Construction and Covid-19: rolling news update

15 December 2020

This rolling-news story will be updated regularly with information from around the world. If you have news you would like to share, contact: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], or any of your contacts at KHL.

US construction unemployment still below pre-pandemic levels (21 Dec)
US construction employment in November remained below pre-pandemic levels in 35 states and the District of Columbia even though 31 states and D.C. added construction jobs from October to November, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data. Read the full story here.

Intermat Paris 2021 cancelled (17 Dec)
Intermat 2021 in Paris has been cancelled because of uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Organiser Comexposium said that ongoing public health concerns had made cancelling the event unavoidable. Read the full story here.

Haulotte Africa delivers remote training (17 Dec) 
Haulotte Africa has held three videoconference training sessions for its authorised regional distributor Premium Group (Le Groupe Premium en Afrique). Read the full story here.

Manitou to close plant in Texas, USA (16 Dec)
Manitou Group has announced it will cease operations at its Waco, Texas facility in March 2021. The shutdown will see 148 employees laid off. More here.

Keestrack turnover resilient in face of Covid-19 (16 Dec) 
Equipment manufacturer Keestrack is expecting to report positive growth for 2020, despite the impact of the Coronavirus on the demolition, recycling and construction industries. The company, which had previously expected sales to grow by 20% on its 2019 of €119 million (US$159 million), said that it is now forecasting a 7% increase in global sales for the year. Read the full story here.

Upbeat Balfour Beatty anticipates dividend payout (14 Dec)
The forecast figure marks a stark reversal of fortune for the UK's largest construction company, which reported a half-year loss in August, citing measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Read the full story here.

Ashtead results boosted by Covid-19 sales in UK (11 Dec)
Ashtead Group reported a 7% increase in revenues for the half year to 31 October at its UK Sunbelt Rentals business, buoyed by Covid-19 related sales to the UK’s Department of Health, which accounted for almost 20% of UK revenues in the period. More here.

AGC sues two US federal agencies over PPP loan rules (10 December)
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has filed lawsuits against the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Office of Management and Budget seeking a revision of a questionnaire being used to reassess whether companies were eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Read the full story here.

Construction key to recovery, says 2050 Alliance (8 December)
A virtual conference, held by the newly-formed Construction 2050 Alliance, saw MEPs and government representatives from a number of European Union (EU) member states discuss post-Covid plans for the built environment – and a new €672.5 billion recovery package. Read the full story here.

Bauma China reports 80,000 visitors (1 December)
Around 80,000 visitors attended last week’s Buama China exhibition in Shanghai. It was a reduction of 62% from the 212,500 in 2018, but organiser Messe München said it was a positive outcome given the pandemic. More here.

Sales down for Deere (27 November)
John Deere has released its financial results for the fourth quarter of the year and for the 2020 as a whole, revealing the impact of Covid-19 on the company's bottom line. Full story here.

Euroconstruct issues forecasts for 2021-23 (26 November)
European construction forecasting body Euroconstruct said Europe’s construction market will shrink by 7.8% this year and will not recover fully until 2023, with forecast growth of 4.1% in 2021, 3.4% in 2022 and 2.4% in 2023. More here.

Global market set for rebound in 2021 (26 November)
Global construction equipment sales will grow in 2021, according to specialist market research and forecasting company, Off-Highway Research (OHR). Although this will be from a relatively low base because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the rebound is expected to be strong thanks to stimulus spending plans. More here.

Engine maker deutz pospones financial targets (24 November)
German engine manufacturer Deutz AG said it is postponing its medium-term financial targets from 2022 to 2023/2024. More here.

Bauma Conexpo India postponed (23 November)
The show has been pushed back for a second time and will now take place 20 – 23 April 2021 at the India Expo Centre (IEC), Greater Noida, Delhi NCR. More here.

SC&RA events to be rescheduled (19 November)
Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases have precipitated a decision from the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) Board to move some of its crane and rigging events in the USA to later in 2021. See the full story here.

Speedy Hire recovery continues (18 September)
Speedy Hire has reported a 20.5% fall in revenues for the six months to 30 September but has remained in profit. Customer demand continues to improve, said the company, and the second lockdown in the UK as not had a material impact on its business, with construction and infrastructure markets continuing to operate. More here.

ARA forecasts 13% fall in 2020 and flat 2021 (16 September)
The American Rental Association (ARA) is forecasting a 13% decline in equipment and event rental revenue this year compared to 2019, dropping to US$48.7 billion in the US. Full story.

First orders of SiteZone worker distancing device (12 November)
ESS Safeforce has pre-ordered 150 second-generation wearable distancing devices from SiteZone Safety, ahead of the product’s launch this month. The new, more compact version of the wearable personnel distancing systems (PDS) helps workers social distance. More here

Covid drags down Deutz results (10 November)
Deutz recorded a “sharp overall decline” in business performance in the first nine months of 2020, primarily due, said the company, to the impact of Covid-19. Read the full story here.

Palfinger sales down 15% (9 November)
In the first three quarters of 2020 sales at Palfinger, at €1.1 billion, was down by €198.2 million, or 15.2 percent, from the €1.3 billion of the same period in 2019. The decline in sales for the Austrian crane and access platform manufacturer was attributed to the impact of the coronavirus Covid-19. Read the full story here.

World of Asphalt cancelled (6 November)
The organisers of World of Asphalt, due to be held in Atlanta, US, in March 2021 have announced that the show has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Wacker Neuson hit hard by pandemic (5 November)
Group's financial results for the third quarter of the year, show a 16.5% fall in revenue. The group admits it is “clearly feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic”, but adds "customers have become much more open to the possibilities of digitalization". Read the full story here.

New lockdowns currently exclude construction (3 November)
Europe and the UK face a new wave of lockdowns in response to surging cases of Covid-19, forcing millions to once again stay at home in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. Other regions, including North America, India and Brazil, are currently less restrictive. Read the full story here

Encouraging forecast from Bauer (3 November)
Ahead of its quarterly statement, German OEM and contractor, Bauer AG – a specialist in foundation drilling and drilling rigs – has published an earnings forecast for the year, showing its resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story here.

French construction sector pulls together (3 November)
French rental association DLR is one of 20 organisations in the French construction industry that have signed a statement to say they will do everything in their power to support the industry through France’s second national lockdown. Full story here.

Kiloutou adapts services to support customers (2 November)
French rental firm offers two-hour delivery and home delivery during second national lockdown. Full story here.

French association cancels Trade Days event (29 October)
Cancellation of DLR's annual event follows news of second national lockdown in France. Full story here.

RentalTracker: lingering uncertainty (29 October)
Pandemic challenges persist, but there are signs of hope in the Q3 2020 ERA/IRN RentalTracker. Full story here.

H&E sees signs of hope (29 October)
H&E Equipment Services saw market conditions improving in the third quarter, but revenues remain well below prior year levels. Full story here.

Construction to continue in France (29 October)
Despite President Emmanuel Macron's announcement on 28 October that the country will go back into a general lockdown, the construction and building sectors will continue to operate.

Webinar aims to navigate Covid-19 (28 October)
US companies Sage and Fieldflo combine to host discussion with demolition industry experts on 18 November. More here

Sales decline for Cummins (28 October)
Cummins has reported that sales for the third quarter of 2020 fell 18% from the same period of a year ago. For the full story, click here.

Caterpillar sees sales fall (27 October)
Caterpillar’s third quarter financial results have revealed that the company’s construction industries segment saw total sales decrease 23% compared to the third quarter of 2019. Full story here.

US economy recovering from 'sharpest recession in history' (26 October)
The US construction and industrial outlook is certainly challenged as a result of the global pandemic, but there are bright spots including residential construction, as well as a general expectation for some sectors to see improvement as soon as next year. Read the full story here.

GAM reports 17.7% first half drop, but back at 90% of activity (22 October)
Spanish rental company GAM Alquiler said its activity levels had returned to around 90% of normal by September/October, having recovered from a low point of 55% at the height of the pandemic lockdown. The company's revenues were 17.7% down in the first six months of 2020, year-on-year. More here.

BPH Plant grows fleet to meet demand (22 October)
UK-based equipment rental firm BPH Plant has invested £600,000 to grow its fleet to meet increased demand over recent months, which the company says has reached pre-Covid levels in the English counties of Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent. Full story here.

Executive Hire Show postponed (21 October)
The Executive Hire Show (EHS) has been rescheduled to take place in April 2021, due to continuing uncertainty associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Full story here.

ERA estimates 10.4% rental drop in 2020 (21 October)
The European Rental Association (ERA) is estimating an overall decrease of 10.4% in rental revenues in 2020 - caused by the Covid-19 pandemic - followed by a forecast rebound of 4.8% in 2021. Full story here.

Vinci revenues down, orders up (21 October)
Vinci’s latest financial results show revenue down 12% (to €30.8 billion) for the first nine months of 2020, but the company stressed that most of its divisions are seeing a return to normal business in the third quarter, in spite of the continuing pandemic. Read the full story here.

2021 Berlin Demolition Conference cancelled
The 2021 Berlin Demolition Conference, also known as Fachtagung Abbruch, has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Full story here.

FIEC forecasts 8.5% construction decline in Europe this year (19 October)
European contractors’ federation FIEC has forecast an 8.5% fall in EU construction activity in 2020 and warned that the situation could worsen in 2021. More here.

Cost of UK's HS2 rail project soars...again (16 October)
The estimated cost for phase one of the UK’s High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project has risen by £800 million (€881 million), even before new figures are published, detailing additional costs associated with the impact of Covid-19. Read the full story here.

Volvo CE posts improved Q3 figures (16 October)
Swedish OEM's financial results for the third quarter of 2020, show that, while the coronavirus pandemic continues to restrict growth in European and North American markets, a strong rebound in China has helped the company with sales, orders and machine deliveries during the reported period. Read the full story here.

Italian hospital 'must follow Genoa bridge example' (15 October)
At a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 715-bed hospital in Taranto in southern Italy, the country’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, said the contractors on the project “must hurry”. The start of construction on the €162 million project comes as Italy reports record numbers of positive tests for Covid-19. Read the full story here.

Video podcast: Global rental industry (14 October)
Growth of rental revenues predicted to continue growing strongly over coming years despite Covid-19 pandemic, according to Off Highway Research's Managing Director Chris Sleight. Watch the video interview here.

Digital InterGeo event launches (13 October)
Geodesy and geoinformation technology show goes virtual in the face of Covid-19 restrictions. Read the full story here.

Speedy making a recovery (9 October)
Revenues improving and staff no longer furloughed, but trading remains below prior year levels. Full story here.

HSS to close 134 depots in digital shift (8 October)
HSS Hire has been prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic to accelerate its digital strategy, which will lead to the closure of 134 of its 240 depots and the redundancy of 300 staff. Full story here.

Tadano initiates restructuring (8 October)
Crane manufacturer Tadano Group has started Protective Shield Proceedings in a bid to restructure its Tadano Demag and Tadano Faun operations in Germany. Full story here.

Arabtec files for liquidation (7 October)
The shareholders of one of the Middle East’s largest contractors, Arabtec, have voted to pursue liquidation following a loss over US$200 million in the first half of 2020 which has been partly caused by the impact of Covid-19. Read the full story here.

IMF puts spotlight on infrastructure (6 October)
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report has recommended that governments invest in infrastructure spending as a response to Covid-19. Full story here.

Vp plc going steady (6 October)
Group remains cautious as its revenues reach approximately 85% of pre-Covid levels. Full story here

The ARA Show postponed to Oct. 2021 (1 October)
The American Rental Association will push its annual show back eight months from February to October 2021 and move to Las Vegas. Full store here.

Restructuring for BAM (1 October)
Royal BAM Group has announced a major restructuring programme in order to mitigate lower revenue caused by Covid-19 and selective tendering. Full story here

Manitou seeks layoffs (23 September)
Plan to reduce headcount as French manufacturer forecasts 30% sales decrease for 2020 financial year. More here

World of Concrete postponed to June 2021 (28 September)
World of Concrete 2021 will be pushed back five months from its original January 2021 dates to June 8-10 (with education occuring June 7-10), organizers have announced. Full story here.

Association's concern over asbestos training during Covid (23 September)
UK Asbestos Training Association speaks out as construction industry courses between March and August hit five-year low. Read the full story here

Positive signs for European rental capex (23 September)
Majority of rental firms responding to recent survey about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic suggest capex will be maintained or increased. Read the full story here.

Ahern fined for Covid-19 violations at Trump rallies (22 September)
The City of Henderson, NV fined Xtreme Manufacturing $3,000 for violating Covid-19 requirements during a Trump rally on Sept. 13. This follows a previous $10,000 fine against the Ahern Hotel and Convention Center for breaking Covid-19 guidelines during an “Evangelical’s for Trump” event that was held in August. Read the story here.

Italian rental weathering pandemic well (22 September)
Marco Prosperi, Director of Italian rental association Assodimi/Assonolo, is feeling positive about the Italian rental market, suggesting that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rental revenues for 2020 could be relatively small. Assodimi’s study centre is forecasting growth of between -5 and +1%, compared to 2019. Read the full story here.

UK contract awards up 21.2% (21 September)
Construction industry analyst Barbour ABI says the recent increase in contract awards means the economy has recovered around half of the lost construction output between March and May. Read the full story here.

Rental revenues doubling every decade (21 September)
Revenues for the world’s 100 largest rental companies, the IRN100, have more than doubled in the last decade, according to The global rental industry, a unique new joint report from Off-Highway Research (OHR) and IRN magazine. And looking ahead, even taking into account the impacts of Covid-19, OHR forecasts revenues for the IRN100 will rise to €75 billion by 2024. Read the full story here.

EFCA survey hints at stabilisation (16 September)
In its latest Corona Survey, the association representing Europe's engineering consultancy industry reports fewer projects lost and a smaller drop in new orders, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full story here.

France's 'Reboot' plan tops €100 billion (16 September)
The French government has announced a huge stimulus package to bolster its ailing economy in the face of a spike in coronavirus numbers. Read the full story here.

Registration open for virtual CECE Congress 202 (14 September)
CECE, the association representing European equipment manufacturers, has opened registration for its annual congress, which will be livestreamed from a TV studio in Stockholm, Sweden, on 8 October. The event will take a deep dive into the challenges of doing business post Covid-19. Read the full story here and register for the free event here.

United Rentals to discuss lessons learned from Covid-19 during ALH Conference keynote (11 September)
United Rentals’ Norty Turner, senior vice president, services and advanced solutions, will kick off the ALH Conference on Oct. 23 with a keynote speech that discusses lessons learned by the rental giant during Covid-19.

“The Covid-19 pandemic brought on unique challenges and unveiled new opportunities to operationalize and focus additional efforts as a team to ensure safe, efficient and flexible solutions,” Turner told ALH. “Safety has always been part of our DNA, but now, more than ever, companies are looking for that added assurance. With some agility, focus and a constant dedication to safety, United Rentals updated the safety playbook to guide the team through the pandemic and keep employees, customers and communities safe and on track.” Read more here. Register for the conference, for free, here.

Speedy closes 13 depots, but revenues recovering (11 September)
Revenues have been improving as activity returns, but the company's depot network is being slimmed. Read the full story here.

South Africa's construction sector collapses (10 September)
Data has shown that South Africa’s construction sector contracted by 33.4% in the second quarter of 2020 as a result of Covid-19. Read more here.

Speedy relaunches four-hour delivery promise (9 September)
Enhanced four-hour delivery commitment reintroduced following pause due to pandemic. Read the full story here.

Haulotte Group half-year sales decline -35% (8 September)
Citing Covid-19’s impact, Haulotte Group announced a loss of €119.9 million for its half year results, a decline of -35%. Read the full story here

ERA issues 2020 and 2021 forecasts (8 September)
Early statistics from the ERA’s 2020 Market Report show 2021 revenues will remain below 2019 levels. Read the full story here.

Ashtead revenue stable (8 September)
Sunbelt Rentals' parent company reported revenue decrease of 6% to £1203 million (US$1569 million) in the first quarter of its 2020 financial year. Underlying profit before tax was £208 million ($271 million), down 34%, compared to the first quarter of its 2019 financial year. More here.

New study looks at Brexit impacts (7 September)
Report, aimed primarily at equipment producers and components suppliers, includes a detailed five-year market forecast for the UK equipment market, which considers the impacts of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full story here.

UK government 'must protect apprenticeships' (4 September)
UK industry bodies call on the government to implement measures to secure skills essential for the country's recovery following the coronavirus crisis. Read the full story (and see the open letter to the UK government) here.

Up-tick for Mateco re-rent business (02 September)
Special Equipment, the Netherland’s based re-rent division of Mateco, has updated its revenue forecasts for 2020, thanks to a steady pick up in utilisation since June. Here

Euroconstruct forecasts slow European recovery (1 September)
The latest briefing from the construction market forecasting network predicts construction output will, on average, remain below the level achieved in 2019 until beyond 2022. Read the full story here.

Scottish housing minister calls for reduced VAT (1 September)
Scottish housing minister, Kevin Stewart, is calling for the UK Government to bring the VAT charge for construction work conducted on existing buildings down from 20% to 5%. Read the full story here.

TNT makes its case at bankruptcy court (31 August)
TNT Crane & Rigging was forced into bankruptcy due to Covid-19 and falling oil and gas prices. Read the full story here.

Impact of Covid-19 on road spending (28 August)
The prospect that governments might invest in infrastructure, including spending on roads, to stimulate their economies following the Covid-19 crisis offers equipment suppliers some hope for future demand. However, Wacker Neuson’s Chief Sales Officer Alexander Greschner says the picture is mixed. Read the full story here.

Global construction equipment sales down 16% (28 August)
The Covid-19 pandemic will see sales of construction equipment fall in almost every country of the world this year, with global sales of construction equipment expected to be down 16%, according to Off-Highway Research. Full story here.

Winter Environmental gets busy with bids (27 August)
US demolition contractor reports highest volumes in 15 years despite impact of Covid-19 - and even turns its expertise to Covid disinfection. More here

Coates responds with agility (26 August)
Despite being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and bushfires, Australian rental company Coates Hire achieved growth in both its revenues and profits, and has continued to invest in its fleet. Read the full story here.

Snorkel sales decline (24 August)
Tanfield Group, which owns 49% of Snorkel, reported that in the first six months of 2020 the manufacturer, now majority owned by the Ahern Family of Companies, saw sales of US$60.2m, down 46.4% compared to the same period in 2019. More here.

MAS opens third depot (24 August)
Media Access Solutions (MAS), which supplies access equipment to the UK’s television and film industry, has opened its third depot less than a mile away from Shepperton Studios, despite the industry being one of the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. More here.

US home construction surges 22.6% in July (19 August)
US housing continues to be a ray of light in an increasingly dark economic landscape as single-family and multi-family starts posted solid gains in July, according to a 18 August report from the US Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. More here.

Podcast: Access in Australia (19 August)
Doug Rawlings, president of the Elevating Work Platform Association of Australia (EWPA) and state manager for Western Australia at United Forklift and Access Solutions, speaks about Covid-19 and the challenges and potential for the access sector in the country. Listen here

HKL's 'undaunted optimism' (19 August)
Despite it being a challenging year on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, HKL Baumaschinen is demonstrating its “undaunted optimism” with plans to open five new depots during 2020, the company’s 50th anniversary year. Read the full story here.

Bobcat orders signal positivity in Swedish rental (19 August)
The Swedish rental market is showing some promising signs, with two major rental players in the country – Ramirent and Renta – recently ordering almost 100 new Bobcat machines in total. Read the full story here.

Deutz cutting 1,000 jobs (19 August)
Deutz AG has announced a reduction of up to 1,000 positions in the company’s global headcount. Read the full story here.

Podcast: Resilience through digitalisation (18 August)
Tran Ly, General Manager, Wynne Systems, talks about Covid-19, digitalisation and resilience. Listen here.

Wacker makes some US layoffs permanent (18 August)
Wacker Neuson Corp, the US arm of Germany-based manufacturer Wacker Neuson Group, has informed the state of Wisconsin that some of its temporary Covid-19-related layoffs will instead be permanent. Read the full story here.

United Rentals shares Covid-19 safety tips (13 August)
United Rentals has released nine key safety tips for equipment rental during Covid-19. Read the story here.

Podcast: Access in the Italian market (13 August)
Alessandro Mastrogiacomo, export sales director at Italy-based tracked platform manufacturer CMC, talks about market conditions and business practices during Covid-19 and in the years ahead. Mastrogiacomo also shares exclusive news about product developments and how the global spider lift industry is developing. Listen here.

Skyjack Q2 sales down ‘significantly’ (12 August)
Skyjack parent company Linamar has reported a 56.7% decrease in industrial sales for Q2 at C$923.6 million, down C$1,162.5 million from C$2,086.1 million in Q2 2019. Linamar’s industrial segment consists of Skyjack and MacDon equipment. More here.

Balfour Beatty reports first half results (12 August)
UK-based contractor releases half-year results and forecasts return to pre-Covid figures by 2021. More here.

UK figures point to construction recovery (11 August)
Construction activity for the top UK contractors returned to pre-coronavirus levels during July, according to industry analyst Barbour ABI. Read the full story here.

ACA welcomes 2020 mid-year Priority List (11 August)
The Australian Construction Association says the list, providing research and advice to governments, industry and the community - is positive but insists more needs to be done to improve the sector’s long-term recovery from the pandemic. Read the full story here.

Loxam revenues fall 25% in second quarter (11 August)
Loxam has reported a 25% decrease in sales to €440 million for the second quarter of 2020, as a result of Covid-19. More here.

Deutz first half sales down 35% (11 August)
Deutz said it registered “a significant overall decline in business performance” in the first half of 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus crisis with new orders received falling by 34.6% year on year to €623.6 million. Full story here.

McGee Group posts 'strong' 2019 results, but projects revenue drop in 2020 (10 August)
British demolition and specialist engineering contractor increased revenue in the 12 months to the end of November, but is already projecting a fall in turnover of around £30 million in the 2020 financial year due to Covid-19. Read the full story here

BAM's modular response to Covid-19 (10 August)
BAM Ireland, selected by developer Marlet as the main contractor on the One Lime Street residential development in Dublin’s docklands, says it will use modular construction techniques on the project to aid social distancing. Read the full story here.

Covid-19 impacts Manitex International’s second quarter results (6 August)
Manitex CEO Steve Filipov said the company is preparing for lower demand, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which may persist throughout the year, particularly in the Manitex boom truck side of the business. Read the full story here.

Pandemic affects Manitowoc’s second quarter financials (6 August)
Manitowoc reports a second quarter loss due to a decline in sales and reduced manufacturing activity. Read the full story here.

Aggreko’s revenues hit, but trading stabilising (6 August)
Temporary power rental specialist Aggreko has seen a 12% drop in its revenues in the first half of 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and lower oil prices, but trading has begun to stabilise and the company has expressed confidence about its resilience. Read the full story here.

Wacker Neuson revenue suffers Covid-19 fall (5 August)
Poor second quarter for Germany-based compact equipment manufacturer means half year sales down 16% compared to 2019; company says rest of this year is "uncertain". Read the full story here

H&E Q2 revenues down 16% (5 August)
Both the revenues and profits of H&E Equipment Services were significantly negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the second quarter of 2020. While there are signs of improvement, the economic headwinds are expected to continue for the full year. Read the full story here.

UK construction deals slump/govt promises additional €1bn (4 August)
Business deals within the UK’s construction and real estate industry fell by 40% in the second quarter of the year, as businesses waited to see the full effects of the virus on the country's economy. Read the full story here.

Polish government rethinks megaproject (3 August)
Construction of 'essential' motorway will now be funded from the capital budget, as the country attempts to speed up its economic recovery. Read the full story here.

Second half declines at Manitou (31 July)
Manitou Group’s sales were down 35% in the first half of 2020, to €762 million, compared to the first half of 2019, while, in the second quarter, group sales dropped 41%, compared to the same period in 2019. Read more here.

Sales drop for LafargeHolcim but 'solid' recovery predicted (31 July)
Cement, concrete and aggregates company LafargeHolcim has reported that in the first half of 2020 net sales dropped 18% but that, as lockdowns ease, sales are starting to return to normal levels. Read the full story here.

Revenue down for major contractor WeBuild (30 July)
Due to the impact of Covid-19 Webuild has reported revenue is down for the first half of 2020, but the contractor is upbeat about the future. Full story available here.

Demand rising, United reintroduces guidance (30 July)
Q2 revenues hit by pandemic, but volumes improving. Full-year capex to be fraction of 2019 spending. Read the full story here.

Cat to see profits fall 77% (30 July)
Caterpillar will announce its financial results tomorrow (Friday, July 31), with the company’s year-on-year profits expected to plummet 77%, according to data from financial analyst Refinitiv. Read the full story here.

China to see construction sales rise 14% (28 July)
Construction equipment sales in China are expected to increase 14% this year according to Off-Highway Research. Full story here.

US contractor the first to use Opti-Clean Cube to fight pandemic (28 July)
Las Vegas-based SR Construction, a full-service design build general contractor, is the first to use the new Xtreme Opti-Clean Cube in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. Full story here

Emeco continues to grow (28 July)
With minimal effect felt from Covid-19, mining equip rental firm enjoys revenue and profit growth. Read the full story here.

AWRF cancels Fall General Meeting amid Covid-19 concerns (24 July)
The Associated Wire Rope Fabricators Fall General Meeting and Product Information Exhibition in Denver, CO is now canceled. Read the full story here.

Vp plc sees activity returning (24 July)
UK rental firm is positive about future, though activity levels remain at 80% of prior year levels. Read the full story here.

Herc Rentals maintains control (24 July)
US rental firm takes a hit from pandemic but remained profitable in second quarter thanks to cost control measures. Read the full story here.

Covid-19 impacts Latin American rental (22 July)
In a recent CLA webinar, three industry experts discussed the effects of the pandemic on Latin American rental. Read about it here.

Compliance tools in a post-crisis period (21 July)
As companies in the transportation and construction industries navigate the post-Covid landscape, it’s incumbent on leaders to assure employees, customers and everyone in between that decisions are being mad with both long- and short-term stability in mind. SC&RA’s Joel Dandrea discusses. Read the full story here.

Briggs & Stratton files for bankruptcy and agrees sale to private equity (20 July)
Chapter 11 filing triggered by pandemic and following failure to get extension of loan repayment. Read the full story here.

Covid crisis puts damper on crawler sales (17 July)
While lattice boom crawler cranes are working on jobsites across the country OEMs generally do not expect new machines sales to pick up until 2021. Full story here.

Volvo CE sales down 14% (17 July)
Volvo CE saw sales in the second quarter of 2020 decline by 14% compared to the same quarter in 2019 due to the continuing impact of Covid-19. Full story here.

Husqvarna weathers peak of pandemic (16 July)
Swedish manufacturer Husqvarna has reported a solid second quarter of 2020, despite the impact of Covid-19. Read the full story here.

EU extends Stage V emissions deadline (15 July)
Due to the unprecedented economic impact of Covid-19, the European Parliament has backed a delay in the implementation of a major Stage V engine emissions regulation. Read the full story here.

Showman’s Show 2020 cancelled (15 July)
The UK’s events trade show The Showman’s Show 2020, scheduled for 21-22 October, has been cancelled due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full story here.

China vaccine centre construction (15 July)
LGMG has assisted in the construction of the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine laboratory and production centre, in China, with a range of access equipment. See pictures here.

Predictions for construction output in Northeast Asia downgraded (14 July)
Construction output for Northeast Asia has been revised down to 1.1% this year, compared to a pre-pandemic forecast of 4.2%. Full story here

Sunbelt UK starts new Safety and Communications business division (14 July)
Sunbelt Rentals UK has officially launched a new Safety and Communications business, which recently built more than 70 Covid-19 drive-through testing centres in the UK. Read the full story here.

Trime’s new sanitising tunnel (10 July)
Italy-based manufacturer Trime has introduced a new X-Mist sanitising access control tunnel to help combat the spread of Covid-19. Read the full story here.

South Korean show postponed (9 July)
CONEX KOREA 2020 has been postponed until 2021 due to the impact of Covid-19. More information here.

Podcast: Covid-19 drives digital adoption (9 July)
Point of Rental’s CEO Wayne Harris discusses how digital technology is helping rental cope with the crisis. Listen to the podcast here.

Construction in India to contract 7.5% this year (8 July)
The construction industry in India is set to contract by 7.5% in 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 crisis coupled with weakness carried over from 2019. Full story here.

Sunbelt morphs in response to pandemic (8 July)
Some adaptations made by US-based Sunbelt Rentals in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are set to become permanent changes at the company. Read the full story here.

Eastern Europe 'battered' and 'bruised' by Covid-19 (7 July)
EECFA (the Eastern European Construction Forecasting Association) has released its 2020 Summer EECFA Construction Forecast Report, showing how the economies of Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia,within its South East Europe group, have fared better through the crisis than their larger neighbours of Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. Read the full story here.

Enerpac and Covid-19 (6 July)
Enerpac Americas president Jim McTaggart discusses the impact of Covid-19 and his company’s strategy for the future. More here.

ASEAMAC preparting Covid-19 protocol (6 July)
Spanish rental association ASEAMAC is in the process of drafting a Covid-19 protocol to give rental companies a common set of criteria to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 through equipment rental activities. Read the full story here.

Scottish rail work restarts as virus measures ease (3 July)
Railway construction workers in Scotland are returning to major projects, following the Scottish government’s easing of lockdown restrictions. The largest of them will see €133 million of redevelopment work at Glasgow Queen Street station, in the heart of Scotland’s most populous city. Read the full story here.

Genie scissors at Morandi (3 July)
CGT Edilizia provided multiple scissors for work to flyovers and the Morandi Tunnel, leading to the new Morandi Bridge. The equipment included large deck scissors for social distancing. See report.

Recording of rental awards and market update (3 July)
A recording of the online European Rental Awards & Market Update on 30 June is now available to view. The session included market updates from three industry experts: Pierre Boels, ERA President & CEO, Boels Rental; Martin Seban, Consulting Director, IHS Markit; and Chris Sleight, Managing Director, Off-Highway Research. Watch the video here.

IPAF safe use webinar (2 July)
The association will host a free webinar, 15 July, focusing on the future of safe learning, which will look at how Covid-19 has impacted training and learning in and beyond the access industry, and how IPAF has responded to this. Register here.

BAM, announces significant Covid-19 impact, will wind up International subsidiary (2 July)
The executive committee at Royal BAM group has announced it will wind up its BAM International subsidiary, the company that operates outside of BAM’s European home markets. Read the full story here.

UK rental hardest hit by Covid-19 in Europe (1 July)
While all European rental markets have suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK appears to be the hardest hit, with planned investment for 2020 down 40-70%, according to a recent survey conducted by the European Rental Association (ERA). Read the full story here.

New touchless app streamlines job site check in process (1 July)
To use Safe Site Check In, employees and visitors point their smartphone at a unique QR code posted at the job site and answer Covid-19 health-related questions required by local health directives – no download required. Full story here.

Platformers' Days postponed (1 July)
The Germany-based exhibition for lifting and powered access has been postponed from September this year to 10-11 September 2021. Organiser Messe Karlsruhe said local government regulations concerning Covid-19 had forced the postponement. More here.

Interview: Johnson Arabia (30 June)
UAE-based Johnson Arabia’s Gareth Conley, who manages the rental company’s aerial platform division, speaks about the potential and pitfalls in the region and, of course, Covid-19. Full interview here.

Almac online product launch (30 June)
For the launch of Almac’s new aerial lift, the Jibbi 1670 Evo, which was to be presented at APEX in June 2020, before the show was postponed to June 2021, the Italian manufacturer presented the model through three live events on its social media channels, using a new remote test drive app. Full story here

UK to 'build its way back to health' (29 June)
UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson has set out a multi-billion-euro recovery plan for the country, including the renovation of the country’s schools and hospitals. Full story here

US construction calls for infrastructure investment to fight impact of Covid-19 (26 June)
A new survey from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers reveals that US construction companies believe infrastructure investment from the government is vital as conditions are still tough due to Covid-19. Full story here.

Clowning around with mateco (26 June)
A children`s cancer ward was one of the stops by the ‘clinic clowns’ in rental company mateco’s special truck mount, which lifts the clowns to window level to entertain hospital patients and the eldery. More here. 

Turkey reaches for potential (25 June)
Country will have to move with the times to take advantage of the potential it has to offer in a post-Covid-19 world, says İrfan İşmak, sales and marketing director of Turkey-based aerial platform manufacturer ELS Lift. More here.

Yongmao lowers forecast (25 June)
Tower crane manufacturer Yongmao in China has lowered its financial forecast for 2020. The new forecast is financial guidance for the second half of the 12 months to 31 March 2020 and the ensuing 12 months. For the six months to the end of March 2020 Yongmao said it expected to record a significantly lower net profit compared to the same period last year. See more here.

Podcast: India in focus (25 June)
Aahan Sethi, director at India-based access equipment distributor and manufacturer Gemini Power Hydraulics, speaks about the affects of Covid-19 on the country and the access sector there, as well as the potential that lies ahead. Listen here.

US commercial construction poised for recovery (24 June)
A new survey conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce suggests commercial construction is positioned well for recovery post pandemic with eight in ten contractors (83%) expecting revenue to increase or remain the same in the next year. Full story here

Snorkel supports Covid-19 artwork (24 June)
Snorkel supported renowned street artist Gent 48 in creating a Covid-19 themed mural in Birmingham, UK. Painted from the platform of a Snorkel scissor lift, the charity mural celebrates front line workers. See the artwork here 

HRIA publishes back-to-work guidance (24 June)
Australian rental association HRIA has published guidance to help its members ensure their operations are safe, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full story here.

Speedy adjusts to pandemic after strong year (23 June)
UK-based Speedy Hire has reported a rise in both revenues and profits for the full year ending 31 March, though the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative effect towards the end of the year and has led the company to minimise variable costs and freeze all but essential capex. Read the full story here.

Mammoet on Covid-19 and the way ahead (23 June)
Paul van Gelder, Mammoet CEO, discusses the Covid-19 pandemic and the way forward, with Alex Dahm, editor of International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine. See the story and video link here.

Construction output continues contraction in MENA region (22 June)
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, beleaguered by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis as well as an oil market in turmoil, will see a -2.2% contraction of construction output this year, down from -1.4% previously forecasted. Full story here.

Vinci Construction back at 90% of expected levels (18 June)
Vinci said its Contracting division was now operating at approximately 90% of expected levels but that social distancing measures were impacting on worksite productivity. More here.

Free Construction Technology webinar on 18 June (15 June)
On Thursday 18 June at 3.00pm (UK time) a panel of experts from Skanska, McKinsey and AEM will take part in a free webinar to discuss the construction industry’s digital transformation and whether Covid-19 will accelerate the process. Click here to register.

Staying home? Get 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.

Demolition industry's concerns over long-term bail outs (17 June)
Two major figures from Europe’s demolition industry have expressed concerns that financial help for the sector from national governments during Covid-19 could be counter-productive if it goes on too long. More here

Kiloutou expands module offering for Covid-19 (16 June)
Kiloutou’s modular building division Kiloutou Module has expanded its offering for construction site health and safety, including a disinfection service, to help companies bring modular installations up to standard. Read the full story here.

Foreign investment in EU transition economies ‘will decline’ (16 June)
A new report from the United Nations (UN) predicts that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe’s transition economies will fall by approximately 38% in 2020.The research highlighting nations in south-east Europe, as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Georgia, as being exposed to a reduction in new construction projects. Read the full story here.

Commercial building in US designed for post pandemic needs (15 June)
Later this summer, the city of Chicago, US, is slated to see the completion of what some claim might be the world’s first commercial building specifically designed for a post Covid-19 world. Full story here.

Covid-19 dents Ashtead results (16 June)
The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted Ashtead’s profitability in the fourth quarter of the financial year ending April 2020 and the company’s planned capital expenditure has been cut to a third of the previous year’s level. However, its full-year results were bolstered by the first three quarters of the year and the company feels confident following the special measures it has taken. Read the full story here.

IPAF secures inspection guidance (16 June)
New guidance has been issued by the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE), following lobbying from IPAF to clarify what should happen to machines that require renewal of LOLER safety testing certificates while the country is still in partial lockdown, to prevent the spread of coronavirus. More here.

Podcast: Construction equipment sales forecast (16 June)
Off-Highway Research’s managing director, Chris Sleight, talks to International Construction’s Andy Brown about the company's forecast for construction equipment sales in 2020 and beyond. Listen here.

Demolition after Coronavirus webinar - video now available (16 June)
Your chance to see panellists from the European Demolition Association, Erith Group and Brokk discuss the impact of Covid-19 on demolition and future solutions for the sector. More here

Trackunit shifts focus on Downtime Index (15 June)
Trackunit said its Downtime Index has served its purpose as an aid to the industry during the pandemic crisis and it will now focus on a new “co-creation phase with cross-industry partners” to define how the Index can be developed in the future. More here.

German rental strong through crisis (15 June)
PartnerLift has reported a 10% decline in rental revenue in March and a 15% decline in April, following monthly surveys of its members. The Germany-based association for rental companies, added that its members were now seeing a sharp improvement in demand for aerial platforms, construction machinery, cranes and forklifts. More here.

Ladder guidance released (15 June)
The Ladder Association issues new guidance on protecting ladder users from Covid-19. The free document delves into issues such as, how long the virus lasts on ladders, how rescue plans will be affected and how workers can minimise the risk of the virus spreading through proper cleaning of equipment and materials. More here.

Travis Perkins in UK to close 165 branches (15 June)
The UK’s largest building materials company Travis Perkins is to close around 165 of its locations and could reduce its workforce by 2,500 - 9% of the total - as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. More here.

Construction in France to contract 9.4% in 2020 (12 June)
The construction industry in France is expected to shrink by 9.4% in 2020, despite the fact the sector was exempt from the nationwide lockdown that began in mid-March due to the Covid-19 crisis. Full story here

Manitou introduces return to work measures (12 June)
Manufacturer introduces a range of measures to uphold and supplement mandatory national protective initiatives in France, as the country returns to work in the Covid-19 environment. The detailed set of protocols are designed to be common across all sites and gradually evolve as the lockdown is eased by the government. Full story here.

Staying home? Get digital issues of all KHL magazines 
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JCB India cuts jobs (12 June)
JCB India has announced that, due to the impact of Covid-19, it will be cutting 400 jobs. Full story here.

IPAF adds facial recognition (12 June)
As economies around the world lift restrictions imposed to slow the spread of Covid-19, the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has modified its eLearning operator theory module to include facial recognition technology, currently deployed as a security measure on its MEWPs for Managers eLearning course. Full story here.

US construction jobs rebound in May (11 June)
US construction employment rebounded by 464,000 jobs in May, but the total remained 596,000 below the latest peak in February and the industry’s 12.7% unemployment rate was the highest for May since 2012, according to an analysis of government data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Full story here.

Downtime Index: North America sees improvement (11 June)
The week from June 1 to 5 saw a 7.5% drop in machine utilisation, with Trackunit’s Downtime Index falling from 90 to 84. The fall likely reflects the Whitsun holidays in some European countries which more than offset a modest increase in utilisation in North America. More here.

Crane rental services face uncharted territory (10 June)
ACT talked to four crane rental executives – John Rowe, Mammoet; John Anderson, NessCampbell Crane + Rigging; Jenna Gabel, JK Crane; and Scott Wilson, ML Crane Group – about the state of their business and operations amid Covid-19 and the resulting unemployment. More here

Asia-Pacific region poised for infrastructure investment (10 June)
Governments in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, particularly Philippines and Vietnam, are considered to be in a favourable position to invest in infrastructure with an eye toward boosting economic growth in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Full story here

IAPAs move to March 2021 (10 June)
The International Awards for Poweered Access (IAPAs) and the IPAF Summit, initially rescheduled to 8 October, have now been postponed to 2021, due to the continuing restrictions caused by Covid-19. It will go ahead at the original venue in London, UK, on 18 March, 2021. More here.

Covid-19 overshadows strong Vp plc results (10 June)
Although overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Vp plc’s financial results for the full year to 31 March, 2020, showed a strong performance with record profit. And the company has expressed optimism about activity levels recovering over the coming year. Read the full story here.

Training goes virtual amid coronavirus concerns (10 June)
Due to the Covid-19 virus, remote training has become a necessity. Read the full story here.

Interview with Enerpac Americas president (10 June)
Jim McTaggart discusses the impact of Covid-19 and his company’s strategy for the future. Read the full story here.

Distancing tech for returning workers (8 June)
UK-based technology firm Equivital has launched a wearable device to aid social distancing for retuning construction workers.The eqWave detects other devices and measures their distance to cm accuracy. Read the full story here.

Lind Equipment provides decontamination light (8 June)
Canada-based lighting manufacturer Lind Equipment has filled a gap in the market by introducing a new product in response to the Covid-19 pandemic: the Apollo UV-C LED light. Read the full story here.

Kiloutou offers extra services to help with Covid-19 (8 June)
Kiloutou has introduced three new services across its network to help customers resume activities as Covid-19 restrictions are gradually lifted. Read the full story here.

Third of Speedy's workforce still on furlough (8 June)
A third of Speedy Hire’s workforce remains on furough as the UK rental company reported trading activity steadily improving through May and June. Read the full story here.

Regional Report: North Africa fights battles on many fronts (5 June)
No geographic region has been spared the health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but North Africa is particularly troubled as it faces additional challenges resulting from related and ongoing problems associated with the oil market. Full story here

Online conversion: interview with Vincent Albasini, CEO of Avesco Rent (4 June)
With social distancing measures in place, it pays to have an online alternative for renting equipment. Read the full interview here.

Proposal to extend Stage V deadlines (4 June)
The European Commission has officially presented legal proposals to extend Stage V transition deadlines because of the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full story here.

Petitjean: impact of Covid-19 on European rental (3 June)
In a video analysing the impact of Covid-19 on the European equipment rental industry, Michel Petitjean, Secretary General of the European Rental Association (ERA), has highlighted the possibility of a lull in construction activity later in the year. Read the full story here.

Mecalac offers delayed repayments (2 June)
Compact construction equipment manufacturer Mecalac has launched a Buy Now, Pay Later finance package to help customers deal with the challenging circumstances caused by Covid-19. Read the full story here.

Webinar recording: Access and the road to recovery (2 June)
A panel of leading access industry experts discussed the effects of Covid-19 on the industry and its future during a KHL webinar at the end of May. Watch a recording here

Dubai Expo and The Big 5 events postponed (1 June)
Dubai Expo 2020 and construction show The Big 5, both due to be held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates this year have been postponed due to the impact of Covid-19. Full story here.

Podcast: Construction technology and Covid-19 (1 June)
Trimble's Scott Crozier talks to International Construction's Andy Brown about how Covid-19 has impacted Trimble and how technology can help the construction industry not only adapt to the ‘new normal’ but make it more efficient than ever before. Listen here.

'Robust' first quarter for Algeco (1 June)
Despite the early headwinds of the Covid-19 pandemic, Algeco has reported a 'resilient performance‘ in the first quarter of 2020. Read the full story here.

Asian banks offer rescue to the Philippines economy (29 May)
In an effort to help the Philippines weather the economic storm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have offered the country US$750 million in loans. Full story here.

Beta Max readies for construction rebound (28 May)
Beta Max has increased its inventory of lifting systems and equipment to ensure construction sites across North America have access to necessary products. The company said it is “ready to support the rush with hoist systems ready to ship as construction rebounds across North America.” Read the full story here.

US businesses call for liability relief during pandemic recovery (28 May)
The US Chamber of Commerce drafted a coalition letter sent to lawmakers on 27 May asking for what it considers crucial protections to safeguard businesses, non-profit organisations, and educational institutions, as well as healthcare providers and facilities, from unfair lawsuits so they can continue to contribute to a safe and effective recovery from the current health and economic crisis. Full story here

Demolition after Coronavirus webinar: Meet the panel (28 May)
Introducing the vastly experienced trio who will discuss the industry's post Covid-19 prospects at a free to watch webinar next Wednesday. More details including how to register here

Downtime Index: utilisation slows in European holiday week (27 May)
The Downtime Index for week 21 starting 18 May fell by 11%, although the period included Ascension day, which is a common holiday in Northern and Western Europe. Full story.

John Deere sales down 25% in Q2 (26 May)
John Deere, the world’s third largest construction OEM according to the latest Yellow Table, has seen sales for the second quarter of 2020 decline by 25%. More here.

Free webinar: Demolition after Coronavirus (20 May)
A panel of demolition experts will discuss the industry post-Covid-19 at free webinar on 3 June. More details - including how to register - here

Nishio’s events rental taking a hit (26 May)
While reporting a good first half to the financial year, Japan-based Nishio Rent All sees its events rental activities being hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with group profits forecast to drop by 31%. Read the full story here.

Staying home? Get 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.

Free webinar: Access and the road to recovery (12 May)
A panel of leading access industry figures will discuss the effects of Covid-19 on the access sector now, and in the years ahead, at a free webinar organised by Access International on Thursday, 28 May at 15:00 (UK time). Participants on the panel will be Armin Rappen - CEO, Mateco; Don Kenny - CEO, Loxam Powered Access; Jacco de Kluijver - VP Sales and Marketing EMEAR, Genie; and Peter Douglas - CEO, International Powered Access Federation (IPAF). Register for free

Palazzani focuses on digital infrastructure (26 May)
Italy-based tracked platform manufacturer Palazzani has called for a greater focus on digital infrastructure to stabilise the economy, including 5G telecommunications, as it delivers a 52m platform for this type of work. Full story here.

Easy Lift US sales unhindered (26 May)
Italy-based tracked platform manufacturer has seen continued sales of its tracked platforms in the US tree care industry despite the Covid-19 crisis, proven by the sale of six units through North American distributor UP Equip. More here 

Podcast: Rental in Brazil (24 May)
Sérgio Kariya, president of Mills, Brazil’s largest rental company, talks to AI’s Euan Youdale about economic and social conditions in the country amid Covid-19 and how his company is dealing with the challenges. Listen here

Hong Kong construction to contract by 9% this year (22 May)
Following a year of civil unrest in 2019, the Hong Kong construction industry is expected to contract by 9.2% in 2020 due to economic weakness caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Full story here

Broshuis to resume trailer production (22 May)
Production at the Broshuis trailer factories in the Netherlands will start running again on Tuesday 2 June. The Dutch government announced it will start to relax restrictions. See more details here.

Global construction equipment sales forecast to fall 19% this year (22 May)
Global construction equipment sales are expected to fall 19% this year from the 2018-2019 peak of 1.1 million machines to 891,000 units, according to revised forecasts from specialist market research and forecasting company, Off-Highway Research. More here.

EDA survey reveals impact of Covid-19 on demolition (22 May)
The profound impact of Covid-19 on Europe’s demolition industry is revealed in a new survey by the European Demolition Association (EDA), with more than a quarter of demolition contractors reporting cancelled projects and 63% experiencing rescheduled projects. Full story here.

Podcast: Wacker Neuson on Covid-19 (21 May)
Wacker Neuson’s Chief Sales Officer Alexander Greschner discusses how Covid-19 is affecting business. Listen here.

US home building plunges to five-year low (21 May)
The US Commerce Department stated ground breakings plummeted 30.2% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 as a result of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Full story here.

86% of sites now open in England and Wales (21 May)
In its latest coronavirus update, the UK construction industry association Build UK has reported that 86% of its members’ sites in England and Wales are now open. Read the full story here.

R Collard starts two new demolition projects (21 May)
United Kingdom-based contractor acts on government's 'return to work' announcement and increases post-19 activity on new jobs in south of England. More here

Komatsu partners with Feeding America in Covid-19 response efforts (20 May)
Komatsu’s North American business units are partnering with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organisation in the US, to donate up to US$250,000 to support its work as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes 17 million Americans into food insecurity. Full story here.

Virus hits Cargotec (20 May)
In the first reporting period to reflect the impact of the coronavirus Covid-19, total group sales showed a small increase but the orders received figure was down 24 per cent at the crane and material handling equipment manufacturer. See full story here.

US construction industry wants liability protection (20 May)
US lawmakers continue to debate the latest coronavirus relief package with a price tag of $3 trillion intended to assist Americans who’ve suffered economic losses as a result of the worldwide pandemic. Full story here.

Downtime Index: Southern Europe up, North America stable (20 May)
Construction equipment use in North America and Europe - as measured by the weekly Downtime Index - was stable or improving last week with an overall 5% increase in the Index to 88.9. The improvement was largely down to an increase in Southern Europe. More here.

Free webinar: Demolition after Coronavirus (20 May)
A panel of demolition experts will discuss the industry post-Covid-19 at free webinar on 3 June. More details - including how to register - here

IAA Commercial Vehicles 2020 cancelled (20 May)
Germany’s IAA Commercial Vehicles 2020 exhibition has been cancelled. It was to be held in Hannover from 24 to 30 September. IAA Commercial Vehicles is a leading international commercial vehicle event for transport, logistics and mobility. See the full story here.

ARA releases healthy work practices guide (19 May)
The American Rental Association (ARA) has released a healthy work practices guide for construction equipment rental companies. More here.

Riwal introduces hygiene protocols (19 May)
Under the initiative, machines are fully sanitised once they are returned from the customer and face masks are provided with machines and by request. Full story here.

Sudhir Rentals pursues plans to enter Europe despite pandemic (19 May)
Despite the turmoil caused by Covid-19, Sudhir Rentals, a subsidiary of India-based genset manufacturer Sudhir Power, is pushing ahead with plans to break into the European rental market. Read the full story here.

US construction output to drop 6.6% this year (18 May)
Construction output is expected to drop by 6.6% in 2020, the equivalent of US$122.4 billion, due to the rapid decline in demand for new projects and safety regulations related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Full story here.

'Tentative reopening' on UK demolition sites (18 May)
National Federation of Demolition Contractors reports increased activity in recent days following updated government lockdown guidance. More here

Pandemic could promote formwork rental (18 May)
The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to increase rental penetration in the falsework and formwork sector, according to Michael Stoevelbaek, Managing Director of Germany-based manufacturer Paschal. Read the full story here.

Queen's 'back to work' message with palace refurb (18 May)
The UK’s Queen Elizabeth II has ordered work to be resumed on the £370 million (€415 million) renovation and refurbishment of Buckingham Palace in London, echoing the call of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for all workers who cannot complete their jobs from home to return to the workplace. Read the full story here.

Construction's 'new normal' (18 May)
One of the UK’s largest contractors, Willmott Dixon, has posted images of construction workers adapting to the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) newly-introduced Site Operating Procedures. See images here

British demolition contractor looks towards recovery (15 May)
AR Demolition says it has a full order book and operations have mostly continued despite Covid-19. More here

Sharp improvement in Downtime Index (14 May)
The Downtime Index – the new measure of construction machine use in North America and Europe - showed a significant improvement last week with utilisation improving in every region, led by Spain and Italy. Full story here.

Bouygues withdraws proposed dividend (14 May)
French contractor Bouygues has reported a fall in sales of 9% for the first quarter of 2020, and withdrawn the proposed dividend for shareholders. The company said its good performance in the first two months of the year – allied with positive results from Bougyes Telecoms – was not enough to offset the significant business drop-off in March, due to the lockdown imposed by the French government. Read the full story here.

Podcast: Spain's Covid-19 journey (14 May)
Ivan Pappel, the owner of two access rental companies in Spain, talks with Access International’s Euan Youdale about how Covid-19 has affected Spain and its people, along with the challenges faced by rental companies and access equipment suppliers now and in the years to come. Listen here

European Demolition Association invites Covid-19 feedback (14 May) 
Survey offers contractors chance to share their views on demolition industry during Coronavirus pandemic. More here

US Demolition Association sets out latest priorities (14 May)
Trade body representing almost 500 North American contractors calls for a 'Phase 4' Covid-19 bill covering support for rest of 2020. More here

Engineering training at Haulotte (14 May)
Haulotte UK is making use of the time available during the Covid-19 crisis, to provide its workshop engineering teams with fully comprehensive internal training. More here.

US construction lost almost a million jobs in April (May 14)
Construction employment declined by 975,000 jobs in April according to the results of a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGA) and data from construction technology firm Procore. More here.

JCB partially resumed production at UK factories (13 May)
JCB has announced a partial re-starting of production at five of its UK factories as a package of safety measures is rolled out to protect employees in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Full story here.

Virus lockdown hits Eiffage Q1 results (13 May)
French contractor Eiffage has reported construction sales slump of 13.0% in the first quarter, due to lockdown measures around Europe. More here.

Andrews Sykes remains strong in face of Covid-19 (13 May)
UK-based temperature control and pumps rental specialist Andrews Sykes has emphasised its resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, after reporting its second-best financial results on record. Read the full story here.

Free webinar: Access and the road to recovery (12 May)
A panel of leading access industry figures will discuss the effects of Covid-19 on the access sector now, and in the years ahead, at a free webinar organised by Access International on Thursday, 28 May at 15:00 (UK time). Participants on the panel will be Armin Rappen - CEO, Mateco; Don Kenny - CEO, Loxam Powered Access; Jacco de Kluijver - VP Sales and Marketing EMEAR, Genie; and Peter Douglas - CEO, International Powered Access Federation (IPAF). Register for free

UK PM encourages construction sites to reopen (12 May)
Construction firms that have not reopened since the start of lockdown are being encouraged to return to work by UK PM Boris Johnson, but the government has been criticised for not providing more specific guidance. Full story here.

Podcast: Impact of Covid-19 on equipment manufacturers (12 May)
Chuck Yengst talks to Mike Brezonick from Diesel Progress about the pandemic’s effect on equipment manufacturers. Listen here.

IPAF offers guidance on resuming training (12 May)
The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has published guidance on how IPAF training centres should resume training safely as the Covid-19 lockdown is gradually lifted. Read the full story here:

Wacker braces as Covid-19 impacts results (12 May)
German compact equipment manufacturer Wacker Neuson took a significant hit from the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, and expects worse to come. Read the full story here.

Turkey rental slump to stabilise (11 May)
Kerem Bayrak, the vice president of Platformder, Turkey’s association for aerial work platforms, has reported a 40% loss in jobs related to the access rental sector in Turkey but forecasts growth in the domestic market in the months to come. Full story here

H&E feels pressure of Covid-19 (11 May)
US-based rental company H&E Equipment Services has seen its first quarter 2019 financial results negatively impacted, first by poor weather and softer demand, and then by the Covid-19 pandemic, though its depots have remained open. Read the full story here.

NCCCO issues updated response to Covid-19 crisis (8 May)
Includes latest details on paper/pencil and computer-based testing options. Full story here

Interview: Ben Forster (8 May)
ACT Editor D.Ann Shiffler talks with Ben Forster of Lift Systems, about their response to coronavirus. Watch the video here

Construction to contract 5.7% in Australia (8 May)
The Australian construction industry is expected to contract by 5.7% in 2020, due to the twin challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and drastically low oil prices. Full story here

Downtime Index highlights data from 150,000 construction machines (7 May)
Data from more than 150,000 off-highway machines in North America and Europe reveal that equipment utilisation levels dropped back last week following several weeks of recovering machine use. More here.

Haulotte fully operational (7 May)
France-based Haulotte Group has confirmed that its six factories and 21 subsidiaries are now fully operational in all areas of the business. Full story here.

US Census Bureau reports impacts on construction spending (7 May)
Construction spending showed declines in many sectors in March, when the Covid-19 pandemic delivered its first blows on the world’s economies, but a small bright spot can be found in the increase in communication construction, likely in response to a greater demand for at-home connectivity. Full story here.

Metso arranges new funding (7 May) 
Manufacturer announces similar first quarter sales to 2019, but admits Covid-19 will affect next three months. More here

Thwaites resumes production, appoints new dealer (7 May)
With UK-based dumper supplier Thwaites’ factories having returned to manufacturing on 4 May, the company has announced the appointment of Phoenix Hire and Sales as its authorised distributor for West South Wales. Read the full story here.

Manlift aids Covid-19 lab construction (7 May)
Aerial work platform (AWP) specialist Manlift’s operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently supplied rental equipment for the construction of a Covid-19 laboratory in the UAE. Read the full story here.

Construction in India to fall in 2020 (7 May)
It has been predicted that construction output in India will fall by 1.7% in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19. Read more here.

GGR demands social distancing on site (6 May)
As construction sites across the UK begin to re-open, lifting specialist GGR Group is calling on contractors and site workers, to assist with ensuring that social distancing is maintained on site, and offers solutions. Full story here.

Must work together to overcome Covid-19 crisis, says new Boels CFO (6 May)
As Jan Piet Valk assumes his role as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Dutch rental company Boels Rental, he has stressed the importance of working together to overcome the Covid-19 crisis. Read the full story here.

Report reveals record slump in UK construction (6 May)
Construction output in the UK has declined more rapidly than at any time in the past 23 years, according to IHS Markit/CIP UK's PMI survey. Read the full story here.

Russian construction plunged into Covid-19 crisis (6 May)
A report from the Eastern European Construction Forecasting Association (EECFA) has revealed that, as confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus soar, the government is insistent that construction projects remain on track. Only projects in Moscow and the Moscow region have been curtailed, where the largest number of virus cases have been recorded. Read the full story here.

Italian rental restarting (6 May)
Rental companies in Italy are now able to resume activity, but only in line with prescribed safety guidelines to protect against the spread of Covid-19. Read the full story here.

AGC: Loan threats are hurting US relief programme (5 May)
The US Treasury Department’s threats to audit or prosecute some Paycheck Protection Programme loan recipients and deny loan recipients tax deductions are making it harder for construction firms already coping with declining private-sector demand to retain staff. Full story here.

Kiloutou fully reopens in France (5 May)
Over the past month, French rental company Kiloutou has accelerated the reopening of its depots, in accordance with official safety guidance, so that its entire French network is now open and operational. Read the full story here.

Demolition contractors answer stand down call (4 May)
Members of US National Demolition Association promote safe working and social distancing. More here

DLR calls for constructive dialogue (4 May)
As France plans to begin easing Covid-19-related restrictions from 11 May, French rental association DLR has called for constructive dialogue between rental companies and their customers to prevent bad practices that are detrimental to rental businesses. Read the full story here.

Free webinar today: Rental & Covid-19 (4 May)
International Rental News will hold a free webinar today (Monday 4 May) at 15.00 (UK time). Participants will be Vincent Albasini (CEO, Avesco Rent), Stéphane Hénon (Group Managing Director, Loxam), and Michel Petitjean (Secretary General, European Rental Association). Advance registration is required, at no cost, here.

Airo updates for 'new normal' (4 May)
Italian aerial platform manufacturer is launching a new website and redesigning its technical information to make it more accessible to customers accessing it remotely. It also promises new products adapted to the modern era, created by Covid-19. More here.

More layoffs at Caterpillar (1 May)
Caterpillar announced a number of employees were laid off on 30 April as part of global steps being taken to reduce costs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Full story here.

Riwal and Covid-19 (1 May)
Pedro Torres, CEO of international access equipment rental company Riwal, talls to AI's Euan Youdale about how the pandemic is affecting the business and the initiatives it has in place to deal with it. Listen here.

Genie sales fall in first quarter (1 May)
Terex AWP, which includes Genie and Terex Utilities, reported a 29.7% drop in net sales to $511.7 million in the first quarter if its 2020 financial year, compared to the same period in 2019. More here.

Strong Q1 for McGrath, enters challenging times (1 May)
US-based rental company McGrath RentCorp has reported overall growth in the first quarter of 2020, though business conditions deteriorated towards the end of the quarter with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full story here.

Tadano Demag to restart production (30 April)
Crane manufacturing will start again in Germany at the Tadano Demag factories in Lauf and Zweibrucken on 4 May. See more details here.

867 Covid-19 cases on Arctic construction site (30 April)
Russian news agency Tass has reported that the Belokamenka construction site in the Arctic region of Murmansk is in lockdown, following a surge in cases of Covid-19. Yesterday, it was reported that the number of confirmed cases within the compound had risen to 867. Full story here.

A quarter of two halves (30 April)
The impact of Covid-19 is clearly visible in the results of the Q1 2020 ERA/IRN RentalTracker survey. Read the full story here.

Podcast: HAE EHA on Covid-19 (30 April)
Graham Arundell, CEO of HAE EHA, speaks to IRN's Thomas Allen about the effects of Covid-19. Listen here.

Rental demand drops, United to curtail capex (30 April)
As United Rentals reports a large drop in rental demand following the Covid-19 outbreak, the company has said it expects its capital expenditure for 2020 to be significantly down year-on-year. Read the full story here.

Steinexpo postponed until 2021 (30 April)
German quarrying and building materials show hit by federal and state ban on large scale events. More here

'We closed one site for one week' (30 April)
Vice-president of major South Korean demolition contractor talks to Demolition & Recycling International about his company and its clients' successful measures to stop Coronavirus getting into work locations. More here

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JLG Q2 sales down 29% (29 April)
JLG’s second quarter net sales dropped 29.8% to $693 million, the company reported. Aerial work platforms sales saw the steepest decline, falling 40.9% to $273.7 million, while telehandler sales decreased 31.8% to $217.6 million. Read the full story here.

JCB ready for South America rebound (29 April)
JCB’s plant in Sorocaba, Brazil, is starting to return to normal following three weeks of suspended operations, according to José Luis Gonçalves, JCB president for Latin America. More here.

Scottish rental association expresses frustration (29 April)
In a letter written to the Scottish government, the Scottish Plant Owner Association (SPOA) has expressed frustration at the fact that construction sites in Scotland remain closed while sites are beginning to re-open in the rest of the UK. Read the full story here.

CECE survey paints bleak picture (29 April)
The latest survey by CECE (Committee for European Construction Equipment) paints a bleak picture of the region’s construction equipment market, with 61% of OEMs reporting significant reductions in production and a further 15% at zero production. Full story here.

Cummins takes revenue hit from Covid-19 (29 April)
Cummins has reported that its revenues in the first quarter of 2020 were $5 billion, down 17% from the same period in 2019. The company said this was driven in large part by reduced global demand in construction, mining and power generation. Read the full story here.

Covid-19 impacts Manitou sales (29 April)
First quarter revenue at Manitou Group fell by 25% to €421m, compared to the first quarter in 2019, as a result of the impact of Covid-19. In the Material Handling & Access (MHA) division, "the combined effect of the wait-and-see attitude of rental [companies], who had not yet ordered by the end of 2019 and the Covid-19 crisis, the division’s business was down sharply in the quarter,” said the manufacturer. Full story here

Staying home? Get digital issues of all KHL magazines
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AI tracks social distancing on construction sites (28 April)
OxBlue announces the development of artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology for enhancing social distancing awareness on construction sites. Full story here

New hygiene and safety protocols from Cemex (28 April)
Cemex has announced that it has implemented more than 50 new hygiene and safety protocols to minimise the risk of Covid-19 contagion. The full story can be read here.

Sales of Caterpillar construction equipment down 27% (28 April)
Sales of Caterpillar construction equipment were down 27% in the first quarter, contributing to a 41% drop in profits for the segment, while the company strives to improve liquidity and deliver profits to shareholders. Full story here

APEX & IRE shows postponed to June 2021 (28 April)
APEX and the International Rental Exhibition (IRE) have been postponed again as a result of the ongoing impact of Covid-19. The shows will now take place on 15 to 17 June, 2021 and will remain at the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre (MECC), The Netherlands. More here.

Huge drop in UK construction equipment sales (28 April)
Sales of construction and earthmoving equipment in the UK saw a significant drop in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, according to figures released today by the UK trade body, the Construction Equipment Association (CEA). The organisation reported a 21.8% fall, compared with the same period in 2019, showing the dramatic negative impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Full story here.

Smopyc show moved to May 2021 (28 April)
Spanish construction equipment show Smopyc has once again been postponed and will now be held on 26 to 29 May, 2021. The show was previously moved to September this year from its original slot in early April because of the Covid-19 pandemic. More here.

Ashtead revenue drops, fleet stabilises (27 April)
Ashtead Group, owner of Sunbelt Rentals, has released an update about the impact of Covid-19 on the business, showing revenue declines from mid-March, followed by modest improvement of fleet on rent from 10 April. Full story here.

Podcast: impact of Covid-19 on global economies (27 April)
Scott Hazelton from IHS Markit talks about the potential impact of Covid-19 on economies and construction spending around the world. Listen to the podcast here.

Columbvian construction prepares for restart (27 April)
Columbia is expecting construction to be one of the first sectors of the economy to be restarted from April 27, the day on which the mandatory quarantine decreed by President Iván Duque was to end. More here.

Podcast: Zeppelin faces Covid-19 (27 April)
Zeppelin Rental’s Managing Director and COO Peter Schrader discusses the impact of Covid-19. Listen to the podcast here.

UK construction reboots despite lockdown extension (27 April)
Major British housebuilder Redrow has announced it will start reopening its sites in May. The move comes just days after rival firms, including Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Vistry, took similar action. Full story here.

US firms benefit from relief loans, but more help needed (24 April)
A large share of US construction firms promptly received loan funds under the new Paycheck Protection Program, enabling many of them to hire or retain employees despite a surge in project cancellations, according to the latest survey released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Full story here

Free training from Tadano Demag (24 April)
Crane manufacturer Tadano Demag is offering free online training during the coronavirus pandemic. A range of courses are on offer. See more details here.

Opinion: US needs national manufacturing strategy now (24 April)
The US government needs to adopt a national strategy to support American manufacturing during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond. That’s the message that Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) conveyed in an opinion piece on 22 April. Full story here

Free webinar: Rental & Covid-19 (24 April)
International Rental News will hold a free webinar on Monday 4 May at 15.00 (UK time). Participants will be Vincent Albasini (CEO, Avesco Rent), Stéphane Hénon (Group Managing Director, Loxam), and Michel Petitjean (Secretary General, European Rental Association). Advance registration is required, at no cost, here.

Video: Europe's response to Covid-19 (24 April)
Domenico Campogrande, director general of the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), talks to Construction Europe’s Mike Hayes about the impact the coronavirus has had on contractors throughout the continent. See the video here.

Persimmon prepares for return to work in UK (24 April)
One of the UK’s largest housebuilders, Persimmon, has announced a phased return to work on its construction sites. The company closed all of its sales offices last month, migrated non-site staff to homeworking and commencing an orderly shutdown of its sites. It says it is now responding to a call from the government to get the construction sector back to work and will begin reopening sites from 27 April. Full story here.

Enerpac update (24 April)
Hydraulic lifting, jacking and tool specialist Enerpac reports that most of its manufacturing locations and warehouses around the world are operating. It said that in some cases shipping restrictions in certain countries may lead to delays in deliveries. Most of its sales and customer service staff and staff in office functions are working from home. Enerpac is considered to be a critical supplier. It serves sectors that include: emergency services, food, transport, water and power generation. As such, it said it can continue operating in areas where other businesses heve been closed by local authorities.

IPAF president points to innovations influenced by pandemic (24 April)
Norty Turner, officially confirmed as International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) president yesterday, said, "The way the world learns is evolving due to the pandemic, and ever adaptable, IPAF will bring forward new innovations, including but not limited to a digital app for operators and managers, paperless IPAF courses, and adapting more of IPAF’s training program into both eLearning and virtual reality applications". Read more here.

Vinci reports gradual resumption in France (24 April)
Construction activity in France starts to recover but group expects ‘pronounced decline’ in revenues. More here.

Herc cutting capex due to Covid-19 (24 April)
Herc Rentals has reported a rise in rental revenues in the first quarter of 2020, despite some impact on rental volumes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but has reduced its capital expenditure plans in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Read the full story here.

Terex introduces range of cost saving measures (24 April)
Corporation is reducing its workforce, salaries, capital expenditure and production output, as well as extending its credit facility and expanding its worker safety initiatives. More here.

Q&A: Will we see a post-pandemic construction tsunami? (23 April)
DeWayne Ables, founder and president of Pioneer IQ, a leadership development firm that specializes in the construction and design industries, says he sees a wave of activity coming in the second half of this year. Full story here.

Volvo CE in first quarter sales drop (23 April) 
Company 'entering tough period' as impact of Covid-19 sees year-on-year revenues fall by 17% More here.

Mexico: more than 2000 contractors at risk of bancruptcy (23 April)
Country's Construction Chamber of Commerce said small companies facing cash flow problems as lockdown is extended to 30 May. More here.

Podcast: Domenico Campogrande, director general of FIEC, on Covid-19 (23 April)
Domenico Campogrande, director general of the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), talks to Construction Europe’s Mike Hayes about the impact the coronavirus has had on contractors throughout the continent. View here.

Multitel re-starts production (22 April)
Italy-based truck mounted platform manufacturer Multitel Pagliero has resumed production in all eight of its plants in the country, as well as activities in its two service centres, in Milan and Turin. More here.

Wacker Neuson withdraws fiscal guidance (22 April) 
Germany-based manufacturer of light and compact demolition equipment says Coronavirus makes it impossible to predict demand after falling revenues and orders. More here

Podcast: Pablo Lam, Managing Director of SK Rental in Chile, on challenging times (22 April)
In this podcast Murray Pollok, Managing Editor of International Rental News (IRN), talks to Pablo Lam, Managing Director of Chile-based rental company SK Rental, about the impact of Covid-19. View here.

Ritchie Bros reports surge in online bidding (22 April)
Auctioneer Ritchie Bros said it is seeing unprecedented online participation in its auctions as it adopts an online-only policy during the Covid-19 pandemic. More here.

Podcast: US construction industry bears impact of pandemic (21 April)
Ken Simonson, chief economist for Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), tells Jenny Lescohier of International Construction about the latest survey results and more in this podcast focusing on the US construction industry in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. Listen here

Some temporary factory closures extended by Komatsu (21 April)
Major OEM Komatsu has revealed that some of its factories will be staying closed for longer than originally planned due to COVID-19. Full story here.

Airo forecasts market recovery (21 April)
Italian access equipment manufacturer is confident about the future in Europe, as lockdowns give way to a fast-moving business environment. The company’s sales director Oscar Prigione said he expected business to be strong, as Europe makes up for lost time. Read more here.

Stand down for safety says NDA (21 April)
US demolition association urges members to stop and talk to workers about Covid-19 risks. More here

Manitou factories partially re-open  (21 April)
Manufacturer partially resumes production activity at its production sites in France and Italy, while its plant in India remains closed. Full story here.

Impact of Covid-19 on French rental (21 April)
According to a recent survey, 48% of the French rental association DLR’s members have closed rental depots due to the coronavirus crisis, and 4% are considering permanent closure. Read the full story here.

Construction fast-tracked for UK vaccine centre (21 April)
Harwell Construction has begun a rapidly accelerated construction programme on a new vaccines research and production facility in Oxfordshire, UK. The contractor broke ground ahead of schedule on the state-of-the-art Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) at Harwell Campus, which is now expected to be operational by 2021, a year ahead of schedule. Full story here.

Deutz begins phased return to production (20 April)
German engine manufacturer announces it has initiated a phased resumption of its production activities in Germany and Spain. Full story here.

Podcast: North American rental and Covid-19 (20 April)
Tony Conant, CEO of the American Rental Association, talks with International Rental News Editor Thomas Allen about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on equipment rental in North America. Listen to the podcast here.

NAHB: Include home builders in US relief efforts (20 April)
With unemployment numbers rising by the day as a result of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the US residential construction market faces steep challenges, not the least of which is the future viability of the construction firms that build houses. Full story here.

New dates and venue for EDA convention (20 April)
Demolition conference and dinner switched from Belgrade to Paris and now taking place in September. More here

Japanese contractors halt work (20 April)
With the news that Japan's state of emergency has been extended nationwide, some of the country's largest construction contractors have announced they will be suspending work. More here.

Manitou withdraws shareholder payment (20 April)
Manitou Group has decided to withdraw its dividend payment to shareholders. The company’s board of directors said a reserve distribution payment to replace the dividend may be made in October. Full story here.

Podcast: Kevin Appleton on Covid-19 and the rental industry (20 April)
IRN columnist and former Lavendon CEO Kevin Appleton talks to Murray Pollok, IRN Managing Editor, about the rental industry's key role during the pandemic. View here.

NDA shows extent of Covid-19 (17 April)
US demolition association survey finds most member companies have suffered work stoppages or suspensions. More here

OSHA issues coronavirus guidance (17 April)
The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced an interim enforcement response plan which provides guidance for handling coronavirus-related complaints, referrals and severe illness reports. Full story here.

US lawmakers urged to create national strategy for manufacturing (17 April)
Associated Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) are asking lawmakers to enact initiatives it claims will strengthen the economy, create new jobs and opportunities, and ensure the US is properly positioned to offer equipment manufacturers the best environment in which to innovate, manufacture, and do business. Full story here.

Eyewitness: Turkey & COVID-19 (17 April)
Platformder, the assocation for aerial platforms in Turkey, provides an insight into how COVID-19 is affecting the access and rental sectors, as well as the country as a whole. Read the full report here.

French renter Kiloutou starts to re-open network (17 April)
Kiloutou will progressively re-open almost half of its 440 rental locations in France over the coming weeks and has put in place protocals for safe operation. It said it was ready to support its customers as they resumed work. More here.

Italian rental firms take stock (17 April)
The pause in activity caused by the coronavirus pandemic is being taken as an opportunity by many Italian rental companies to train their employees and update customer processes, according to Italian rental association Assodimi. Read the full story here.

Garic welfare units help tackle virus (16 April)
British supplier of site welfare units to construction answers call for more testing centres. More here

US construction groups included on Trump’s panel to reopen (16 April)
President Donald Trump announced a list of “Great American Economic Revival” industry groups, including many within the US construction industry, that he said will advise the White House on reopening the economy after the shutdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Full story here

US construction down 5% in March (16 April)
Total construction starts in the US declined 5% from February to March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $746.9 billion, with the full impact of Covid-19 still to emerge, said Dodge Data & Analytics this week. More here.

Italian construction could fall by 22.6% in 2020
Italian construction forecasting body CRESME said that construction activity this year could fall by almost 23%, which is more than double the decline in 2009, the worst year of the financial crisis. That represents a loss of €34 billion in investment in construction for Italy this year.

Algeco remains resilient (16 April)
UK-based modular space rental company expresses confidence that it can weather the coronavirus crisis, as the company reports full-year 2019 revenue growth of 2.2%. Read the full story here.

NDA calls for more Covid-19 tests (16 April)
US demolition association says testing must be available for workers in essential industries.More here

French rental association urges negotiation of rental contracts (16 April)
DLR said today that rental customers cannot invoke force majeure to cancel rental contracts and should instead seek “balanced” agreements with their rental suppliers. More here.

Bentley waives fees for cloud service until 30 September (16 April)
Bentley Systems has opened up its ProjectWise 365 cloud service, including waiving subscription fees through September 30, 2020, to virtually connect infrastructure project participants forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More here.

US firm settles over alleged bid-rigging scheme (15 April)
US-based contracting firm M.A. Mortenson Co. has agreed to a US$1.3 million settlement with the State of Colorado over its alleged involvement in a bid-rigging scheme related to the US$233 million renovation of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Part of the agreement says the company must provide construction services for a project related to meeting the state's needs for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Full story here.

Steinexpo 'to take place as planned' (15 April)
German quarry and building materials exhibition is sticking to its 26-29 August dates. The showground is 90 km north of Frankfurt. Full story here

'Record' excavator sales in China in March (15 April)
Excavator sales by Chinese OEMs reached record levels in March, according to data from China Construction Machinery Association (CCMA). Full story here.

Podcast: construction equipment factory closures (15 April)
Andy Brown, Editor of International Construction magazine, interviews Chris Sleight, Managing Director of Off-Highway Research, about the likely impact of Covid-19 on construction equipment production figures. More here.

OSHA guidance on Covid-19 (15 April)
Michael Rubin, a Partner at US law firm Goldberg Segalla, has written a useful guide to OSHA guidance on Covid-19. OSHA is the US government's health and safety organistion. It was first published in American Cranes & Transport (ACT) magazine. More here.

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Genie making PPE equipment for hospital (15 April)
To help address the need for personal protection equipment (PPE) in its community, Genie is designing and producing medical equipment for a local hospital, close to its US-based headquarters in Redmond, Washington state. More here.

Haulotte sales hit by global markets and COVID-19 (14 April)
French manufacturer recorded revenues of €132.9 million in the first quarter of 2020, a 19% drop on the same period last year. It was the result of European and global markets that slowed in the second half of 2019 and was further impacted by COVID-19, from the beginning of March this year. Full story here.

Analyst: Cracks widening in Dubai's construction market (14 April)
Government spending cuts resulting from the coronavirus pandemic are delaying construction projects in Dubai and some say the move could further compromise an already stressed industry in this traditionally prosperous region. Full story here.

NFDC finds hope for the future (14 April) 
Survey of British demolition contractors finds majority of sites closed but start dates of projects later in 2020 still being confirmed. Full story here

Spain's ASEAMAC provides contractual advice to rental companies (14 April)
Spanish rental association ASEAMAC has created a 10-page document addressing the most asked questions about the impact of Covid-19 on rental activities. Read more here.

BAM Nuttall furloughs 300 employees
BAM Nuttall in the UK said last week it was furloughing approximately 300 employees and its senior management team has taken voluntary reductions in salaries. For April, any furloughed employees will be paid 90% of wages up to £30,000; and 80% of wages over £30,000. The UK government job retention scheme limits monthly payments to 80%, up to £2500 per month. No decision has been taken for May. It said that where operations continued on infrastructure projects its teams were complying with industry-agreed Site Operating Procedures (SUP).

Steelwrist: Covid-19 action 'working well' (14 April)
Sweden-based tiltrotator supplier reports 'good delivery capability' despite operating at reduced capacity. Full story here

French renters: 'we are ready to re-open' (14 April)
DLR, the French association that represents the rental sector, said today it wanted to send a clear message that the “vast majority” of its members are ready for the re-opening of their depots and of construction sites. More here.

Pandemic cuts US nonresidential construction employment (13 April)
According to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction industry employment declined significantly in March, the majority within the nonresidential sector. Full story here.

ARA forecasts steep drop in rental revenues (13 April)
The American Rental Association’s latest forecast projects a 16.6 percent decline in industry revenue for 2020, amounting to a loss of US$9.3 billion this year. The economic models, according to research conducted by IHS Markit, show slight quarter-over-quarter improvement for the third and fourth quarters of 2020, however. Read the full story here.

Spanish construction gets back to work (13 April)
Many of Spain's construction and manufacturing sites re-opened today as the government eased restrictions on businesses, allowing some 'non-essential' sectors to return to work. The general lockdown on communites and shops remains in place. More here.

FIEC summarises impact on European construction (13 April)
European contractors organisation FIEC has published a very useful summary of the impact that Covid-19 has had on individual construction markets in the region. For each country, it states the general measures enacted by governments and the particular actions in construction, including links to industry resources such as health and safety protocols. You can find the document here.

Ontario, Canada accelerates essential construction projects (9 April)
Ontario, Canada is extending hours for essential construction projects, such as those in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Full story here

Production update from Komatsu (9 April)
OEM Komatsu has issued an update regarding which of its factories are having their temporary production suspensions extended due to COVID-19. Read the full story here 

Open or closed? NFDC's latest 'snapshot' (9 April)
UK demolition contractors' federation survey finds 85% of respondents had closed all or some sites by April 8. Full story here

Comment: Covid-19 - the waiting game (9 April)
Jacqueline O'Donovan explains how the Coronavirus impacts the MD of a family-run company with almost 200 staff. Full story here

Work resumes on Milan's new metro line (9 April)
Work has restarted on a new metro line in Milan, Italy, after 'extraordinary' safety measures have been adopted to protect the health of workers and avoid contagion. More here.

Interview - 'We need a code of conduct' (9 April)
James Howard tells Demolition & Recycling International about the industry's possible next steps during Coronavirus. Full story here

UK's Speedy Hire furloughs 50% of staff (9 April)
UK rental company Speedy Hire has furloughed around 50% of its employees – 1,750 staff - under the government’s COVID-19 job retention scheme. More here.

Trimble provides COVID-19 resources for construction sector (9 April)
Trimble is providing contractors with a wide selection of resources relating to COVID-19. These include advice on its own services for remote access to construction sites as well as a selection of external sources of information, guidance and comment. You can find it here.

CICB in USA launches online training (8 April)
In a response to the COVID-19 crisis, Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB) has created live, interactive and online training programs to mitigate the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic. This includes a two-day online training program to prepare crane operators for the NCCCO Written Exams and three-day online training programs for Mobile Crane and Rigging Inspectors or Overhead Crane/Hoist and Rigging Inspectors. Full story here.

Caterpillar maintains dividend (8 April)
Caterpillar said it would maintain its dividend payment of US$1.03 per share of ordinary stock, payable on 20 May. It said it had paid a cash dividend every year since the company was founded and every quarter since 1933. Read the release here.

AGC urges US construction firms to participate in Coronavirus Safety Stand Down on 9 April (8 April)
The US construction industry has been mired in confusion over whether work can continue in the face of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and workers are increasingly expressing concern over what many perceive to be unsafe working conditions. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) aims to bring this issue to the forefront of the national discussion with this event. More information on how to take part is available at

US clarifies construction eligibility for paycheck protection loans (8 April)
New guidance from the Trump administration clarifies that US construction firms with 500 or fewer employees and that meet small business size standards qualify for new Paycheck Protection Program loans that are part of the recently implemented CARES Act for coronavirus relief. Full story here

Business recovery for Haulotte China (8 April)
With construction in China returning to pre COVID-19 levels, Haulotte has said that its Chinese subsidiary is getting busier and busier with machine deliveries to meet customers demand. The company recently sent four HA26 RTJ O and one HA20 RTJ to the Xinjiang PetroChina’s project.

Coates Hire in Australia working through crisis (8 April)
Coates Hire’s events-related business has halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak but general rental operations are continuing, said owner Seven Group Holdings (SGH). More here.

MCS offers E-Sign to help with social distancing (8 April)
Rental management software provider MCS Rental Software is offering its E-Sign electronic document signing solution for free for six months to its customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story here.

Vinci rating hints at long-term pain (8 April)
Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has classified concessions and construction company Vinci as Stable, down from its previous Positive rating, in its latest outlook revision. As recently reported by KHL, Vinci has given notice to its shareholders that it will not be able to meet its revenue targets for 2020, due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Full story here

CEA - UK site theft up by half (7 April) 
As sites close due to COVID19, United Kingdom Construction Equipment Association reports a 50% increase in theft in the space of two weeks. Full story here

Sunstate remains open for rental needs (7 April)
Sunstate Equipment, the Phoenix-based equipment rental company with depots across Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Tennessee and Texas, remains open for business while taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Hitchi takes measures at Japanese plants (7 April)
Hitachi Construction Machinery Group said it will gradually adjust production at its four Japanese plants in April and May in light of the decline in demand worldwide due to the spread of COVID-19. Full story here.

Chile gets ready for construction slowdown (7 April)
The Chilean Chamber of Construction (CChC) said the country’s construction sector is facing a significant downturn this year because of the COVID-19 outbreak. More here.

COVID-19's impact on construction equipment production (6 April)
Factory closures and national lockdowns around the world will cost the global construction equipment industry lost production of 43,000 machines this year, according to specialist market research and forecasting company Off-Highway Research. Full story here.

Coronavirus affects industry in Brazil and Colombia (6 April 11:47am CDT)
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are causing major equipment manufacturers in Brazil to suspend operation, while work comes to a halt on thousands of projects in Colombia. Full story here

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.

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.

EDA welcomes new members (3 April) 
Despite the impact of Coronavirus on demolition, three companies have joined Europe's industry association. 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.

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)
Crane maker Manitex International reports that the state-mandated closure of its Italian facilities on March 21, 2020 will continue until April 9, at the earliest. North American operations have remained open. 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

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 minimise exposure to coronavirus (1 April 2:43pm CDT)
North America’s top construction firms are continuing to work where it’s allowed but are utilising 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 (1 April)
In a statement 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, that the spread of the virus would have "a material impact on demand and on the supply chain". Read the story here.

Facebook halts work on US data centre (1 April)
Social media giant Facebook has halted construction on a new US$750 million data centre in Alabama, US, 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. 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.

Digital issues of all KHL magazines
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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.

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.

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)
Jacob Birkeland, Skanska’s Head of Media Relations, said the contractor 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.

’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 organisation 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.

18,000 U.S. construction bids still active  (March 27, 12:06pm CST)
Dodge Data & Analytics has created a new section for its 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)
United Kingdom National Federation of Demolition Contractors makes Coronavirus help available to member firms. 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: [email protected] (

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.

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 be on 13 October and 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.

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.

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 storyhere.

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, ensuring that customers receive their orders. As such, order-deskz are running normal working hours Monday through Friday, however, response time may be a little longer than usual, Scanreco said. The company said 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.

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.

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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 storyhere.

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 Full 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.

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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.

Colombian 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 Portuguesehere.

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. Seefull 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.

Worker protection at Tadano Demag (23 March)
A raft of measures has been implemented to minimise the impact of the coronavirus Covid-19 on workers at the Tadano Demag crane factories in Zweibrücken and Lauf, Germany. Zweibrücken is 5 km from France and people from both countries work there. The workforce of around 1,600 people has agreed to take the week beginning 23 March as holiday. The move is a bid to help prevent the spread of the virus. A similar approach will follow in April and staff able to work from home will do so. Read more details here.

Asbestos association backs training by video (20 March)
The United Kingdom Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) has approved its 200 member companies and individuals to deliver some of its courses by video conferencing software. Read the full story 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, 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.

SC&RA sets up Crisis Command Center (20 March, 15.00 GMT)
Industry association SC&RA has created a Covid-19 Crisis Command Center: 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.

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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 storyhere.

JLG continues production, issues statement  (19 March, 12:57pm CST)
“During this time of uncertainty, the safety and wellbeing of our team members continues to remain our top priority. As an organization, we have taken many preventive measures to protect our team members and facilities, limit the potential spread of the virus and mitigate the impact to our business during this rapidly evolving situation. At this time, production continues to move forward in our facilities. We will continue to monitor the situation so we can make informed decisions in the best interest of our team members, business and communities.”

Hillhead postponed to 2021; Plantworx to 2022  (19 March 2020, 5.00pm 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.

Latin American construction congress postponed (19 March)
The Latin American Construction Federation (La Federación Interamericana de la Industria de la Construcción - FIIC) has postponed its general assembly and board meeting that was scheduled for 22 to 25 April in Mexico, hosted by the Mexican construction association (Cámara Mexicana de la Industria de la Construcción (CMIC)).

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 customer s (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 oncommon 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); Commercial Vehicle Show 2020 (cancelled); All HSE external training courses postponed.

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 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.

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, Florida, USA. 

“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.

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 Franç aise du Bâ timent (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’.

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.


Construction is being severely impacted by the virus outbreak.

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.

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, 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.”FSCu

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 U.S., 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.

(20 March, 1.30pm GM

Enerpac Americas president Jim McTaggart discusses the impact of Covid-19 and his company’s strategy for the future.

Crane rental services face uncharted territory (10 June)
ACT talked to four crane rental executives – John Rowe, Mammoet; John Anderson, NessCampbell Crane + Rigging; Jenna Gabel, JK Crane; and Scott Wilson, ML Crane Group – about the state of their business and operations amid Covid-19 and the resulting unemployment. More here. IPAF adds facial recognitionGerman rental strong through crisi


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Ollie Hodges Publisher Tel: +44 (0)1892 786253 E-mail: [email protected]
Lewis Tyler
Lewis Tyler Editor Tel: 44 (0)1892 786285 E-mail: [email protected]