so-called vital pillars of our society, for example governments, supermarkets, hospitals and other care institutions.” Read the full story here.

Construction considered ‘essential’ in many US regions (20 March, 8.45 CDT)
Construction in the US amid coronavirus precautions continues for now in most places and could indefinitely, if industry officials can persuade government to include it among other “essential” business. Read the full story here

City Lifting’s response to Covid 19 (20 March, 1.40pm GMT)
UK crane rental firm City Lifting reports that despite the challenges presented by the Covid 19 virus it has not suffered any business interruptions and has been able to carry out all scheduled lifting operations. The company stresses, however, that the safety and welfare of its staff, customers and suppliers is its highest priority. Read the full story here.

Together we will bounce back (20 March, 1.30pm GMT)
Vinci Construction has said that all of its companies are taking action to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In a statement posted on its Facebook social media page, the company said, “In countries where lockdown has been declared, our companies have immediately implemented telework for employees whose activity can be carried out remotely.” It added, “Together with our employees, customers, partners and subcontractors, we will demonstrate our ability to bounce back.” The construction giant said that the health and safety of all were among its top priorities and that its subsidiaries would strictly comply with government recommendations.

In it together (20 March, 12:55 GMT)
Australian manufacturer Makinex remains open for business, saying ‘we are in this together’. The company is working full-time developing, producing and selling its products, while taking a range of health and safety precautions. Makinex’s staff are following strict hygiene protocol on site and at home, and remote working is being implemented where possible. Contact is being minimised, with video conferencing, phone calls, e-mails and text replacing many face-to-face meetings. There is also a no hand-shake policy. The company is prepared to take quick action on any change in protocols relating to quarantine, cleaning and closures based on government requirements.

IPAF proposes training solutions (20 March, 12:52 GMT)
IPAF is reacting to the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the potential impact on its ability to issue certification and PAL Cards to new applicants or those wishing to renew their qualification prior to expiry. For example, the Federation supports allowing operators who have expired PAL Cards to renew them through eLearning theory only, without the practical, for a limited period. Read more here

Wirtgen postpones Technology Days (20 March, 12.40pm GMT)
Originally scheduled for 24 and 25 September, 2020, Wirtgen will now be holding its Technology Days on 15 and 16 April, 2021, at its Benninghoven facility in Wittlich, Germany.

In a statement, the company said, “The Wirtgen Group is closely monitoring current developments in connection with the coronavirus. The health of our customers, partners, and employees is our top priority, which is why it is extremely important to us that we handle this situation in a responsible manner.”

Palfinger open for business (20 March, 12.20pm GMT)
Palfinger North America is to remain “open for business” during the Coronavirus outbreak, but has brought in measures to help protect its staff and customers, as well as ensure the continued running of its operations.

Rental Academy supports Italian renters (20 March, 12.15pm GMT)
Italian rental consultancy and training provider Rental Academy is making the best of a bad situation in Italy by offering free webinars to Italian rental companies.

“We are doing this as a way to remain close to the customer during these difficult times and support the industry,” says Pier Angelo Cantù, Director of Rental Academy and its online portal Rental Blog. Read the full story here.

Contractor Bechtel says no ’one-size fits-all’ approach to safety (20 March)
US-based global contractor Bechtel has sent the following statement to KHL: “Our highest priority is the safety of our colleagues. We have taken a number of precautions prescribed by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, and local agencies near our offices and work sites. 

“Our colleagues work in different environments across the world, in office buildings and project sites, and no one-size-fits-all solution will ensure everyone’s safety. This is a rapidly changing global challenge, and we are working with our customers to carefully monitoring our projects for any potential impacts. As conditions change, we will not hesitate to take additional measures to protect our colleagues.”

Palazzani factory closure (20 March)
Italy-based tracked platform manufacturer Palazzani has followed other Italian manufacturers to close down most of its operations. The company said three or four employees are on site to finish some products for export but the others are all now at home. There are also problems with local suppliers, which are in the same situation, and therefore unable to deliver components. 

‘Challenging times for construction suppliers’ (20 March)
The managing director of British company O’Donovan Waste Disposal admits that “huge challenges” are ahead for small business owners and SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) in the wake of Coronavirus – and urged UK companies to take full advantage of any financial support available during the crisis. Read the full story here

SNC-Lavalin’s business resilience measures (20 March, 10:52am GMT)
Canadian contractor SNC-Lavalin group has provided a company update on the measures it has undertaken as part of a “business resilience program” due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story here.

Vertikal Days 2020 postponed (20 March)
UK crane and access show Vertikal Days has been postponed. Due to take place on 13 and 14 May, the event at Donington racing circuit will be moved to a date yet to be confirmed. The organiser said possible alternative dates have already been reserved at the same venue. A final decision will be made according to the way the pandemic develops over the next two to three weeks, during which time consultations will be held with exhibitors and visitors. See the full story here.

Digital issues of all KHL magazines
If getting paper issues of your usual KHL magazines is a problem, remember that you can register at no cost to receive digital issues of all KHL publications. Visit here to add digital versions to your paper subscription, or subcribe for the first time.

Commercial Vehicle Show 2020 cancelled (20 March)
The United Kingdom’s Commercial Vehicle Show 2020, due to run from 28 to 30 April, has been cancelled. The move comes in response to the UK government’s advice to avoid mass gatherings due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Postponement was considered, organisers said, because of the show’s importance to the transport sector. Too many unknown variables, however, precluded this.

US rental revenues hit by virus (20 March, 10.00am GMT)
Rental companies in the US are starting to see revenues take a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the American Rental Association (ARA). The results from the construction/industrial and general tool/DIY members indicate that 37% have seen no revenue loss, almost 33% have experienced up to a 15% loss in revenue, and less than 3% reported a loss of more than 60%. Read the full story here.

Shanghai Horizon lifts out of crisis (20 March)
Chinese aerial platform rental major reports increased activity during March, compared to February, has a 50% utilisation rate and forecasts its business activity in China will return to normal in mid-April. Read more here.

Wacker Neuson announces plans (20 March)
Germany-based equipment manufacturer Wacker Neuson has announced that in the light of the global Coronavirus crisis, production will be reduced – with some plants starting their summer holidays early and various short-time work models implemented. Read the story here.

ACRP General Assembly Meeting cancelled (19 March 2020)

The ACRP Executive Committee and the Association’s Management Staff is announcing today that the ACRP General Assembly Meeting in San Diego, California will be cancelled. This decision was made ultimately with the health, safety and well-being of members, management team, speakers and the community at large.

Hillhead postponed to 2021 (19 March 2020, 17:06 GMT)

In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the organisers of UK quarry exhibition Hillhead 2020 have taken the step to postpone the event to next year. Also following industry consultation, fellow UK construction show Plantworx – previously scheduled for next year – will be postponed until 2022. Read the full story here.

Strabag ceases Austrian operations (19 March 2020, 4.10pm GMT)

Austria’s largest contractor, Strabag, has suspended almost all of its construction site work in the country, with immediate effect, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Vienna-headquartered company currently has in excess of 1,000 Austrian projects underway which will be affected by the move. It is unclear whether Strabag also intends to suspend work on its projects outside of Austria. Strabag currently employs some 75,000 people worldwide. Read the full story here.

AEM President Dennis Slater statement (19 March 2020):

”AEM’s Advocacy Team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration on the bipartisan coronavirus relief package passed by the House, and continues to advocate for an additional legislative package that would include broader economic measures, such as a tax rebate, a payroll tax cut, small business grants and loans, and expanded unemployment insurance, and relief for equipment manufacturers.

”AEM is taking the lead on a joint letter (with AED and EDA) to all 50 Governors urging them to consider equipment manufacturers and their suppliers and dealers as ’essential businesses’ and to issue (or update) directives to that effect. The letter will also be shared with House and Senate Leadership and the White House to urge them to take steps to encourage Governors to consider the industry as ’essential’ as well as any other steps they can take to ensure that our industry remains operational.” Read the full statement here.

United safeguarding employees and customers (19 March 2020, 3.40pm GMT)

United Rentals’ CEO Matt Flannery has published a letter to customers on the company’s website, outlining the measures it is taking to protect its employees and customers against the spread of the coronavirus. The company has adopted a ‘no hand-shake’ policy, is encouraging self-isolation and has limited travel to that which is essential. Read the full story here.

HRIA seeks financial and legal advice (19 March 2020) 

The Australia-based Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) said is working with its financial advisory partner HLB Mann Judd to provide advice to its members, concerning contract terms and conditions and stand down and redundancy policies for staff, as well as investigating liabilities for hire companies in regards to non-essential gatherings. “The HRIA continues to investigate opportunities for financial support for our members. As governments look to expand their current economic stimulus packages the HRIA is actively working as part of a wider events industry consortium to lobby federal and state government to provide commercial relief to the industry,” said the association.

OSHA recommendations on dealing with Covid-19 (19 March 2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor has released resources for companies navigating the Covid-19 pandemic. Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for Coronavirus was developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help employers respond in the event of coronavirus in the workplace. OSHA also offers a Covid-19 webpage which provides infection prevention information specifically for employers and workers. The Wage and Hour Division is providing information on common issues employers and workers face when responding to Covid-19, including the effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) postponed (19 March 2020)

OTC (Offshore Technology Conference), originally scheduled for 4-7 May, has been postponed until the third quarter this year. The organiser issued a statement: ”The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) recognises the unprecedented global challenge associated with the current Covid-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our partners, attendees, exhibitors, staff and community are of the utmost importance. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected.

Considering the rapidly changing guidance from governments and companies, OTC has chosen to postpone the conference from 4-7 May to the third quarter 2020. We are actively working to confirm dates in August or September.”

Ritchie Bros going virtual due to virus (19 March, 11:30 GMT)

Auctioneer Ritchie Bros is expecting an increase in online participation due growing concerns about large gatherings around the world caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, it is making some temporary changes to its onsite auctions. Read the full story here.

Summary of construction events impacted (19 March, 11.30am)

The following construction-related events have been impacted by the health crisis. Check for details on the website of individual events: Norwegian Offshore Lifting Conference (new date: 24-26 November); ESTA Awards (postponed to October); IAPA awards and IPAF Summit (postponed to 8 October); SMOPyC (postponed to 23-26 September); Samoter (postponed to 21-25 October); Boecker Crane Days (new date: 30 & 31 October); Hannover Messe (postponed until 13-17 July); Hire20 Expo and conference in Australia; the UK’s Hire awards of Excellence (postponed to September); The UK’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors AGM and Awards Lunch; IPAF’s Innovate event; Bauma CTT Russia (new dates to be confirmed); SC&RA Annual Conference cancelled; OTC Offshore Technology Conference (postponed until the third quarter of 2020, new date to be confirmed).

NDA outlines COVID-19 resources (19 March, 9.00am GMT)

The US National Demolition Association (NDA) has created a COVID-19 resource page for members on its website at www.demolitionassociation.com. See full story here.

Bauma CTT Russia 2020 postponed (19 March, 10.53am GMT)

The construction show Bauma CTT Russia, which was due to be held in Moscow between 26 and 29 May, 2020, has been postponed. The new dates for the show will be announced within the next two weeks. Read the full story here.

Digital issues of all KHL magazines

If getting paper issues of your usual KHL magazines is a problem, remember that you can register at no cost to receive digital issues of all KHL publications. Visit here to add digital versions to your paper subscription, or subcribe for the first time.

BuildUK statement: ‘keep sites open’ (19 March)

“Our first call to Government and both public and private sector clients is to keep sites operational wherever possible. We are working on providing cross-industry Standard Operating Procedures that will meet the requirement to avoid social contact while protecting the workforce as much as possible. We anticipate that it will be relevant to sites of all sizes and include guidance on welfare facilities, canteens, entry procedures, and cleaning arrangements.” Read full statement here.

Haulotte shuts down France production (18 March, 19:20)

Haulotte has announced the temporary closure of its three France-based manufacturing facilities in L’Horme, Loire; Creusot, Saône et Loire and Reims, Marne. But it said distribution and service activities would continue. Read the story here

JCB stops UK production (18 March, 5.00pm UK)

JCB has stopped production at all of its UK manufacturing plants in response to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, which it said had caused “an unprecedented reduction in global demand.” Read the story here.

Federation confirms AGM postponement (18 March, 11.00am GMT)

The United Kingdom’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC), which represents close to 150 accredited demolition contractors, has confirmed the postponent of its Annual General Meeting and Awards lunch. (See full story here)

SC&RA Annual Conference cancelled (18 March, 9:40 a.m. US CST)

In light of the national Covid-19 crisis, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association Board of Directors voted on March 17 to cancel the 2020 Annual Conference scheduled for April 14-18 in Amelia Island, FL. 

“Based upon the developments of the past few weeks, and looking beyond the business and logistic issues, our top priority is protecting the health and safety of our members and staff,” said Joel Dandrea, chief executive officer, SC&RA.

The Association has been working to assure reservation and registration fees are refunded in the most efficient manner.

Economic recovery post coronavirus could be ‘robust’ (18 March, 11:53 a.m. US CST)

Economic recovery from the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic could be robust, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has launched a €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) emergency solidarity package to support companies in the countries it serves. Read the full story here

Terex issues COVID-19 statement (18 March, 11:24 am US CST)

Terex Corporate issued a statement regarding COVID-19 on March 18, stating production is still occuring but steps have beent aken to ensure the safety of its team members, customers and communities.

“At Terex, our top priority is safety. As a global organization, we have manufacturing and support sites in many parts of the world, including some greatly impacted by coronavirus COVID-19 – China, Italy and locations in Washington State (U.S.)

“We know that our customers and suppliers are also closely monitoring the likely impact of the virus on their businesses. Although the pace at which the situation is changing has been accelerating, we are continuing to produce our products and serve the needs of our customers, while taking precautions to protect the health and safety of our team members, our customers, our suppliers and the communities in which we all live and work.”

The full statement can be read here.

Digital issues of all KHL magazines

If getting paper issues of your usual KHL magazines is a problem, remember that you can register at no cost to receive digital issues of all KHL publications. Visit here to add digital versions to your paper subscription, or subcribe for the first time.

Topcon GB outlines response plan for COVID-19 (18 March, 16:15pm)

UK division of construction technology and services company Topcon has issued a statement to address the uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus (COVID–19). The company has updated its continuity plan to cover “all possible scenarios” that it may face in the UK over the coming weeks and months. The firm is also reassuring customers that it intends to continue to serve them and maintain product support or supply as needed. Measures have been put into place to protect the health of employees and customers such as; cancelling all non-essential visits, sharing advice on how to tackle the virus, asking symptomatic people to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days and postponing face to face sales.

UK construction wants sites to remain open (18 March, 15.40pm)

The UK’s Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and three of the main building and construction bodies in the UK have urged that construction sites remain operational during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the full story here.

US government considers unprecedented economic stimulus (17-18 March)

The coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen in the US, prompting Congress and the White House to consider the largest stimulus package in modern American history to address the economic effects of the pandemic on individuals and industries including construction. Read full story here

French contractors’ association calls for 10-day halt (17-18 March)

The French contractors’ association Federation Française du Bâtiment (FFB) has requested a 10-day stop to construction in the country to allow the industry to prepare safety measures for construction workers. Read full story here.

Off-Highway Research comment on China (18 March, 10.00am)

”China is slowly returning to normal. Factories are coming back to full production and there is an expectation that travel restrictions will start to ease up soon. The Government is already taking lots of steps to stimulate the economy such as relaxing credit rules and allowing Provincial Governments to issue more bonds.”

Loxam comment on COVID-19 (17 March)

In its annual results released 17 March, Loxam said it will manage the virus as an ‘unusual winter distruption’.

Summary of construction events impacted (18 March, 10.00am)

The following construction-related events have been impacted by the health crisis. Check for details on the website of individual events: Norwegian Offshore Lifting Conference, ESTA Awards (postponed to October), IAPA awards and IPAF Summit (postponed to 8 October), SmopyC (postponed to 23-26 September), Samoter (postponed to 21-25 October), Boecker Crane Days, Hannover Messe, Hire20 Expo and conference in Australia, the UK’s Hire awards of Excellence (postponed to September), The UK’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors AGM and Awards Lunch, IPAF’s Innovate event.

Komatsu sales in China (18 March)

Komatsu has revealed that sales of excavators (6t class and above) in China fell by 35% year-on-year in January and by 67% in February.

Volvo highlights financial impact (17 March)

Volvo Group statement: ”The consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting the Volvo Group, and there is a considerable risk of a material financial impact on the Group as from mid-March.” Read the full report on the Diesel Progress website.

Manitou closes French operations (17 March)

French telehandler and access manufacturer said its operations in France were closed on 17 March and will remain shut for the rest of the month. This excludes spare parts, customer support and some central functions.

Construction stopped on Quito Metro project in Ecuador (17 March)

Work on the underground Metro in Quito, Ecuador, has been suspended until measures are taken to guarantee the safety of the 2,000 workers on the project.

Durante Rentals in New York closes facilities for week (17 March)

The NY-based equipment rental company will close its 10 facilities as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

Construction sites impacted by COVID-19 outbreak (17 March, 8.00pm UK)

The construction industry is being increasingly affected by the Covid-19 strain of the coronavirus, but projects are still taking place in the vast majority of countries around the world, although that may change.

In Italy, the contractors association ANCE has called for the shut down of all construction sites, and the UK’s two main contractors organisations said construction was likely to be “dramatically and severely affected” and that sites may have to close.

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Construction is being severely impacted by the virus outbreak.

Equipment rental companies in Europe - particularly in Italy and France - are starting to face problems with equipment left on sites that have been closed.

One US rental business told KHL that it had started to see some short term suspensions of projects, for a week or two, and that it anticipated projects slowing down rather than closing completely. 

Construction continues throughout most of the US, but not in Boston, Massachusetts, the first major city to suspend work due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

According to a report from NBCBoston.com, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has ordered the suspension of all construction work in the city, effective Tuesday, 17 March. It is expected to last at least 14 days. “We want to make sure those workers are safe,” Walsh was quoted as saying.

He said there are tens of thousands of construction projects going on in the city, adding, “We’re in the middle of a boom right now…Construction is at the core of our economy here in Boston.”  However, he went onto say that, “The Coronavirus is one of the greatest public health challenges that our city has ever faced.”

New Rochelle, New York, a suburb of New York City, is currently the only other place where a suspension of construction is taking place. Authorities there have limited movement among citizens as a measure of caution against the spread of the virus.

In the UK, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and Build UK released a joint statement saying that the situation had esculated and that construction would be among the industries, “dramatically and severely affected.” The statement added, “Whilst the priority last week was to keep business critical construction projects open and operational wherever possible, that is likely to change in the weeks ahead.

“If the government decides to put the country into ‘lockdown’ and restrict the movement of British citizens, decisions will be taken out of the hands of individual companies and sites may have to close.”

A spokesperson for Willmott Dixon, a UK construction and property services company, said, “We are preparing our people for flexible working, both on site and at home, and ensuring we continue to operate as an effective business while also supporting supply chain members.”

He added that CEO Rick Willmott was determined to ensure latest government guidance was applied throughout the company via regular email updates. Actions, he said, include the cancellation of all non-business critical events and gatherings of staff, and video conferencing to be used where possible, rather than face-to-face meetings.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Italian contractors’ association, Associazione Nazionale Costruttori Edili (ANCE), has asked the Italian Government to suspend all on-going worksites as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Riccardo Viaggi, secretary-general of the European Construction Equipment manufacturers association CECE, said, “I personally believe that construction sites will be heavily impacted, most of all because distancing and other precautions are very difficult to implement on sites where interactions and cooperation between people is regular and fundamentally important.

“This is the reason why I have heard the call by contractors (ANCE) in the hardest hit country (for now – Italy) to close down sites by decree in order for construction activities to be included in the mitigating measures, such as stopping the clock on delivery times and ensuring employment and wage protection for workers.”